Chevy Tri Five Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, after getting some sage advice from a local club member over the weekend (forums are great, but nothing beats personal face-to-face), I finally took the plunge and ordered the CPP minimum offset front kit (8" dual diaphram, drilled&vented rotors) for stock spindles through Danchuk. Two things may interest you guys who were following this thread last week:
1) The phrase in mgchevy's listing for his zero offset disc brakes really means what it says: "No original steel wheels work with this klt." He suggested a different kit of his, which "should work." OK, next?
2) I called CPP today to order their kit, and the first "tech support" guy put me in touch with a second, who had to ask a third,....if this kit worked with stock 15 inch steel wheels? None of the three could say for sure that it would work, and why it might not, except that "some guys grind the calipers to make it fit."
3) I called Danchuk just after that and had it explained to me that not all stock 15" wheels are the same because they were made by several different manufacturers. That's a new one on me. So if they don't fit over the caliper, the problem can be fixed with an 1/8 inch spacer behind the wheel (or finding a stock rim that does fit).
Overall, I am staggered by how much confusing information is out there, and how hard it is to resolve something that seems pretty straightforward to me, given the years and thousands of people and cars. It's taken me almost two years to get to the point that I felt reasonably comfortable plunking down $700. All this takes nothing away from my appreciation for all your advice and willingness to share time and experience. No front drums.
Later, guys.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
problems with installation of CPP kit

OK, they're on the car, after a week of fussing and more expense. Here's what was wrong and what I did (this is loooong, guys, so get another cup of coffee before you continue):

Installed as they came, the hub stood about 1/8 inch too far off the stock spindle to get the cotter pin in. I called Danchuk, who sold me the kit. The tech there said to drill another hole, closer to the end of the spindle, saying "Those spindles were not all the same". This is the same guy who earlier told me the wheels were not all the same.) I don't like to solve problems that way, so I took a closer look at everything else in the setup. Turns out the inner bearing inner race was not seated against the boss at the base of the spindle, as the stock bearings did. It stood off by 1/16 inch. So there's half the distance of 1/8. Another 1/16 was needed not only for the cotter pin (and to get all the retainer nut threads on the spindle), but also to get the outer shoe into the caliper.
So I took the bearings out (I had already found that the bearings were lightly pitted, which creates premature failure) and went to a local bearing dealer who's been in business here for over 50 years. Without even picking them up off his counter, he takes one look at the bearings that came with this kit and says, "Chinese junk." (His words, not mine.) I bought some matching Timkin bearings from him. To be fair, he pointed out that many Timkin bearings are made in Mexico and China now, as well as the US. The difference seems to be the quality control and oversight. He also pointed out that the reason the Chinese bearings don't seat properly is that the radius on the inner race is not the same as the originals.
I then went to the machine shop and had the inner race seats, the seal seat, and the inner hub face all sunk by 1/16 inch. The machinist said that the machine work on the rotors was excellent (except for qualification below), as the runout at the outer edge of the rotor face was only half a thousandth.
The hubs and calipers are now installed on the stock spindles. They turn beautifully now and the shoes clear (i.e. can be installed).
Except,...
As the instructions that came with the kit warned, "Check to see that the shoes are parallel to the rotor surface. Some shimming or bending of the caliper bracket may be necessary." Well, guess what? The left hand bracket is out of parallel by about a 1/16 between the two float pins, and shimming is out of the question because the upper mounting surface is on the outside of the spindle, and the bottom two are on the inside. So I have yet to correct that. Vice and hammer, trial and error? I don't know about you, but I do not have that much experience bending 3/8 steel. (The good news is that it's 3/8, and not the 1/4 inch that I was initially worried about (see first post in this thread).
The stock 15 inch wheels now have to be offset with 1/4 inch spacers, and they clear the caliper, loaded with new shoes, by about 1/16. This means that the lug nuts just barely go all the way onto the studs, but I can live with that, as long as everyone remembers to tighten them when changing a tire.
So, in summary, here's what was wrong with the product,

1) The bearings were cheap and did not fit. ($55 for 4 good bearing and race sets.)
2) The bearing outer races had pits.
3) The inside of the hub was not machined fully, leaving thin little shards at the base of the machine surface where the sand casting seam had been. I had to snap them off and file down this ring so the pieces would not end up in the bearings.
4) The inner hub had to be remachined to get the shoes in. ($95)
5) The hub caps did not fit, so I put the stock ones back in, which fit perfectly.

...and why I am angry:
1) Before buying the product, none of three people at CPP could tell me over the phone why this kit sometimes fits stock wheels and sometimes does not, except one of them said, "Some guys just grind down the caliper," as if that's a reasonable solution. (It was Danchuk who told me about the spacers and the variation in wheel mnfr's.)
2) I find out only after buying the product that I may have to bend a 3/8 inch steel bracket in order to correct some imperfection (whether it's in the product or the stock spindles, I don't yet know. What would your guess be?)
3) The kit is sold as set up for "stock spindles." But I, the consumer, have to first find, then correct, all the imperfections. It does NOT just bolt on.
4) It cost me an additional $150 and several hours to get this kit to work, and I haven't even touched the master cylinder, proportioning valve, and power booster, but rest assured I'll tell you about it when I do.

That's enough for now. If you got this far, I'd really like to hear your reactions/experiences. And thanks again for all your help. I think in the end I'll be happy that I let go of the idea of putting bigger drums on the front.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
corrections and addendums

A few additions to my last post:

In fairness to Danchuk, the tech there explained, during a second phone call, that he did not mean that the stock spindles were made differently in different places, after I told him that I had from a reliable "only stock Chevy geek" that all '56 spindles were identical IN SIZE. The tech said what he meant was that he knew the cotter pin holes could be drilled in slightly different places, because he had done this conversion "many times."

About the bearing race radius: I'm not talking about the shaft radius here, but the inner "corner" where the spindle shaft meets the seal boss.

Finally, I got confused on the issue of the stud length, because I've had the rims, both stock and aftermarket, on and off so many times, with and without spacers. In fact, with a 1/4 inch spacer and stock rims, the lug nuts do not go all the way on, so I'll have to have new studs pressed in to get a safe length. This and the spacers are two more expenses that I did not mention last night.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,685 Posts
I have given up the idea of using discs on the front of my '56 tudor. I want to put bigger drums on the front (stock spindles). I've been told that 2.75 inch drums/shoes/backing plates from a later-than-'60 GM passenger car (especially one with ribbed drums) will work and provide necessary stopping power without all the disc brake headaches and wheel offset and experiments (and cost). Has anyone tried this?
The disk brake kit on ebay offered by Tom's Classic is the way to go. Easy to install. I have it on my 57 with no problems. Get an 8 inch dual booster. He includes it at no extra charge. Moves wheels out 7/8 on each side.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,627 Posts
Welcome to the world of SUPPOSEDLY bolt on after market products brother :sign0020:

I feel your pain my friend, 1 year later i just about have everything taken care of, or working properly on my supposedly bolt on 2" drop spindles kit with disc brakes and a 8" dual brake booster & master cylinder kit from Performance On Line. The last problem I have had is the booster is faulty (they have sent me a second one with the same exact problem) and does not return the brake pedal the last half of a inch to turn off the brake light switch. So after a year of going round & round with P.O.L. , i finally just installed a in line pressure switch on the brake line to turn on & off my brake lights. I will run the booster until it finally takes a crap, and then i will use it for target practice for my 357 and buy a new one from a better manufacture like CPP or Heits.

Needles to say i have also replaced the Chinese version of wheel bearings, races & brake pads on 57 within the first 500 hundred miles with the P.O.L. kit

If you get bored, here is some reading material for ya, and you can see the frustrations i have gone threw also, trust me when i say you are not the only having issues with the supposedly bolt on after market world.. :sign0020:
http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65766

Well out to the garage to change out my leaky transmision pan with a new one i just purchased from Summit Racing, we will see if my SUPPOSEDLY new tranny pan leaks just as bad as my old one :sign0020:

:anim_25:

Rick
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
yes Randy 7/8 is correct. Almost all of the older kits that used the 69-72 rotors moved it out that far. Not bad on a 55 but not good on a 57. The wheel will rub the brace on the 57.

I too have wrestled with trying to find an offset kit with quality parts that simply bolts on without re-engineering it for my 57 convt. If I didn't want the option of using the 14 inch disc wheels it would be an easier choice.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
brakes

WOW, BIGDEE47,SORRY I DIDNT KNOW EARLIER, I JUST TOOK OFF STOCK SPIN. DISC BRAKE SETUP.WENT TO DROP,S WHAT A PAIN ANYONE IN NOR CAL PM ME IF YOU NEED A LOW MILEAGE STOCK SET UP, HAVE EVERYTHING BUT BOOSTER,,SELL REASONABLE,,DICK
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
been here before

Welcome to the world of SUPPOSEDLY bolt on after market products brother :sign0020:

I feel your pain my friend, 1 year later i just about have everything taken care of, or working properly on my supposedly bolt on 2" drop spindles kit with disc brakes and a 8" dual brake booster & master cylinder kit from Performance On Line. The last problem I have had is the booster is faulty (they have sent me a second one with the same exact problem) and does not return the brake pedal the last half of a inch to turn off the brake light switch. So after a year of going round & round with P.O.L. , i finally just installed a in line pressure switch on the brake line to turn on & off my brake lights. I will run the booster until it finally takes a crap, and then i will use it for target practice for my 357 and buy a new one from a better manufacture like CPP or Heits.

Needles to say i have also replaced the Chinese version of wheel bearings, races & brake pads on 57 within the first 500 hundred miles with the P.O.L. kit

If you get bored, here is some reading material for ya, and you can see the frustrations i have gone threw also, trust me when i say you are not the only having issues with the supposedly bolt on after market world.. :sign0020:
http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65766

Well out to the garage to change out my leaky transmision pan with a new one i just purchased from Summit Racing, we will see if my SUPPOSEDLY new tranny pan leaks just as bad as my old one :sign0020:

:anim_25:

Rick
Rick, I did get bored (also avoiding more work) and read your entire thread from last year about your troubles with cheap stuff. I share your concern about stopping short of bashing a vendor. It usually does not produce the desired results, either from the vendor or the other citizens. When I stop to think about it, and especially when I get all this feedback, I realize I've been here many times before. Where is that?

It's the frustration of encountering a serious problem with a product or vendor, whether it's car parts, tools, or software. If one part of the system doesn't work right, or one piece of misinformation comes from the vendor (or even a close friend), it throws everything else into question. That's what so few vendors seem to understand. Even the best ones occasionally screw up or get bad parts from the supplier.

In the case at hand, I have yet to go out and figure out why the left pads are not parallel to the rotor face, but I'm putting it off until Monday morning. I just took a closer look a few minutes ago, and I think I was wrong in assuming the brackets could not be shimmed. But I'm praying it's something simple like scraping paint off the mating surfaces with a pocket knife. Wouldn't that be nice? In any case, I'll let all of you know. Tomorrow I'm taking the rotors back to the machine shop anyway for longer studs. Like you, I've kind of given up on the vendor and am going to make this work. Lesson learned.

By the way, there was some talk about bearing endplay in your thread from last year. I've always used the rule of thumb that "some endplay" means about one thousandth, and that can be determined by gently tightening the nut while the wheel is spinning until it starts to drag, very slightly, then backing off the nut until the retainer washer can be moved side to side with a screwdriver. That gives you the needed thousandth. Endplay that you can actually feel by moving the wheel back and forth is too much. Does this sound right to you guys?

Later, David
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,685 Posts
yes Randy 7/8 is correct. Almost all of the older kits that used the 69-72 rotors moved it out that far. Not bad on a 55 but not good on a 57. The wheel will rub the brace on the 57.

I too have wrestled with trying to find an offset kit with quality parts that simply bolts on without re-engineering it for my 57 convt. If I didn't want the option of using the 14 inch disc wheels it would be an easier choice.
Do you mean the fender brace. My fenders aren't on yet but it doesn't look like it would hit them. I have new springs in front and am not lowered. Stock height.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,685 Posts
Thats almost an inch on each side, thats HUGE, you sure thats right?

Wow bigdee you did have a handful of problems with the items you got, you have a lot more patience than most to get it resolved like you did.

Randy
Yep thats right. 7/8. I might even have to grind the stop a little for better turning radius. Tom's kit was right for me. And he makes good on any problems you might have. I would not even think of driving without disk brakes on one of these cars with these kits so easy to install. Jim
 

· Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Couple things I can hopefully help with here....

1. The stock 15" wheels DO NOT clear calipers unless they are spaced out as Danchuk mentioned to you. Luckily, Companies like Danchuk or Classic Chevy carry a replacement "Disc brake" type wheel made by Wheelsmith that has the provisions for the caliper clearance. You have to remember that a stock drum brake wheel has no inner provision for the caliper clearance. This would be true on any 10.8-11" stock spindle wheel kit (ours or any other mfg)

2.Though the years every once in a while you come across a stock spindle were the cotter key hole is not in the exact position on the spindle from the factory. Machining tolerances on hubs back in the 50's were probably not as tight as they are today. This is why in the kits we include 2 types of castle nuts. The standard and the "shorty" style nut with the longer openings in it. I have seen your delema a few times were opening up the cotter key hole in the spindle is performed. This was an even bigger nightmare when we used the wide offset rotors like the chevelle kits most others sell that give you the 7/8" per side offset. The kit we make as the minimal offset it 3/8" per side.

3. Caliper bracket to rotor alignment; on a 50+ year old spindle who knows the condition on the spindle pins.... We have seen some that have been tweaked possibly from curb stops in the parking lots, meeting a curb some time in its life, etc... This is why we have the comment in the instructions to check to make sure the caliper bracket is true to the rotor. This is part of the reason we have tooled up and reproduced the stock spindles as NEW parts now instead of relying on stock "condition unknown" originals...

4. Bearings; As mentioned above by your local parts house counter guy alot of OE companies have there bearings made overseas and there is simply not a cost effective way to avoid this sometimes. The bearings we supply in our kits are made to OE specs and we really have no issue with them.


I am here just about everyday! Feel free to call me or PM me or email me with any questions. my contact info is below! Either way you can get ahold of me directly with any questions! I am here to help!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
reply to CPP

Thanks for your quick and reasonable reply, Aaron. Your first three points see acceptable and I feel I am now quite a bit more knowledgeable about all the issues.

However, I have to take issue with point #4, about the bearings. The bearings are clearly inferior, according to one person I talked to who knows the difference, and I myself found the pits in the races before I talked to him. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "made to spec," but again, a backyard hack like me can see that the inner race "corner" radius was holding the inner race from seating properly on the spindle. No one looking at the two (original (or new Timkins) and yours) side by side needs a measuring tool to see that they are different.

Finally, although I surmise from reading other quite measured and reasonable responses you have written in this forum that you are a well meaning and reasonable person, I have three suggestions for CPP:

1) That you put people on the phone, especially those hired for the purpose of answering technical questions, who are able and trained to warn the customer PRIOR to purchase what EXACTLY the issues might be. Some builders can easily swallow an extra $250 on top of a $700 purchase.
I cannot.

2) With all due respect, you (and anyone at CPP) should avoid the phrases, "We've had no problem when we install these kits," or "It should work," or "This is the first time we've heard of this problem." All three are equivalent in insult and capacity to infuriate your customers, and all three are used routinely by the 100-member Classic Chevy club gear heads to make fun of all parts vendors, not just CPP.

3) The "word on the street" here in N. California is that CPP used to be a truly sharp, reliable outfit from whom one could expect top quality parts and top notch technical support, but recently the amount of disappointment is growing, and phone calls for help are met frequently with a dismissive and sometimes downright snotty attitude. I have encountered this twice myself in the recent past.

I am not pretending to be an expert in any of this. I've been messing with cars most of my life, know the difference between tools and parts that work well and those that do not, but much of it is still new to me. So again, I appreciated your response, but overall it says, "You're just going to have to cope with what we sold you as best you can." Which is what I already decided to do, anyway.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,627 Posts
Rick, I did get bored (also avoiding more work) and read your entire thread from last year about your troubles with cheap stuff. I share your concern about stopping short of bashing a vendor. It usually does not produce the desired results, either from the vendor or the other citizens. When I stop to think about it, and especially when I get all this feedback, I realize I've been here many times before. Where is that?

It's the frustration of encountering a serious problem with a product or vendor, whether it's car parts, tools, or software. If one part of the system doesn't work right, or one piece of misinformation comes from the vendor (or even a close friend), it throws everything else into question. That's what so few vendors seem to understand. Even the best ones occasionally screw up or get bad parts from the supplier.

In the case at hand, I have yet to go out and figure out why the left pads are not parallel to the rotor face, but I'm putting it off until Monday morning. I just took a closer look a few minutes ago, and I think I was wrong in assuming the brackets could not be shimmed. But I'm praying it's something simple like scraping paint off the mating surfaces with a pocket knife. Wouldn't that be nice? In any case, I'll let all of you know. Tomorrow I'm taking the rotors back to the machine shop anyway for longer studs. Like you, I've kind of given up on the vendor and am going to make this work. Lesson learned.

By the way, there was some talk about bearing endplay in your thread from last year. I've always used the rule of thumb that "some endplay" means about one thousandth, and that can be determined by gently tightening the nut while the wheel is spinning until it starts to drag, very slightly, then backing off the nut until the retainer washer can be moved side to side with a screwdriver. That gives you the needed thousandth. Endplay that you can actually feel by moving the wheel back and forth is too much. Does this sound right to you guys?

Later, David
Hey Dave..

I think your last reply to CPP was straight and to the point, and no bashing involved :tu

You are so correct when you said bashing a vendor does not bring the correct results. To be honest with you, i hate conflict with anybody, but then again, i will stand my ground when i know i am correct.

So after replacing all the wheel bearings, races and brake pads, cutting a half of inch out of the center of my adjusting sleeves, and removing the 2" drop spindles and massaging them with a grinder, i finally have a a car that stops good, and will actually turn lock to lock again. Making a 2 point turn to pull into a parking spot or a gas station really sucked with manual steering :sign0020:

As far as the booster is concerned, i will run it until it quits working properly, then i will replace it with another one from a different distributor.

So any luck with your caliper and brake pads yet?

:anim_25: Rick
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
brake installation update

Rick,

Glad to hear you worked out some of your difficulties. The latest on my brakes from this afternoon:

I found new wheel studs, 1/4 inch longer, at a local, family owned tire shop, and they replaced all ten for me for $55. So that jacks my cost up to $205 now for adjustments and repairs to a brand new product which cost almost $800 to begin with.

I'll probably have to pay another $100 or so to have 1/4 inch steel wheel spacers made. The rotors are at the machinist's shop, and I'll have them back within a week. Why? I went into my local NAPA store, and between 5 employees and 2 customers (welders, racers, ex tire shop grunts, old dogs--you know the scene) got 7 different opinions on spacers. The consensus was that under NO circumstances should one ever use cast spacers (which are exactly what I had from Summit when I thought I only needed 1/8 inch last week), and that machined steel, with a nice snug fit on the hub center, and close fit on the studs, is the only safe way to go. (Apparently the castings tend to break up with time, and the wheel wiggles off.) So that's why.

Couple of other things, and I'll be just about done. I examined the left caliper pad space again this morning, and with feeler gauges found the outer shoe about 0.020 inches off of parallel with the rotor face. This can easily be accounted for by paint on the pad backing plate, the inside face of the caliper, and/or paint I didn't scrape off carefully on the mounting surfaces of the spindle. Anyway, the guy at the tire store suggested I just let it seat itself naturally for a week or two, and if it's still off after the painted pad surfaces wear in, then the pad can be taken down with a sanding block. So I've calmed down a lot about that issue.

With respect to the issue of bending the caliper bracket, I seem to remember reading somewhere in CPP's technical writings (I could be wrong here) that this is only meant to be installed by a "fully certified brake professional," which means you and I are not supposed to me doing this in the first place. (wink, wink, nod, nod, aren't those lawyers clever?).

I wish I had discovered this forum seven years ago. I really feel for the guys out in farm country in the midwest, who might have to drive several hours to get to a parts or hardware store, and who depend on mail order service. Today, in the space of a few hours, and within 3 miles of my house, I did all of the above, plus getting one of my club buddies (retired sheet metal worker) to come over and take a look. I live in Sonoma County, in Northern Calif, and I'll bet there is a higher concentration of old car activity here than almost anywhere else in the country. So I'm glad to participate in this forum, and it's great to get responses from all of you, including Aaron at CPP, not to mention CPP for sponsoring this forum in the first place.

Thanks a lot, and I hope this has all been helpful to some of you:shakehands:.

David
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
offset

I forgot to mention that my final offset, when all is done, will be 5/8 inches, give or take a few thousands. Those of you who have been following this saga since I first posted a question in mid-June about disc vs drums may remember that I was initially hoping for zero offset with stock spindles, stock rims. My friends all tell me that 5/8 is fine for turning radius with stock sized tires and rims, spindles.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
I forgot to mention that my final offset, when all is done, will be 5/8 inches, give or take a few thousands. Those of you who have been following this saga since I first posted a question in mid-June about disc vs drums may remember that I was initially hoping for zero offset with stock spindles, stock rims. My friends all tell me that 5/8 is fine for turning radius with stock sized tires and rims, spindles.
Geez, all this and you essentially just made your kit into a Chevelle rotor kit, which is 7/8" AND clears original 15" wheels. Chevelle rotor kit would have been safer without spacers and less money too. Bad bearings, crooked brackets, my God.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,198 Posts
The bearings are clearly inferior, according to one person I talked to who knows the difference, and I myself found the pits in the races before I talked to him. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "made to spec," but again, a backyard hack like me can see that the inner race "corner" radius was holding the inner race from seating properly on the spindle. No one looking at the two (original (or new Timkins) and yours) side by side needs a measuring tool to see that they are different.
Welcome to the wonderful world of low cost suppliers. You would not be the first to have this problem. It's true that Timken has factories overseas, but I've found their quality is still first rate.

The low-bidder bearing suppliers are the ones that make junk. Shame on CPP for accepting this poor quality to save a few bucks. My car has a CPP 500 steering box, and I worry that it was built by the lowest Chinese bidder.

However, I will second what Aaron says about tolerances on our old cars. My car's two stock spindles are probably no better than +/-.050" on the backing plate mounting surfaces. On one spindle, my Wilwood kit worked just fine with around .080" clearance from rotor to caliper bracket bolt. On the other, I had only .020", so had to use shims. Also, to get the brake pads parallel with the rotor surfaces, the calipers needed shimming on one spindle, but not the other. And it wasn't the fault of the calipers or brackets. So even a high quality, American made kit isn't always just a bolt-on proposition.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top