The Real Test
The first real test of nearly 2 years of work finally came. A road trip of nearly 800 miles. Bugs, traffic, crappy roads, smooth roads, a thun... Show morederstorm, almost 3 bucks a gallon for gas, 75 mph for a hundred miles at a time with the cruise control on. All good. Vader passed the test with no problems at all. It ran and drove like a new car. Although with the 16" wheels, you really feel the road!
While we were in the area, we met with a fellow VR owner at the National Air Force Museum. Unfortunatly, we didn't have a lot of time to spend together, but it was well worth it. I finally got to check out the only known 2-door 5-speed VR! Its very nice.
And heres a couple of photos of the bugs after a 350 mile trip! What a mess. I was actually hopeing to drive thru some rain on the way home to wash them off!
But they all washed off without a problem. The hard part is drying it without leaving streaks and spots! Show Less
Rear Disc Brake Conversion
No Chevy Celebrity ever came from the factory with rear disc brakes. Not Eurosports, not VRs, not wagons, not coupes or convertibl... Show morees. None of them.
But thier GM sister cars, the mighty Pontiac 6000 STE models, did. The trick is to find an '86 STE, and cannibilize the parts, as GM no longer sells the needed items for the conversion. An '86 is needed as they did not have ABS, like the Celebrity. I have cross-referenced part numbers 'till my eyes hurt, and everything between the two cars is compatible. Even the master cylinders and porportioning valves.
The parts you'll need are as follows:
Any year Celebrity with JA2 brakes
Rear brake lines
E-brake cables(left and right)
Rotors(Raybestos number 5074)
All for a 1986 Pontiac 6000 STE
You'll probably need to get this stuff at a junkyard. Get the calipers, even if they are shot, as they will be good for a hundred dollar core charge when you get new ones! Leave the rotors and pads too, as new ones are cheap. And I'm not sure about replacement cables. Try to get some good ones! But you'll need the other stuff from a doner car. And be gentle when removing it!
This upgrade is really no more difficult than doing a rear brake job. It just takes a little longer!
OK, lets get these out of the way first...Before and After photos. Then its on to the "how-to".
Jack and support the car. I supported the axle just to hold it up to a comfortable position. Remove the rear wheels. Remove the drums. Now is a good time to put on some gloves. Brake dust is nasty stuff.
All of the hardware is removed. The metal brake lines need to come off too. Pre-soak the line fittings, e-brake cable-end clips and retainers, and shock bolts(and anything else that looks like it needs it) with WD-40. Gently pinch the rubber brake lines with some vise-grips to stop the dripping.
The hubs and bolts, which you'll re-use, backing plates and e-brake cables have been removed. To get the cables out, you'll first need to set the brake, then clamp it with some vise-grips(both sides), then release the brake. The connecter that joins the cables together under the car can then be removed. And its a real PITA to get undone without breaking it. Its very stiff and brittle. Stick a flat blade screwdriver in the cable end and twist it so that it opens the gap just a bit. Then the end of the cable can be pushed thru.
A picture of the parts to be installed on the left and the ends of the the 2 different cables. Disc brake cable on the top, and drum on the bottom. The retainer clips are a PITA to get out of thier holes too!
Now's a good time to remove the nut from the shock bolt. You don't need to remove the bolt. A brake line fitting will be mounted onto it.
Install the backing plates and hubs. Then run the caliper end of the e-brake cable. Don't connect the cables together under the car yet. Put the rotor on next.
Get your caliper and connect the e-bake cable. Install the caliper onto the backing plate. Then attatch the brake line fitting and mount to the shock bolt. Its got a little tab on it, so it only goes on one way.
Install the new brake line. Re-connect the e-brake cables under the car, and adjust the tensioning nut as you would a drum brake.
Re-check everything, and bleed the whole system. Thats it!
And there it is. A one-of-a-kind Eurosport VR with 4-wheel disc brakes.
Disclaimer:The author of this page gives no warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or safety of the modification, whatsoever. Show Less