Gimme a Brake!

By Jok Nicholson

f you have read the previous articles on our Back-2-Basics '72 Vega, you know it ended up running in the low 10-second range. That is about a full second quicker than I thought it would run with such a small hydraulic cam. Isky Racing Cams was right; they said I would be impressed with the power a .515" lift hydraulic cam can produce.

Now that we have it running almost 130 mph, the stock Vega front brakes and the rear drum brakes on the Dana 60 just don't cut it for stopping. Keeping with the budget plan, I shopped all over to get the best price and the best stopping power. I ended up working with Aerospace Components, Inc out of St. Petersburg, FL. They also offer a front brake kit, but right now the budget isn't there for that upgrade. The technical sales rep told me I would be surprised at how much difference the rear disc brakes would make. I trust he is right, but for now I will just cover the initial installation. Final brake line plumbing and a master cylinder are still on order and I will add that to this series later in the month.

This is the Aerospace Components rear disc brake kit for my Dana 60. As you can see, the machine work is excellent and all hardware was included.

I started off by taking the drum brakes off the rear end housing and pulling the axles out. Now is a good time to replace the axle retaining bolts if they are still the original ones. I replaced mine last winter so I am okay there. If your axle bearings have been in there for about a decade, now is the time to have a couple fresh ones pressed on. I also replaced those last winter so they are good.

This is the "stuff" I removed. The previous 11-inch drum brakes served their purpose, but at 130 mph I felt it was time to upgrade the brakes. The nice part was the total cost of the kit was only $445. At this point you should consider replacing the rear axle bearings, drive studs and axle bearing retaining bolts if it has been several seasons since you last replaced them.


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