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Old 05-23-2007, 07:01 PM
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disc brake conversion

Howdy,
This is my first post. I have a 1956 Olds 88 2dr post, and its not fun to drive yet. My goal is have power steering and Disc brakes for starters. With all the front end suspension kits available would it be better to replace the front end which would include new disc or just to try a basic brake conversion and use the saved cash on the power steering? There are so many kits and I'm not sure which one would be the easiest swap? Do you want a front end kit that has to be welded into place or one that bolts into place and why?
I'm looking forward to the input, thanks in advance. Michael
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:42 PM
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I moved this thread so you will get more exposure to your questions. In the future please post brake questions in the Suspension - Brakes - Steering Forum and engine questions in the Engine Forum and so on. Don't sweat it though we all had to learn these types of things.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:53 AM
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Thanks Much
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:58 AM
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power brakes is a must and well worth it.
think of your safety and the passengers.
go with the basic brake upgrade.
keep it as original as possible (frame)
car worth more that way.
best power steering ive used here:
http://www.borgeson.com/default.htm
brake kits
http://www.mpbrakes.com/
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:27 AM
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re: disc brake conversion

kaptmikey. there are several of us working on this problem with early GM's
For a straight disc conversion, a company called Scarebirds has done a lot of the work for you. They manufacture a bracket to mount the calipers for discs, but as important, they tell you which hub/rotor combination fits your spindle and their mount. It is most always a common, inexpensive rotor caliper, so the conversion is simple and cheap (cheap being relative to hot rod costs). The larger problem is the front suspension. Ball bearings, not roller bearings in the hubs. Roller bearings are better, and cost about $10 each. Ball Bearings are $40 - 50 each. No anti dive geometry, and zero to negative caster. Probably king pins steering knuckles, so adjustments are very limited and mounting mods put everything in a bind.
Pontiacs can be upgraded by going to the 58 control arms (ball joints) and the 63 pontiac spindles (roller bearings) and then 77 bonneville hubs and rotors for disc brakes. (I think scarebird provides a spacer for this hub/spindle match up). I haven't performed the surgery yet, but I'm rounding up the parts. Have to fabricate an upper control arm mount, and modify the tie rod ends, but nothing drastic. [I understand the later steering knuckle has the spindle located higher on the knuckle which will lower the front end with out affecting the ride - like buying drop spindles]
Would suggest you do a similar search on when Olds went to ball joints, see if the lower control arms mounts identical to yours. Then see when they went to roller bearings and see if scarebird makes a bracket for that spindle.
One of the things we are not sure of yet, is how to locate the mounting holes on the upper bracket to induce both caster and anti dive. But as we figure it out, we can post it.
Jump in and join the fun, don't do a "sub frame it" like everyone else.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:53 AM
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That same conversion to apply to the Olds also. The best way to add power steering is to find a doner car and do the sway.
Fatman makes a r&p install kit , but uses a Chevy Cavalier rack. I'm not a big fan of using a fwd rack on a rwd car though.
Your looking at least at a steering column as well, like mine on my 55 Pontiac, its a one piece gearbox/column assembly. Another reason to go with the first option instead.
Btw on the ball joint swap, ive done it on mine. 58-70 spindles will work.
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