Corvette Caliper and rotor conversion
Converting an Astro/B body/Fbody front spindle from fixed to floating calipers is fairly simple.
Starting with a used front rotor with a 4 3/4" bolt pattern I used the trusty sawzall to remove the rotor from the hub.
All cut down and ready for the lathe. These need to be reduced in diameter to 6" so they will fit in the Corvette front rotors. They will be shortened up quite a bit also.
My small lathe wasn't up to the task of turning these hunks of iron so we took them to an automotive shop that could spin them on their brake lathe.
I lined them up on turning down the O.D. to fit inside the Vette rotors and they also pressed in new bearing races and swapped out the 7/16 lug studs to 1/2".
The bigger studs are Astro van pieces. The one on the right still had the spindly 7/16ths in it...
These will clean up nice in the blast cabinet and look great with some gloss black paint on them.
To do the conversion the old fixed caliper ears need to be cut off to make way for the adapter to mount Corvette abutment brackets.
Knocking off the old caliper "ears". We sawzalled the ears off at the felt pen lines.
All gone, blended and ready to drill and tap for 7/16-20 bolts.
This is the new mounting adapter for the abutment bracket in place before we did any cutting.
Getting the spindles set up for the brake abutment adaptor brackets.
Drilling and tapping holes for those. We had to do some plugging to relocate one of them for better caliper positioning but the other was a straight drill and re-tap for both holes.
We started assembling the front suspension. Pressing in the lower ball stud and bolting in the uppers, we actually assembled the front pass corner on the van for the first time!
The amazing thing to me was that it actually went together and looks right!
Even the calipers bolted up as designed. I was feeling pretty good by the end of the day! Even though we have a long way to go, things are coming together and it seems we are doing something right. Moving forward is good!
I tried bolting up a front rim but the studs are too short (I knew they would be and I have longer ones from Summit on the bench) I need to change those out so I can get a wheel on.
Sandblasting, priming, painting.
After blasting... Cleaned up real nice.
I painted them the same hammertone black as the spindles. Looks okay. Not that you will see them after they are assembled anyway...
We pressed in new, longer 1/2 inch studs today and stuck it back on the spindle.
Getting the hubs done with longer studs let me get a rim and tire bolted on.
This pic is with the fender in place. What you see here is full jounce
We also mocked up the steering rack so we could get an accurate lock to lock on the tire.
This is full right lock/full jounce. We developed all of our trim lines from this position.
I hope to have the van drivable by early July. I'll let you know how the brakes work.
Nice work, Mark!
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