Dodge | Challenger | Sketchpad | BMW StreetCarver
One of the first things Kelly learned to do on his faithful Dodge was the brakes. It had manual drums, like the Skylark did, so they were no real mystery. He drove the car daily for a year, and then upgraded to front discs. That's when the fun started!
AAJ brakes are a great kit specializing in Forward-look Mopars, Studes, and other off-the-wall forties and fifties cars. They are easy to retrofit, and can be done in an afternoon...That is if you are patient, and have done this before! Kelly endured tons of frustration with this setup that plagued him until he sold the Dodge. One of the major reasons he had problems he later discovered wasn't with the front brakes at all, but with the rears, we'll get to that later.
An easily overlooked pest can be the pedal adjustment rod from the brake petal to the back of the new (dual unit) master. It is VERY IMPERATIVE that the length is checked. It took getting brand new rotors remachined to realize that (and the car wouldn't go very far...) When he replaced the front drums with discs, he had the hubs seperated from the rear drums, and had the studs on the driver's side changed to right hand thread. What he didn't know was that when the studs were pressed out, the hubs were bent in the process! Imagine three years of having a heavy pulsing petal and not figuring out why! On top of that the first studs he had pressed in didn't have a shoulder to speak of, so the drums (which were not hubcentric) would move around, (the lug stud holes were larger than the lug studs) and wear in egg-shaped patterns!
On top of that, the AAJ brackets first warped than broke! Roger from AAJ graciously gave Kelly a second set. Those too, in time broke. Roger has since changed the design of the AAJ bracket.
A word to the wise: Roger's kit is great, and KELLY IS IN NO WAY TRASHING AAJ PRODUCTS! However, take your time, FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!!, and don't drive your car hard, and the kit will last you a lifetime. Roger at AAJ provided superb customer service, and despite all the issues Kelly had with his brakes, he would buy from AAJ again in a heartbeat.
These photos are from 2003, when the Coronet's steering box started leaking. While the box was out, Kelly took the time to add power brakes, thanks to a booster (replacement part) from a '70 Coronet, and an A-body adapter bracket. Kelly apologises for the poor quality of these photos, they are from his camera phone.
While the master cylinder/booster upgrade was happening, the leaky power steering box was sent out to be rebuilt. Kelly took the time to replicate the inspection marks that he found. If any coronet owners ever wondered why the '57-'58 Dodges had the removable panel underneath the pedals, try taking the box out without taking this panel off!
These next photos are of the front spindle/caliper setup off of a '76 Cordoba that Kelly rebuilt that didn't fit. He also rebuilt and detailed a 9-1/4 end from the same car that didn't fit as well. The lesson here kids? Measure, Measure, Measure! All B-bodies aren't alike!