Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400. - Page 13
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Thread: Bigger brakes for the Cruze under $400.

  1. #121
    Driver's Ed CombatEngineerMic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champagne Jam View Post
    Before making any changes to your car you must have the skills and the tools. If you don't have both, have your licensed auto mechanic do the work. No exceptions. Brakes are a life and death situation. Going is optional, stopping is mandatory.

    Thanks to the Sonic forum for much research on this swap. The most aggravating part of getting bigger brakes for the Cruze is the bolt pattern of 5x105. There are a lot of options open if you want to change your hubs to a larger bolt pattern. I did not want to change mostly because of having 5 wheels and tires in the stock pattern. Getting a spare wheel and tire in the 18" LTZ stock configuration cost me about $200. I added about 3 inches of hard foam to the tire well to make a stock rim and tire fit. Some cutting of the carpet mat was also required.

    Now onto the brake swap. The Sonic folks had figured out that the Buick Encore had larger rotors in the 5x105 pattern. Score! No need to change hubs. The caliper from the Cruze is the same as the Encore except for the mounting brackets. I did not have to open the hydraulic system to make the swap. I found dust shields in the larger size, most likely from the Cruze diesel model. Add the Encore's larger brake pads and I'm done right?

    Not so fast. The mounting holes are the right distance center to center but the Encore bracket uses 14mm bolts. The mounting holes will need to be drilled to accommodate. The drill I used is 35/64" just under the 14mm size. Because the drilling process is never perfect, this size drill bit was perfect. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE SKILLS TO TAKE THIS STEP, STOP RIGHT NOW. You also need a socket for the large nut on the axle in 32mm.

    All right, now the instructions for the swap. Jack the car's front end up and place it securely on quality jack stands. Don't even attempt any car work with out jack stands.
    Remove the wheels with a 19mm socket. Remove the two caliper bolts with a 18mm socket. Hang the caliper with wire or place it on a small box like I did. Don't let the caliper hang by the hose. (If you are doing this swap you already know this). Pull the old pads and clips. Remove the rotor retaining torx bolt and then the rotor. Remove the axle nut with the 32mm and then the 3 hub bolt (from the backside) they are also 18mm. Gently remove the hub and the old dust shield. I cleaned the hub and then removed the caliper brackets 10mm bolts. You don't have to take the caliper bracket bolts out to swap brackets. I did it to make cleaning the caliper easier. You want this to look good right? Push the caliper pot back into the caliper using a brake spreader.

    For drilling the mounting holes I put a large piece of cardboard on the floor and covered both the caliper and the axle and hub opening with rags. When drilling, I chose to use two drill sizes to get to the 14mm size. I started with an 1/2" bit and then went to the 35/64". DON'T DO THAT. It was a pain you know where. Both bits grabbed and drilling was hard on both passes. Just use the 35/64" bit alone. That's what I did on the other side and it went quickly, still some grabbing but much easier. After drilling get the vacuum and clean up the metal filings. For some reason my wife insists on this step.


    Now for the reassembly, I did the caliper work on the cardboard box and that worked great. I did the caliper now because with the dust shield removed there is more room.
    Place the pad holding clips in now. Why? It's easier than when the caliper is assembled. Put some brake grease into the holes of the brake caliper where the sliding rods go. Slip the rods back into the bracket and assemble the caliper with the 10mm bolts. Insert the brake pads and push the box back out of the way.

    Put back the hub bolts and let them stick out. Put the new shield in place on the protruding bolts, the hub holds it together. Gently slide the hub back over the axle shaft and finger tighten the hub bolts. It will take some wiggling, but it's not difficult. Tighten the hub bolts to torque spec. Replace the axle nut and torque to spec. Replace the rotor and retaining screw. Replace the caliper and torque the bolts to spec.

    Stand back and grin. Man they look good!


    Attachment 181809
    So did you only do this to the front brakes and not the rears?? If so just curious as to why and can this be done to the rear as well?? Maybe I missed where you did this all the way around, just checking your parts list and only saw 2 rotors. Thanks
    "Infantry may be the Queen of battle.... but Combat Engineers make sure that bitch doesn't get raped"

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  3. #122
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CombatEngineerMic View Post
    So did you only do this to the front brakes and not the rears?? If so just curious as to why and can this be done to the rear as well?? Maybe I missed where you did this all the way around, just checking your parts list and only saw 2 rotors. Thanks
    The LTZ has disc brakes in the rear. The tricky part to upgrading the rear is the parking brake setup. If you spot something that will work, I would love to see it.

  4. #123
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    The swap has 15,000 miles on it now. Not a lot of dust from the pads. I am hearing that the caliper brackets are more difficult to get now. If you want to do the swap, you might want to check availability first.

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  6. #124
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    CruzeTech, did you ever find a Brembo or Willwood caliper that fits?

  7. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Champagne Jam View Post
    CruzeTech, did you ever find a Brembo or Willwood caliper that fits?
    Nope, never. And I traded my 14 in for a 17 Premier Hatch. Sorry for the late reply. Post got buried.


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  8. #126
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    I've got almost 50k miles on my conversion joys of 150 mile round trip to work every day. I would not hesitate to do it again if I sold my current Cruze and got a different one.
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  9. #127
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    It has now been 22 months and 21K miles on the swap. My only complaint is a little brake dust on the front rims. Of all the conversions I have done over the years, this has been the most satisfying. 18K views of this thread? Unreal. Thank folks! Rob
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  10. #128
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    So Chevy now has the performance upgrade brake package PART NO. 23261507.
    This kit has both front and rear calipers, painted red with logos. Rotors and shields. Pads and hardware.
    They do not fit the first gen cruze. Anyone know why? It is $1100 but can be had for around $860.
    I am guessing it is the 14mm bolts vs the 12mm stock ones.
    Last edited by Champagne Jam; 03-17-2018 at 08:59 PM. Reason: More info

  11. #129
    Learning about my Cruze Champagne Jam's Avatar
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    Two years and eight months, 30K+ miles on the swap. The pads have plenty of life left. 50% or more. 48K+ views on this thread. Am I wrong in thinking it should be a sticky? What say you all?
    lonewolf04 likes this.

  12. #130
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    Sticky it! Been riding for 60k+ miles after my swap and well worth the price. Wouldn't own another without doing this mod.
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