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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys , I'm looking for some advice on upgrading my front brakes

I'm getting the dreaded warped disc wobble and it gets worse the harder I drive.

Any suggestions for :-



#1 Performance Rotors

#2 Caliper change ( keeping everything stock)

#3 Sensible low price mods


All advice gratefully received along with possible suppliers , remember I'm in the UK !
 

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Yeah... one problem with these big heavy wagons.... we go thru a lot of brakes....
 

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Keep the rear drums adjusted and the front brakes will last alot longer..

Most "performance" rotors are just hype and dont offer any real benefit from my personal experiences. All rotors are made in china now, so they are all basically the same. I personally like blank rotors.. Take the rear drums off, make sure everything is working good their. Also Flush out the brake fluid if it looks like used motor oil in the reservoir. Use Dot 3 or dot 4.

I bought some Raybestos advanced technology rotors on my wagon (They are standard blank rotors) They looked the best out of anything else offered today. I also used Hawk HPS pads and/or performance friction pads, I like the hawks better as they have more bite. MAKE SURE you ask for 94-96 Impala SS brake pads. Why you may ask? Impala SS pads have riveted on shims. The Standard caprice, Fleetwood, Roadmaster, Custom cruiser pads have glued on shims. Every manufactures glued on shims FALL OFF and the brakes start squeaking/ clunking. The pads are the exact same size and have a little different compound but they work fine. I have them on my wagon now.
 

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2nd on the Hawk Pads

The Hawk's also don't dust up your rims and tires as badly as the standard pads do.

NavyLifer's got some pretty nice DBA rotors that seem to do a nice job. I'm also running Fleetwood Limo calipers, as the DBA's are thicker than stock.



I'm not sure how much better they are, but I didn't feel like going up to 17's and they seemed like a nice compromise that gave me a little better stopping power, handle the heat well and are bolt on replacements that don't mess with the ABS.
 

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NavyLifer's got some pretty nice DBA rotors that seem to do a nice job. I'm also running Fleetwood Limo calipers, as the DBA's are thicker than stock.

I'm not sure how much better they are, but I didn't feel like going up to 17's and they seemed like a nice compromise that gave me a little better stopping power, handle the heat well and are bolt on replacements that don't mess with the ABS.
Nice picture Scott, thanks for the plug!

ghetto wag--PM me, I can work with you.

427daz--Even if you don't go this route, (HD12 Front Brake Kit) don't kid yourself that anything available as a stock replacement rotor is going to improve performance, other than the fact that they're new and not yet affected by heat (warped or whatever) and full thickness.

A caliper change alone won't do much of anything, other than possibly provide a slight firming of the pedal. More aggressive pads will do the most to provide more stopping power with stock-size rotors, but there's a downside to that, too--noise, dust, more rapid wear, higher heat and potential issues (pad material transfer/rotor thickness variation--in other words, what is commonly called "warped" rotors).

Sensible low-price mods--really don't exist. Routine maintenance is what counts if you aren't going to actually use larger or thicker rotors--the rotor is the weak link on these cars, especially wagons.
 

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Nice picture Scott, thanks for the plug!

ghetto wag--PM me, I can work with you.

427daz--Even if you don't go this route, (HD12 Front Brake Kit) don't kid yourself that anything available as a stock replacement rotor is going to improve performance, other than the fact that they're new and not yet affected by heat (warped or whatever) and full thickness.

A caliper change alone won't do much of anything, other than possibly provide a slight firming of the pedal. More aggressive pads will do the most to provide more stopping power with stock-size rotors, but there's a downside to that, too--noise, dust, more rapid wear, higher heat and potential issues (pad material transfer/rotor thickness variation--in other words, what is commonly called "warped" rotors).

Sensible low-price mods--really don't exist. Routine maintenance is what counts if you aren't going to actually use larger or thicker rotors--the rotor is the weak link on these cars, especially wagons.
^^^^^^ Listen to this guy's advice. ^^^^^^

I installed the HD12 front kit and his wagon rear disc conversion kit (along with braided lines, stealth bolt mod, and metering rod mod). My wagon will stop better than it ever has before... (but still not good enough to miss Bambi. cwm4)
Navy Lifer's brake kits are the BEST suspension/drivetrain mod that I've done to my wagon. It's not cheap to do but it's worth every dollar spent IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks

Plenty to think about there , Navylifer's kit looks the biz !!!

Just gotta see what Santa brings for Christmas first.

Thanks guys

D
 

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Brakes

Ditto on Bill's brake upgrade.
I made this mod (rear discs, stealth bolt and HD 12 upgrade) last spring and couldn't be happier. Smooth stops, firm pedal, with no fade or nose dips and the ABS still works (don't ask me how I know). IMHO, this should be done BEFORE any engine upgrades (why go faster/quicker if you can't stop?). Save up for this upgrade if you plan on keeping your wagon.
 

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Awesome, but

For a cheaper mod, can we wagon owners get the SS caliper/rotor/pad, combined with steel braided lines, and is there a wheel cylinder upgrade ? Also, how about a master cylinder upgrade ?
Looking around, I am a bit confused if I already have the SS brakes or not.
My next step is to look at the body code sticker, and look in the book, but, asking with your plethora of knowledge seems to be a good idea.

Thanks.
I am on my third Caprice, my first two were sedans, an 81 (free) and a 90 (1,000). I always wanted one of the bubble wagons, and am a proud owner, since last October for (2980).
This one is a keeper.
 

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Production front discs on ALL B-body applications are the same--no benefit to using SS parts.

Caliper is essentially the same, too....no benefit.

Pad is slightly different, but only minor if any benefit, as long as you are still using the stock rotor, which is the weak link in the chain, so to speak.

I would not mess with MC until doing other upgrades (hoses, rotors/big brakes, rear disc conversion) and then ONLY if I was able to determine that there was a problem with the existing MC

Stock hoses are black rubber. Upgrade hoses typically have a metallic (silver) braided outer covering.
 

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Yep, as stated above... there isn't a magic bullett for stock sized hardware.

Having said that, I have had fantastic luck on my daily driver using AC Delco Durastop Ceramic Pads:

88917169 - PAD KIT, ACD Durastop 17 D614 C Ceramic (fits JB9 applications)

The only bitch about these is you need to either resurface or use a flat-surface hone on the rotors before you switch over to them. They don't play well with rotors that have been bedded with other pad materials. Also keep your calipers clean and lubed. Should probably pull everything apart for inspection, cleanding, and lube about once per year, maybe more.

Oh... and keep adjusting those rear brakes. I pull mine off at least twice a year and re-adjust them. Make sure you grind off the built-up lip on the inside of the drum braking surface and get 'em setup nice and close with just a tiny bit of drag. Should probably be done more often than twice per year if you drive a lot.

Anyway, this is the only combo that I have found to work well on my automatic car. We have some big hills near where I live and every other combo I've tried eventually gets pat material embedded on the rotors and the car gets the wobbly steering/funky pedal feel after just a few thousand miles.

Oh... and converting to a T56 transmission helps with brake wear quite a bit, too! :D
 
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