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Can i run drums on all 4

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51fleetline, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. 51fleetline
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 367


    Can i run drums on all 4 on my 54 chevy 150 with a 350 engine and a 700r4 transmission??? a little bird said i was gonna have a hard time stopping ...:D:confused:
  2. merc-o-madness
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,544


    you will be fine dont worry bout it
  3. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,003


    No worse than a '54 Chevy with a six and powerglide. I do think the front disk conversion on my '62 Lark was money very well spent.
  4. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    If it's a cruiser and don't plan on driving at 100 mph all the time you will be fine. Just keep them adjusted and up to par condition wise...

  5. K204DR
    Joined: Apr 5, 2008
    Posts: 98

    from Chatt TN

    just have to be prepared for the jerks with disk brakes who panic stop in front of you. other than that, you're good.
  6. 51fleetline
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 367


    sounds good so far :D
  7. comp
    Joined: Jan 18, 2008
    Posts: 156

    from So. IN.

    i agree
  8. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,953

    from Central NJ

    As long as they're not snares!
  9. alex1954chevy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 252


    i have all four drum brakes on my 54. ive even taken it past a hundred on a few occations on an empty freeway at 3 a.m. it stops fine. panic stops do suck especially if you brakes are out of adjustment and your car pulls. but regular cruising and leaving enough stopping space is good.
  10. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 793


    I thought of converting to front discs on my 64 Acadian, then thought why bother, is it worth the time and money. As long as you drive normally and maintain the brakes they should be fine.
  11. Just 1 hour ago, I had a little old lady dart out in the street to cross the road in front of my 51 Ford (4 wheel drum) and I damn near locked`em up for her. They worked great, and I didn't turn someone's Grandma into roadkill. All my cars have had 4 wheel drum brakes over the years... and I drove/drive the piss out of them. Drum brakes are very effective. Just remember to avoid riding them, because they can fade easily. They used to be your only option back in the day. No reason they can't stop you now.
  12. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,955

    gas pumper

    What he said x's2...

    Ya need to drive as cool as you are, pay attention to the assholes around you and leave room to do what ya gotta do.

    I got stock drums on the front and little tiny Nova ones on the rear.

    Almost 20 years now.

    You could later on add a split M/C and booster in you don't like it.
  13. Javier
    Joined: Aug 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,433

    1. Strugglers C.C.

    I do it.Maybe not the smartest thing but thats how it goes.good luck
  14. Bettlejuice
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 481

    from WV

    Yep, I have 4-drums on my Galaxie (obviously NOT a light car, or underpowered), keep 'em adjusted. I would put it's stopping power up against any 4-wheel disc car. Run 'em and tell everyone else to shut the hell up. Discs don't stop ANY better, they just don't suffer fade (which I've never encountered with my drums, but I don't ride 'em like an old lady either).

    I keep 'em adjusted. No pull, stops on a dime. Stops JUST AS WELL as cars I do have/had with 4 wheel discs. Plus they're not ugly like discs. :D

    The Model A will sport 4 drums, refer back to my ugly comment.

    (sorry, I'm in a pissy mood... I just lost an EBay auction because the reserve wasn't met. And I bid a Franklin more than I shoulda. And I really wanted it bad too...)
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  15. 51fleetline
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 367


    great info guys thanx
  16. There's nothing wrong with drum brakes. They work very well.
  17. I had a '60 Pontiac with manual 4-wheel drums all around for a DD in the mid-90s and never had a problem with it. You might add some later self-adjusting hardware to them to save yourself some hassle, is all (like '62 parts for the rear will work fine). Heck Chevy used the same brakes in the rear all the way to '64 anyways, and a '64 Impala weighs a lot more than a '50 of any stripe.
  18. Glen
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,789


    I still run them on my sedan....Adjust them and maintenance them so they work correctly
  19. Bettlejuice
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 481

    from WV

    Now, that is one thing I DO plan on doing, I have a single pot master cylinder and frankly, that DOES scare the shit outta me, especially how much my little boy likes my cars. But it'll be easy to swap to a dual-pot (no power brakes, and I don't miss 'em... Plus my engine doesn't make enough vacuum for them to run without a canister or vacuum pump or something).
  20. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,867


    I've got full drums on a 9000000lb 59 olds mobile... rebuilt them all and it stops perfect with a manual master cylinder!
  21. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,301

    from Midwest

    I have drum brakes all around on my 55. They have served the car fine for over 50 years. Smartest choice? Probably not, but they are 100% rebuilt and work just fine. I will be adding a dual master cylinder this winter though...

    On the other hand, it might depend on who is driving. The manual drum brakes do not bother me in the slightest, but I would not put my wife or kids in the car with them as they are used to vehicles with discs and antilocks. It would be a bad equation...

    I will also say that I did hit the brakes fairly hard after a little run well into the 100 mph plus range and when they just sort of glazed over and the car really didn't slow down, I did decide that maybe I should curb such driving or consider finally adding at least some front discs, or possibly higher performance pads.
  22. I wonder why they even invented disc brakes?
    Must have been a reason.
    Before drums they had mechanical brakes. They worked just fine.
    I guess all things are relative in relation to stopping distance.
  23. Bettlejuice
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 481

    from WV

    I'd put $100 down that my bigass Galaxie with drums could "out-stop" my Lincoln (or for that matter, my old Exploder Sport) with 4 bigass ABS disc brakes.

    Like I said though, don't like that single-pot... But a Ford dual-pot that'll work ain't exactly hard to come by.
  24. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,955

    gas pumper

    Disc brakes, i'd bet was a marketing gimic. The manufactures wanted to sell to the masses that read about them on euro cars.
    And I'd bet that they are cheaper for the factory to buy and install than drums. A lot less parts and pieces.

    About Vacuum...Ther's normally a check valve in the booster to hold the highest vac that occurs. And you ain't gonna be stepping on them with WOT and no vac. By the time you hit the brakes, the throttle is closed and the vac is high.
  25. joebuick
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 584


    I run all drums on both my 63 C-10 with a built 400 and 4 speed and also on my daily driver 60 dodge dart the dart only has a slant 6 so it tops out around 90 but the car still weighs about 4000 lbs and I haven't had a problem yet even in California traffic.
  26. A good friend of mine runs a 426 max wedge in a '62 Plymouth Fury with 4 wheel drums. He uses the turn-around at the strip, but swears he's never had a problem with them on the track or the road.

    Keep them adjusted, don't tailgate, and you'll be fine. And if you are going to ride her ass, at least pull her hair.
  27. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,307


    i drive my big ass 68 newport daily with 4 wheel drums, i'm very happy with the way it stops.
  28. panic
    Joined: Jan 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,450


    i'd bet was a marketing gimic

    Find a race car that uses drum brakes.
    I'll wait....
  29. Drums brakes are always "PLAN AHEAD" brakes, even back when they were on every car on the road. But the speed limits were lower, and there wasn't as many stop signs and traffic signals to deal with. I've never had any reason to run discs on my older daily drivers. That's not saying I didn't want to upgrade to discs, just saying I never had the money to and really did just fine with the stock drum brakes.

    A '49-54 Chevy is a relatively light car, easy to handle, and the stock brakes work pretty well. Alot of people assume a power steering conversion, disc brakes, and a mustang II suspension is the only way to get these cars to sit low, stop good, and steer easy. But it's been proven that the stock suspension can be modified for next to nothing with spring/spindle/ball joint modifications and even airbags in the stock control arms. As is with the factory manual steering and a set of bias ply tires, it steers like it already has power steering, obviously different with radials, but still capable of not being a hassle. And the stock brakes are fully capable of stopping the vehicle as they should, as long as the operator considers the speed, distance, road conditions, tire type, etc etc etc.

    A good upgrade to the stock drum brakes is to rid of the stock single outlet master cylinder and replace it with a dual outlet master cylinder. I did a Tech write-up with's really simple, and a hell of a way to make the stock drums 10 times more efficient for daily driving on modern roads. Link on article below:
  30. Bettlejuice
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 481

    from WV

    Dunno 'bout race cars, but around here you'd be hard pressed to find a set of disc brakes on a coal truck, air drum brakes galore (and the oh-so-annoying Jake brakes) on those big bastards, definitely need some serious stopping power. Seem to get them stopped OK, thankfully, especially when you see one of those big heavy sons 'a bitches charging down a hill behind you or coming towards you in a turn with the 3rd axle dropped. That'll make your butt pucker up every time.

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