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  • Brakes: Diskbrake I.D.

    I was lucky enought to become the caretaker/owner of an awesome -53 Champion, Regal, Starliner resently! The car was the 'daily driver' and hot rod to a guy that had several other coupes of the same generation that he raced on the dry lakes thru out California and Utah so it got the 'Bonneville' racecar touch. One of those modifications and one of many things that sealed the deal for me is diskbrakes are already on the car. I can't however figure out what brand they are... They don't look like either one of the two 'kits' I've seen available nowadays.
    So here is some pictures in the hope some of y'all can help I.D. them.

    Thanks for any and all help!

  • #2
    A few more of the brakets and spindles themself.

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    • #3
      Those appear to be the large kit made by Levesque and a few others, back in the day. I thought Levesque's were primitive but, sorry to say, yours are the most primitive I have seen; the one sided caliper pins look like they'd be prone to cocking sideways in regular use.

      Measure the rotors, and if they are closer to 12" than 11", they are the large ones. I have ran both large and small, and the large ones definitely do a better job stopping Studes, but wheel clearance is sometimes an issue. The 12" rotors are from late 60s-early 70s full size FOMOCO cars, including LTD, Mercury and T'bird. The rotors are readily available at FLAPS, but the ones sold nowadays come from China and are no where near the quality metal used yesterdecade. So I recommend turning yours if possible, versus new Chinese ones. The calipers appear to be large GM (not the more common metric), used on various GMs from the 70s-80s. They are readily available at FLAPS, as are the pads.

      OTOH, if your rotors are closer to 11" forget all I said above, and look up Turner brakes and HotRod brakes. They are two companies that sell the smaller version. But I have never seen one sided caliper mounts like that on any of them, large or small.
      Last edited by JoeHall; 06-04-2020, 01:24 PM.

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      • #4
        Looking at the hose mount on the frame, I have never seen a setup like that either, but it appears to be well thought out. Odds are, yours is a one-off version, fabricated by an old school hot rodder. I am sure they will work well, once ironed out. I'd give them a chance because, if nothing else, you may have the only set in existence. Not sure what the rotors and calipers are off of though.
        Last edited by JoeHall; 06-04-2020, 01:28 PM.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the info JoeHall!
          The brake hose on the passenger side is actually damaged a bit from getting pinched in the frame a bit it looks like (it's really low in the front!) And it makes sense that it might be a 'homebuilt' setup or old kit since the car was hot rodded in the early 80s or even 70s.
          The rotors is ok but the driverside is rubbing on the caliper mount (likely a bad wheel bearing, it was really loose) and I did think it looked a bit strange with the short guide pins on the calipers too.
          Might be quicker, easier and better to just buy a new kit than try to make this work... 🤔 and while at it get a dual circuit master cylinder too!
          Which one would be the 'best' out of 'Hot Rod Brakes' vs. 'Turner'? From what I've seen the 'HRB' kit looks a bit simpler with the one piece braket.

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          • #6
            I'll agree with the decision to get a new setup. Just to be sure, does the car have a 4 1/2" bolt pattern, if so you're good with the Turner or HR setup.

            I have three setups, Levesque and Turner on my Avanti's and one I made from Camaro rotors and GM calipers in my younger days on a 54K to get the 4 3/4" bolt pattern.

            I have no experience with the HR setup but I know other members that have had good luck.

            Considering both Turner and HR use parts from about the same era, let me suggest that you take a good look at the Turner setup and he will also make up a set of SS braided lines for extra cost.

            The dual master cylinder is a gotta-have now days.

            AS an aside, does the car have the old M/C under the floor or was it converted to a firewall mount. If firewall, was the firewall reinforced? If not, this is a good time to do that also.

            Bob

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            • #7
              Definitely not mine, even the original set I did for my Avanti that used the 68-69 Mustang calipers. Which BTW, turned out to be way too much braking, in apanic stop, the rear end would almost come off the ground. Changed to the GM Metric caliper, and works great!

              Jim
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              • #8
                Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
                The dual master cylinder is a gotta-have now days.

                AS an aside, does the car have the old M/C under the floor or was it converted to a firewall mount. If firewall, was the firewall reinforced? If not, this is a good time to do that also.

                Bob
                It does have 4 1/2" both front and rear (have a Ford 8" axle too). Master is under the floor which I find good and bad. Engine bay look cleaner and 'original' but it's a PITA to work on it and need those residual pressure valves since it'lower than the wheels. Definitely swaping in a dual though!
                Last edited by Swede.; 06-22-2020, 12:02 PM.

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