I converted my '64 to front disc brakes. I have the drums and shoes and parts that the car came with. Anyone can have them if you want them, just pay shipping, which won't be cheap since they are heavy. Hate to throw them out. They are in Connecticut. Can provide more detailed photos if you really want them. Brakes operated perfectly before I converted. I did that because I saw "Jay Leno's Garage" where he had converted an Imperial and some other cars to disc and was happy with the change.
I'd be interested in hearing more about your conversion?
What kit did you use? Any challenges with install and set-up?
I used a front disc conversion kit from Classic Performance Products which cost $745. It included an excellent new booster to replace the stock one. Other kids cost twice as much and this one is quite good. The pedal feel is different from when the drums were on, but it stops quicker and with more certitude. I'd never go back to drums, even for stock authenticity. My car is in excellent condition, but I'm not going to Pebble Beach. I drive it often and take it to local shows. And, these cars are heavy and we need them to stop without drama.
As to challenges, yes, since you asked, but not because the job is so tough. I went to a local mechanic who'd done good work on the car. This conversion seemed to befuddle him. He kept the car for months. He said I needed spacers to create distance from the disc to the wheel, and I got them, but even then the car just sat there. I finally took it elsewhere and they got the whole thing done in one day!! With no spacers! So I have the original wheels on and it's great. The discs sometimes have the little squeak, and I have not dealt with it yet, it's nothing really. I know there's a spray but I have not bothered. A couple of times, with drums, the front wheels locked up and skidded and I thought, that's it, no more of this. It's a great upgrade. I'm used to the different pedal feel and there are no issues with the braking performance. Jay Leno was right. Oh, and I feel no need to convert the rears. The fronts were enough to improve the performance significantly.
My Car was bought new off the showroom floor in 64 and extremely well maintained always over the years for the —-sheer LOVE of the machine
In all the years I have owned my 64 convertible I have not once had to question weather the stock drum brakes would stop the car —on a dime —when called apron
That applies to many other Cadillac years I have owned
So for me a disc brake replacement is of little value when the stock brakes working correctly do the job they were designed to do
Between the cost of the brake kit and a mechanic to do the job this is an expensive thing to replace something already doing the job it was designed to do
Very sorry to hear the one guy kept your car for so long and did little work on it ( just the BS routine )
They want the car in there shop so they look like they work on high end cars to there other customers while tying up you great car
Just my 2 cents on this upgrade —as there are an awful lot of ways to spend your dollars to bring a car back to life in so very many areas
Yes, you make some good points here. The stock drums should be adequate to stop the car. However, two things. In my case, the brakes locked up twice at a stop sign and screeched. I could either redo the brakes as is for a few hundred dollars, or for a little more change them out to disc with a more powerful booster. Seemed the wiser choice. Again, I got the idea from Jay Leno's show, where he swore by this change for his heavy Imperial. Disc brakes hit the Corvette in 1966 and then started spreading throughout all cars fairly soon. So clearly, they are the preferred choice. Soon after 1968-69 drums were unacceptable on any decent car but the lowest end of the market. Cadillac introduced them in 1968 if I'm not mistaken.
Is this the kit? 1134 USD now, 745 USD was a lot lower.
Here's the kit on Ebay, for $707, on sale from $745. It's for 61-66 Cadillac
And this one for under $500 without the new booster also listed. But these are brakes, you can't mess around, I'd get the new booster and have the right pressure and be safe. However, I'm not a brake expert. I've done everything to cars, including dismantle an engine to the block and rebuild it over the last 50 years, but not once have I touched the brake system. Being in a car that fails to go is one thing, but a car that fails to stop is quite another. So I have mechanics do brakes, though I gather they are pretty simple.