vette rear brake calipers..too fat. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:43 PM
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vette rear brake calipers..too fat.

I have settled the old frame-vs-new frame dilemma....new steel wins. Got a 79 vette rear end I would like to put under the 39 Chevy truck. I noticed from the beginning that the brake calipers stuck out beyond the rotor surface where wheel bolts on. I have these nice red deep steelies I have been wanting to use, but they rub that fat caliper, and won't go on.. Is there a skinnier caliper, or can mine be machined to clear? Just guessing, looks like maybe 1/2" or so too chubby. I have been told to avoid spacers, especially with the wheel bearing offset on these wide reversed 10" wide steelies. I would imagine many out there in hot rod land have settled this issue. I really, really don't want to go with a different wheel...the easy, obvious solution. Thanks for any advice...Mike

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike McFail View Post
I have settled the old frame-vs-new frame dilemma....new steel wins. Got a 79 vette rear end I would like to put under the 39 Chevy truck. I noticed from the beginning that the brake calipers stuck out beyond the rotor surface where wheel bolts on. I have these nice red deep steelies I have been wanting to use, but they rub that fat caliper, and won't go on.. Is there a skinnier caliper, or can mine be machined to clear? Just guessing, looks like maybe 1/2" or so too chubby. I have been told to avoid spacers, especially with the wheel bearing offset on these wide reversed 10" wide steelies. I would imagine many out there in hot rod land have settled this issue. I really, really don't want to go with a different wheel...the easy, obvious solution. Thanks for any advice...Mike

Aside from spacers, the only foreseeable solution would be new wheels. Google " wheel pad height" and you'll see there are wheels made for this problem...

Russ
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:51 AM
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Having slave pistons outside of the rotor as well as in, makes calipers that fat. Back 'when ('65-68), that's why you got "rally" wheels when you ordered discs on a Chevy...the regular ones wouldn't fit. Torque-Thrust "D"s were also shaped special for that ("d' for disc) when the standard straight-spoke ones didn't clear. Later with single-piston calipers on most cars things got more compact but of-course Corvettes still used the four-piston type.

If you really like the wheels, there's nothing wrong with using spacers as-such, except that most you can buy are crap. The spacer should cover the entire area where the wheel stamping touches the rotor and have register surfaces for both the center hub on the axle stub, and again going into the wheel, and the bolt holes should be round and snug to the studs, not some huge oddball shape designed to accommodate any bolt pattern. Since most off-the-shelf spacers fail on all three counts you can have ones made for reasonable cost, search "wheel spacers" as there's guys with chunks of aluminum already sitting around waiting to go in their lathes and mills. For your half-inch problem, you'll be using longer studs on a plain spacer unlike something an inch or more that has it's own studs.

I have a full-size Chevy with thick spacers for newer wheels, the type that bolt on and in turn have their own studs...I went to the trouble to make them myself from steel to conform to above requirements. It took two days but it got me onto the wheels I wanted, and never a problem in five years so far. Like you, once I've picked a wheel I get pretty set on it.

My only questions wind up being how happy a Corvette irs rear with half-inch spacers and ten-inch-wide reverse-offset wheels is going to be with that type of loading, and how if it's stock width it all is going to fit under a '39 Chevy.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for your rpose. The Chevy truck cab now sits "above" a custom made frame. No bed made, so far. The vette axle assembly is narrower than the Z-28 disc rear I was going to use (and still might)..the frame at this point is 2x4 tubing 3/16" straight back from where the cab will be channelled onto it... If I can get the spacers, it will require additional fabrication to make it fit. I have the time. The rear wheel bearing is designed for the normal vette wheels, and factory spec offset. These red steelies "beauties" are 10 wide with a 2 1/2" set back, meaning they stick out a long ways. Thoughts of the wheel bearing design with way more stress on one side, and less on the other, have me wondering. I may not be wording this well. May ask my son to "laser" cut spacers at work, and go with longer wheel studs. Any thoughts on steel -vs.- aluminum here? Another issue, is the original straight axle. I talked with a spring maker who says bring it by when you get it entirely dome, and we can make the spring to fit right, at the height you wish. Seems reasonable.. Also, I have 03 vette front spindles, all A arms, rack & pinion steering, PS pump. Wonder if I could bolt these brakes on with some adapter?? Thanks for ny thoughts...
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