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Upgrading C4 brakes to C5 calipers

 
Old 01-24-2012, 01:18 AM
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Default Upgrading C4 brakes to C5 calipers

What will it take to install the 97-04 C5 brake calipers on my 91 C4? Any help is appreciated. Thanks, James
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:31 AM
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:48 AM
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:31 AM
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Last edited by LD85; 01-24-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:25 AM
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Vette Brakes has a complete kit for the C5 upgrade.

While your 91 already has 17" wheels, members that have done this swap usually find that the OEM wheels may not clear the outer edge of the C5 caliper. You may have to grind some of the outer edge of the caliper "fin" off to get clearance. You should not have any wheel weights on the inside of the wheel near the calipers.

When I did my swap on my 87, I already had the ZR-1 style wheels. Those wheels are the ones to have if you do wind up with a clearance issue.

FWIW, you won't have to get different flex hoses; the C4 lines attach to the C5 caliper with no problems. Just make sure you use new copper crush washers on the hose fitting.

Also, you will need a different brake bias spring installed in the master cylinder. Doug Rippie Motorsports has one for about $25 delivered. Note there are two versions' one for C4's with ABS and another for the early C4's without ABS. Without this spring, you will see ABS engagement even with mild braking force. The spring can be installed without removing the M/C from the car.

If you search this section using "C5 brake conversion" you will find all sorts of information about this conversion.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for your help. I am using the C5 thin 5 spoke rims (17 front, 18 rear) if necessary I imagine I could use a spacer? But these rims should work. Again, thanks. -James
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by c4cruiser View Post
Vette Brakes has a complete kit for the C5 upgrade.
Search about their kit before you purchase.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:46 AM
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Is the bias spring required if I am upgrading both front and rear brakes?

Last edited by endeavor; 01-25-2012 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:34 AM
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The bias spring is a good and inexpensive upgrade regardless
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by endeavor View Post
Is the bias spring required if I am upgrading both front and rear brakes?
You need it. One other thing to consider; if you adding the bias spring you will probably be taking the master cylinder off to install and bench bleed it. If you are using the original 21 year old MC, it might be a good time to add that to your shopping list. By the way, my original MC lasted 17 years.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:32 PM
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Definitely need a new MC. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:08 PM
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There is a different MC that is more appropiate for the upgraded C5 brake calipers. Because the C5 had much much larger caliper pistons that means there is a LOT more oil needed to make them move. Not pressure, Volume. If you use the C4 MC you then find the pedal going much further down to get the same result.

If you do some research there IS a C5 MC that fits and solves the problem. Most folks do not do it, they just accept the lower brake pedal and get used to it. I need to find that new MC because I want the pedal to have minimal travel...and stay off the floor.
Someone posted the part number and description some time ago but I do not know where it is exactly...
You MAY want to consider some spacer/adaptors to push the wheels off the hub by 1/2" or maybe more, to gain some caliper clearance. Since the wheels are taper inside, spacing provides some addition room.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:29 PM
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by leesvet View Post
There is a different MC that is more appropiate for the upgraded C5 brake calipers. Because the C5 had much much larger caliper pistons that means there is a LOT more oil needed to make them move. Not pressure, Volume. If you use the C4 MC you then find the pedal going much further down to get the same result.

If you do some research there IS a C5 MC that fits and solves the problem. Most folks do not do it, they just accept the lower brake pedal and get used to it. I need to find that new MC because I want the pedal to have minimal travel...and stay off the floor.
Someone posted the part number and description some time ago but I do not know where it is exactly...
You MAY want to consider some spacer/adaptors to push the wheels off the hub by 1/2" or maybe more, to gain some caliper clearance. Since the wheels are taper inside, spacing provides some addition room.
I am using the C4 MC with my C5 upgrade. I'm happy with the pedal position, if you didn't mention it; I wouldn't of given the pedal position a second thought but what you say makes sense
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by leesvet View Post
There is a different MC that is more appropiate for the upgraded C5 brake calipers. Because the C5 had much much larger caliper pistons that means there is a LOT more oil needed to make them move. Not pressure, Volume. If you use the C4 MC you then find the pedal going much further down to get the same result.

If you do some research there IS a C5 MC that fits and solves the problem. Most folks do not do it, they just accept the lower brake pedal and get used to it. I need to find that new MC because I want the pedal to have minimal travel...and stay off the floor.
Someone posted the part number and description some time ago but I do not know where it is exactly...
You MAY want to consider some spacer/adaptors to push the wheels off the hub by 1/2" or maybe more, to gain some caliper clearance. Since the wheels are taper inside, spacing provides some addition room.
The only thing I noticed with my C5 front brake conversion on my 87 is that the pedal travel is only slightly longer. The pedal does not go anywhere close to the floor.

As far as the bias spring, there is very little difference between the C4 rear calipers and the C5 version. There really no reason to upgrade to C5 rear calipers as there in no difference in rotor size (diameter) and the swept area is nearly the same. The hardest part of that type of conversion is dealing with the parking brake. For your year C4, the caliper serves as the parking brake. With the C5, the parking brake in an internal drum setup just like the early C4's had.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:59 PM
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The big calipers consume more oil thats all. The MC is just a pump, and the pedal is the stroke of that pump. If you have a bucket that the old system would fill with one stroke, that same system won;t fill the larger bucket now....in the same stroke length. It'll do the job just fine, but the stroke length has to increase to have the same effect.

To me, its not a big deal but I do like the pedal travel to be minimal. The closer to the floor it gets the more I worry! I like that crisp almost touchy feel of tight sensitive brakes.

A friend put $3000 worth of wilwood brakes on a mustang...and the result was not impressive. Pedal would bottom out long before aggressive braking took place. It was plenty for street use and enough to get the ABS going...but not enough for a track or high speed braking.

Sure, I could have mentioned the MC and vol going from a single piston caliper to a 6 piston per caliper...but it was a mustang after all...
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:35 PM
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:31 PM
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Hi, I just picked up a set of calipers from a 02 Z06. (All 4 for $100) Is there anything special for the Z06 calipers to fit on a 90 convertible? I read about the brackets yet can't find a set for sale. Should I even upgrade mine? Thanks for any advice. If I don't use them, I have a set of C5 Z06 red calipers in Hawaii if someone is interested.

Last edited by Karp; 06-25-2016 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Karp View Post
Hi, I just picked up a set of calipers from a 02 Z06. (All 4 for $100) Is there anything special for the Z06 calipers to fit on a 90 convertible? I read about the brackets yet can't find a set for sale. Should I even upgrade mine? Thanks for any advice. If I don't use them, I have a set of C5 Z06 red calipers in Hawaii if someone is interested.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BDE-Systems-...lXCzr~&vxp=mtr
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