When Every Inch Counts

Offset Fix on the 1958-64 Chevy Chassis

By Jason Lubken     Photography by the Author

Stance is everything. It’s a tricky subject, too. Suspension isn’t easy on your knuckles and if you get it wrong it’ll drain the bank fast. After you finally dial in your ride height the wheel/tire combo has to jive, too. The right wheel tucked inside the fender with a safe amount of clearance is like fine art.

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The nice part is a quick disc brake conversion is small potatoes compared to what most pros have to do. You can expect a fully custom-designed car to sit on a surgically precise wheel and tire package—you even see custom wheeltubs, one-off wheels, you name it. You won’t always get the perfect backspace option on a mass-produced wheel. That’s where Classic Performance Products’ (CPP) minimum offset kit comes in clutch.

002 Fender Clearance Problem cpp minimum offset brake kit
The issue at hand: An inch of clearance between the tire and inner fender just won’t cut it. Even under normal driving conditions, any moderate suspension travel or turning over bumps will cause some tire rub.

There are a ton of variables that can make this conversion (can be also called original offset) the golden ticket. Plenty of brake kits exist for factory and dropped spindles on the ’58-64 platform, but if you want a wider wheel/tire combo or even a reverse-style wheel (very little backspace) every inch matters. You’ll especially run into trouble sourcing a disc brake kit that fits inside smaller-diameter wheels. This kit works.

003 Metric Brake Previous Setup cpp minimum offset brake kit
A look at the old setup: CPP’s standard metric brake conversion for 2-inch drop spindles. They’ve been working solid for years, but we’ll be shelving these prior to install.

Another Power Brake Install: Installing CPP Power Disc Brakes on a 1966 Chevy II

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In our case, we are working on a ’63 Impala using CPP’s 2-inch drop spindles. We’ve moved to a different wheel offset, and to gain the proper clearance we need a hub and brake assembly to compensate some. This kit helps clear not only the inner fenders but also some 14-inch vintage wheels.

004 Narrower Disk Brake cpp minimum offset brake kit
Just the ticket. Note the mount face is moved 7/8 inch narrower than the standard disc brake kit measuring 1 3/8 inches deep.
005 Clean Spindle cpp minimum offset brake kit
Whether you’ve just installed new spindles or pulled off your old brakes, strip it down and give the spindle a good rinse with wax and grease remover or Brake Clean.
006 Caliper Bracket Orientation cpp minimum offset brake kit
Marking the caliper bracket orientation: the brackets should bend slightly outward (away from the frame) and parallel to the plane of your rotor surface. The larger triangular opening will be located at the top.
007 Brake Caliper Hose Installation cpp minimum offset brake kit
Supplied in the kit are calipers, braided hoses, banjos, bleeders, and the necessary washers to plumb the calipers. You’ll want a 14mm socket to secure the banjo bolt with brass washers on both sides of the eyelet. Air bubbles rise to the top so be sure to position the bleeder on the top side of your caliper.
008 Caliper Bracket Installation cpp minimum offset brake kit
Next, we secured the caliper bracket with the supplied hardware. We added a bit of red thread locker prior to installation.
009 Calipr Bracket Spindle Bolting cpp minimum offset brake kit
No guesswork here, no spacers necessary. The top of the bracket will bolt quite obviously to the front of the spindle, while the lower portion is mounted inboard with a bolt and nut on the backside.
010 Bearing Greasing and Packing cpp minimum offset brake kit
Clean and pre-pack all four inner and outer wheel bearings with your choice method. Bearing packer tools can be nice, regardless. Pack the grease through the wider backside of race until it overflows out of the small side all the way around.
011 Placing the bearing tapping the seal cpp minimum offset brake kit
Load the inner wheel bearing in place and tap in the supplied hub seal. We used an old bearing race to drive in the seal straight and flush to the edge of the hub. Our hub also came with the wheel studs installed. It’s smart to ensure these are all torqued according to spec prior to use.
012 Sliding the hub in place cpp minimum offset brake kit
Apply a small amount of wheel bearing grease to the spindle stub before installing the hub and gently slide the hub into place.
013 Necessary thread spacer cpp minimum offset brake kit
Needed when running this kit: This thread spacer takes up the difference between the end of the threads and the bearing face.
014 Castle Nut tightening cpp minimum offset brake kit
Next, spin on the castle nut and tighten as you spin the hub simultaneously. You’re just looking for a slight drag as you tighten the nut. Overtightening can prematurely wear the bearings. Finally, line up the castle nut to accept the cotter pin.
015 Dust Cap Preparation cpp minimum offset brake kit
Pro tip: Avoid mutilating your dust cap with a hammer. If your dust cap gives you any grief snapping into place, cut some small relief grooves around the perimeter to give the mating surface some room to flex. This still ensures a nice tight seal without the hassle of damaging your dust cap.
016 Cleaned Rotor Start of Brake Caliper Install cpp minimum offset brake kit
Next we secured the dust cap and gave the rotor a good soak in Brake Clean before installing. Then we moved onto installing the brake caliper.
017 Hex Socket Bolt Top and bottom of caliper cpp minimum offset brake kit
We bolted on the upper and lower caliper slide pins using a hex socket. Repeat the above steps to finish out the driver side assembly.
018 Retaining the Original Hoses cpp minimum offset brake kit
We’ll be retaining the rubber hoses that are still in good working condition to finish the installation. Likewise, the new braided-style hoses supplied with the kit will be the final step connecting the Softline to the hardline at the frame. Bleed the brakes as always when opening lines in your brake system.
019 Clearance Problem Solved cpp minimum offset brake kit
A final look at the tire-to-fender clearance after installation and we’re in the clear. There’s a notable difference in hub width after install.

Classic Performance Products
(866) 517-0273

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