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Grand Am Ebrake how-to by Arns85GT
Started on: 06-13-2007 03:36 PM
Replies: 44
Last post by: Arns85GT on 02-22-2012 05:11 PM
Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-13-2007 03:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
After numerous questions about the Grand Am ebrake conversion, I am putting this thread together to make it simple. We've had to work through a number of issues to make it right.

This thread will not address the Grand Am rotor conversion as it is covered well in other threads. The issue we are addressing is adding an ebrake so we can all pass Safety Checks

The caliper we are using is the 1985 Seville/Eldorado/Olds Toronado rear caliper.

Rockauto shows ACDELCO Part # 18R792 {#18035981} rear right. I did'nt see the rear left today, so you'll have to ask for it.
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
(See below for alternative rebuilt units.)

The spring and bleeder mount on top.





To make it all work, we have a custom bracket fabricated by DPWood. To get it you send a PM to DPWood

More to come

[This message has been edited by Arns85GT (edited 06-14-2007).]

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Report this Post06-13-2007 03:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post

Arns85GT

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Member since Jul 2003
The stock Fiero OE cables work, however, the drivers side in particular is just too tight for comfort. So we used the 1984-87 Pontiac 6000 cable Raybestos part #BC93083. We used the OE Fiero passenger side cable. The OE Fiero cables are available at www.Fierodave.com. The prices on these parts are quite reasonable when compared to replacing stock Fiero calipers and rotors.







You will notice I've tied off the cable to the control arm to remove the possibility of it flipping off over the control arm during hard maneuvers.

The right side uses a hook to keep it from droping under hard cornering onto the CV boot



This pic is actually on the drivers side when I was using the OE Fiero cable.

[This message has been edited by Arns85GT (edited 06-13-2007).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-13-2007 04:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
To make the brake pads work with the modification, you need to trim off a tab on the pad



You also have to re-position your hydraulic line to ensure it doesn't crimp or rub. This is straight forward, however, take very good care because you don't want to crimp that metal hydraulic line. I used a bending tool to make sure I had a nice round curve when I moved them. You'll want to drill 2 holes in the frame rail. One for the guide knub on the bracket, and the other for the screw which holds the bracket down

I used a C bracket which is loose enough to let the rubber hydraulic line move a bit and I bolted it to the tab on the shock tower.

The Caddy caliper is a very good match on the car.

Mine works exceptionally well, considering the Caddy caliper was intended to stop and hold 2 tons of car. The piston is 1&7/8's" vs. the Grand Am piston on the front which is 2". This seems to give a good brake balance when used with the Chevy Blazer Brake Booster instead of the Fiero booster.

My thanks to the guys who helped bring this together. RubyRedFiero, DPWood, PBJ, Cowans, and the other guys who gave info and advice along the way. Hope this helps some guys out.

Arn
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Report this Post06-13-2007 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
Do you have any photos of the brake line modification?
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-13-2007 04:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
This is the best I've got. I unfortunately assembled everything without a purposeful pic of that



You move the bracket so that the rubber hose with the banjo fitting can reach the bottom of the caliper.

Arn
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Report this Post06-13-2007 05:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
That's good enough to get the point across. Thanks
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-14-2007 11:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
For those put off by the ACDelco price on the calipers, look at Rockauto

A-1 CARDONE Part # 184138 More Info {[Caliper w/Installation Hardware] Reman.}
Rear Right; OE Metal Piston

and

A-1 CARDONE Part # 184139 More Info {[Caliper w/Installation Hardware] Reman.}
Rear Left; OE Metal Piston

These are $56.79 each. A very good price.

Arn
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Report this Post06-14-2007 11:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Arns85GT:

This is the best I've got. I unfortunately assembled everything without a purposeful pic of that



You move the bracket so that the rubber hose with the banjo fitting can reach the bottom of the caliper.

Arn


uh oh. I got the Fiero Store's braided lines, and they are TIGHT when the suspension is at full hang. looks like I'll need a new lines with a few more inches in length when I do this.
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-14-2007 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Pyrthian my rubber lines were tight too. By repositioning the bracket I picked up the difference. Too bad if they made them too short though. Good luck on it.

Arn
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Report this Post06-14-2007 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeDirect Link to This Post
I was thinking the same thing. I also have the Fiero Store's braided hoses. They just barely reach the Grand Am calipers. Hmm...

On the positive side, a pair of braided hoses can be made long enough to eliminate the need to bend the brake line.

[This message has been edited by Blacktree (edited 06-14-2007).]

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Report this Post06-14-2007 12:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

I was thinking the same thing. I also have the Fiero Store's braided hoses. They just barely reach the Grand Am calipers. Hmm...


yes - I was thinking my 2 choices will be: new, longer braided lines, OR, getting some hard line, and making a short extension from the stock point - kinda line a u-turn. is there a reason the connection is pointing upwards?
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Report this Post06-14-2007 12:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
I don't think so. Maybe it was just a design consideration (I assume) to keep the connection up out of the road dirt and debris.

Arn
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-15-2007 07:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Pyrthian:

yes - I was thinking my 2 choices will be: new, longer braided lines, OR, getting some hard line, and making a short extension from the stock point - kinda line a u-turn. is there a reason the connection is pointing upwards?


Pyrthian, can you please post a part # reference for whatever longer lines you get, if you get them? Also, if you change the hard line are you able to post a pic of the mod? Thanks,

Arn

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Report this Post06-15-2007 09:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PyrthianClick Here to Email PyrthianSend a Private Message to PyrthianDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Arns85GT:


Pyrthian, can you please post a part # reference for whatever longer lines you get, if you get them? Also, if you change the hard line are you able to post a pic of the mod? Thanks,

Arn


sure. the "hard line extension" will probably be the route I take. much less cost. and, like I said - it looks like all it will need is a U-turn. but, I will post pic, length of line & size/thread of the connectors when it happens.
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-17-2007 12:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Here's a bump for the guys who've missed the thread.

Arn
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Report this Post06-19-2007 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
One last bump for those who missed it.

Arn
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Report this Post06-19-2007 10:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for James Bond 007Send a Private Message to James Bond 007Direct Link to This Post
Where is the bleader valve?I asume it's on top but out of view.
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-19-2007 03:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Arns85GT:

The stock Fiero OE cables work, however, the drivers side in particular is just too tight for comfort. So we used the 1984-87 Pontiac 6000 cable Raybestos part #BC93083. We used the OE Fiero passenger side cable. The OE Fiero cables are available at www.Fierodave.com. The prices on these parts are quite reasonable when compared to replacing stock Fiero calipers and rotors.




This pic is actually on the drivers side when I was using the OE Fiero cable.





From above here it is again
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-22-2007 09:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
I got this info from Rick K, with many thanks.

Rick found another way to route the stock Fiero cables, which in his case was on his '88 cradle for his 12" Corvette rotors. So far as I can see, something similar could be done for the Grand Am brake upgrade. The adjuster hookup is different, but the rotor bracket would be the same. I believe that the adjuster has enough room on the bolt to back the bolt out the required distance and make it work without modification.

Here is Rick's work in his words.

"......here's what I did to effectively lengthen the stock brake cables. In my case, I had installed a set of 12" Corvette rotors, which resulted in the brake calipers being moved about 1" towards the rear. The parking brake cable was now too short. So, first I made a set of "U" shaped brackets, which I welded on to the stock parking brake cable brackets. This pic shows the new bracket being tack welded into position:


This bracket locates the outer cable end pretty close to where it was with the stock brake setup. Here is another pic of the "new" cable assembly:



And finally, after welding and painting:



More to come


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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-22-2007 09:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
From Rick, this is where his build will differ from the Grand Am brake setup, however, like I said above, I believe the stock adjuster bolt has enough room to not need this mod below, however, a longer connector, as he shows, would perhaps be the ticket for some.By adding a second connector as shown, the inner cable was effectively lengthened enough to make the system work.


"So, like I said, this fixed the problem of the outer cable being too short, since welded-on U bracket located the outer cable end pretty well where it was with the stock Fiero rotors and caliper position.

Now, when I tried to hook up the inner cables, they were too short. Duhhhh.... what did I expect? After some headscratching, I came up with a simple solution, which was to increase the length of the inner cable at the adjuster/equalizer area, within the cradle channel. Have a look at this pic:



By adding a second connector as shown, the inner cable was effectively lengthened enough to make the system work. Here is another pic:



You can see the whole setup here. Now, the way the two connectors are connected, in the middle of the pic, is (if I remember correctly) is with a 6mm Allen type bolt, where the head of the bolt just happened to be the same diameter as the cylindrical end pieces of the stock cable. So this bolt head fitted perfectly inside the connector. On the other end, I made a threaded, cylindrical sleeve and turned it down to the proper diameter to fit inside the connector. Of course, there are other ways to do this, but this way worked for me.

BTW, the above pics are of an '88 cradle. I don't know if the pre 88s have the same setup, but expect they do. Anyway this should give you the gist of what I did."

Thanks again to Rick K.

Arn
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Arns85GT
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Report this Post06-24-2007 08:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Nice to see all the interest in the subject. Sure will make passing the safety check easier for us Grand Am brake Fieros.

Arn
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Report this Post06-26-2007 10:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Here's a bump.

Arn
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Report this Post06-27-2007 08:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cowansClick Here to Email cowansSend a Private Message to cowansDirect Link to This Post
Good job Arn. My cable system is similar but I only used one cable connector. Essencially I cut the connector in 1/2 and welded both pieces to a 7"piece of strap steel, as my car is 4" wider per side.... and needed more length!!! Glad you figured it out as I only noticed your PM this AM.
Sandy
heres a pic of my extension...
This images is larger than 102400 bytes. Click to view.
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Report this Post05-06-2008 10:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NashvilleFieroSend a Private Message to NashvilleFieroDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Arns85GT:

After numerous questions about the Grand Am ebrake conversion, I am putting this thread together to make it simple. We've had to work through a number of issues to make it right.

This thread will not address the Grand Am rotor conversion as it is covered well in other threads. The issue we are addressing is adding an ebrake so we can all pass Safety Checks

The caliper we are using is the 1985 Seville/Eldorado/Olds Toronado rear caliper.

Rockauto shows ACDELCO Part # 18R792 {#18035981} rear right. I did'nt see the rear left today, so you'll have to ask for it.
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php
(See below for alternative rebuilt units.)


Did you use Caddy Rotors??

The spring and bleeder mount on top.





To make it all work, we have a custom bracket fabricated by DPWood. To get it you send a PM to DPWood

More to come



------------------
What really matters is the size of your Flux Capacitor...

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Report this Post05-07-2008 11:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreDirect Link to This Post
Very interesting. The best worked solution I've seen to date for the hand brake problem.

Something else about this that I don't know if you've looked at... You may have solved another problem and not noticed yet.

According to my notes... The Seville caliper listed above has a smaller piston than the Grand Am caliper.

From Rockauto's listing for pistons...
The rear piston is 2.121 Inch, 2.125 x 25.4 = 53.87mm

The GA is 57 mm

If you run that thru the sheet in my cave... (Unlock the sheet and change D12.)

The OE front rear difference is 0.583.
This setup, with GA front and blazer MC, gives you 0.424.

That's not identical, and depending on allot of other things it doesn't have to be, but it's way the hell better than no bias at all. What that means is besides making the car street legal with the hand brake, you've also restored some "natural" brake bias front to rear. This means that even before anyone messes with prop valves, the car has a little less brake on the back and therefor less likely to spin out etc.

IOW...

1. You may not need the added aftermarket valve common to the full GA conversion. Which is a major safety problem by itself.
2. If you do need it, it likely won't be as much.
3. If the valve fails in the full open position, you'll still be biased toward the front like you should be because of the smaller rear piston.

If you are building the front and rear up from scratch... I'd suggest trying it w/o any aftermarket prop valve and no mods to the OE combination valve. If you're adding this to a car that had 4 wheel GA brakes, expect you may need to mess with the adjustment of an aftermarket valve and/or restore the OE valve plumbing depending what you've done there.

How does that inboard pad fit into the OE bracket space? I see you had to trim it. The only thing you might have to watch is the clearance. Too loose and you could rub on the piston face and get noise if nothing else but too tight and the whole pad could bind in the bracket especially when it heat up. Binding can drag the pad on the rotor what would wear it fast at the very least.

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave (It's also at the top of every forum page...)

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 05-07-2008).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post05-08-2008 07:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
I don't think my car has the after market proportioning valve to begin with, so the slightly smaller rear piston was a really good addition. In its present form it stops dead true. I have a steep downhill driveway and I can get the fronts to just barely lock on a hard stop going down that hill but, other than that, I have yet to lock them up and the car "stops on a dime".

To answer your question Ogre, the inner pad took a bit of fitting to ensure it had room to slide but not room to wiggle and potentialy bind.

Also, the bracket DPWood is making is a lazer cut bracket and it fits the Fiero wheels.

Arn

[This message has been edited by Arns85GT (edited 05-08-2008).]

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Report this Post08-08-2009 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TopNotchClick Here to visit TopNotch's HomePageSend a Private Message to TopNotchDirect Link to This Post
I just completed the Grand Am/Seville upgrade on my 86 SE, using what may have been the last of DPWood's brackets (unless he's making more). Only I mounted my calipers with the e-brake cable in the conventional location, which means that the bleeder screw is at the bottom. I first loosely mounted the caliper and attached the brake line. Then I removed it and set it upside down on top of the rotor and bled it. I, of course, had speed bleeders in it which made bleeding a simple matter of pumping the pedal a few times with the bleed screw loose, and a hose attached to it. Then I mounted the caliper permanently. It worked out well, and I now have good brakes and a good parking brake. And having the e-brake cables where they belong made things a lot simpler.
Earlier I had done the Grand Am brakes on the front. I still have the original master cylinder, so pedal travel is a bit far. I may put in a 94 Blazer master some day as others have recommended.
Edit: Oh, yeah, I had to grind down the DPWood brackets a little, because I have 14" wheels. He said I'd have to do that. I just had to put a taper on the outer edge, using a bench grinder.

[This message has been edited by TopNotch (edited 08-08-2009).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post08-09-2009 02:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
I expect DPWood will be making more.

Have you got any pics of the installation? It does solve the length problem on the driver side ebrake cable I'll wager.

Arn
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Report this Post08-09-2009 06:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TopNotchClick Here to visit TopNotch's HomePageSend a Private Message to TopNotchDirect Link to This Post
It does solve the e-brake cable problem. I used the cables that were already there.
Here are pics:


The above view shows the e-brake cable passing under the axle.



The above view shows the bevel I had to grind on the DPWood bracket. It scrapes a stock 14" wheel without it.
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Report this Post08-09-2009 06:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for showing the clearance issue. The original design was set up to clear the 14" turbo rims. It must be a bit thicker now and is easily changed. Thanks again

Arn
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Report this Post08-10-2009 07:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DPWoodClick Here to visit DPWood's HomePageClick Here to Email DPWoodSend a Private Message to DPWoodDirect Link to This Post
When we originally made them for Arn I put a 45* bevel on the bracket. It is required for clearance on the 14" rims. It gets kind-of lost in the red paint but you can see it on the very first picture Arn posted in the thread.

David
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Report this Post08-14-2009 09:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TopNotchClick Here to visit TopNotch's HomePageSend a Private Message to TopNotchDirect Link to This Post
Update: Having driven my car for a while since the upgrade, I've decided to keep my original master cylinder. The pedal travel is a bit far, but the effort is much less. I had to do a bit of a panic stop the other day, when I pulled into my work's parking lot. The entrance into the lot is a slight uphill, with bushes on either side, so you never know what's there until you get in a ways. Well, there was a car coming from the side that wanted to leave the lot. I had to stop fast to avoid a collision, and my car stopped quickly with a slight chirp of one wheel. I am pleased with the performance of this brake setup. And it's really nice having that parking brake that holds quite well.


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Report this Post04-10-2010 01:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katore8105Click Here to visit katore8105's HomePageSend a Private Message to katore8105Direct Link to This Post
free bump. adding to my favorites!
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Report this Post07-01-2010 09:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for katore8105Click Here to visit katore8105's HomePageSend a Private Message to katore8105Direct Link to This Post
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[This message has been edited by katore8105 (edited 07-01-2010).]

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lurtz
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Report this Post08-05-2010 12:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lurtzClick Here to Email lurtzSend a Private Message to lurtzDirect Link to This Post
Hello everyone! I was wondering if DPWood was still making the caliper brackets for the Seville/Grandam rear upgrade? Does anybody know? This write up has helped me to decide that I will go with the G Am front calipers and seville rear (Thanks Arn and TopNotch !). Ogres write up in the cave regarding the front and rear brake bias had me concerned about the lebaron 11.25 upgrade due to the fact that the front and rear calipers would have the same force . This upgrade is also relatively cheaper and I should have no concerns using the stock rims (which have grown on me and keep the car looking stock). Also thanks to all who have contributed to this forum. It is fantastic that there is so much information and support for our two seater "GM parts bin" toys. I must admit I do not have a wealth of info to contribute, but it does scare me to think about the hours I have spent pouring over threads, or how many times a day I check in on the forum to read new posts. "It's mind botteling" J/k

Chris

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post08-05-2010 11:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
Yes he is making them. He is really busy though, so be patient. I would send him a PM and an email

Arn

You are right about the balance. The Caddy calipers are just a wee bit small pistons, and the balance front to back is pretty near perfect.

[This message has been edited by Arns85GT (edited 08-05-2010).]

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GTFiero1
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Report this Post09-02-2011 08:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTFiero1Click Here to Email GTFiero1Send a Private Message to GTFiero1Direct Link to This Post
over a year later, can one still get these brackets? I did send a PM a bit ago but didnt hear back
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James Bond 007
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Report this Post09-03-2011 12:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for James Bond 007Send a Private Message to James Bond 007Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by GTFiero1:

over a year later, can one still get these brackets? I did send a PM a bit ago but didnt hear back


see if he has an email...he may not visit this forum as frequentley as he used to (???).

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post09-03-2011 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by GTFiero1:

over a year later, can one still get these brackets? I did send a PM a bit ago but didnt hear back


Dave hasn't been on the forum for quite a while. He is out of stock currently and has to fabricate some more.

No sweat though if somebody wants them.

Best to contact him at dpwood@amtelecom.net

He checks his emails.

Arn
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n_tensetuning
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Report this Post11-15-2011 04:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for n_tensetuningClick Here to Email n_tensetuningSend a Private Message to n_tensetuningDirect Link to This Post
Hey guys

I'm on Fiero# 2 of this Rear Seville Calipers/Grand Am Rotors Conversion.

I must say that this time, I had a bit$% of a time making things work.

The brackets from dpwood would hit/keep the stock fiero 14" aluminum wheels on my 85 gt from moving.

I had to shave the crap out of bracket adapters on the curved angle (outside facing section) to get them to clear the wheels and free up from the wheels.

Hope others are out there as well with this setup.
Love the stopping power now : D

Dave M
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