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53 Chevy - Brakes - update or not poll??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cederholm, May 23, 2012.

  1. Yes, don't be a dumbass, you've got kids in the car!!

    18 vote(s)
  2. No, stop bothering us as get back to sanding!!

    9 vote(s)
  1. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    My '53 is mostly stock with PG and 235. The brakes work great but the single cylinder worries me. The worrying part? My little kids like to cruise with me - on the streets of NYC where the stop pedal is used more then the go pedal.

    What say you wrench gods? Upgrade the brakes or let them be?

  2. 54fierro
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 493

    from san diego

    It wouldnt be too much trouble to upgrade to a dual master. The filling Station makes a kit or you can fab something up if you have the skills or know somebody who can weld.

    If you have any worries this should give you peace of mind since you already have concearns. Cesar
  3. If you lived in the wide open spaces of say Ok. or Tx. I would say let it be as long as they are working well. That said......In N.Y. city I would want all the braking efficiency I could muster, especially with the kids. Dual m/c system at the very least.
  4. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466


    I would change it, never been where you live, but I have driven around in D.C. traffic and won't want to gamble with it.

  5. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    Thanks guys, very helpful!
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,250


    I'd spend some time making sure the brake lines are all in good condition, etc first.

    If you do install a dual master cylinder, you'll want to make sure it is doing it's job. After you install it and bleed the brakes, open one of the bleeders and see if the pedal goes to the floor, or if it applies the other side of the brake system. If the linkage ratio is wrong, then the pedal will go to the floor, and your entire effort to upgrade to a dual master cylinder was a waste of time. After all, the only reason for having a dual master cylinder with drum brakes, is that it will still apply the brakes on the other end of the car if you have a line break on one end.
  7. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    from Wayne, MI

    the stock brakes on those cars work very well when in good condition. Upgrading to a dual master cylinder makes some degree of sense, but it isn't mandatory. If your stock parking/emergency brake is still there and still works, it's all the safety net you need. after all how fast can a stock six go?
  8. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,794

    from Commack NY

    I would upgrade ypu can never be to safe especially with them little ones
  9. Upgrade to the dual M/C and keep the stock brakes. You'll be fine.
  10. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 400

    from California

    Carl, AT THE VERY LEAST - dual master with a power booster. In SoCal traffic, I gotta keep my foot over the brake, be ready for the next kook NOT paying attention. If you can go with self-adjuster kits, I would - one less thing to maintain. For the kids sake, also go with 3-point belts.

    Daddy, don't let your babies grow up to drive Hondas!:(

    Take Care, Tim
  11. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    I'm hearing you guys! Thanks!


    PS: Tim, I put 3-point belts in before I let the kids go around the block!
  12. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,664


    No brainer-put discs on it.
  13. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,837


    We have an ECI dual MC kit with stock brakes in front. Stops fine. You just have to set things up right and adjust them from time to time.
  14. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    There's a thread on here about switching to disc brakes, which I will be trying to accomplish just as soon as the car is road-worthy, and for the same reasons. My choice, my way? I'd leave it alone. I've driven cars with drums all the way around for the past twenty-two years. But the one or two close calls I HAVE had are enough to make sure that my little guy isn't riding in a car that stops 'good enough', or 'pretty good'. He's the single most amazing thing I've got in my life, and I'm going to make sure that his safety comes before keeping something original. Hell, I'm even installing seat belts, which ordinarily I would be dead set against!
  15. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,301

    from Midwest

    I kept my drums on the tri-five and it stops pretty well, but I converted the front roller (ball) bearings to the later style roller bearings which makes me feel quite a bit better about venturing longer distances.

    The only issue I have ever noticed with the drums was one time hauling down from a 115 mph roll and realizing that jumping hard on the brakes created nothing but a dead fade. That was scary. The brakes worked great before and have worked great since, but when they were hot, they definitely glazed and I about wet myself.

    Discs are likely in my future.
  16. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    This is what I'm thinking as I'd like to keep my drums. I'm building my car for cruising with the original 6 at low speeds - give'm time to take a good look! :cool:

    I will give some thought to discs (though it does make my eye twitch:D)

    Thanks again - I really appreciate the "safety first" attitude.

    ~ Carl
  17. I like the big drum brakes myself. I would use them and convert to tapered roller bearings as someone here suggested. I've been doing drum brakes for years and people that are not familiar with them tend to shy away from them. They're actually pretty easy to work on.

  18. matthew mcglothin
    Joined: Mar 3, 2007
    Posts: 970

    matthew mcglothin

    I'm with him. But I live in Texas ... Lots of open roads. Changed all the brake stuff in my 52 when I had it and it stopped better than most cars with disc brake. As long as the brakess are adjusted right and everything is in working order they will work.

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