1965-1982 Corvette Brake Rotor Replacement

Posted September 17, 2012 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles

If you are like me, you want your 1967 to 1982 Corvette to stop just as good as it goes.  So when it comes to your brake system, you want it to be of top quality.  You want to install everything one time and be sure that everything is right.  That is why we contacted Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632. When it came time to replace the brake system on our 1978 Corvette.  They were able to supply everything in the brake system that we needed to do the job right the first time. Brake replacement takes a little more than average mechanical ability and more than common hand tools, but it is not extremely difficult.  You should be able to accomplish this task easily in one weekend.  Now with this in mind, let’s get started putting the whoa back in our Corvette.

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 

Step 1

01: Start by placing the car securely on jack stands.  Spray all of the brake mounting bolts, hoses and lines two or three times with a penetrating oil.  It is a good idea to do this the day before so the oil has a chance to soak each bolt and fitting.

Step 2

02: Use a line wrench to loosen all of the brake hoses and lines.  With a line wrench you are less likely to round the fittings off.  Remove all of the retaining clips.

Step 3

03: Start in the front and remove the caliper and hose.

Step 4

04: Remove the grease cap, cotter key, retaining nut, washer and outer bearing.  Then re-install the retaining nut loosely back onto the spindle.

Step 5

05: Now hold the rotor on both sides and give a quick pull towards you.  This will allow you to remove the inner bearing and grease seal all at one time. 

Step 6

06: You will have to remove the rotor from the front hub. These were originally riveted in place.  Start by center punching each rivet.

Step 7

07: Use a 5/16″ drill bit to drill approximately 1/8″ to 1/4″ into each rivet head.  Then take a 3/8″ drill bit and enlarge this area.  As you drill into the rivet, the head will come off leaving the rivet stud down in the rotor and hub.  Here you can see one of the heads drilled off and the remainder of the rivet still in the rotor and hub.

Step 8

08: With all of the rivet heads off, use a flat punch to push the rivet stud through and out of the rotor and hub.

Step 9

09: Here is the hub removed from the rotor assembly.

Step 10

10: While we were at it, we wanted to replace all of the bearings, races and grease seals in the front hub. Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632, was able to supply everything we needed – bearings, races, seals and washers.

Step 11

11: You will have to remove the inner and outer races from the front hub.  Looking down into the hub from either side, you will see a small cutout area on each side behind each race.  This is where you use a flat punch or flat chisel to tap out the old race.

Step 12

12: Place the new race into the hub and use a bearing and race installation tool to install the race.  In a pinch, you can even use the wide side of the old race and a hammer to install the new race.  Make sure each new race is seated against the hub lip.

Step 13

13: Use a bearing packer tool to pack each bearing.  These tools are readily available from most auto parts stores and they are priced under $10.

Step 14

14: Use some grease to lube the inner area of the hub between the inner and outer race. 

Step 15

15: Install the greased inner bearing and then tap the grease seal into place on the hub.  Always make sure that you start the seal squarely into the hub.

Step 16

16: Place the hub on the spindle and then install the outer bearing, washer and retaining nut.  Install the nut finger tight.  Do not tighten.

Step 17

17: Install the brake pads into the new caliper.  Then place the retaining pin and cotter key into place.  The head of the retaining pin should be toward the outside of the car.

Step 18

18: Mount the new rotor onto the hub, then install the caliper.  The new rotors include holes for rivets however it is not necessary for them to be re-rivited. General Motors service procedures recommend using the lug nuts to hold the replacement rotor to the hub accessory. Squeeze the pads apart and slide one end of the caliper and pad over the rotor to start it into place.  Here you will notice that we used 2 lug nuts to hold the rotor tight against the hub.  You do not have to do this but it does make it easier to work with.

Step 19

19: Before you install the brake hose to the caliper, make sure you install a copper washer between the hose fitting and caliper.  This step is very important.

Step 20

20: Install the front brake hose and tap the retaining clip into place.  Now install the front brake line to the hose.

Step 21

21: If your rear rotor is still riveted into place, you will have to remove it by drilling them out just like the front hub.

Step 22

22: Again punch the rivets through the rotor and axle flange.

Step 23

23: The only difference now is that the rivet heads will probably stick in the emergency brake assembly.  Make sure that you remove any rivet that ends up in the emergency brake assembly.  Use a pair of needle nose pliers to fish the rivets out.  With the rivets removed, pull the old rotor off the axle flange.

Step 24

24: Install the new rear rotor onto the axle flange.  Make sure that one of the access holes line up with the access hole in the axle flange.  This will allow you to adjust the emergency brake shoes without disconnecting and removing the rear caliper and rotor.

Step 25

25: Install the new caliper onto the rear rotor.  You may want to use 2 lug nuts to hold the rotor tight against the axle flange.  Use the flat side of the lug nut to bolt up against the rotor.  After the rotor is bolted into place, attach the new lines and hoses.
Disc Brake System Overhaul: 1965-1982 Corvette Brake Rotor Replacement

Source: Zip Corvette Parts

8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632

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