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#500100 - 11/06/07 04:21 AM B-Body front brake swap  
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 12,858
ss4ever Offline
15+ Year
ss4ever  Offline
15+ Year


Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 12,858
Shelbina, Missouri
I did this on a 81 Regal but everything I did is the same as doing this to a Monte. This setup came used and complete from another board member so I don't have all the part numbers and whatnot available but this writeup should give you an idea of what is involved in doing this swap.

Tools needed:
3# hammer
15/16" Wrench
11/16" Wrench
7/16" Line wrench
Pair of pliers
Possibly a pair of Vice Grips
18mm Deep socket
3/8 Drive ratchet
7/16 socket
15mm socket
12" 3/8 drive extension.
Floor jack
Pair of Jackstands
Spray can of PB Blaster

I started by disconnecting the battery then jacking the front of the car up by the front engine cradle with the floor jack then installing the jackstands under the frame just below the front of the doors.

I removed both front tires, inner fender was already out but this job can be done with the inner fender installed.

I sprayed down the upper control arm mounting bolts, tie rod end, lower balljoint and brake line fittings with the PB Blaster.

Ussing the 18mm Deep socket and 3/8 drive ratchet I removed the two control arm nuts. I then hit the upper control arm with the hammer a few times to loosen the shaft from the bolts so I could get the shims out from between the shaft and the mounting tabs. I then removed the cotter pin from the outter tie rod end and used the 11/16" wrench to take the nut off. I use the hammer to break the tie rod away from the spindle by smacking the spindle at that location as shown in the picture.

I then removed the cotter pin from the lower balljoint and loosened the nut until it had 5-6 threads still holding the nut on the balljoint. I then placed the floor jack about 2" below the balljoint just in case then hit the spindle as shown in the picture.

I then took the brake line loose from the brake hose with the 7/16" line wrench and removed the clip that holds the hose to the bracket with the pliers.

I then used the jack to lift the lower control arm up a couple of inches and took the nut off the rest of the way from the lower balljoint. I then was able to lift the entire assembly off the lower balljoint and then pushed it towards the engine and slid the upper control arm shaft off the bolts that hold it to the frame then I set the whole assembly on the floor next to the "new" setup. Man what a difference in size!

To install the 12" setup I just reversed everything as before sliding the upper control arm on to the bolts and then down on the lower balljoint and then tightened those pieces down making sure to put the shims back in their correct spots on the upper control arm and installing the cotter pin through the nut on the lower balljoint.

I then hooked the brake line up to the new braided line and installed the clip that holds the line to the bracket. Next I installed the tie rod end into the spindle and tightened the nut up and put the cotter pin back in it. I then bled the brake and was ready to go!

On the drivers side everything is the same except that you will have to remove the intermediate steering shaft(sorry no pics of this) which involves removing the 15mm nut from the upper section and sliding the shaft off of the steering column section then sliding back the plastic shield on the lower part of the shaft and removing the bolt that holds it on with the 7/16" socket then I was able to remove the shaft to get access to the upper control arm retaining nuts.

After getting everything back together the car will need an alignament something fierce, please be prepared for this as the car will not be driveable!

1983 Monte Carlo SS Turnkey ZZ4/700R4, Dakota Digital Instrument Cluster, 77k mile car. Many more mods to come soon.
#500150 - 11/06/07 10:55 AM Re: B-Body front brake swap [Re: ss4ever]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,247
tri5ss Offline
tri5ss  Offline

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,247
The spindles are from a 87 Caprice. Caliper also. The rotors are from a late 80s f-body Iroc with the 1LE option {12" rotor with a 4.75 on 5 bolt pattern. The pads are D52s for the b-body. If I remember correctly the bearings are 4th. gen g-body. Upper control arms are from Hotchkis for the b-body swap
Hope this helps

Cars Ain't Art!
They Are Meant To Be Driven!
#519133 - 01/06/08 02:17 AM Re: B-Body front brake swap [Re: tri5ss]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 406
ga86aero Offline
ga86aero  Offline

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 406
Northeastern Ga
You can purchase 1LE rotors that are drilled and slotted. They make a world of difference in keeping your brakes cool and working correct hard stop after hard stop.

85 SS Coupe, black, 350 w/ Serp, 700R4, lowered with Global West upper A's, 12 disc on front, 10.5 disc on rear.

86 Aerocoupe,runs great, and original, but needs complete restoration.

It is a proven fact that light is faster than sound. That is why some people appear intelligent until they open their mouth to speak.
#519184 - 01/06/08 07:03 AM Re: B-Body front brake swap [Re: ga86aero]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,671
gmachinz Offline
10+ Year
gmachinz  Offline
10+ Year

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,671
Des Moines, Iowa
A couple of things to consider when doing this swap-I have done countless swaps and there are little things that you need to keep in mind. First, if you use the b-body calipers, you will need to use the b-body brake hoses too, the Monte ones have a different type of banjo bolt and it is too small to screw into the b-body caliper. And, because of this, you must retain the brake hose bracket off the donor b-body as well-so don't forget that little gem at the boneyard. When you go to install the b-body hose, you'll notice it is a tad longer than the stock Monte hose-I opt to mount the brake hose bracket slightly farther back on the frame so that when the wheel moves through its travel on tight turning, the hose can't get kinked/pinched. And, I've learned through my research that 1970-73 Camaro calipers fit exactly the same on this swap like the b-body ones, but the Camaro piston diameter is 3/16" bigger. And for the record, most of the cheapo drilled/slotted rotors (anything under $125 each usually) are drilled after the rotor is cast-you want to get ones that are built into the cast like Baer ones-you'll get more life out of them. -Jabin

#729254 - 10/07/09 04:59 PM Re: B-Body front brake swap [Re: ss4ever]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 168
BP One Offline
BP One  Offline

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 168
Lyman, SC
Okay, I’ve been reading every write up related to brake upgrades (my own Monte is down to the front frame horns), as I intend to upgrade mine also. Being relatively new to all this, my question is, out of all the spindle options discussed, why hasn’t anyone used the Caddy spindles?

On Grassroots Motor Sports they mention matching tubular upper control arms with spindles off a mid 80’s Cadillac. “The spindles are taller, the brakes are bigger, and it has the popular 5 on 5 bolt pattern oval track racers prefer. You will also notice the steering gets a bit quicker as the Cadillac spindles have shorter steering arms.”

Granted, you’d still need the Camaro rotors for the proper bolt pattern, but wouldn’t this be better than the Caprice spindles which give our Montes a wider turning radius? What about the bumpsteer issue?

I plan on running the Stage 2 kit from SC&C, but this brake thing’s got me stymied. I may just go for the hybrid kit from flynbye since they seem to have the best combo I've seen so far. Anyway, this site makes great reading while I save up the long green.


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