Originally Posted by redtoptravis
I have a 1972 X body rear and I put it in a 54 chevy. I am looking to retain the manual brakes in this car. I only have the orriginal backing plates for the rear. What are my options to put manual drum brakes on this rear so I can retain the orriginal master cylinder and front brakes on my car? I would upgrade but this project has a very limited budget and junk yards don't have anything left anymore to pull to make something myself.
No reason you can't use the same brakes that would have come on the '72 Nova. The '72 brake cylinders will work with a manual master cylinder, although there may be a slight difference in the ID of the '54 cylinders compared to the '72 cylinders. That's usually not a problem, but could mean you'd need to use an adjustable rear brake proportioning valve.
To make the deal work you'd need to buy the '72 shoes, drums and hardware kits for both wheels and possibly change the brake line fittings to match the '72 rear wheel cylinders if they are different than the fittings already on the '54 rear brake lines.
If you want to keep the emergency brake functional, you'll need to see what the '54 cable ends look like to know if they're compatible w/the '72 rear brakes. If e-brakes aren't needed at this stage, either remove the e-brake cables and hardware or wire it carefully up out of the way so it won't hang up on anything or drag, etc. That way the cables, etc. will be there for later if you decide to hook the e-brake back up.