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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/28/19 1:50 p.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

You could machine down the stock hub/rotor to accept a Wide-5 brake rotor. Then you need the appropriate caliper to handle a 1.25" thick rotor and a bracket to hold the caliper. This won't move the rotor much distance from the stock location. Winters 11.75"diameter rotors are $40 each.

Edit: You can also buy the rotors in an 0.810" thickness, which makes more sense.

I was rereading the thread and came across this. I dismissed it partly because I didn't want to get into machining rotors, I wanted a straight bolt-on. But it's a pretty interesting idea, to make the old hub/rotor into a hat. I don't know what the bolt pattern for a wide-5 rotor is, but using the old rotor as a mount for a two-piece setup has a lot of potential. The trick is to find a very common/popular racing size. I'll have to measure the size of the pad for the wheel, that will define the minimum bolt circle we can use. 8 x 7.00" rotors are cheap, I'll bet they're the ones Warren is referring to.

It has the potential for being a really nice next step. I'll drive my current setup to see how the hydraulics feel. Then maybe a second generation will happen simply because it's so cool.

TurnerX19 Dork
10/28/19 2:10 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Look at the Coleman catalog for rotor dimensions/availability. The variety is great. I have used them on everything from Formula Ford to McLaren M8f and tube frame Trans Am cars.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/31/19 8:06 a.m.

After rebuilding the Mini carburetor, attaching the CRX sunroof to the car and charging a dead battery on the Honda, I was able to extract the VW from the garage with the new brakes!

And I very much still have some air in the system. On the second pump, they feel pretty good. I'll be back under the van with the final hardware by the end of the weekend and I'll make sure it's fully bled, then we can start actual road testing and pad bedding. The van is on BP-20s which is a little aggressive, but it's also what I had. I'm pretty sure I can find some BP-10s kicking around the shop - but 20s might actually work in this application.

When I'm doing that final bleed and check, I'll also look to see what size bolt-on rotor I can run or even if I CAN run a bolt-on. One of the questions is if there's enough room for bolt heads to clear the upright. It might be close.


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/4/19 10:04 a.m.

The van is on the road! I put the new hardware on yesterday and burped out another couple of small bubbles. It still has that soft first push feel, but my coworker Brandon (also a Vanagon owner) says the drum auto-adjusters don't usually work, and that's exactly what his feel like when they're not adjusted. I'll put the van on the lift after the 40 mile shakedown commute, give everything a once-over and adjust the rear brakes.

I can tell you the pedal feels great on that second application and I didn't hear any creaking which bodes well for the dimensional accuracy of the brackets. I haven't done any in extremis stops yet, I'll give that a shot under controlled conditions.

Of course, they're obsolete :) Version 2 has been given the tentative thumbs up - we'll probably do the initial test on Brandon's van for that one. I'm not sure they're completely necessary for my use case, but I can't ignore the cool factor and the opportunity to come up with a real brake upgrade for early Vanagon owners.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/4/19 10:26 a.m.

For version 2, here's the drawing of the hub/rotor we're starting with.

Here's a very common 11.75", 8x 7.00" rotor diagram. The critical dimension is 6.38" for the lug ID. That's 162mm, which means it'll juuuuuuust fit on the cut down rotor. There are larger bolt patterns available but the temptation to use high-availability parts is strong. This rotor also lets us choose 0.81, 0.99 and 1.21" widths, and the calipers I used for the Little Big Brake Kit (an FM term for Wilwood calipers on stock rotors) are available for the first two options which should be sufficient.

I'll take another look for clearance to the upright at the 8" mounting circle.

thatsnowinnebago UltraDork
11/4/19 2:33 p.m.

Flyin' Westy, coming your way soon!

vwfreek Reader
11/4/19 3:08 p.m.

Nice work. My Westy has the later spindles, so I did the Jaguar XJS/VW Sharan brake upgrade. It stops awesome, but the Jaguar calipers are big and heavy. So I am limited on the wheels that will fit over them, the CLK wheels just barely clear. I'm looking for other options that have less unsprung weight and won't break the bank.  I've probably got $200 into my brake upgrade.




5/24/20 8:13 a.m.

Keith,   Do you sell the brackets and give the wilwood part numbers so we can say screw the lawyers and take life into our own hands ?  I'm doing a subaru conversion on an 85  with gas tank and coolant lines etc.  Should I upgrade brakes.  no idea why spindles are so much money.... thanks 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/25/20 11:37 p.m.

I haven't moved forward with the version 2 variant yet. Got busy with other things. Maybe I'll bump this project back up the priority list. 

The version 1 brackets are a one-off, not for sale. At the moment.

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