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Old 05-11-2007, 07:24 PM
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66 truck front brakes?

Any of you guys have any suggestions for brake conversion from drum to rotors what years fit or any tips. 66 has drums on front i'm wanting to put rotors on , thanks in advance.

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Old 05-11-2007, 07:36 PM
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It would HELP greatly if you said what make of truck ... Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge or other ... that you are wanting to convert.
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:22 PM
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ooops sorry, chevy 1/2 ton fleetside.
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:43 PM
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Find a donor truck from 72 up to 87.
Most all components are bolt in and you will end up with the correct
master cyl and booster.

It will be a spindle, upper control arm, lower control arm swap.
Just changing spindle won't get it.

I am told if ya wanna go all out----the lower crossmember will bolt in as well.
I am not positive about that YET. I have my eyes on an 82 that I plan on harvesting parts from to put on me & the kid's 64.

You will then have to deal with the 5 bolts in the fron and the six in the rear.
But, I am also told that a rear end swap is not too difficult.

Bryan
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:50 PM
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thanks bryan59ec
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:50 AM
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I used to work on 60-66 full time.

For most of my customers, just putting a power booster on with 4-wheel drums made all of them quite happy. As long as the drums & shoes are in good shape. If you haul tons of weight on big hills, discs would be the way to go. Also put on the 69-87 truck power steering box, you won't believe how much that will improve the drivability of these trucks! Just a booster and the P/S will change your truck dramatically!

If you do the discs, get 71-72 donor parts as there is less to swap. (the tie-rod tapered hole is bigger on 73-up spindles) But you are still stuck with 5 lug fronts and 6 lug rears. The later 5 lug rear axle shafts are too long for a 64-69 rear end housing, so swap in a 71-72 rear housing. The 71-72's had a better chance of getting the 3:07 ratio which would be a plus, compared to the standard equipped 3:73 from the older ones.

Like I said, a booster is worth trying first, as you would need it anyways if you do decide to do the discs.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:54 PM
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Thanks F&J, what years booster you recommend?
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:02 PM
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I see there are some kits for the power brake conversion.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:23 PM
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F&J , i like the booster idea better. I'll give that a try also on the power steering box what all will i need and does it require a lot of modding?
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:36 AM
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A frame brace/reinforcement is reccommended.
Steering gear box------------may have to drill one hole
rag joint.

I'm sure there are other vendors for the reinforcement plate but only
Classic Performance parts is coming to mind.
online catalog www.classicperform.com

Bryan
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:18 AM
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As far as the boosters I used: I would buy a 69-72 1/2 ton parts truck with Auto trans, P/S & P/B and 3:07 rear, as the customers all wanted ALL that stuff at once. The booster on a 67-72 is sort of involved as you need to add in a welded stud under the dash for one of the booster bracket holes, plus cut & splice the push rod on the linkage. I've heard that the 1973 up booster is easier as it does not have the bell-crank linkage like the 67-72. The easiest way is to get the original small booter from 63-66, a little hard to find, but that booster will fit the stock master or also the 67-72 dual master. Just make sure you also get the special aluminum "angle plate" that fits between the 63-66 boster and firewall, if you buy one off ebay.

The P/S box can be put on without the special kit ($80?) made by REZ, but you need to redrill 3 holes in the frame and then use spacers at each hole about 9/16" thick. Also shorten your steering shaft. I used to have a template to drill the holes in the right spot but lost it in my last move...sorry...So the REZ kit would be real quick if you have the $.

The REZ kit comes with the reinforcement plate. I don't use a plate unless the original boltholes are cracked from stress on hard-use trucks. Check you frame good.


Make sure you buy a good P/S box that has no side-to-side play on the output shaft. Gates makes 2 different seal kits for a leaking P/S box; one for the input shaft seals and one for output shaft seals. Around 1981-82 the boxes went to O-ring hose fittings, so match the early box with flare fittings to an early P/S pump to be able to find a new P/S pressure hose, or vice-versa if you go with a later O-ring box that needs a later P/S pump.

It is worth the work for P/S & P/B, it will feel like a modern truck.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan59EC
Find a donor truck from 72 up to 87.
Most all components are bolt in and you will end up with the correct
master cyl and booster.

It will be a spindle, upper control arm, lower control arm swap.
Just changing spindle won't get it.

I am told if ya wanna go all out----the lower crossmember will bolt in as well.
I am not positive about that YET. I have my eyes on an 82 that I plan on harvesting parts from to put on me & the kid's 64.

You will then have to deal with the 5 bolts in the fron and the six in the rear.
But, I am also told that a rear end swap is not too difficult.

Bryan
Yup, the whole cross-member swap is pretty easy ... that's what I did on my 66 GMC (see my journal).

On each side, there is one hole to be drilled, and another to be elongated. The 3 holes at the bottom line right up!

I used the 73+ steering linkage as well. The idler arm is different, so you'll have to drill another 2 holes to mount the 73+ one.

I used a steering box reinforcement bracket from Rez engineering which was very easy to install and looks very safe.

Mount the front sway bar from the 73+ as well. I haven't driven mine yet, but I'm sure it will be a vast improvement.

6-bolt rotors are available from Classic, and fit perfectly on the 73+ spindles.

Rear brakes ... 11-5/32 x 2-3/4 from 73+ are another bolt-on which will improve your braking.

Be advised that you WILL have to buy some different wheels, as the stock rims will not clear the front calipers. They won't go over those finned 11 x 2-3/4 drums either if you decide to take that suggestion. 6-hole rallye wheels from a 73+ K1500 4x4 would be a relatively cheap replacement.

My theory on power brakes was to go with hydroboost brakes. I already did the power steering conversion, my cam is pretty lumpy, and firewall space will be at a premium with a tall valve cover BBC stuffed in there ... so hydroboost made sense to me for all of those reasons.

Good luck with your builds, fellas ... post some pictures and stories in your journals.

BTW, my journal has (NAPA) part numbers for many of the components that I replaced.

One more comment. Many folks have suggested using 70 - 72 trucks for "donor" parts. My reaction and experience was "Good Luck with that!" Everyone that has one of those trucks thinks they are made of 14K gold ... regardless of condition.

73+ "rust-buckets" are far more common and reasonably priced. I bought a 79 C20 454 "donor truck" for $500.00 and drove it home.

Last edited by 66GMC; 05-13-2007 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:57 AM
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Someone else has already pointed out that GM changed the power steering hose fittings from SAE flare to Metric O-Ring in 1981.

Keep that in mind if you decide to go with the hydroboost brake suggestion as well. You'll want to keep the pump, steering box and hydrobooster in the same fittings type ... or face a nightmare in buying hoses.

I used the SAE fitting type on mine, as I feel they are less prone to leakage problems.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:24 AM
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Thanks guys, now it comes down to the almighty Dollar.

Last edited by badriand; 05-14-2007 at 07:30 PM.
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