Right now, most 1973-1982 Corvettes are in that middle ground between ultra-collectible and new. They’re still Corvettes, which makes them desirable and prestigious, yet they haven’t reached the value and collectability of the earlier cars. That’s not a bad thing, because these mid-models are still affordable as used cars, a fact that explains why you see so many on the road, with many still utilized as everyday drivers. Using the cars also uses them up, but thanks to the proliferation of parts on the market today, it’s easy to keep these older Corvettes in good street-shape.Plus, they’re actually fairly easy to work on, which makes them a favorite for backyard mechanics.
The 4-wheel disc brakes on these Corvettes, which actually incorporate a span of 1965-82 models, are frequent maintenance items, especially the original-style calipers that can stick, squeal, or just plain wear out. Zip Corvette Parts has Brake Caliper Kits – you can replace the calipers in an afternoon with regular hand tools and some mechanical knowledge. The kit comes with everything needed to replace the original calipers – four stainless-sleeved calipers with OEM replacement pads, DOT-approved hoses, trailing arm brake lines and brake pad installation pins. You even get a quart of heavy-duty, DOT 3 brake fluid. Upgrades are also available; like o-ring calipers, stainless braided hoses, semi-metallic or carbon-metallic pads and silicone brake fluid. Other braking components, like rotors and master cylinders, can also be obtained from Zip.
The calipers are remanufactured with 4-micron finished stainless steel sleeves to resist corrosion. Supplied painted with a long-lasting epoxy paint, the calipers come fully assembled with new pistons, springs, seals, dust boots, o-rings and stainless steel bleeders. Contact Zip for pricing and core-charge information.
CorvetteMagazine.com thought a 1974 Corvette was the perfect candidate for the brake caliper overhaul. Although equipped previously with slotted rotors, the older OEM calipers were in much need of replacement, as evidenced by the groaning and squealing noises whenever the brakes were applied.
Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes.
01: Squeaks, squeals and other brake noise generally comes from metal-to-metal contact. On our brake pads, you could see where the back of the pads were actually scuffed due to contact with the caliper pistons.
02: Brush a light film of high quality grease or lubricate on the sides of the calipers, where the pads meet the edges. Not too thick, as any buildup will attract “all kinds of crud.”
03: To eliminate brake noise, lubricate all moving parts. Here, he’s applying a light film of grease to the pad retaining pins.
04: With the caliper assembly lubricated, the new calipers can be reassembled in preparation for installation.
05: Zip supplies new DOT-approved brake lines with their Stainless Steel Brake Kit. You should never install a brake line without the DOT markings. Be sure to use the copper washer, and don’t tighten completely until after the caliper is installed.
06: To prevent the steady drip, drip, drip of brake fluid after disconnecting the old hoses, “Pinch” the old hose with vise grips. We’ll be replacing them anyway, so there’s no worry about damage
07: Don’t forget to remove this c-clip at the brake hose connection. New clips are supplied with the kit.
08: Always use two line wrenches when disconnecting the brake hoses.
09: With the hoses disconnected and the caliper mounting bolts removed, the old caliper can be slipped off the rotor. Notice that our project car was already equipped with relatively new slotted rotors.
10: With the new caliper in place on the rotor, install the new caliper bolts, as supplied with the kit.
11: Connect the new brake hose to the existing hard line and use the new c-clip in the kit to secure.
12: R and R at the rear is similar to the front. Again, notice how we pinch off the old brake hose before disconnecting.
13: Like the front, the new caliper simply slips into place over the rotor and is secured with new caliper bolts.
14: We upgraded to stainless line for the rear calipers. Slight bending may be required on cars with rear sway bars.
15: With all hoses in place, make sure they are tightened securely after installing the c-clips.
16: You’ll need to replace the brake fluid that leaked out of the lines before bleeding the system. Be sure to protect your exterior finish. Brake fluid is the best paint stripper in the world.
17: Finally, bleed the brake system until all air is purged, then test drive.
Brake Caliper Installation:
1965-1982 Corvette Disc Brake Installation
Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
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