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Technical Brake poll

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sunbeam, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,998

    jimmy six

    I went to front discs because I tired of adjusting the front drums. I read too many horror stories on adding self adjusters to the front drums or even when they were factory for a few years and chose not to do it. Rear ok. Personally I’m glad I went with that scenario and having it on millions of cars seemed the right thing.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
  2. lostviking
    Joined: Dec 23, 2019
    Posts: 54


    Having just finished the brakes on the rear of my truck, drums, I can say that disks are certainly easier. They also work better. I don't think anyone would argue with that. But, on the rear drums are more than adequate. I like disks on the front, because I like to stop when I want to, not when the brakes get around to it.
  3. I agree with @gimpyshotrods .

    I need to clear something up. I had a 53 Chrysler with 4 wheel non power bendix drum brakes. It stopped just fine with its underpowered inline 6 and fluid drive trans . ( it cruised around just fine, but I was not winning any races with this thing )

    years later I had a 50 Chevy with 4 wheel non powered huck drum brakes. It stopped like shit. I upgraded to bendix style brakes and eventually to disc up front ( 4 piston 12” off a Jaguar ) it almost had too much brakes for the weight of the vehicle !!

    Wuth both of these cars , they got driven on the high way and in the city I lived in, but I avoided down town Toronto as the streets are narrow , drivers are nuts and there is simply to much going on to drive defensively.

    like has been said a few posts ago , I love driving on the highway during off hours and up to my parents cottage , peaceful , not many drivers , and some nice scenery once your out of the city.

    It really boils down to what you are comfortable with and what you are driving . I had a BB 72 Pontiac and other then stomping the loud pedal in a straight line that thing could not stop or steer to save its own paint. And that’s a relatively “ modern car “ by Hamb standards .
  4. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,618


    To answer your question, on a car that weighs 2200-3200 lbs with average size tires and moderate horsepower you are probably wasting your time and money by converting to DB in the rear, assuming that your current brakes are in good working condition. On most cars the front brakes do the major part of the braking up to the limit of tire adhesion while the rears add some help. Now if you are replacing the rear drum brakes due to wear and/or lack of parts availability then rear disc brakes become more of a viable option, but I wouldn't do it expecting a huge change in stopping power. Personally, I think four-wheel disc brakes on most pre-'57 cars is a street-roddy/status thing or it came with the rear end swap. Most of those cars aren't driven hard enough or often enough to need rear discs.
    As has been mentioned, disc brakes are a touchy subject on this forum and rear discs are definitely pushing the limits.
  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,925


    Oh but there are plenty here arguing just that!

    I am done commenting on this thread. I have no interest in any further engagement with those attempting to argue settled science.
  6. Yeah, every time I see an ad for some safety feature that allows a driver to pay even less attention than many do now I blanche... I can see a day when a stupid driver won't even have a clue as to what happened when the computer fails to bail them out....
  7. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,406


    On a post above I mentioned My coupster has drums all the way around off of vehicles half again as heavy. I am not arguing for their efficacy. For my 57 PU I have 12" discs on the front. For the rear I have two Lincoln 9"s, one w/discs, one with drums. I keep debating over the choice. I intend to use this truck as a truck , as a daily.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,579


    I think the most important thing with drum brakes is….are they in good condition! And are they designed right. I will never say drums are “ better” than disc, but a good drum brake should stop the wheel from turning with out a huge amount of pedal force. I do believe in the dual hydraulic system.
    System design and sizing is what is more important! While this may not be HAMB friendly it is still disc vs drum. I have a 79 FXS that always had a heavy pedal on the rear hydraulic disc brake. So I updated at great expense to an after market system….. no improvement at all! I was pissed! But I had other bikes that had rear mechanical drum brakes that would slide the rear wheel with mimimil foot pressure! Drum VS disc….hydraulic vs mechanical! Just my experiences with various brake systems!

    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,636


    My '32 Roadster has drums front and back, self energizing Bendix brakes. Driving in any congested area is an adventure. I always make it to the GNRS and LARS. Leaving early in the morning is usually clear of traffic, but if I decide to return home in the afternoon it can be challenging. I try to schedule my driving based on expected traffic. What really affects the way old cars are driven now is how efficient new cars handle and brake and like Squirrel has stated you need to anticipate stopping distance and constantly be aware of the other drivers.
  10. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,120

    from PNW

    Marginal or adequate are two words that should never be used when you are describing your brake system. Just how safe would you feel if the guy behind you on the freeway thought marginal or adequate brakes were ok?
  11. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 475


    In California you are not in the clear if hit from behind. The CA CHP won't respond to an accident unless there is an injury. My daughter was driving my OT jeep down 395 and was making a legal left turn when two cars passed her as her turn indicator was on. She thought she was OK to make the turn but the third woman hit her and totaled the Jeep, although she was able to get out the right side and was not injured enough to make a claim. The Suburban that hit were was badly damaged but ran. I was contacted on the phone as I was only a few miles away. The CHP would not respond without injuries. The owner of the Suburban was a lawyer. My daughter thought he was on drugs or drunk but he wasn't driving. The bottom line was that my insurance had to pay for my totaled Jeep and the lawyer claimed he was driving and my daughter had run into him. The highway patrol and my insurance company both said being hit from the rear does not mean you are not at fault. Lawyers rule, not the law. I drive with fear when I'm in your state.
  12. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 475


    To answer the OP's question: I have done it all. It all boils down to what you are driving, along with how and where you are going to drive it. If you are not worried about traditional and use your car as a daily driver in traffic I think its definitely worth going disc all around. My 56 F100 with stock drum/drum brakes and a 390 could make one panic stop from speed. The second stop was scary. I was a lot more comfortable when I installed front disc brakes. The disc/drum was good enough that I am planning that same set up in the 55 F100 I'm building. But, I live in a rural area and if I end up in city traffic it will be an infrequent occasion. My 40 Tudor had front discs when I bought it and drum brakes in the rear. It now has a 427 in it and I've been in the LA to Vegas traffic at over a hundred. The car handles great but I came to my senses when I thought about someone stopping in front of me. I really need more than its present system and will convert to discs all the way around when I can afford it. My 28 roadster had Lockheed all the way around and it was ok with the mild flathead. After going to a banger overhead I went to Lincoln Bendix in front and kept the Lockheed in back. Its good enough but I don't try to fight the traffic when I get to the big cities.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  13. drum drum
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  14. They're about the same, I wouldn't bother, well there is driving thru deep water and having to wait til they drain and dry, but I still wouldn't bother
    sunbeam and fiftyv8 like this.
  15. Hillbilly Werewolf
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 291

    Hillbilly Werewolf

    How many of y'all are running bias ply tires? Shouldn't the same apply to tires, since if they can't keep traction, it doesn't matter how great your brakes are?

    For me it depends. I had a OT Ford f100 with manual 4 wheel drums auto trans. It stopped like shit. I daily drove it for 2 years and desperately wanted to swap on later disk brakes, but sold the truck instead.
    My '48 Plymouth stops pretty well, better than the truck ever did. Manual 4 wheel drums, manual trans, 1500+# lighter. I plan to swap to 12" DeSoto brakes as soon as I can find them, sleeve a master cylinder down to 1" and run high temperature, high quality brake fluid. These should be more than capable to exceed traction of even radial tires.
    I am running a stock engine with mild hop ups, so no 250-400hp to get in trouble with.
    I don't live in a big city. If I did, I wouldn't. Those communists would murder me and my family in our sleep.
  16. Country Joe
    Joined: Jan 16, 2018
    Posts: 363

    Country Joe

    Ha ha. My dad told me as he was teaching me to drive, "the right of way doesn't give you immortality." Expect anything.
  17. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,717

    Bandit Billy

    Never cared much for drum solos :cool:
  18. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,282


    I can't speak to CA law, but this is largely the case in NJ. If you hit someone from behind, it IS negligence, not merely evidence of negligence. See Dolson v. Anastasia, 55 NJ 2 (1969). There has also been case law subsequently that it's not a defense to say that a car stopped short in front of you.

    It's not to say that it's absolutely black and white though, but in practice it's a statistical anomaly that a driver that gets struck in the back is the primary responsible party. I have won on a case where that happened, but only because the apportionment of negligence was split in favor of my client, who was saddled with a significant amount of comparative negligence. But that was a special instance factually.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  19. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,579


    I’m not a lawyer but I do know right from wrong. If you are stopped at a red light , behind another car and a bozo plows into the back of you causing you to hit the car in front of you…. It’s the bozos fault….plain and simple.
    I know in some instances the insurance companies stair step the costs of wrecks of that nature, but it still doesn’t make it right!

  20. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 577


    52business coupe a.jpg I stayed with drums on my '52 Ford racer, just so I could run TTO's, and they work just fine. I bought new drums from Rock Auto, and darned it they aren't finned like Buicks. I painted them with "cast iron" paint, and they look great !!
  21. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,356


    A few years ago there was a case of a woman who had stopped her car on a highway, in poor visibility conditions, to help some ducks across. The motorist who crashed into her was not found at fault.
    This was in Canada however. The woman had kind sentiments for animals, but poor judgment.
    No idea of the disk / drum nature of the brakes on the cars involved.

    And yes, in the vast majority of cases here the person who rear ends a car is at fault.
    Boneyard51 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  22. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 5,579


    And she should have been cited! Even if you stop on a busy two lane street to turn right , across the opposite lane, you are putting yourself and others in danger, even thought you may be legally right. I encountered this situation many times on Highway 69 Notth of Muskogee, a very busy undivided four lane highway. Heavy truck traffic! I had to turn many times there as that is where my “ go to” truck supply store was. If there was traffic, I would go up to the next turn light and turn around and come back on the same side of the street as the store. I did not want to be legally dead! My shop truck would not have been a match for an 80,000 lbs semi going 60 mph up my tail pipe!
    But I see people stoping all the time on major busy highways, turning right!….Not me!

  23. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,228


    Everybody says a picture is better than a thousand words, or in this case, " 10,000+ pages ". I don't believe it makes any difference at all what kind of brakes you use in L. A. Maybe better brake lights?;)
    Beanscoot, gimpyshotrods and blowby like this.
  24. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 2,228


    Holy shit, you DO have a sense of humor after all!! ;)
    Driver50x and gimpyshotrods like this.
  25. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,388

    from Arizona

    I leave the brake systems on my cars with what they came with. I just make sure they're working good. The one car I considered changing was my 38 Ford w/mechanical brakes. A real adventure when you had to stop quickly. You had to plan your stops. Started gathering parts to convert to juice brakes but ended up selling the car first.
  26. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,419

    Ned Ludd

    Not only worse and worse driving habits but also greater and greater volumes of traffic over longer and longer distances. The HAMB is not the place to elaborate on how that happens, though.
    fiftyv8 and gimpyshotrods like this.

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