1960 sedan deville

POWERGUY480

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1960 sedan deville
Hi. New to forum. I'm trying to do a front dis conversion on our 1960 sedan deville. I want to so this basically from scratch. So immnm looking for info on compatible parts I can get at pick a part. Napa. Without buying a $1000 aftermarket kit. That would also require me to buy all replacement parts from aftermarket shop. Im learning as I go with this old. It is our family car. My wife's daily driver. So I want it safer and more comfortable for her. Double resevoir. Front disc. Shes all original. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Caddylackn

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I think this a bolt in swap with parts from a '69 or '70 caddy that has front disk brakes. Get the master cylinder too. You might need the front stock wheels too to clear the disc, don't remember. I used to have a write up on this swap, until my old hard drive died. By the time you find this used, and pay a junkyard for the parts and upgrade all the suspension components with new bearings, seals, bushings,, you probably will have over $600 spent. I have been looking for the brake conversion parts for a '69 or '70 at the cheap junk yards for quite a while and haven't found them yet for cheap. A $1,000 is worth it if they are a complete performance brake set up with master and booster and are a bolt in. Just replacing the original vacuum booster on your car is over $200.

I have done a dual circuit master cylinder swap on my '61 using a master cylinder and booster from a '68 Buick Skylark and that has helped quite stopping power by quite a bit. The front drums aren't too bad for stopping unless they are hot from a long steep grade or you are driving through a torrential downpour. My car was horrible to stop before the swap, the booster had a lot of corrosion and wasn't much assist help. I had to use two feet on the really steep hills to stop in Seattle.
 

Caddylackn

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Ok, I found the write up online. Unfortunately the cut off for this factory parts swap is 1961 and later, your suspension is different, sorry.

Here is the write up in case somebody else is interested:



  1. 1961 CADILLAC

    By Carl McAbee

    Upgrading to disc brakes generally is not difficult for anyone with reasonable mechanical ability and can be very rewarding for those of us who prefer to actually drive cars that preceded the availability of disc brakes by a few years, ie, generally cars of the early 1960's. I have made the swap on four different vehicles and can say I'm glad I did. One of them, a 1964 Chevelle, has gone over 300,000 miles since the discs were installed with nothing more than one replacement booster, a few pads and an occasional bleeding.

    A word or two or more of caution: virtually all swaps require fabricating new steel lines to the front disc brakes as they need to be smaller diameter than the original drum brake lines, and they are now a separate system (front & rear). The outlet to the brake hose might need to be relocated to ahead of the suspension on the frame, as was required on the 1961. The line to the rear brakes can be lengthened and adapted to the equalizer which should be obtained, with lines, along with the master cylinder - booster unit. A tubing bender is a must, a flaring tool will allow you to do a neater job by creating custom tubing lengths. This part of the job requires endless patience, and by the time the job is complete you'll have started to get the hang of it. A wheel alignment will be required as a final step.

    So where to begin? First, determine if your vehicle's front suspension is similar if not nearly identical to the suspension used a few years later in the first model (or later model still) offered with disc brakes. If it is, your car could be a candidate for disc brakes! When in doubt, measure, measure and compare, measure and compare. If you can't find a disc brake car with suspension just like yours, ask at the wreckers - often they know what works and what doesn't - but not always. It's well known that early GM intermediates can get disc brake set ups' from later models as a virtual bolt on. In my case I found that the ball joints listed for the disc brakes are the same ball joints as the earlier drum brakes. My 1961 Cadillac got a disc brake set up from the 1969 DeVille model. The 1961 Cadillac was the first year for the front suspension design that was used up until 1976, so presumably a 1962 - 1966 could also benefit from the use of discs from a 1967 - 1969. 1 recommend the '69 because all '69 Cadillacs had disc brakes and therefore parts are more readily available. 1967, '68 and '69 each use a different rotor and pads. 1970 through 1976 use a larger lower ball joint and the lower arm mounts differently inboard so they won't easily adapt to the 1961. An auto parts dealer can be a wealth of information, if you call or visit when they are not busy. Tie rod ends and ball joints don't necessarily have to have the same part number to be the same size tapered end. When in doubt, a visit to the wrecking yard is in order. Bring a tie rod end or ball joint if possible but at least bring calipers and measuring tape. A good look at the donor car is a good idea also. Pay attention to where the equalizer is mounted and the steel lines run. Get as much of the brake system from the donor car as possible, including small brackets and the bolts, nuts and clips! You may not use it all, but it beats having to run back after something missed.

    I spent a lot of time researching and measuring for this job before I bought part one. The tie rod ends were a different part # so that necessitated my first visit to the wrecking yard. It was quickly apparent what the differences were, but the '61 tie rod ends were the same size and taper as the '69 steering arms and would work fine. So the steering and rotor assemblies are a bolt on - ball joint to ball joint & steering arm. But in 1961 the booster mounting studs were slightly farther apart than the '69's and so the holes in the firewall had to be altered slightly. There is plenty of support material so overall strength is not compromised. But the two lower studs on the 1969 booster are also much shorter. Solving this dilemma involved enlarging the holes in the firewall and the inside pedal support bracket. I used extra long 'coupling' nuts together with studs epoxyed into one end to

    ' Disc brake set up means: steering knuckle & arm, hub, rotor, caliper, etc. for each side, plus a master cylinder/booster

    unit, equalizer and the steel lines from the master cylinder to the equalizer; all from the same car if possible



    lengthen the too short lower studs on the booster. But this made the studs too long so I used a piece of tubing and a large flat washer to make it all work. I avoided modifying the booster itself, as it is a service part and might be needed as a core. The actuating rod fits the stud on the brake pedal perfectly, but is longer than the original 1961 by 1/4" and left the pedal way too high in the car. I solved this by spacing the booster out from the firewall 1/4". This puts the pedal at stock height; I would have liked to have spaced it out even a bit further to lower the pedal even more but the booster would then be too close to the engine's rocker arm cover. The brake light switch was still in perfect adjustment. An alternate way of resolving the pedal height might have been to relocate the pivot point of the pedal, which could be done.

    The original master cylinder fed the fluid straight down, the new one feeds horizontally to the left, directly into the inner fender, which must be modified for clearance. I cut a pair of slots less than one inch apart, and with the center strip bent out of the way, cut long enough (=4") to clear the forward fluid line from the master cylinder. The rear line cleared without modification.

    Wheels from a disc brake model are required to clear the calipers, and they also happen to increase the total track width by 3/4" (3/8" each side), This will also necessitate late model wheel covers, as I seriously doubt the 1961 covers will fit. Don't forget the spare wheel!

    While upgrading to disc brakes, take the time to inspect the rest of your suspension as now would be an excellent time to replace worn out bushings and ball joints. I always rebuild the master cylinder but have never needed to rebuild the calipers. I always use new rubber hoses to the calipers too. This is a good time to check and rebuild if necessary the rear wheel cylinders too. Check the rear hose(s) too! A through bleeding is in order after any brake work that opens the fluid system, and be sure to check for leaks, including seepage, for several days after! The 1969 DeVille used a junction block as well, to divide the fluid to the front wheels. This junction block also has a button on it which must be held out while bleeding the brakes.

    Upgrading to disc brakes is a fair bit of work but for the sake of driveability and safety, it's well worth the effort! This car is much more fun to drive, as now I can stop with the best of them
    ABOMINATION, APR 17, 2008
    SHARE POST#2



 

5one9

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Your wife is daily driving a 1960 Caddy? That is a good woman.
 

blue68deville

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Have you checked with Scarebird? They have some front disc swap stuff for older cars. Mostly uses GM stock parts from the 70s up. I did their kit on my 68 10 years ago and it's working fine.
 

48Austin

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If the knuckle is rear steer, it may be just as easy to swap in '71 to '76 knuckles and all. Maybe reream the holes. On a '64 this is a direct switch. Put '71 Cad. knuckles on a '63 GP. Direct switch. Didn't even have to switch ball joints. Now the GP has giant front disc's. Without a parts problem!
 
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Caddylackn

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The biggest problem I see, is that your factory 15" 1960 wheels will not fit over the disc. If you are running factory wheels and the stock hubcaps a disc swap may not be possible. The stock '69 and later wheels were able to fit over the stock disc brakes, but I don't think your '60 hubcaps will fit the '69 wheels. If you are already running aftermarket rims this won't be a problem. If you find a '69 with disc in a junkyard, I would take your 1960 hubcap in to see if it fits the '69 wheel.
 

48Austin

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These wheels may work1595880117091.pngalso come in 15x7 and 15x8. I would check the scrapyard or friends to see if they have one to check. 5on5 bolt pattern. Can also do the '50's thing and cut your centers out and reweld the wheels.
 

Caddylackn

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The old factory caddy wheel has a concave surface around the rim edge for the hub cap to bite to. The caddy hubcaps are as wide as the rims. When installed, you can't even see the steel rim.IMG_0930.JPG.

See above. They also had special wheel weights that attached about 3/4" further away from the rim edge so the hubcap could fit without hitting the wheel weight. You can tell these are from a Caddy and not a Chevy as there is no inner bumps where a chevy type of hub cap to attach to.


The photo is a wheel from a '61 but a '60 should be pretty close to this. These old wheels are getting pretty hard to find. I must have had about 12 of these at one time, now I have only 4, so my spare will have to be a chevy rim.

You might be able to cut the 15" rim edge off of the caddy factory wheel and weld it on a 16" or 17" aftermarket steel rim to mount the stock hubcap. I bet that would work. These factree old caddy wheels are getting hard to find, it would be a shame to cut them up. The other side of the wheel may be the same so you could get two edges from one wheel.
 

48Austin

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If they made chrome reverse wheels in the '50's and '60's. Why cant you just switch the centers:rolleyes::rolleyes:?
 
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