My '55 Chevy BelAir Blog

From One Chevy Tri-Five Enthusiast To Another!

The braking begins, but then slows down

So as any hardcore auto enthusiast who just got a load of parts, I got up bright and early and started the Drum-to-Disc Brake conversion. Things were going good, as taking apart is usually easier than putting back together. Then after a while, I got stuck, literally! I got the drum, bearings, shoes and other miscellaneous hard ware off and started to remove the backing plate. What a pain that was. I took me over an HOUR to get the plate removed. There was this ONE stubborn bolt that refused to come out. I tried this stuff called B’laster, which pretty much loosens anything and it still would not come off. I broke an impact socket trying to get the bolt loose and finally broke out the cutting wheel. Good thing I didn’t have to reuse that bolt!

After all was off, I cleaned and inspected the spindle and prepared to put the new parts on. I was bolting the caliper bracket on when I noticed one of the bolts was shorter than was needed. Since there were no diagrams included with the parts (man I hate diagramless installations), I decided to wait until tomorrow and move on to the master cylinder.


So, I disconnected the old brake lines, unbolted the old master cylinder and wow, that was easy! I grabbed a wire brush and proceeded to clean up the firewall and prime it over. I grabbed the adapter bracket for the vacuum booster and again no diagrams, but managed to figure out top from bottom. Got that bolted on and grabbed the vacuum booster and started to slide that on. SCREECH! No brakes and another grinding halt. The VB bolts were hitting the bolts in the firewall that were holding the adapter bracket on.

Now My first though was look for some type of adapter. None found. Second thought, shorten the bolts, but which ones? I’d hate to get brand new parts and go hacking them up for no reason, so I put this part of the installation on hold too.

I moved on to changing the lever on the brake pedal. Another big pain! I’ve practically used the entire can of B’laster by now! The clevis pin running through the brake pedal was rusty and stubborn too. After messing with it for a bit, I finally got it out and the new one in. Then I called it a night.