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fastal_12147 04-12-2013 09:39 AM

drum brakes on '72 el camino
ok so i have an el camino with 350 and the opitional front disc and positraction. i was wondering if it was worth it to convert the rear drums to discs. also, would it be that hard of a job. I do have two other parts cars, one with front discs. could i take the calipers off there and put them on the rear of my driver (probably not but, hey, a guy can dream)

poncho62 04-12-2013 09:42 AM

Rear disks are generally smaller as the fronts do most of the braking.....There are probably kits to convert your rear axle to disks, whether its worth it is another story.

fastal_12147 04-12-2013 10:03 AM

how hard a job would it be if i were to convert? this is kind of a learning project car for me

gearheadslife 04-12-2013 10:18 AM

don't waste your money..
your el camino has no weight in the rear, the rear brakes do even less than in a car..
if anything get bigger fronts.. if you feel you need them..
many kits (a arms) allow you to put b body 12" rotors on the front..
on top of the willwood kits that put 12-13-14" up front..

gearheadslife 04-12-2013 10:20 AM

my guess with a 350 your rear is a 10 bolt..
the easiest way to do the rears is either late 70's t/a or catty set up out of a junk yard or the b body cop/taxi rear disc..

69 widetrack 04-12-2013 10:21 AM

The kits that are available are not that difficult to install, if you have a mechanical aptitude...but, as Poncho62 it worth it? You may not get much more braking advantage with rear disc over drum. The front discs that you where thinking of installing on the rear are too big and don't have provisions for an emergency brake.


gearheadslife 04-12-2013 10:21 AM

hit up for all the facts on this..

fastal_12147 04-12-2013 10:57 AM

alright so i'm thinking just new drums, pads, and probably hoses then

69 widetrack 04-12-2013 11:09 AM

That may not be a bad way to go...a whole bunch cheaper to. Always take a look at your hydraulics as well...wheel cylinders aren't that much money and are a real important part of your braking system. They may even be able to be rebuilt if you have a wheel cylinder hone.


fastal_12147 04-12-2013 11:15 AM

i'll look at them. thought they looked pretty good when i bought it but that was awhile ago so maybe i'm forgetting. anyway these drums are just trashed as they sit. all gunked up and scored on the inside

69 widetrack 04-12-2013 11:25 AM

Drums today aren't as expensive as they used to be, if they're scoured, replace them...turning brake drums is almost unheard of these days. What you need to do to check your wheel cylinders, is pull back the rubber boot on each end of the cylinder, if they are moist with brake fluid, they need attention...Move the wheel cylinder pins back and forth, (you can do this with the brake shoes on) if they move back and forth freely that means they are last check, the vehicle is old, try opening the bleeder screw, have someone gently apply pressure to the brake pedal, if brake fluid comes out your good to go...make sure you close the bleeder screw before whomever is applying pressure to the brake pedal releases the brake pedal or you will suck air into your brake lines.

hope this helps.


killeratrod 04-12-2013 11:29 AM

here is a complete rear disc kit.
GM 10 or 12 Bolt Rear Disc Brake Kit w O E Brake | eBay

fastal_12147 04-12-2013 11:34 AM

alright ordering the parts now

gearheadslife 04-12-2013 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by killeratrod (Post 1665617)

no e brake.. thats no good

kso 04-13-2013 08:38 AM

Think I'm a little late on this if you've already ordered parts but for what it's worth: El Caminos are plenty heavy on back and can use rear discs, it's also always nice to have your rr brakes heat up at the same rate as the fronts. If your using stock fronts I would have used 3rd-gen F body parts, with 12" fronts you might use X-body Seville rears, both available for next-to-nothing, with e-brakes (albeit lame) and practically bolt-on. I always suggest shimming the side play out of the axles first by having shims made to fit under the c-clips so the calipers are not having to move back and forth all the time. Anyhow, been-there-done-that and if you like to drive a little hard now and then it is totally worth the trouble.

Bryan59EC 04-16-2013 06:31 AM

I have rear discs on my 59 Elky-----not impressed with them at all.
Will never put discs on the rear of another car for my driving habits.

my 66 Elky with 72 front discs stop waaaay better than the 59.

There are big rear drum brake options available from the Chebby vendors.

Rear discs would only be needed on your car if you were to be auto-crossing or
race track stuff.

For driving about town and probably the occaisional drag strip run---rear discs are not necessary.

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