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From: Daven Anderson
Date: January 18, 2001
Your experiences with the brake swap were very close to mine overall [except I only cut 1¼" off the tie rod ends and didn't overtrim the turn stops]. It would be VERY easy to overcut the turn stops,so thanks for warning others about this!
Luckily I had done the brake lines on my wagon several years ago,as I was running a dual drum master cyl. ['68-up B-body type).
I recommend the '73-79 master cylinder even for original drum brake cars. It holds more fluid than the dual drum master cylinder,so it will work better with the dual wheel cylinders in the original Total Contact front brakes. And if you upgrade to front discs a year or two later,you won't have to change the master cylinder like I ended up doing ;-)
The best C-body brakes to use are the '70-78 single piston caliper design. The earlier four piston calipers are prone to leakage unless you spend about $300 to have the pistons sleeved! (I learned this the hard way in 1985 on my '69 Sport Fury conv.,so take heed!) '74 to '78 are cheapest in terms of parts,especially the rotors.
The 'ideal' rear axles for the swap are '65 to 73 Plymouth/Dodge C-body rears,as they are narrower than Chrysler/Imperial rears. As Johnny will tell you,before he did the swap I was concerned about tire clearance with the Chrysler rear end,but it appears he got around that issue with a little judicious use of a hammer ;-). If your car is a wagon like mine,they have bigger wheelwells and the Chrysler rear would be less of a problem. The '61 Ply/Dodge passenger cars [non-wagons] have about the lowest rear wheel cutouts of any Forward Look car,use of a Ply/Do rear is especially desirable for '61's! [ask Johnny!]
You found out why I chose to use the '73-79 disc master cylinder without a power booster. It's a bolt-on deal [basically] to the firewall and pedal assembly. I prefer manual brakes anyway (easier to service and diagnose!),and I'd say most swappers should do what we did unless the driver of the car is a 'smaller' person height/weight-wise and really needs power assist.
Thanks for your very informative update! :-)