Gen 2 Aluminum Rear Knuckle and Brake Upgrade
This is the definative and step-by-step how-to on how to upgrade your Gen 1/1.5 W-body. Rob (Venom) and I made sure to get good pics last night so you know what your looking at. Meaning even a Noob should have ZERO issue doing this.
There is a bit of a prerequisite however, if you have a Gen 1, you must have rear coilovers! Gen 1.5 already has these so there is no issue with the missing leaf spring perch on the knuckles.
For the non-believers, there is indeed a difference. For starters, you drop around 10lbs per side (Havent weighed them yet) , you get rear brakes with a better caliper that isnt known to seize up (mainly the slides) like the 88-93 and 94+ setup, and later down the road, if you wanted to upgrade to larger rear brakes, there are known aftermarket options out there.
Also, it is not known if the ABS will function just the same. It appears you can swap your original hubs over to the new knuckles but I have not verified this yet. Also, it appears the Gen 2 hub's ABS connector is the same. Again, I have not verified this. Our cars stock ABS system sucks, period! IMHO is damn near useless and even when working 100%, it rarely works correctly to keep the wheels from locking up and helping you stop earlier. If you have driven newer GMs and even imports around the same age as our cars, you'll agree that our ABS system is inferior.
So lets get started!! Lets start with the parts list!
Parts from a 97-03 GP/Regal is your best bet to snag from at the yard.
-Rear knuckles (nice and light aluminum!)
-Rear hubs (Stock appears to swap over ok, but havent verified yet)
-Rear caliper brackets
-Rear cailper bracket bolts
-Rear caliper banjo bolts
-Rear caliper pins
-Strut to knuckle bolts (You CANNOT reuse your orignal ones!)
-Knuckle to lateral arm bolts, washers, nuts
You will reuse these items!
-Trailing arm bolts and nuts
-Brake hose to body brackets
Other items you will need/recommended!
-2 self tapping screws
-Brake fluid Dot3/4 (Incase a Noob doesnt know)
-Brake line (3/16")
-Metric bubble flare fittings (if your old ones are too bad to reuse)
-Brake parts cleaner
-Someone to help you bleed the brakes
Alright, now for some W-body moddin madness!!
Step 1- Jack up vehicle, securely on jackstands
Step 2- Remove the wheels, 19mm
Step 3- Unbolt caliper bracket from knuckle, 18mm
Step 4- Using small prybar, pry caliper and bracket as an assembly, off the rotor. Hang outta the way
Step 5- Remove rotor. If stuck, hit with hammer on the front, a few good swings will knock it right off.
Step 6- Remove trailing arm from knuckle. 24mm socket and 24mm wrench. If siezed, hammer outta the knuckle
Step 7- Remove lateral link to knuckle bolts, 21mm
Step 8- Remove strut to knuckle bolts, 22mm. Hammer out of knuckle
Step 9- Now remove the ABS harness fromt the back of the hub if equipped and remove the knuckle assembly from the vehicle and take it out back and piss on it!!!
Step 10- If not going through the hassle to get the Gen 2 rear e-brake to work, might as well remove it and save you a headache later in life when the shoes wear into the rotor or just rot away and make noise. Remove the hub, 10mm
Step 11- Hammer the shoes down outta the way, and hammer the flange of the hub to remove it from the knuckle
Step 12- Scrap corrosion from the knuckle where the hub fits
Step 13- Cut backing plate like so, you need this is as a spacer to keep everything lined up.
Step 14- Slide on cut backing plate and reinstall hub into knuckle. NOTE! 1 hub to knuckle bolt needs to be a short one from the stock Gen 1 knuckles, otherwise it will hit the lateral arm. The short ones need installed in the bottom front side
Step 15- Mount knuckle onto car, start with strut to knuckle bolts. Use smaller Gen 2 bolts and nuts! 21mm or 22mm