Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post Reply
User avatar
edd
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by edd »

I know there are plenty of other posts similar to this one out there and I've had a good read but I'm still not quite sure...so one more to add to Google's search!

I have a 1967 bus with some kind of front disc setup done by a previous owner. I'm in the process of having it straight axled and we (mechanic and I) came to a discussion about rear brakes - we came to conclusion that maybe now was a good time to convert to rear discs. I'm interested in getting a slightly higher performance engine in there at some point, not racing as such, just a bit more power.

So he suggested I buy the following: Empi rear disc kit

I almost just bought it there and then but stupidly decided to Google about Empi seeing as it was a bank holiday and I had some time!! :roll:

I came across these two threads:
...they've confused me! Is Empi really as bad as some say?

Can anyone help me out? I've seen the following (what look to be) alternatives...should I really be avoiding EMPI? Is it worth getting anything else? That said though, money is an 'object'!

Possible alternatives(?):
Other questions would be...
  • Do I need a different type of dual master cylinder if I have discs all round? I did hear that I might
  • Should I try and match makes of disc conversions for front and rear or are they completely independent?
Thanks and happy Easter! :)

User avatar
maddison
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 5539
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:56 pm
Location: up norf
Contact:

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by maddison »

1st thing, I went through 2 sets of empi rear discs stripping the splines smooth = no drive


that aside....do you REALLY want rear discs ?
my experience was....rear discs work really well at stopping ...so much so, they work as well as (if not better) than the front ones....

what this means in real life is, instead of your front brakes doing all the work and 'digging in' when you need them too, the rear brakes do a lot of the work and its really the front you want doing most the work


I know that bays are fitted with some fandangled goodness that limits the the rear brakes depending on angle of the bus
you may actually find fitting a vacum servo on the front circuit and discs on the rear gives a similar effect ??



basically......do you REALLY need rear discs on an old camper....even if your planning on upping the power at some point, unless your going for SERioUS horsepower AND plan on taking it round a race track, what are the real benefits of rear discs ?

(you could argue the same for fronts...but thats for another day)

front discs (if you must)
Vacum servo = BIG benefits in feel :cheers:
rear drums, upgrade to type 3 if your feeling flashy as they have a bigger braking surface


Save your money and headaches...but thats just my personal opinion

User avatar
e m p i
Registered user
Posts: 5514
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:51 pm
Location: Essex but I'm nothing like the twats on the telly.
Contact:

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by e m p i »

^^^ this.
My daily euro box has a top speed (in the book) of 106mph. It has disc front and drum rear. I appreciate that my bus weighs more but by the same token it doesn't go 106mph. I've got the larger bay window discs on the front and bay drums on the rear and that's always been plenty enough stopping power. Spend the money on something else instead, beer, drugs, porn whatever but I wouldn't bother with rear discs. Or drugs actually.

Shalom, Lee.
"...scum is scum wherever you go" D.C.I. Gene Hunt

0.018 reaction time:Empster July 2005 with a timing slip to prove it
Sooty wrote: You are a god Lee. :cheers:

User avatar
63CorvairSplit
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 543
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:26 pm
Location: Weymouth, Dorset, Fitting a smaller engine in the van!

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by 63CorvairSplit »

I think you'll be fine with good front discs and rear drums unless you are seriously racing!

Ironically though, With my van, I used a Porsche. 944 IRS parts, so it was just as easy for me to fit the rear discs and I have to admit, it is the best mod I made to my van!

In this case I used the whole brake system from the Porsche including the master cylinder which has bigger outlets for the front so everything is balanced and doesn't lock up.

I think I paid about £300 for the whole IRS parts and brake system from a scrapyard (they even removed it for me!) - this was alot cheaper than buying the disc brske kits you see advertised, but I see you're swing axle so it doesn't really reply I guess!

To be honest, I think I'd just stick with what you've got - spend the money on some nice heads for your engine !
Build thread here :)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=92787

User avatar
edd
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by edd »

Thanks for all the replies - very helpful.

The only thing I would say in response to a lot of people suggesting I don't bother, I've got to do something because right now I have no rear brakes. We decided that if I was gonna spend a fair amount on some new drums, why not just spend a couple of hundred more on discs and never have to think about it again no matter how fast my van becomes...

I suppose the only other thing I would add is that when I could drive my van I wouldn't say the brakes were great by any means! Perhaps I should be more worried by the front discs not performing..?

As for the mention of rear discs becoming more of a stopping force than the front, is this actually a problem? I'm not very mechanical but my general thoughts were surely the better brakes I have all round then the better stopping ability I'd then have.

Also, still very interested to hear anyone else's thoughts on the Empi kits :D

User avatar
63CorvairSplit
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 543
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:26 pm
Location: Weymouth, Dorset, Fitting a smaller engine in the van!

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by 63CorvairSplit »

If you fit the rear discs you have to be careful to get the stopping force balanced properly by using the correct master cylinder. If you don't, it can lead to problems with wheels locking up which you don't really want!

I'm pretty sure this is the case anyway!

It kind of depends which front brakes are fitted and which master cylinder :)

What pcd are the front brakes? Wide 5, small 5 stud (bay) or small 5. (Porsche )?
Build thread here :)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=92787

User avatar
Glyno
Registered user
Posts: 621
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 7:31 pm
Location: Sunny Hampshire

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by Glyno »

I had the Empi rear kit on my old crew cab. It took a little bit of fettling to get it fitted. Seem to remember a bit of an issue with the adapter plates not having been machined 100% correctly.

All went on and was pretty good in the end. Had to have custom handbrake cables made up as well.

Would I do it again - hmm maybe. Although the best mod I have had to the brakes is a servo. Front CSP discs and drums on my current bus and with a servo it is much better than the crew cab was with discs all round.

Only real positive to discs is lack of fade under heavy prolonged braking and less maintenance (adjustment).

My advice would be to put the money into a servo and stick with your drums.

dweeb
Registered user
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:06 pm

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by dweeb »

Ive had empi discs fitted for the last 7 years with no problems at all. It all bolted up first time. Standard bay window master cylinder. In fact they have been less hassle than the csp fronts.

User avatar
edd
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by edd »

Thanks dweed, encouraging because I think I'm coming to some kind of conclusion.

I'd not heard of brake servos until their mention here, done some Googling and see that it can be bolted on whenever. How does this sound; I buy the Empi kit now since I have to buy some rear brake kit and then when I want to upgrade (which is sounds like I will want to do) I buy Jim's servo thing.

Surely that's the ultimate solution..?

Cheers.

Evil Sid
Registered user
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:23 pm

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by Evil Sid »

if you're going to fit discs then I would not go halfway house with a non-vented disc but put a vented rear kit on like early 944 rear brakes

The kits that use the Girling/VAG style rear caliper with integral handbrake really ought to use the more modern (well from about 1998) VAG rear caliper that accepts a vented disc (254x22mm disc I think).
1966 Microbus Deluxe

User avatar
vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19981
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by vwJim »

I've the CB rear disk conversion on the back of the Samba, with custom handbrake cables. They've been on for years and work well.

I've had the brakes checked on a balance machine, and the fronts (CSP) still out perform the rears so no need to fear the front out balancing the front, or any Bay bias gadget..

Empi kits are a "cheap" copy of the CB kit IMHO, with a pressed caliper mount that is flexible rather than the more rigid CB version.

Jenni went for the CSP rear disk kit on her bus as she preferred the rotor arrangement.

Both work well, and give you a perfect handbrake.
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SyncLink, Kennedy Clutches, & CB Performance. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.

TLM2106
Registered user
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:50 pm
Location: New Romney, Kent

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by TLM2106 »

Jim, just out of interest, what master cylinder do you use? Bay window?

User avatar
vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19981
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: Rear disc brake conversion - EMPI

Post by vwJim »

Years ago, CSP used to stock a specific m/c for 4x disks for buses, but they don't list it anymore. So most run Bay.
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SyncLink, Kennedy Clutches, & CB Performance. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.

Post Reply