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Project Rebirth 1971 Suburban Part 2: Stopping with Style

Baer Brakes, Intro Wheels, Nexen Tires, and Lowboy Motorsports Take Our Project to Another Level

Bryan Fross
May 20, 2019

If you read last month's issue of Truckin, you know Project 71 BRBN is underway. The nearly five-decades-old Chevrolet has undoubtedly seen its share of good roads and bad during its lifetime. Now, it has modern suspension components underneath to handle all future travels courtesy of QA1 and CPP. This month, we bring you once again to Mesa, Arizona, and Lowboy Motorsports, where we kicked off the rebuilding of our three-door cruiser.

Since the stance, body roll, and road damping have been vastly improved, it was time to make sure our project stopped at will while looking good doing it. We turned to the folks at Baer Brakes for their expertise to get the heavy, old Suburban braking smoothly and upgrade the overall appearance. Their system for the front, which is designed to work with our new CPP spindles, comes with 13-inch rotors and T4 calipers. In the rear, a 12-inch kit replaces the factory drums. And a new Remaster master cylinder and adjustable proportioning valve replaces the stocker.

Photo 2/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 00
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 00
  |   Rendering

With the big brake upgrade, our old 15-inch wheels no longer fit, but we never planned for them to. Our new 22-inch rollers from Intro Wheels are wrapped in Nexen Tires then bolted up, changing the outward appearance of this hot-rod-style hauler forever. While we found some more odds and ends that needed to be fixed in the future, this part of the install was pretty straightforward, and the crew at Lowboy Motorsports knew just what to do when we ran into some minor obstacles. To find out what can be done for your next project, check out Baer Brakes, Intro Wheels, Nexen Tires, and Lowboy Motorsports to find out what can be done for your truck project.

Photo 3/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 02
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 02
  |   Here are the components of our full Baer kit with the front Track4 system, SS4 rear, and Remaster replacement master cylinder and necessary hardware. Notice that in addition to calipers and rotors, the kit comes complete with front hubs, E-brake assemblies for the rear, brake lines, and everything else needed for the swap.
Photo 4/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 03
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 03
  |   Our front brakes have seen better times. Now they'll be removed and sent to the metal scrapper to be recycled into something useful.
Photo 5/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 04
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 04
  |   Todd has our project on the lift at Lowboy Motorsports and begins by removing the wheels then the old brakes.
Photo 6/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 05
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 05
  |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 05
Photo 7/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 06
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 06
  |   The directional rotors are then test-fit to check for any issues. After the rotors are secured with three lug nuts, everything looks good and the rotors are removed.
Photo 8/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 07
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 07
  |   Our spindles are fitted with the radial mount bracket supplied in the kit.
Photo 9/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 08
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 08
  |   With the radial bracket bolted in, the rotor is mounted over the hub and the steering is turned to make the radial bracket accessible for the next step.
Photo 10/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 09
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 09
  |   Todd lines up the new calipers with pads already installed over the rotor and then begins to turn the bolts by hand onto the radial bracket to get the threads started.
Photo 11/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 10
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 10
  |   With the rotor and caliper installed, we get a good look at our Baer Track4 kit for the front end. We measure the gaps between the rotor and caliper and use the shims provided in the kit to correct any differences.
Photo 12/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 11
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 11
  |   When we are satisfied the calipers are in the correct position to reduce any excessive braking noise, the castle nut is fitted with a cotter pin that is then bent at the ends to lock it in place.
Photo 13/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 12
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 12
  |   Now that the front brakes are in place, Chad lends a hand to hook up the steel braided brake lines for the front end and secures it to the mount with a provided clip.
Photo 14/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 13
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 13
  |   In the rear, our old brake drums look like they've had a good life but are long overdue for a fresh new look and the stopping power of disc brakes.
Photo 15/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 14
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 14
  |   Todd unbolts the differential cover and drains the rear end, allowing access to the C-clips that secure the axles that needed to be removed.
Photo 16/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 15
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 15
  |   The rear drum is removed and then the brake shoes, wheel cylinder, and backing plate quickly follow the rest to the scrap pile after the axles are pulled out.
Photo 17/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 16
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 16
  |   In the Baer Brakes rear SS4 kit, the unique backing plate is not only a caliper mount but also houses the one-piece parking brake shoe assembly. Todd mounts it and taps it lightly to ensure a solid fit.
Photo 18/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 17
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 17
  |   As he begins to reinstall the axle, Todd notices the hub will not clear by a slight margin.
Photo 19/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 18
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 18
  |   The new rotor didn't sit flush in the wheel mount flange of the axle, so, using a lathe, Todd turned the diameter down by a small fraction of an inch on each side until it slid into the rear end, making sure not to take off more material than needed.
Photo 20/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 19
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 19
  |   The rear rotor is secured to the hub and the caliper is installed. Todd tightens the caliper to the bracket after the same shimming process we used on the front.
Photo 21/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 20
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 20
  |   The rear Baer kit is installed. When it's paired with the coilovers from our previous article, you can see we have a really good looking setup on this old C10 Suburban.
Photo 22/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 21
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 21
  |   With the brakes in place, the lines are attached then secured to the rear end with a clamp and bracket.
Photo 23/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 22
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 22
  |   Our '71 Chevy has thrown a few curveballs our way so far in this process, including a rear brake line that was in dire need of replacement. Todd worked some magic and made new, custom-bent lines to go from each end to the T-fitting, which supplies the brake fluid.
Photo 24/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 23
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 23
  |   The differential cover is replaced now that the axles have been reinstalled. Todd refills the rear end to make sure everything is lubricated and ready to roll.
Photo 25/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 24
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 24
  |   The last part of our brake install is the new master cylinder. The Suburban hood is popped open and Todd removes the old piece from the brake booster.
Photo 26/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 25
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 25
  |   On the new Remaster unit, he attaches the included pre-bent hard lines, which will circulate the brake fluid using the proportioning valve.
Photo 27/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 26
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 26
  |   While the Remaster unit is clamped into a vise, Todd bench bleeds it to make sure all air bubbles have been purged and everything is ready for installation.
Photo 28/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 27
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 27
  |   Todd lines up the new Remaster then tightens it onto the booster. Our brake lines are then hooked up after Todd changes out a few of the fittings to make it right. A previous owner had made a few changes that were different from the factory setup.
Photo 29/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 28
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 28
  |   Our 22x8.5 Intro Colt wheels for the front and 22x10 for the rear are unboxed and readied for their time in the spotlight. When we ordered the wheels, we asked for a reversed hoop with 5 inches of wheel lip. This will give it extra depth in our rear fender opening.
Photo 30/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 29
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 29
  |   The wheel is laid facedown on the tire machine at Lowboy Motorsports and Todd installs the valve.
Photo 31/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 30
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 30
  |   He grabs our Nexen Roadian HP Tires and mounts them to each wheel. The fronts are 265/35R22 while the rear tires are 285/35R22.
Photo 32/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 31
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 31
  |   While the tires are mounted, they are filled with air. The bead pops, locking it onto the wheel where it should be, with no leaks, and they are filled to the recommended psi listed by Nexen.
Photo 33/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 32
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 32
  |   Moving to the wheel balancer, Todd runs each wheel through the process then adds weights to balance them out before running them again to make sure they are perfect.
Photo 34/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 33
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 33
  |   Todd lifts our wheel and tire combo onto the front of the '71 Suburban.
Photo 35/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 34
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 34
  |   With the wheel on the studs, the Intro Colt wheels with a brushed face and polished hoop make a statement with the coordinated finishes on the Baer Track4 System.
Photo 36/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 35
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 35
  |   Todd finishes the install in the rear with the smaller SS4 System caliper and rotor viewable through the wheel. We got some splined chrome lug nuts from Edgar at San Tan Tires to bolt the wheels to the Chevy.
Photo 37/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 36
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 36
  |   We pull the '71 Burb out of the shop and get our first look at the new brakes, wheels, and tires. The Chevy is then taken out for an alignment and Todd spends some time doing the break-in process as recommended by Baer. We are super happy with the look and performance of the new QA1, Baer, and CPP setup and have already logged hundreds of trouble-free miles with it!
Photo 38/38   |   1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 01
1971 Chevy Suburban Project Rebirth Part 2 01
  |   After

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