Repair Information For Your Imperial's Budd Brakes

Imperial Homepage -> Repair -> Brakes -> Budd

Tip from Shaun:

DuraBrake Company of Mountain View, California, has re-manufactured the Budd Brake Rotors for the 1967-1969  Imperials and Chrysler C-bodies.

For ordering information, contact Shaun at the address or phone number below:

DuraBrake Co.
2483 Old Middlefield Way Suite B
Mountain View, CA 94043
650-210-9315 x109
attn: Shaun

Tips from Bruce:

Here's some very interesting sources I came across researching my BUDD brake issues.

For master cylinder and wheel cylinder resleeving, but not calipers(in CA):
Joe at Sierra Specialties
This guy was friendly, helpful and seemed to have a lot of pride of workmanship.

For complete caliper rebuilding, stainless sleeves, probably last forever, etc. (Seattle WA):
John Slipper at Mobile Services
Ditto above comments, and then some. More expensive than A1 Cardone, but sounds like "Imperial" top end workmanship.

For 4-piston Budds, A1 Cardone is still cheapest and they claim to use stainless resleeves.

Question from Michael (1965):

Would a '65 New Yorker have the same BUDD brakes as a '65 Imperial ????? If so, what sort of things should I be aware of ???? (regarding discs or drums).


From Paul:

I have always thought that the '65 Imperial had Bendix Brakes.

I have a '65 and I know that they are Bendix. I should have just said that to start with. As a matter of fact so is my '63.

From John:

I was under the impression that '67 was the first year for disk brakes. I know my '65 New Yorker has Bendix shoes in front.

From Bill:

The BUDD disk brakes were first offered as an option on the '66 Imperial. My '66 has the drums though.

From Bill Watson:

Nope. Neither the 1965 Chrysler nor the 1965 Imperial was available with disc brakes.

Budd brakes first appeared in 1966 on Chrysler's C-body cars - Fury, Polara, Monaco and Chrysler. In 1967 the Imperial adopted the C-body and gained Budd disc brakes.

The drum brakes were Bendix design. The master cylinder and most of the parking brake and hold-down parts interchange between the 1965 Imperial (D body) and power-brake equipped 1965 C-body cars. Shoes and drums are unique to the Imperial, though.

From Pete:

The Budd disc setup made its debut on 65 model year Dodge and Plymouth C-body police cars. The 65 MPC lists all the p/n info with "Police" qualifiers for every item. No mention of Chrysler models so I guess there weren't any Chrysler cop cars.

For the 1966 model year, all Cs had the Budd disc setup availabile to the general public.

Question from Chris (1967):

I'm looking for a set of brake rotors for my 1967 Crown Imperial 4-door. The rotors it has have never been changed and have been worn very, very thin by the previous owner. Also I would like to get information on the calipers.


From Mike:

Brake rotors are a problem for these cars, since they don't make them anymore. You have a few options:

-Find a used set, in better shape than yours (try a junkyard, scout eBay, have patience).

-Buy NOS rotors from Frank Mitchell (last I heard, they were going for $200 a piece).

-Try to track down a company on the east cost (I beleive in PA or NC) that was going to be recasting these rotors.

-Get some $40 a pair rotors for an '88 Toyota Supra (the front ones) and make the necessary mods to get them to fit. The how-to can be found on the IML website. I performed the conversion and wrote up the how-to a few years back and the results were quite good.

As for calipers, I believe you can get them from A-1 Cardone, via or possibly some other places.

From Don:

Welcome to the "Achilles Heal" of the 1967 through 1969 Imperials - the front disk brake system. Both rotor and calipers are a problem (reliability and availability). My solution was using Camaro (yes Chevy Camaro) rotors and 1970/73 Imperial calipers (both items readily available). I must admit I am guilty in not doing what I promised last fall and documenting this conversion fully (including a complete parts list) for the Imperial web site along with detailing any issues I may have encountered. The main reason is that I still have not completed my 2000 miles of road testing along with a final tear down and inspection that were my prerequisites in my finalizing the documentation of this project (also we bought a new (used) house and I have been doing many "honey do" projects).

Question from Tom (1968):

I am told that the rotors for my '68 Imperial are very expensive and next to impossible to find. True? If so, how does one get around this?


From Brian:

They are unique to '67 to '69 Imperials only. As far as I know they are only available from one source and they are expensive(600 each??)

The best way to get around this is to not let them wear to the point of being replaced. Check the condition of the pads frequently (maybe every oil change or every other change). When doing a brake job, don't have the rotors turned. And lastly, if you ever feel your Imp pull when you hit the brakes check to make sure you don't have a piston hanging up. With four pistons to go wrong, these budd brakes are notorious for having a piston hang up. What happens then is the pads wear unevenly and quickly. Before you know it, your pads are worn out and your running metal to metal. One way of avoiding this problem is to have your Budd calipers sleeved in stainless steel. I beleive there is a company that sells them this way, but I don't know what their name is. They tend to not hang up as bad.

From Kerry:

Chryslers FIRST modern disk brakes were Budd Disc Brakes and were used on '66 through early '69 C body Mopars. After that they went with the same basic design that everyone else uses.

While they work great practically EVERYTHING is unique on the 4 piston Budd system: rotor, calipers, pads, etc. Rotors are made out of unobtainium and the advice to take care of the ones you have is very wise. Calipers can still be ordered. Budd pads are also hard to find and were unavailable except from Frank Mitchell. I have obtained some extras pads if anyone is interested. Rumor has it that Advance/Autozone now has them but I've never heard anyone confirm that they can actually get them...

Question from Phil (1968 versus 1972):

Does anyone on the list know if '68 Imperial front rotors will work on '72 Imperial???


From Elijah:

They will not.

'67, '68, and some early '69 Imperials use the Budd front rotors and calipers. Mid-'69 Imperials through '73 Imperials use a Bendix rotor and caliper, which is quite different, and will not interchange.

'72 and '73 Imperials with the Sure Brake anti-skid braking system use a different rotor with some added hardware for the ABS system. Non ABS rotors will interchange, but the ABS system will no longer function.

From Roy:

No '68 and '72 Imperial front brake rotors will not interchange. I have heard of '68 Imperials owners wanting to put '72 rotors on their cars but never heard of a '72 Imperial owner wanting to put 68 rotors on his car! However, if you have a pair of good '68 Imperial rotors, I'm sure that there are a couple 68 owners that would be glad to find you some '72 rotors to trade!

From Kerry:

No they won't. Amung other things the bolt pattern is different and the '68s are the dredded Budd brakes.

Question from Ed (1968):

I have a chance to buy a cherry '68 Crown hardtop. My only concern are the rumors surrounding the front disc brakes. Various sources have said that new or usable front rotors are next-to-impossible to find.

So, can someone in the group, clearly outline the options for maintaining/adapting the brakes on these cars. I know one group member has successfully adapted Toyota Supra rotors (details please!), and that '69-'70 spindles,calipers, rotors, ball joints can be adapted. Are these accurate options and are there any other ways of getting around the lack of '67-'68 Budd rotors.


From Phil:

Here are some tips from Mike on this conversion.

I'm about halfway thru with the conversion on my own coupe, with the machine work done and parts gathered. I've just been too busy with family and other distractions to finish. It's pretty straight forward, just follow the instructions.The only thing I did different was to only machine .380 instead of .400 as per Mike's instructions to prevent possible slight interference. If and when things ever settle down enough for me to finish this job, I'll be sure to post to the list first thing. I have to say though, the rotor modification is straightforward.

Messing with the calipers and rebuilding them is a whole different kettle of worms, though there are rebuilders out there who can handle it. I ponied up the bucks to have Stainless Steel Brakes rebuild mine. I'd post the link but their site should come up easily with any search engine.

From Demetrios:

Here is another note. If you are worried about the cost of the rotors, go and measure ther rotors of the car you are about to buy. Use a set of measuring callipers. If they are within specs, they will last you a long time. Just make sure if you take the car for a brake job to tell them to NOT machine the rotors. I do not remember the specs of the rotors but I or someone else can look them up for you. I have ran rotors a lot lower the factory specs and driven the car hard and still no problems...

As for the brake callipers, I do not think you need stainless steel bores if you drive the car somewhat regularly. If you park the car for many weeks at a time, may be its worth the cost.

From Carl:

I just bought the rebuilt ones for my car, at the time they were $109 each from Kragen and looked real good.

From Don:

I am about to replace the Budd disk brake system on my 1967 Imperial Crown convertible with the later brake system (1970/73 Imperial). As it has taken about two months to identify and locate all the part required (about $700.00 worth) I will post the complete parts list, costs and sources so others can benifit by my efforts. First I want to make sure everything works and and my list is complete.

From Mike:

I wish I had Mike Pittinaro's mechanical skills and some time and fortitude ... I would have done the Supra rotor conversion, too. After nearly two years on the Unobtanium Hunt I found used rotors for what seemed to me a reasonable price. I got them from "Rush City Auto" for about $120 (including shipping). My mechanic turned them, put them on, and all was well ... except that now I need new brake lines.

My understanding is R.C.A. has more used rotors. Year One has rebuilt calipers from Cardone for ca. $110 each. Pads can be found on ebay through Frank Mitchell's outfit (expect $20-25/set). Please don't let my inexperience with things mechanical keep you from purchasing your '68. I love mine!

This page last updated February 28, 2008.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club