Make your '60-'72 Screech To A Halt | Early Classic Enterprises


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Dear Early Classic Enterprises Customers,

Early Classic is excited to announce we have joined the Holley family of brands. To all of our customers, we thank you tremendously for your continued patronage over the last 24 years and moving forward. You will soon be able to find all of your favorite Early Classic products, as well as new ones, at Keep on Truckin’

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Make your '60-'72 Screech To A Halt

Publication Name: 
Truck Builder
Publication Date: 
June, 2003
Stop That Truck

After we enthusiasts put a strong small-block Chevy (or bigger) engine in our pickups in search of white-knuckling acceleration, we have to think about the other part of the equation: slowing everything down.

The mid-'60s (and some of the early-'70s) Chevy pickups originally came with drum front brakes. They require too much brake pedal pressure, they fade after one big stop and they aren't very powerful. Frankly, they suck. It takes only one trip down the street in an original old truck to realize how far technology has advanced in the last 30 years or so. It's no surprise that brakes (and suspension) are generally first on the "to-do" list of most truck owners.

Fortunately, there are several choices available to help with these problems. For nearly 10 years, Early Classic Enterprises has been manufacturing brake and suspension upgrade kits for the '60-'72 Chevy and GMC trucks. With their help we showcase here the installation of a front disc-brake conversion on a '66 C-10 pickup.
Not only will this upgrade kit give you modern stopping power, the lowered stance (if desired) will improve the looks and handling of your classic, too. Early Classic Enterprises also has 1.5-inch drop-front coil springs and drop shocks for these trucks. You can end up with a full 4-inch drop if you want it.

How To Steps and Images: 
The conversion to front disc brakes on the '60-'70 GM trucks is a fairly involved process, but the Early Classic Enterprises kit comes with everything needed for installation, including the master cylinder, proportioning valve and brake lines. This brake upgrade kit includes a set of 2.5-inch drop spindles. For truck owners not wanting to lower their ride, ECE also manufactures a stock-height disc-brake spindle.
To begin the installation, the truck needs to be supported either on a lift or using jack-stands to raise the suspension and allow the front tires to be removed. At this point, the outer tie-rod ends are loosened and then popped free from the steering arm to allow the spindle to turn back and forth for better access to the ball joints.
The wheel bearings and hub are then removed, along with the old brake drum. This also allows more access to remove the stock spindle.
The tie rods and ball joint shafts are tapered and require some force to separate them for removal. A pickle-fork tool can be used for this procedure, but generally will destroy the rubber seals.
A ball-joint puller can be purchased or rented, or you can simply strike the steering arm or spindle assembly with a heavy hammer to shock the taper loose. Two items of caution: always wear eye protection and make certain to only loosen and not remove the castle nuts from the ball joints. This will help prevent the coil spring from exiting the vehicle with great force and causing injury or damage.
The old brake hose is disconnected and the brake system drained of fluid. Using a floor jack, the lower control arm is raised up to relieve the spring tension and allow the stock spindle assembly to be removed.
With the spindle removed, the jack is lowered and the old front coil-springs removed.
Early Classic Enterprises offers a wide selection of drop coils for both small-block and big-block engine applications. Here we see a set of their 1.5-inch drop small-block coils being slipped into place. The C-10 front spring application can be tricky, due to the pigtail configuration on top of the coil. There is a D-shaped lip stamped in the top of the crossmember to accept the spring. If the coil does not fit correctly over this lip, the truck will not sit properly.
Early Classic was the original company to machine its spindles to accept the stock tie rods and ball joints, so the installation is a simple bolt-on affair. Now is the time to replace any worn-out components, though, if needed.
The new 2.5-inch drop spindles are slipped onto the ball joints and torqued to factory specs.
A rubber gasket is slipped onto the spindle.
To prevent road debris from lodging in the brake assembly, GM designed a tin backing-plate that installs onto the spindle and behind the brake rotor. This is a very important--and often overlooked--component of many brake kits and needs to be installed to prevent possible brake damage.
Before installing the rotor assemblies, the new wheel bearings are packed using quality high-temperature grease. The inner bearings are held in place by a grease seal, which is gently tapped in using a seal driver.
Early Classic utilizes huge 12-inch diameter rotors in their kits, with your choice of five- or six-lug rotors to maximize your wheel selection.
Every ECE kit comes with lifetime-warranted Raybestos and ACDelco components Raybestos and ACDelco components, and they include all of the needed small parts to eliminate trips to the auto parts store. The loaded caliper assemblies bolt directly to the spindles.
The banjo bolt requires a brass washer on either side of the hose block.
The supplied brake hoses attach to the caliper using standard banjo bolts.
ECE also supplies new steel brake lines in the kit to convert from the original single-master cylinder to the new dual-reservoir disc/drum setup.
The original master cylinder was a single chamber unit that supplied pressure to all four wheels equally. The downfall of this design was that a failure anywhere in the hydraulic system meant a total loss of brakes.
A dual-chamber master cylinder separates the front and rear brake systems and with the help of the proportioning valve, allows each system to work together until a failure occurs. In the event of a hydraulic leak, to stop the vehicle. The replacement master cylinder is first bench-bled and then bolted with the prop valve assembly directly to the firewall in existing holes
The new steel brake lines included with the kit connect the new components together with the existing rear brake system. After checking all fittings and lines, the brakes are bled starting at the farthest wheel from the master cylinder. For even easier stopping, a power booster assembly is also available. This kit will make a tremendous difference in your truck's stopping ability. Dump the drums
Technical Articles
Company Name: 
Early Classic Enterprises
---, CA ---
United States
(888) 777-0395
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