71 front brake conversion

Discussion in 'Junkyard Jewels' started by GMan42, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. GMan42

    GMan42 Well-Known Member

    Any ideas on what year I can pull for a direct bolt on for my car 71 Skylark? Or even a good conversion kit thats out there? Please all input is well my goal is to get this done during the summer so I can have some SummaTime DriveTime.
  2. junglejim75

    junglejim75 Well-Known Member

    It must be in the water because I have been looking at the same thing. A co-worker mentioned inline tube (http://www.inlinetube.com/) and their prices didn't look too bad and their reviews look good as well. Although I have no first hand knowledge of them.
  3. Deacon07

    Deacon07 1969 Buick Skylark

  4. BrianinStLouis

    BrianinStLouis Silver Level contributor

    I used Pirate Jacks kit a few months ago on a 71 Skylark 350. No complaints.

    I have swapped the rotors to opposite sides since this pic was taken. I believe they were on the wrong side.

    View attachment 293879
  5. GMan42

    GMan42 Well-Known Member

    Thanks I'll look into it Let me know if you get any first hand knowledge about anything
  6. Premier 350

    Premier 350 Chris (aka Webby)

    Gman, I PM'd you this, but here it is anyway

    My experience with the Pirate Jack/ MBM conversion, some issues, mostly resolved.

    1) No resuidual pressure valve in the M'cyl. I went for the 1 1/8" bore. Ended up splicing a Willwood one into the line to the rear drums.
    2) Even with that I still had a lousy,spongy pedal. Turned out the drivers side caliper wasn't square to the disc. Caliper bracket not square. Some cursing & tyre levers squared it up & vastly
    improved the pedal feel.
    3) Missing the vacuum hose from the booster to the inlet manifold. No biggie since I already had power drums.
    4) Had to get 3 lines of the 5 lines reflared when I replaced the original drum distribution/pressure differential switch with the combination valve.
    5) Had to modlify the mounting bracket for the above.
    6) The instructions were 'generic' & vague in some areas.

    On the plus side, everything bolted in cleanly, spindles, calipers & brackets, booster, etc, apart from the lines as detailed above. But the kit was no 'Saturday afternoon bolt in over a 6 pack" job.

    I've only put a 150 odd miles on it since completing the job, the pedal is still slightly spongy. I'm going to give another 200 odd miles & see if the bedding in process improves the pedal feel.
    I believe the pedal is getting better, perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part.
    If not, I'll pull the M'cyl & rebench bleed it. Because of the upwards angle of the M'cyl, there's a possibility of some air being still trapped in it.

    While it was off the road, I did a few other things, many of which gave me grief ( no good deed ever goes unpunished!) and for a while that I was in the "screw this, I wish I'd left things alone"
    mentality. That was not the brake kits fault, just a buildup of of problems in other areas. You know what old cars are like, fixing problem A leads to problem B & C etc. And there's the "while I'm here, I might as well do this" factor as well. Between the brakes, upper control arm shafts, replacing springs ( & discovering they were too low & having to space them) dropping the inner fender to lube the blower fan, pulling the oil pan, pulling the instruments out & restoring them, it was a big job.

    Now its back on the road, I'm glad that I've done all the work and it was worth all the agro, cursing & waiting for parts I haven't really put the brakes to the test in an emergency stop- I want to bed them in some more.

    It pulls up staight now and I'm happy with the braking performance. It was worth it.
    And lastly, a big thank you to Brian in St Louis. :beerHis advice was invaluable & fast. We're now friends & one day I hope to meet him & shout him some beers!


  7. BrianinStLouis

    BrianinStLouis Silver Level contributor

    Glad I could help Chris!....The second round is on me! :beer
  8. newmexguy

    newmexguy Well-Known Member

    If, and if you can find a yard donor, the direct bolt in disc brake setups are from 69 - 72 A, or 69 - 74 X. And don't forget the Monte Carlo (70-72), the Pontiac Grand Prix (69 - 72) and El Camino / GMC Sprint (69 - 72). The X cars will have different steering arms, booster, and obviously lines. A 73 - 74 Ventura II, Omega, or Apollo might the easiest to find, as many don't know the setup will work on other cars. The 68's have the four piston calipers, as did the 67's, and can be hard to find replacement parts for. Although the setup will bolt on. Have only seen ONE 68 mid size in a yard, with the four piston front discs, in over fifteen years of yarding.
  9. melswildcat

    melswildcat Active Member

    Hello, I used scarebird.com for the conversion from front drums to discs on my 65 Wildcat. It was the best thing i ever did. You keep your spindles and ball joints and everythng, don't even take them off the car. Scarebird supplies the mounting bracket and some screws, and very detailed list of locally suppled rotors and hoses and pads, so you can shop around for the best price at home. It all bolted in very easily and works great. The security of stopping my big 4 door when I need too is the best and I don't mind driving my car anymore. It did worry me sometimes with the big drums up front.
    Good luck, and have fun.
  10. BrianSmith512

    BrianSmith512 New Member

    My father owns 1972 Skylark and he had front brake conversion an year ago and still no complaints :TU:.

    Luk Schaffer
    makes a nice slotted cross drilled rotor (this may help keep them cool and prohibit warping) for not a ton of money. I think they're called Black XD Series. Tell him to make sure that his calipers aren't frozen when installing new pads or rotors, better yet replace them or rebuild them if in doubt. This will help to insure longer life and no rotor warping. My father had the conversion on a Buick Skylark for a year and been happy with them. :)


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