Moving right along.... I have never really been a fan of drum brakes, let alone non-self adjusting drum brakes...
So I decided to upgrade a bit. Now I know I could have bought a kit and made it easy on myself, but what fun is there in that, right? Plus, I don't really like the kind of calipers that come with the brake kit I could afford, or at least justify, so back to fabbing we go! The rear brakes I'm using are off of a 1997 TransAm, but all F body's from 93-97 are the same. I prefer this caliper over the newer 98-02 because of the park brake mechanism is built into the caliper rather than the small drum brake type built into the rotor hat on the newer ones. Anyway, I started with some cardboard....
Trimmed it up and it starts looking like something. I had to clock it so that the bleeder was still pointing up, but also so that the park brake cable will clear at the bottom.
Once I had the main idea down, I started with the 1/4" steel plate.
Then I had to figure out where to mount the brake halo so that it put the pads in the right spot. I had to make a few of these before I got it just right, but they were pretty easy to make, and as you can tell, I didn't spend much time on them.
Once it was in the right spot, I bolted it to the starting of the actual bracket and drilled the halo mounting holes.
Looked like this once the holes were drilled.
Then trimmed it into an actual bracket.
I used 1/4" thick steel for the caliper brackets, and it worked almost perfect, but the rotor was just slightly closer to the inside of the brake halo. If I would have used 3/16" for the bracket, it might have been better, but I wanted the strength of the thicker steel, overkill is my friend.
So, I had to either machine a bit off the halo, or move the axle out. I decided that moving the axle out the thickness of a piece of 16 gauge would be easiest, so I made these little spacers to go inside the bearing housing, therefore shimming the axle out enough to make my gap between the rotor even on both sides.
It just sits right in there....
Then the axle bearing is just a bit further out than the caliper bracket, so I made another shim out of 11 gauge to take up the difference.
In this pic you can see the bearing is now flush.
Then I cut the original axle retainers off the axles because I didn't want to replace the bearing, and made some new ones out of more 1/4", way overkill again I'm sure, but the axles aren't going anywhere on my watch...
They are horseshoe shaped so that they can be put on without removing the axle bearings, as you can see from the bottom.
Halo centered over the rotor.
Brake pad centered on the rotor face.
That's pretty much it. I did have to take a round file and slightly file the center of the rotor to get it to go over the center of the axle, but I did it by hand in a few minutes, didn't want to get carried away with the air die grinder because I wanted to make sure the rotor stayed true, I'm pretty confident it did. I'll either machine these rotors or get new ones when all is said and done.
This is all the parts I made for both sides. I will also swap out the bolts for some fine threaded ones with lock nuts when it comes time for final assembly.
My next post will be hooking up the park brake.