While old muscle cars are cool, drum brakes are not. There probably isn’t a breathed-on Camaro, Cutlass, Tempest, or Buick Special left in the world that doesn’t already have front disc brakes. But we’ve noticed that rear drums are still hanging in there. If it’s the cost involved with a $900 aftermarket conversion that has you clinging to those antiquated rear drums, we have a simple and inexpensive solution. Our pals who prowl purgatory yards have noticed that third-generation V8 Camaros and Firebirds were commonly fitted with generous rear disc brakes, 11.5-inch rear rotors and aluminum, two-piston calipers. This caliper and rotor package remained consistent between 1988 and 1997, offering a 10-year span of F-bodies from which to choose. Upgrading your GM to Rear Disc Brakes The simplest plan is to find a rear disc brakes donor Camaro or Firebird and yank the calipers and mounting brackets. We’ve found these pieces for as little as $50 at a local yard. The rear axle bolt flange on the third-generation Camaro rear axles is the same as the older 10- and 12-bolt GM rear axlehousings, so these calipers will bolt on virtually any ’64 and later 10- or 12-bolt rear axle assembly. Replacement rotors and pads are inexpensive enough to dismiss those used pieces. A new rotor will measure around 0.790 inch thick, while minimum thickness for a used rotor is 0.720. More than likely, the caliper will be in decent shape, so all you will need is a new pair of rotors, pads, and new hydraulic hose. A new replacement hose will be metric, which will require an adapter fitting to adapt the metric hose to an existing hard line, or an aftermarket AN line can be used. The hydraulic fitting into the brake caliper is a 10mm banjo fitting, and Russell makes a straight 10mm banjo fitting with a male -3 AN fitting on the end. The fitting will use a Russell 10 mm x 1.5-inch banjo bolt and a pair of copper flat washers to seal, then you’re all but hydraulically connected. Assuming your car is currently rolling on rear drums, it is critical to include an adjustable proportioning valve somewhere between the master cylinder and the rear calipers. This provides a way to custom tune the pressure to the rear brakes to compensate for variables such as adding rear discs, tire diameter changes, and ride height. The key is to adjust the pressure to the rear brakes to prevent premature rear brake lockup that can induce a loss of control. The only other installation issue is the parking brake cable connection that in the interest of brevity we’ll leave to you. As for pads and rotors, there is a world of options, from basic stock replacement parts that cost almost nothing to drilled and slotted rotors and high-performance pads that are still affordable. We’ve listed a few budget rear disc brakes replacement parts, so you have no excuse not to hit the boneyard. Perhaps the biggest hassle in mounting this rear disc brake conversion on an early car is pulling the rear cover to yank the C-clips so the rear axles can be removed. The rest is easy. Parts List Description PN Source Price Raybestos 11.5 replacement rotor 56407R Rock Auto $24.79 Raybestos service grade brake pad SGD413M Rock Auto 20.89 Raybestos ceramic performance pad ATD413C Rock Auto 68.79 Wilwood brake pad 15Q8482K Summit Racing 86.81 Hawk HPS pad HB112F-540 Summit Racing 67.69 Raybestos caliper seal kit WK2746 Rock Auto 8.93 Raybestos rear caliper piston DPA85167 Rock Auto 14.70 Russell 10mm banjo to -3 male fitting 640471 Summit Racing 8.95 Russell 10mm banjo bolt 640680 Summit Racing 6.99 Wilwood brake-proportioning valve 260-8419 Summit Racing 41.94 Gen III Camaros often came with rear disc brakes that can be easily bolted to most GM rear axlehousings like the 10- and 12-bolt. The calipers are left- and right-side specific, placing the bleeder screw on the top of the caliper when mounted correctly. Gen III Camaros often came with rear disc brakes that can be easily bolted to most GM rear Here's an exploded view of the components. All you really need from the boneyard are the calipers, the mounting bracket and, perhaps the hardware. Pads and new rotors are inexpensive enough to preclude buying used stuff. Here's an exploded view of the components. All you really need from the boneyard are the c The iron bracket (1) bolts directly to the housing and positions the caliper perfectly with the rotor. We've tried these factory stamped-steel brackets (2) that mount the same caliper but appear to require spacers to line up properly with the rotor, making the iron bracket a better choice. The iron bracket (1) bolts directly to the housing and positions the caliper perfectly wit This is a Russell 10mm banjo fitting connection to the caliper. Always use crush washers on both sides of the banjo fitting to ensure a proper seal. The aftermarket banjo fitting allows using a -3 flexible line from the caliper to connect the hydraulics. This is a Russell 10mm banjo fitting connection to the caliper. Always use crush washers o With the banjo fitting line installed, you can use a small, 90-degree bracket mounted on the axlehousing to connect to the hard line. You could just use a hose clamp, but the preferable way would be to weld the bracket to the housing. With the banjo fitting line installed, you can use a small, 90-degree bracket mounted on t Adding rear disc brakes also demands an adjustable brake-proportioning valve like this Wilwood unit. Note how it is installed alongside the subframe on this early Camaro directly under the driver's door. Placing it here allows quick access without leaving the cockpit. Adding rear disc brakes also demands an adjustable brake-proportioning valve like this Wil SOURCES Summit Racing 800-230-3030 www.summitracing.com Wilwood Brakes 4700 Calle Bolero Camarillo CA 93012 805-388-1188 www.wilwood.com Hawk Performance 6180 Cochran Rd. Solon OH 44139 800-542-0972 http://www.hawkperformance.com/ Raybestos McHenry IL 815-363-9000 www.raybestos.com Rock Auto 6680 Odana Road Madison WI 53719 866-762-5288 www.rockauto.com By Jeff Smith Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!