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OEM But Better

Installing optional Z51 brakes on a standard C6 Corvette

Chris McDonald - August 12, 2014 02:05 PM

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All the parts necessary to complete the conversion are pictured here. The fasteners, clips, and pins will be reused from the original brake system. The larger rotors re-use the same caliper, which is repositioned with new larger brake caliper brackets.

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 With the car on stands and the front wheel removed, use a 18mm open end to hold the caliper pin and remove the upper and lower caliper retaining bolt with a 15mm wrench.

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With the caliper pulled and resting on the lower A-frame, use a 21mm wrench to remove the upper and lower caliper basket bracket bolts.

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If the brake system has never been serviced, chances are you will find retainer clips holding the rotor in place. Simply pry the retainer clips off and remove the rotor. A little spray oil around the hub will help free the rotor from the assembly along with a gentle tap from a rubber mallet.

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The additional .4-inch of front rotor and one inch of rear rotor is obvious when compared side by side.

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The new 13.4-inch cross-drilled rotors slide on the hub assembly. Then, clean and apply a drop of thread sealant to the caliper bracket bolts.

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The larger caliper bracket slips around the rotor and fastens to the original location on the spindle.

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Remove the pad clips and caliper pins from the old caliper bracket. These clean up quickly with some brake cleaner and are ready to re-install in the new bracket.

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The new brake pads come with anti-squeak inserts. Simply peel the protective film off the insert and apply it to the rear of the pad.

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While there are specific tools available to retract the pistons, we opted to insert an old front pad in the caliper and use a pair of C-clamps to press the pistons in place. Open the brake reservoir and stuff shop rags around to catch any excess fluid that may be displaced.

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Squeeze a dab of brake caliper lubricant on the pins prior to inserting them in the new caliper brackets.

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The caliper can be fitted into place aligning the caliper pins with the mounting holes on the top and bottom. Apply a drop of thread lock to the caliper pin bolts and secure them in place using the 18mm wrench to hold the pin and the 15mm to tighten the bolts.

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Replacement of the rear brackets and rotors follows the same steps and tools as the front.

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With the assembly in place, check the fasteners and marvel at the new look.

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With the car lowered and wheels torqued to spec, check the reservoir for appropriate fluid level and wipe off any excess that may have been displaced when compressing the pistons.

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Superior stopping with your C6 doesn’t have to break the bank. Thanks to readily available Z51 oversized cross-drilled brake parts available right over the counter at your local GM dealer, anybody can super size their C6 brakes. 

When the C6 was introduced, an optional Z51 braking package was offered that oversized the front rotors from 13 to 13.4 inches and rear rotors from 12 to 13 inches with integrated cross-drilled technology to help release gases and heat. This combination was proven to reduce stopping distance by 15 feet at 60 mph and 10 feet at 80 mph. While the added performance is easy to measure, the extra flash of large cross-drilled rotors tucked behind the massive 18- and 19-inch wheels is an improvement beyond statistical measure.

Installing the big brake package only takes a couple of hours and some basic hand tools. We’ll show you step by step how you can complete this package at home. Once your system is bolted in place, get ready to enjoy some new stopping abilities and great looks.

 

Tools Needed

  • Floor jack and stands
  • Lug wrench
  • 15mm, 18mm, and 21mm wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Caliper piston tool or four-inch C-clamps (two needed)
  • Thread locking compound
  • Brake cleaner spray
  • Shop towels
  • Brake fluid

 

GM Part Numbers

  • Front Rotor: 89060328 
  • Front Bracket: 88964166 
  • Rear Rotor: 89060329 
  • Rear Bracket: 88964167

 

For Your Information:

Ed Morse Chevrolet, (561) 844-5262, www.edmorse.com

 

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