View Full Version : Brake Upgrade for 85 Fleetwood Brougham

04-30-05, 06:47 PM
Now I did a search for this before posting, but I need an answer for cars instead of late model SUVs.

I recently upgraded my stock rim and tires to 22's. Now I now from researching this that I need bigger brakes (and I know I've seen some that were more than the cost of my rims and tires combined). I would like to know what kind og brake upgrade can I get that will give me good reasonable stopping power. As you all probably now, my current stock brakes do stop, but I need to put the pedal to the floor, which is why I ride slow or limit my riding.

Are there some reasonable priced brake upgrades for my car, if so what specifically should I look for. I saw a few links for brake upgrades, but nothing for my year or model. Whatever links or sites or just general info you can provide for me would be greatly appreciated.

04-30-05, 11:52 PM
changing wheels should not have made any difference in braking power. I would look into if something else is wrong. #1 issue with GM brakes is rear drums not adjusted. they are self adjusting, but don't adjust until you hit the brakes in reverse. I often go find an abandoned back road and backup and pump the brakes. This helps a lot.

As for upgrades, read up on the 4 wheel disc conversion. This should work just fine on the 85. http://cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2881

Contact Bill on his upgrades. The last email I had from him was at inov8r@alltel.net.

You can also look into the older 75-77 Eldo and 77-81 B/D car rear wheel disc upgrade, but as Katshot can attest, the reliability of the calipers wasn't the greatest. You can use front calipers, but you would lose E-Brake, and that isn't so cool.... Bill's conversion is best so far.

Some aftermarket companies are offering stuff for the C/K1500 Suburban to upgrade the 11.5X2.75" drums to disc, you can look into that, those parts for a C1500 (5 bolt) will work on your ride. The K1500 are 6 bolt, so different rotors are needed, as you have the 5 bolt X 5" wheels.

Most aftermarket upgrades are very pricey. You should have nearly identical braking as stock now, as long as the overall height of the tires/rims are the same. Taller then you would start to notice it, as the lever changes.

05-01-05, 08:10 AM
Thanks N0DIH, I appreciate you taking time to answer my question. Now I comprehend a bit of what you are saying, I'm just a real novice when it comes cars. I noticed that right after I got my rims put on, that I have to apply the brake at a further distance, because it takes a bit longer for my car to come to a complete stop. I did read on here that it's because the bigger tires have more revolutions then my regular 15's and it takes a bit longer to stop, but I'm just wondering why do I have to put my brake pedal straight to the floor in order for my car to slowly get to a complete stop?

05-01-05, 09:59 AM
This is very simple--the new wheels you put on are, most likely, considerably more heavy than what was on there as stock. GM/Cadillac designed the car and all of its components to function properly with the stock wheel setup on there, so when you change them, you very well might run into issues.

Why your braking has suffered is this--with the new wheels being bigger and heavier, it not only takes more force to get the car moving (harder to spin heavier wheels from a stop), but once you are going, the heavier wheels have a lot more momentum than the stockers, and are going to want to resist slowing down--i.e., your factory braking system is simply not strong enough to overcome the extra weight and momentum of the bigger wheels and needs to be beefed up in some way.

This is a very common issue with any car when people add large rims without thinking about how much extra rolling weight they're adding to each hub--check out an Escalade thread sometimes, and you'll see how even steering and other suspension parts get worn out quickly due to the stress of such heavy wheels.

05-01-05, 12:29 PM
Thanks Caddy Cruiser for your input as well. I did realize that with upgrading my wheels other issues will come into play, so that's why I'm asking what kind of bigger brakes can I use to supplement the bigger rims? As of now I can't afford the high end ($$$$$$$$$) brakes, but there has to be something out there with reasonable stopping power that is cost around $500.00 or so dollars. This is not my regular car, just something that I can have during the summer months, so I don't plan on putting too much on my car each year.

Thanks for the responses again.

05-01-05, 01:56 PM
That's a very good question, as I wonder what brake "upgrades" are out there for these cars too, particularly those that aren't major $$$$.

Keep us posted on what you find--I'm going to search a little bit too.

As is, stock wheels and all, my '93 Fleetwood stops on a dime and has a very strong pedal feel, much better than the mush in my mother's '04 Suburban, though even it is a dramatic improvement over the scarry pedal feel of the '02 Avalanche she used to have..... :suspense:

The Ape Man
05-01-05, 11:56 PM
Time to inspect the brake system. Check the master cylinder fluid level. Make sure that the dash idiot lamp works (set the emergency brake and start the engine to see if the lamp lights). Same lamp will tell you about a major pressure differential between fromt and rear hydraulics and low boost vacuum. You are experiencing a low service pedal so there is an issue with either excessive fluid displacement, air in the system or a worn out master cylinder. As stated before, a low pedal can be a symptom of out of adjustment rear brakes.
You will need to get an inspection of the rear brakes most of all. Are the linings wet with brake fluid or axle lube? Leaking wheel cylinders can happen just from age. If the self adjusters are binding then the wheel cylinders will puke their guts after a while. How about the axle bearings and seals? Axle side play?
You can look under the car and see if the brake backing plates are wet without even turning a wrench.
Your stock brakes are plenty good enough for some heavy rims. The optional factory spoke rims used on this vintage Cadillacs were very heavy. There were plenty of them sold without trouble. Heavy rims do degrade ride quality due to unsprung weight to total weight ratio but they should not be an issue for braking with your car.
If you get the brakes repaired and are still looking for a cheap upgrade then I would suggest 13 inch station wagon rear drum brakes. They will buy some capability in terms of repeated hard braking but your HT4100 power is not likely to get you into a situation where you would benifit.