Tech Spotlight: Joe’s ’69 Elco – More Stopping Power
Text and Photos by Mike Finnegan
Part 1 and Part 2 of this tech feature, gave you some insights into a new attitude towards A-Body and took a comprehensive look at the front suspension of Joe’s Elco. Now check out how we added more stopping power and got started on the rear suspension process.
First, for more stopping power:
Now that we have disc brakes up front, there’s no reason not to ditch the manual master cylinder and upgrade to a power brake booster.
After removing the factory brake lines from the reservoir, the master cylinder is unbolted from the firewall.
Then, the brake pedal is disconnected from the master cylinder. The retainer clip is pulled off and the lock pin is slid out.
The stock master cylinder is then pulled out of the engine compartment.
The ABS Brakes power brake booster bolts right in place using brackets that keep the unit level, unlike the factory unit that sat at an upward angle.
Next, the new master cylinder is bolted to the booster. PPC Customs had to bend up new brake lines because the old ones were so brittle that they broke during disassembly.
We weren’t joking about the lack of maintenance. The suspension looked like it literally had never been disassembled. A liberal amount of WD-40 was applied to make breaking bolts loose less painful.
The 10-bolt rear axle is held in place by parallel lower links and triangulated uppers. We’ll be replacing those with stamped steel parts with new tubular pieces from McGaughys.
The original air shocks and coil springs will also be tossed in the dumpster in favor of parts that will improve this car’s handling.
Aside from saving a small amount of weight, the new parts will work with the car’s new lowered stance. The upper links are adjustable, which will help set the pinion angle correctly with the shorter coil springs.
That ought to get you set up. Stay tuned for the remaining segment of the rear suspension walk-through!