Classic Performance Products Brake Update for OBS Chevys

By Ron Ceridono   –   Photography By Taylor Kempkes

In the previous (Mar. ’24) issue of Classic Truck Performance we looked at the growing popularity of ’88-98 Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs, like the Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburban. As we explained then, this series of vehicles has been labeled as the old body style (OBS) to distinguish them from the styling of those that would follow in 1999 (Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburban styling stayed the same through 2000). While we admit it seems like labeling anything from that era as a “classic” is pushing the envelope, when you consider they are in the 26- to 36-year-old range, it puts things in perspective. Like we said on the subject last month, time really does fly by.

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02 In stock form the Tahoe was equipped with 11 6 inch rotors and single piston brake calipers
In stock form the Tahoe was equipped with 11.6-inch rotors and single-piston brake calipers.

Read More: Keeping Drum Brakes in Service is Simple and Affordable

Speaking of time flying, Jim Ries opened Classic Performance Products (CPP) in 1991. Initially working out of his garage, today the business has grown to occupy an 80,000-square-foot facility in Placentia, California. Included in the facility are CPP’s engineering and research and development departments that result in a steady stream of guaranteed-for-life steering, brake, and suspension parts, including new big brake kits for OBS Chevys and GMCs.

03 The first step in removing the factory brake components is unplugging the lead from the ABS sensor
The first step in removing the factory brake components is unplugging the lead from the ABS sensor.

The ’96 Tahoe shown here has already been treated to CPP’s tubular control arm and coilover conversion (PN 8898FCO-K). These components narrow the tread width 1.5 inches per side for increased tire clearance while the coilovers with double-adjustable shocks allow the suspension to be tuned for optimum ride and handling characteristics. This time around we’re installing CPP’s new Big Brake assembly (PN 8898SWBK-X10-5). Included in the kit are CPP’s X10 Extreme Drop Modular Spindles that are similar in design to those found on late-model Corvettes. Cast from high-quality ductile iron, these spindles lower ride height by 2-1/2 inches and are designed to accept the big brake assemblies available from CPP. These spindles use the ultra-strong, bolt-on, Corvette-style sealed bearing and hub assemblies that eliminate the hassle of packing the bearings with grease and adjusting them.

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04 Due to the length of the brake hoses they are secured to the upper control arms The stock hoses will be discarded
Due to the length of the brake hoses they are secured to the upper control arms. The stock hoses will be discarded.

Included in the front brake kit are 13-inch, cross-drilled, gas-slotted, zinc-washed rotors that mount to ’24 T6 billet aluminum CNC machined anodized hubs. Putting the squeeze on the rotors are PBR C15 calipers with twin 52mm pistons that significantly increase the clamping force on the rotors when compared to the stock GM calipers. The calipers attach to the spindles with the included custom brackets.

05 To prevent contaminating the hydraulic system with the brake hoses removed Jason Scudellari slipped a vacuum cap over the disconnected steel line
To prevent contaminating the hydraulic system with the brake hoses removed, Jason Scudellari slipped a vacuum cap over the disconnected steel line.

Read More: Offset Fix on the 1958-64 Chevy Chassis

At this point we should point out that this Tahoe, like many other vehicles of this vintage, is equipped with ABS (anti-lock brake system). Basically, what this system does is monitor the speed of each wheel with a sensor. If the sensor sends a signal indicating a wheel has locked up, the controller “pulses” the hydraulic pressure to that brake, eliminating the skid. The CPP hubs come with an ABS sensor that simply plugs into the existing wiring harness, keeping the factory system operational.

06 The outer tie rod ends are removed from the spindles
The outer tie-rod ends are removed from the spindles. Even though they go back in place with altering the adjustment sleeves, the frontend must be aligned after the new components are in place.

Installing CPP’s Big Brake Kit involves removing the entire stock spindle and brake assembly as none of it will be reused. Installing the new components is simply a matter of bolting them in place as no modifications to the vehicle are necessary. Keep in mind once the installation is completed it will be necessary to bleed the brakes and whenever suspension components are replaced a trip to an alignment shop is required. Then it’s time to drive and enjoy your updated new classic.

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07 Shocking the steering arm with a hammer by giving it a whack on the side will often dislodge a tapered pin on a tie rod end or ball joint
Shocking the steering arm with a hammer by giving it a whack on the side will often dislodge a tapered pin on a tie-rod end or ball joint.
08 With the cotter pin removed the nut securing the upper ball joint is taken off
With the cotter pin removed the nut securing the upper ball joint is taken off.
09 Scudellari used the same hammer technique to loosen the upper ball joint
Scudellari used the same hammer technique to loosen the upper ball joint. Smacking the spindle is fine, but never hammer on the threaded ends of the ball joints or tie-rod ends.
10 One more hammer blow to the spindle and the lower ball joint is separated
One more hammer blow to the spindle and the lower ball joint is separated. Note the nut is loose but in place to keep the spindle from falling off unexpectedly.
11 With the ball joints and tie rod end disconnected Scudellari removed the spindle rotor and caliper as an assembly
With the ball joints and tie-rod end disconnected Scudellari removed the spindle, rotor, and caliper as an assembly.
12 spindles hubs rotors calipers and hardware
Here are all the components of the CPP Big Brake kit: spindles, hubs, rotors, calipers, and hardware.
13 The CPP X10 spindles accept bolt on hubs like those on late Corvettes
The CPP X10 spindles accept bolt-on hubs like those on late Corvettes. The steering arms are part of the casting.
14 Installation of the CPP spindle begins with attaching it to the lower ball joint
Installation of the CPP spindle begins with attaching it to the lower ball joint.
15 The ball joint nut is torqued to the included specifications
The ball joint nut is torqued to the included specifications, then it’s secured with a cotter pin. Note how the cotter pin fits vertically in the slot of the castle nut.
16 With the bottom of the spindle secured the upper control arm is attached
With the bottom of the spindle secured, the upper control arm is attached.
17 CPP’s hubs come with sealed bearings that don’t require any additional grease or adjustment
CPP’s hubs come with sealed bearings that don’t require any additional grease or adjustment.
18 The original wiring harness for the factory ABS plugs into the speed sensor in the hub
The original wiring harness for the factory ABS plugs into the speed sensor in the hub.
19 Three bolts that come from the back side of the spindles hold the hub in place
Three bolts that come from the back side of the spindles hold the hub in place. (Thread locker recommended?)
20 Included in the Big Brake kit are custom caliper brackets
Included in the Big Brake kit are custom caliper brackets. They attach to the spindles with the supplied hardware.
21 CPP’s rotors are 13 inches in diameter They slip over the studs and are held in place by the wheels
CPP’s rotors are 13 inches in diameter. They slip over the studs and are held in place by the wheels.
22 The tie rod ends are installed
The tie-rod ends are installed. Note they use mechanical-style lock nuts rather than cotter pins to secure them.
23 CPP’s calipers have a larger brake pad surface than the popular C5 caliper at half the cost
CPP’s calipers have a larger brake pad surface than the popular C5 caliper at half the cost.
24 The new brake hoses come with “banjo” fittings and bolts
The new brake hoses come with “banjo” fittings and bolts. Copper washers are used on both sides of the fitting to prevent leaks.
25 To protect the brake hoses from damage they are attached to brackets on the upper control arms
To protect the brake hoses from damage they are attached to brackets on the upper control arms (the Tahoe has been equipped with CPP tubular control arms).
26 CPP’s Big Brake kits requires a 17 inch diameter disc brake–type wheels
CPP’s Big Brake kits requires a 17-inch-diameter disc brake–type wheels (an easy-to-use wheel template available to check wheel fitment).

Source:

Classic Performance Products
(800) 760-7438
classicperform.com

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Classic Performance Products Brake Update for OBS Chevys.ctp april 2024

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