How to Measure for a Brake Conversion


Brakes are an essential component of any project. We all enjoy traveling at a rapid pace, and the ability to come to a complete halt whenever we please is also desirable. With so many alternatives available on the market today, it would be best to walk you through the process of determining whether or not that large brake system you are considering would fit behind your rolling stock.

How to Measure for a Brake Conversion Kit

The first issue that comes to mind is, of course, whether or not the rotor will fit behind the wheel of the vehicle in question. That being said, there is a great deal more to it than that. Calculating width and height, bolt pattern, number of pistons in caliper, whether the caliper is drilled or not, whether the caliper is slotted or not, the list goes on and on. Not to worry, we will make every effort to make it a little less intimidating. In the end, it all boils down to clearance; you either have it or you don’t have it.

The majority of brake systems on the market nowadays will come with a wheel clearance diagram already included in the installation instructions. These illustrations will inform you of the smallest distance that may be accommodated within the interior of the wheel. Some manufacturers have also created templates that you may print out and cut out to have a better idea of how the product will fit in your space.

One simple method of estimating the possible size of your kit is to measure the interior of the wheel from bell to bell from the inside of the wheel to the outside of the wheel. Calculate the height of the caliper and subtract about an inch from the result to get a good estimate of what size kit you can use on your project. That does not take into consideration the width of the caliper or any other hardware that might be involved; it is simply an estimate.

Please keep in mind that, if you are building a custom vehicle, the choice of sub-frame may also make a difference. Some sub-frames have taller spindles than others, which may cause clearance concerns. Always keep in mind what is going on behind the wheel and in the tire when picking a brake system for your vehicle.