It's easier than ever to build horsepower, we all know that. To complement that movement, manufacturers are starting to offer binders that are significantly better than factory to safely slow you back down from speed. Classic Performance Products (CPP) has been carving out a reputation as the go-to guys when it comes to chassis and other quality upgrades, not only engineering its own "made in the USA" brand of performance brakes and suspension components, but also recently partnering exclusively with Brembo Brakes to offer a high-performance brake kit for your street machine, including the '64-72 A-bodies, '67-69 F-bodies, and '68-74 Novas.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Brembo name, we should point out that its braking systems can be found in a number of motorsports, such as NASCAR, Formula One, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Brembo brakes are also offered as a factory option in many high-performance applications, including the venerable ZR1 Corvette and the all-new '10 SS Camaro.
Working together, CPP and Brembo have developed a braking system that's competitively priced with the performance to match. To showcase the new setup, we followed along as CPP installed this package, designed for high-end street and limited track use, onto a '64 Chevelle. Along with the Brembo brake kit, the factory drum master cylinder and booster were also upgraded with new CPP components. Once the job was completed, the Brembo kit not only gave the Chevelle an aggressive look, but it is perfect for everyday driving, weekend autocross excursions, and throttling through the curves at a local road course!
What We Did
Installed CPP 13-inch brakes onto a '64 Chevelle
Slowing down has never been easier
Starts at $3,595
* Inner and outer roller bearings
* Dust caps
* Billet aluminum hubs
* DOT-approved stainless steel braided lines
* Performance Ferodo brake pads
* Cross-drilled and vented 13-inch rotors
* Lightweight billet aluminum rotor hats with antirattle springs
* Aluminum calipers with four sequentially sized pistons
* Aircraft-grade aluminum mounting brackets
* All hardware, bolts, nuts, & cotter pins
We started by removing the...
We started by removing the cotter pin from the ball joint that holds the tie rod to the steering arm, followed by taking out the castle nut.
If you don't have a tie rod...
If you don't have a tie rod removal tool, a couple of quick taps with a hammer will separate the tie rod from the steering arm.
Removing the spindle is relatively...
Removing the spindle is relatively simple. Start by taking out the cotter pins from the upper and lower ball joints. Then loosen the upper and lower castle nuts and back them off a few threads-but do not remove them just yet. The spring is still compressed and has plenty of stored energy that can damage the body panels-or even worse, you.
Next, we slid a floor jack...
Next, we slid a floor jack under the lower A-arm and slowly raised it to add a bit of compression to the spring. Another couple of raps from the hammer on the upper and lower ball joints will break them loose. With the spring compressed we safely removed both castle nuts from the upper and lower ball joints. Then we slowly lowered the floor jack. As the lower A-arm comes down, the tension on the spring is released at a controlled rate and won't surprise you like a jack-in-the-box.
Once everything is undone,...
Once everything is undone, the spindle and drum brake lifted right off.
Now that everything is easily...
Now that everything is easily accessible it's a good time to check the condition of the ball joints on the tie rods and upper and lower A-arms. If there is doubt about their condition, replace them. CPP offers full frontend rebuilt kits for most of the GM lineup.
While this isn't required,...
While this isn't required, we opted to switch to a forged CPP drop spindle to lower the Chevelle. For more information about what spindles and steering arms will work with this application, check out the "Spindles & Steering Arms" sidebar.
Installing the new spindle...
Installing the new spindle is as easy as removing the old one. Again, we slid the jack back underneath the lower A-arm. We raised it a notch, putting enough tension on the spring to expose the threads on the two ball-joint studs, then threaded the castle nuts back on.
Once the castle nuts were...
Once the castle nuts were threaded onto the studs, we raised the jack some more and ran the castle nuts all the way, securing them with new cotter pins. We then bolted the new steering arm onto the back of the dropped spindle.