C3 Corvette Brakes

Article by Mark Trotta

Patterned after the Grand Sport Corvette race cars of the early sixties, four-wheel disc brakes were standard equipment on 1965 through 1982 Corvettes (although some early '65 models were sold with drum brakes).

C3 Corvette brake overhaul

Although original C2 and C3 piston bores were cast iron, most Corvette calipers have already been stainless-steel sleeved somewhere in their history. This is easily told by the shiny smooth silver circle inserts that the pistons sit in. If they are still the original cast bore, consider having yours stainless-steel sleeved. Most Corvette suppliers offer this service.

Read: Rebuild Corvette Brake Calipers

Lip Seal vs O-Ring

Seems like C2/C3 Corvette owners who have switched to o-ring caliper seals report improvement. But if they're comparing fresh rebuilt o-ring calipers to old and worn lip-seal calipers, that comparison isn't really fair.

C3 Corvette brakes

Read: Lip-Seal vs O-Ring Calipers - which design is best?

There's a dozen or more products which can be used to paint brake calipers. After doing some research online and in magazines, here's the procedure I used.

1966 Corvette brakes

Read: How To Paint Brake Calipers

brake line fabrication

Making your own brake lines will save you money on your overall restoration. Whether you choose steel, NiCopp, or stainless steel, the process of how to make brake lines is the same.

Read: How To Make Brake Lines

Rubber Brake Hoses

The flexible rubber brake hoses under your old Corvette dry out and crack, causing a leak or a soft brake pedal. Bend each line and check to see if you see any cracking in the rubber that opens up. If in doubt, replace them.

C2 C3 Corvette brake hose kit

Shop: 1963-1982 Corvette Brake Hose Kit

Replace, Rebuild, or Re-sleeve Your Master Cylinder?

New, good quality (not cheap Chinese) master cylinders are expensive. If yours is not badly pitted, consider rebuilding it. Rebuilding a brake master cylinder is not difficult and doesn't require any special tools. If your classic Corvette will see less than a few thousand miles a year, a rebuilt master could last five or so years before pitting becomes bad enough to damage up the rubber.

1966 Corvette Brake overhaul

If your master cylinder is badly pitted, consider sending it out to be re-sleeved. Some companies will re-sleeve with brass, others prefer stainless.

C2/C3 Corvette Brake Rotors

The reason for those hub rivets was for the factory to have an easy means to install the brake rotors. They were then trued as a hub and rotor unit so that there was no run-out. Once the rotor is removed, it's not necessary to replace the rivets.

Corvette rotor removal

Read: Remove Riveted Brake Rotors

The factory service manual recommends using the lug nuts of the wheel to hold the new rotor in place. When the wheel nuts get tightened down, it will center the new rotor on the old hub.


Related Articles:

Rebuild Corvette Calipers (Disassembly)

Rebuild Corvette Calipers (Reassembly)

Lip Seal vs O-Ring Calipers

Remove Riveted Brake Rotors

Goodyear Eagle GT2 on 1982 Corvette

Read: Raised White Letter Tires For Classic Cars