Chassis Restoration Progress
01/01/2007 (New Years Day):
Pictured top is the new '68-69 DSE multi-leaf shock mount plate, reproduction parking brake cable bracket and assorted hardware. Pictured bottom is the original '67 mono-leaf shock plate and assorted hardware. The DSE plates come in left and right versions (unlike the originals) for use on non-staggered shock cars. These plates would've allowed me to avoid the problems above with the lower shock mount hardware, but upper mounts would've still required the Corvette install kit.
I replaced the mono-leafs with Hotchkis 1.5" drop multi-leafs. I removed the spacer plate and replaced the spring bolt with a carriage bolt so the head wouldn't interfere with the mono-spring perch. I honestly don't know why Hotchkis doesn't do this for us '67 owners because all of us have to do this mod.
These pictures show the before, during and after pictures. Ironically, the 1.5" drop gave me an almost identical ride height as the worn mono-springs. The ride is noticeably firmer in the rear now.
← Hover over thumbnails to enlarge.
At about 10" of vacuum my factory booster was not functioning well and the brake pedal had a dead feel to it. After looking at numerous options (vacuum reservoir, vacuum pumps, etc...) I opted for a hydraboost system from Paul at Hdratech Braking Systems and their service and products are tops. I also took this opportunity to replace the Chevy style power steering pump reservoir that aimed the return hose into the upper a-arm. I purchased the polished aluminum housing (top left) from Speedway Motors. Braking assist is excellent!
← Hover over thumbnails to enlarge.
Well I'm still not quite satisfied with my current brake system so after much research, I intend to go with front and rear '98-02 F-body discs to improve stopping ability. One reason for choosing these is that the popular C5 or C4/C5 hybrid setups will not fit my 17" fat lip rims. I picked up a full set of LS1 rear discs from a local junkyard for $100. The shoe in disc parking brake setup makes for a very clean looking install and with non-staggered shocks, I'm okay with a left and right by just switching sides from the stock positions.
I scored a set of front '98-02 F-body brakes at another local wrecking yard for $35. The rotors are 12" just like the rears and use a caliper that is similar to the C5 Corvette except that the piston bores are larger and the caliper casting is not as strong. Nonetheless, it will be a big improvement over the factory four-piston brakes and big rear drums.
I mocked up a bracket from 1/2" thick poplar after taking careful measurements of the spindle and caliper bracket (abutment). I want to run a hub with 5/16" greater offset than the standard drum hub hub to match the track width of the factory discs and keep my wheels spaced properly in the fender wells.
Right click on this link to download a drawing of the front disc brackets: Front Bracket Drawing (AutoCad).
At left is a picture of the taller hub (left) compared to a standard Camaro/Firebird hub (right). Reportedly, the taller hub is found on some Firebirds, perhaps with a heavy duty drum option, but they are much more common on late '60s and early '70s Lemans and GTOs. These will actually move the wheels outboard between 1/16" and 1/8".
Here's my hand holding a paper mock up of the rear bracket. This will act as both a spacer and parking brake bracket. I must've had 30 iterations before I got it to where the cable passed by the shock and spring without binding.
Right click on these links to download the bracket pattern: Rear Parking Brake Bracket (AutoCad), the gusset: PB Bracket Gusset, and bearing retainer: Bearing Retainer. If you have a c-clip rear, you should be able to just open the hole in the retainer up to the same diameter as the bracket. I would also reduce the thickness from 12 ga. to 16 ga. because it will simply be a spacer on the c-clip rear and that should center the caliper better.
I had parts from my front (left) and rear (right) brackets laser cut from 12 ga. steel, the original thickness of the drum backing plates. It's pretty amazing to hand the laser house an undimensioned CAD drawing and get a high precision part back. The fronts require some additional machining and the rears need bent up and welded. The rears incorporate a cable mount and bearing retainer.