Q: I have a race-prepped second-gen Camaro with skinny tires up front and wide tires in the rear. The other day I had to make a quick stop and the front brakes locked up. The brakes are stock. Is there something I can do to change the front-to-rear brake balance?

a second gen camaro getting worked on between rounds a t drag race event held at edgewater sports park near cincinnati ohio

A: During hard braking, weight transfers to the front axle, placing an increased load on the front tires while at the same time unloading the rear tires.

Older vehicles without anti-lock brakes use a combination valve to reduce rear brake pressure, preventing premature rear-wheel lockup that can cause a vehicle to go into a dangerous skid.

These valves are non-adjustable and designed for each application’s specific weight, tires, and suspension system. With the change in tire widths, you also changed the dynamics of your chassis and the available front and rear traction. This not only affects how the car handles, but also how it stops.

We suggest replacing your factory proportioning valve with Wilwood’s adjustable proportioning valve (WIL-260-11179).

The valve has two inlets; one for each master cylinder circuit, and three outlets; one for each front caliper and one for the rear axle.

It will allow you to adjust the rear brake pressure reduction rate from zero to 57-percent, so you can fine-tune brake bias specific to your setup.

Additionally, if you install a 10 psi residual pressure valve in-line to the rear drum brakes, fluid pressure will be maintained against return spring tension, reducing pedal travel and improving rear brake reaction.

Prior to installing the adjustable proportioning valve, make sure your front and rear brakes are in good working order. Inspect for fluid leaks, hardware condition, and wear. Finally, make sure both rear brakes are properly and evenly adjusted.

Author: Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews was a mechanic for the U.S. Army, a Ford dealership, and served for many years as a fleet mechanic for construction companies. Now a technical content producer at Summit Racing, Dave has spent decades working on everything from military vehicles to high performance race machines.