Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby 97cargocrawler [OP] » February 28th 2014, 8:50am

I'm not the first here to do this conversion but I always find redundant info and tons of photos never hurts. I'm not ready to do the swap yet due to weather conditions outside but the parts have arrived and I wanted to show them. I'm converting my 1997 RWD van to discs from drums. I had already upgraded from stock 9.5" drums to 11" drums.

My Order Details:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quantity: 1
Item: Disc Brake Kit Rear - 1 (Single) Piston with 10.5in Rotor
(A117-2)
Rotor Upgrades: Big Bite Cross Drilled and Slotted Rotor
Upgrade($100.00) (99901)

Unit Price: $840.95
Total Price: $840.95
------------------------------------------------------------------------
subtotal: $840.95

Ground shipping is about $60 within the USA. Don't bother with any expedited shipping since these folks take 7-10 days to process and ship your order. By then whatever hurry you were in for this kit has already subsided or you died from spontaneous human combustion (I almost did). Summit Racing and Jegs often offer free shipping on this kit but it may take months longer to receive. I ordered direct from SSBC Performance Brake Systems. Note the extra $100 fee for drilled and slotted "upgraded" rotors.

Here's the Kit:

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My first thought was the shoes look very tiny and the discs are not very thick! Hmmmm. I hope this system is up to the task of stopping my 35" tires :think:

I'm also converting my front rotors to SSBC drilled and slotted. My front rotors are for a 1500 series Chevy truck, I'm not sure how they compare to stock. It's possible the 1500 series rotors and stock rotors are the same dimensions. Anyway, here are some comparison shots of my new front and rear rotors....

Rear on the left:

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Rear on top:

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The rears are slightly smaller in diameter:

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The front rotors are NOT part of the kit. I had to buy them separately, roughly an extra $300.

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The front rotors are about 11.5":

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Seen here inside a 17" wheel:

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The rear rotors are probably about 11" in diameter. They are not 10.5" like the item description says.

I know the front brakes handle most of the braking but sheeeesh, the rear rotors sure look wimpy in comparison. The surface area and pads are so small!

I'm not upgrading my front calipers just yet. I already have 3500 series (1-ton) Chevy truck calipers up front. NOTE: Stock RWD vans cannot upgrade to 1500, 2500 or 3500 brakes up front without new spindles. I'm purposely not posting my front rotor part numbers so nobody orders the wrong ones by accident.

Before I do this swap I want to take some measurements on stopping distance with my current 11" drums. Weather permitting I will be posting pix of the work involved for the swap in the coming weeks...

Stay tuned.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby 356redux » March 21st 2014, 6:09am

I'm interested to see how this works out for you. I plan on doing a rear disk conversion too. I started with 3/4 ton calipers and they were a big improvement over stock. But I just got some new Wilwood calipers. 2 piston mono block design. Take a look at these if you haven't committed to a front set up. Haven't put them on yet but they look like the real deal.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby 97cargocrawler [OP] » March 21st 2014, 6:51am

I'm actually done with the conversion but I'm waiting on SSBC customer service to either come through on a promise or continue to jerk me off. I'm gonna give them another day or so before I form a solid opinion of their company.

I have 1-ton calipers up front now. Normally that's not possible with RWD vans but I have 1500 series truck spindles so I can use calipers from 1500, 2500 or 3500 series trucks.

I have looked at Wilwood but I'm not so sure I will see any improvements up front. Also the added fluid capacity of multiple pistons has me concerned about pedal travel and pressure. I will go into that more when I do the writeup.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby jkilbert » June 9th 2014, 1:51pm

I've been thinking about rear disc conversion for some more stopping power pulling my boat but wasn't sure which way I wanted to go with it. I kinda fell into the route I'm going. I was at my city garage fueling my ambulance when I saw one of the old wrecked Caprice police cars. They were scrapping the car, I managed to get the whole rear end and cables for FREE. They even cut it out for me. Another plus is he had several boxes of pads, rotors and other stuff he threw in. Last big hurdle will be changing the gearing to match my 3.73's and find the time to do the job. Hope you get you customer non-service issues straightened out....good luck
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby markmitch » June 9th 2014, 2:24pm

If you do this and it works good I would be interested in buying the rear 11 inch drum set up from you if you decide to sell them. And I live in Northern California so the shipping wouldn't be that bad. Let me know Mark
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby Allmntrider » June 9th 2014, 2:55pm

If I'm not mistaken all van rear diff's are off center. S10, caprice, Impala, and other gm vehicles are centered. I first noticed this when I converted a e150 to 4x4 back before fuel skyrocketed.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby 97cargocrawler [OP] » June 9th 2014, 4:58pm

11" drums = BADASS stopping power.

I'm not selling mine because chances are they are going back on someday soon.

11" discs with Monte Carlo calipers or whatever **** I have now = F'n GARBAGE.

SSBC can suck a big fat turd. Their products and the customer service are not only a joke but will seriously tempt you to drive to their shop and make them eat the **** they sell. Pile up a few thousand dollars, sprinkle some gasoline on it and set it ablaze before buying any of their crap. Overpriced, underpowered and you can source the kit yourself cheaper.

I would still like to use disc brakes but I need something MUCH more powerful than this junk kit for stock vans. I will have to come up with some other parking brake mechanism...and yes I know my options but I'm looking to switch out the entire drive-train soon so any further mods to what I have is pointless. Whatever larger brakes I use in the future will definitely require a different master cylinder.

Anybody who uses the 11" drums will be thrilled. Adjust the parking brake properly, replace that POS pin that holds the springs with a socket head cap screw.

I'm still way too irritated to finish any sort of write-up on these disc brakes. Obviously.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby markmitch » June 10th 2014, 2:19am

finding the backing plates is like looking for a virgin in a whore house. I tried .
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby chevymaher » June 10th 2014, 2:38am

markmitch wrote:finding the backing plates is like looking for a virgin in a whore house. I tried .

Stop looking in the whore house for the backing plate you'll do better.
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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby Lumpy » June 10th 2014, 3:09am

I think you guys have stumbled onto a great idea.

Auto parts with strip club. Call it -

"The LAP Club".

"Sir, that air filter will be $124."

""Sure, whatever. Is Sheila working today?""


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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby Bis » August 7th 2014, 4:55am

despite all difficulties encountered... this thread is full of WIN.

:lol:
✔ Recovering 3-Time ex-Aerostar owner since 1996.
✔ RC Hobbyist and Dance music nut.
✔ Geeky Astroholic.
ツ Glad to be of help! ツ

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Re: Rear Drum Brake to SSBC Disc Conversion

Postby chevymaher » August 7th 2014, 11:58am

Bis wrote:despite all difficulties encountered... this thread is full of WIN.

:lol:

Glad to see you getting your van back together. Hope it turns out as nice as your last one. Congrats.
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