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Discussion Starter #302 (Edited)
I know the brake issues are aggravating. Wonder if it's something either with the booster or the proportioning valve?
I don't think so Joe. My understanding of a brake booster is that if it doesn't leak vacuum, it's good. I don't think there is much that can go wrong with a proportioning valve either unless the valve inside sticks to one side in which case the brake light will stay on and no fluid will pass to the rear. I am getting braking back there and they bled normally.

The brakes feel fine with normal driving. Pedal feels decent, stops straight with no pulling. I can lock up the wheels on a slightly smoother surface like a concrete highway. I do have to put a lot of leg into it and the pedal goes low though. But if I get on a higher grip asphalt surface, I can't lock them up anymore no matter how much leg I put into it. That's when it also feels if the pedal is almost to the floor.

I believe my brakes are functioning as designed and this is the best it gets with these step-bore master cylinders that are required for the low-drag designed calipers. See this:
http://www.idmsvcs.com/2vmod/brakesystem/hydraulic/disassembly/calipers/pdfs/mpbrakes_lowdrag.pdf
Also these Gbody calipers use a relatively small 2.38" piston.

I'm certainly not alone. This site, montecarloss.com and gbodyforum.com are loaded with complaints about how these brakes perform and feel and need to be upgraded. I never thought the brakes in my Elky felt great but after my wheel and tire upgrade, it really points out that the brakes are inadequate for the car.
 

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Update:


Never mentioned this either but I felt a balance issue with the driveshaft in this car after I had it cut by a shop in order for it to fit the 4L60E when I put it in 20 years ago. Felt fine at first but when I changed the original 2.41 gears to 3.42 not long after, I did feel a vibration. Not bad enough to do anything about since it was only felt on the highway and I didn't do that much highway driving with it.
Forward the clock and the vibration felt worse after my suspension and wheel upgrades. So, a few days ago I replaced the original u-joints (did have some visual wear) to a new set of Spicer. Well, that made the vibration feel even worse! Don't know why but I decided now I have to deal with this issue.
This morning I ordered a new custom driveshaft and a new slip yoke. New u-joints again because I want it all balanced as a unit before it's shipped. I bought grease-able ones and he much prefers using the non grease-able ones anyway. Oh well another $40 down the drain.
I'd bet if you had the driveshaft balanced the vibration would go away. It's spinning faster than it was before.
 

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Discussion Starter #304
I'd bet if you had the driveshaft balanced the vibration would go away. It's spinning faster than it was before.
I would hope so. Since it's totally noiseless and not felt until 50 MPH, I just don't think it would be anything else. Going up from 50, it's a gradual increase in vibration and when I get to 75, I'd say it becomes severe. If I put it up on jack stands take the rear wheels off and bolt the drums tight to the axles, it does exactly the same thing.
What puzzles me is that putting the new u-joints in actually made it feel worse.
If there would have been a local place here, I would have gone there. Since I would have had to travel somewhere, I thought it was just a bunch easier to have a new one made and shipped.
Cost will be $300 shipped and he said it's way better than a factory shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #305
Got back to some more polishing while I wait for my new brake parts and driveshaft to get here.

I'm calling the entire driver side done and installed the first of the decals. Tried some other products and foam pads but nothing can improve the shine I got with the Menzerna 400 and a denim pad on a rotary buffer.
I can't figure out why I don't get good results with foam pads on my Rupes orbital. I've got an assortment of pads for it and tried both the V series products from Chemical Guys and Menzerna 3500 and 3800. The denim pad with Menzerna 400 beats them on shine on this single-stage paint.

After installing the Decal, I went ahead and sealed the entire side with Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant.







 

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Well as far as brake boosters go,I've always had the factory hydroboost setup with the crappy stock brakes. Also has the large cast iron old style mc. At low speeds it'll lock em up if you hit it hard.at higher speeds it can give the impression of bigger brakes till their limits overcome them. I believe hydroboost can give something like 2000 plus psi of boost if I remember right.
Something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #308
Thanks for the info guys.

A little more done today.
Final polished the hood and nose. Got the Wolfgang sealer on their too. Installed some LT1 emblems on the hood scoop and the small SS on the nose. Stock Choo Choo's had this when a front license plate is used.

Wow, this Wolfgang gives a deep and wet looking gloss. I'll apply a good carnauba wax on top later for extra protection.







The brake parts get here tomorrow so I'll be working on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #309
Status report

Vibration issue:
Turned out that it wasn't the driveshaft that was the issue. It was the factory yoke! Changed out the yoke to a new Yukon.
Smooth to 90 now. Glad to have this solved and go back to concentrating on the brakes.

Brakes:
I put on a set of new Wilwood calipers with 2.75" pistons.
Put in a new set of semi-metallic Wagner Thermoquiet pads.
Changed the master to a 1" non-step bore type for a Riviera.
Changed the rear wheel cylinders to S10 ones with 7/8" bores.

Better but still not totally happy. They do feel better in normal driving but I still can't lock up the front wheels on rough pavement. The rear will lock up though which is not a good situation.
The pedal feels firm and plenty high in normal driving but in a panic type stop where I want to try and lock up the brakes then the pedal travel feels too far. Like it's bottoms out. Not on the floor but maybe the rod in the master. I don't know.
Not sure what to do next.

The body is totally done. I'll get some good photos with a good backdrop when I can. Got a Cars&Coffee coming up on the 21st I am going to try and make.

Still haven't started on detailing the engine compartment. That's going to take me a lot of hours too. It needs a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #310
Update. Still not happy with the brakes.

I changed out my brake booster to an 11" dual for a 1990 Caprice and installed a new master with a 1" bore which was the size Wilwood recommended with their 2.75" piston metric calipers.
It actually made the brake pedal feel worse than it did with the original Power Stop setup I had. Maybe a little more stopping power but not much and the pedal would go to the floor.

I also tried a new 1 1/8" bore master cylinder. That didn't make much difference. Pedal was a little harder to push to the floor but still felt bad.

At first I thought I must have had trapped air somewhere but multiple re-bleeding using different methods changed nothing. Finally I clamped off the front rubber brake hoses at the bottom near the banjo fittings. Started the car to bet brake boost and the pedal was high and rock hard.
No doubt it's caliper flex. Only thing it can be.

So now that I've wasted money on the Power Stop kit and then the Wilwood 2.75 calipers, I'm going to go a different route altogether for the front brakes. I'm leaning very heavily towards going with an LS1 brake setup. I've been looking at the complete kit that Flynbye sells for $875. These have 12" rotors versus the 10.5" I have now. That alone improves the stopping power from the brakes. They are also aluminum twin piston calipers instead of the cast single I've got now. Larger pad area too. This setup will clear my 16" wheels too according to their info.
 

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Discussion Starter #312
Thanks JJ!
Luckily I was blessed with a good back. Almost 63 and still going strong.

It was the factory pinion yoke. I just don't think they are made very well. Also, the factory used plastic inserts on the u-joints to center them. When replacing the u-joints, I don't think they centered the same and made the vibration even worse. The clips barely touch the bottom of the u-joint cap bore for what I think it is a hit or miss centering.
The Yukon yoke is better made and is machined where the inside clips sit. That's gong to center the u-joint much more precisely.

So that was a problem it took a long time to get to the bottom of and now I'm into another long period of time dealing with my brakes. I'm going to call Flynbye tomorrow. I have a few questions and if everything sounds good I'll probably order that front LS1 brake kit.
Btw, these 12" rotor brakes and dual calipers were installed on all '98 to '02 Camaros and Firebirds but I think they are referred to as "LS1 brakes" because '98 was the first year for the LS1 and they upgraded the brakes on the model at the same time.
 

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I.ve been planning on doing the ls1 front brake swap for years , just never got around to it. Just saw g-bodyforums has a new thread with all the old info in 1 spot of the old low cost diy method.
https://gbodyforum.com/threads/ls1-front-brakes-on-g-body-spindle.69674/

However, I'm planning one simple change on mine. I can get the 14" factory or aftermarket z-06 14" vette rotors for not much more from places like rock auto. Will need to verify their in & out spacing of rotor vs hub and move caliper bracket mount holes out 1" from spindle.

14" rotors should bite down pretty hard & will work with my 18" wheels.
There are also the 13"standard c-5 vette rotors which may work with 17's & would require 1/2" caliper mount hole adjustment.

Quite a bit of internet info on all this, just don't remember it all at the moment. Besides being sidetracked with another project recently, just got another home computer after a month of absence.
PS, read many times Flynbye can be hard to get a hold of.
 
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Loving this thread.....

Hi,

Been following the posting and project. Amazed at your knowledge, skill and resources you have. I was hoping you would choose the color white,

Since I live in Texas I was wondering if you could share you truck interior guy? I live in the DFW area. I have a bone stock 86 el camino choo choo in grey with grey buckets and its tired. I’ll take a different route and have to pay to get it updated. I don’t have the time, talent to do it myself. But boy I took some notes! Love to see your truck some day - not sure what region you live in.

Looking forward to the completion, that is if we ever do complete these projects,

Thank you,

Dan





Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #316
Hi,
Been following the posting and project. Amazed at your knowledge, skill and resources you have. I was hoping you would choose the color white,
Since I live in Texas I was wondering if you could share you truck interior guy? I live in the DFW area. I have a bone stock 86 el camino choo choo in grey with grey buckets and its tired. I’ll take a different route and have to pay to get it updated. I don’t have the time, talent to do it myself. But boy I took some notes! Love to see your truck some day - not sure what region you live in.
Looking forward to the completion, that is if we ever do complete these projects, Thank you, Dan
Thanks for the compliment Dan!

I haven't had any time to work on the car lately. I still haven't completed my upgrade of the front brakes or detailed the engine compartment and those are the only things left before calling my update to the car complete. I'm hoping to be able to get back on the car soon. I'd like to take it to a couple of local shows this fall.

I live in San Angelo but the guy that did my upholstery is kind of semi-retired now and I don't think he is taking new customers. He will do work for a few old customers but he has more work than he really has time for.

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #317 (Edited)
Finally got my LS1 brakes installed and test drove with them for the first time today.
All I can say is WOW, what a difference! They feel fantastic! I've very elated right now since I tried a couple of other routes first that did not do it for me and I had a problem with this LS1 install that took me a while to work out.
I'll post detailed photos here of my entire LS1 brake install here in a while.

Btw, I did not buy the Flynbye kit. Website is up but I called multiple times and they wouldn't return my call. I guess they are out of business.
So, I built my own kit. I bought a set of hubs (stock gbody rotors turned down into hubs) on ebay and fabricated my own brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter #318
Here the 11" B body booster and 1" master cylinder that I had already mentioned a few posts back. Since the booster comes in an unprotected steel finish that will rust, I painted it with black epoxy primer. The master is cast too so I painted it with aluminum paint.




 

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Discussion Starter #319
So here are all the parts gathered for my LS1 brake install:



 

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Discussion Starter #320
Making the caliper abutment brackets out of 5/16" steel plate:









Modifications to spindles:

Original spindle ears are cut off and 2 holes drilled and tapped to 7/16-20.



Backing plate trimmed some to fit new setup.



Zinc plated grade 8 7/16-20 bolts are for the abutment brackets and the M12-1.25 grade 10.0 bolts are for bolting the caliper holding bracket to the abutment bracket.



Mock up assembly:
This shows a little more grinding on the caliper holding bracket is needed so a box end wrench could be used on the 7/16-20 bolts.



Rotor is dead center in the caliper holder, so the 5/16" abutment bracket with the backing plate installed spaces out the caliper perfectly.





 
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