Register now to get rid of these ads!

Can i run drums on all 4

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

  1. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,710

    from Alberta

    Im running drums on all 4 on the 55.... at times it can be a bit testy. other than that.. it seems to work fine..

    James.. some of these 6 cyl cars had 10 inch brakes.. it takes a while to stop when a 8 cyl has been added. the wedge cars I believe had 11 inch or 12 inch drums..
  2. Yeah I've driven out there in WV once...scared the livin shit outta me! We were in an old Ford Econoline 15-passenger van with band equipment and 6 guys inside. 6-cylinder provided the go, poor disc brakes provided "whoa". Luckily I went through the brakes before we headed west out of CT, just because the guys in the band Avail, told me how scary it was to drive through WV. We made it ok though. I think the van had a harder time getting up those hills than slowing down.
  3. i have friend,s that are racing formula v and winning constantly on drum brakes he runs harder and deeper into the corner,s than the boys with dics
    he cross hatches his drum,s with 40 grit norton blue body paper and it work,s just fine for him... remember every lathe leaves a line and when the line is broken u will not get any pulling of the brake shoe and your friction will go up so will stopping power
  4. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,931


    Or an airplane.
  5. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,263

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Probably so the chemical companies can score big bucks selling the stuff to keep your wheels clean,ever notice how many brands are on the shelves at the parts stores? I'll keep my drums,Thank You!:DThere are some companies that offer Kevlar brake linings which will run cooler,generate less wear and improve stopping distance 15-20%,if you can't find any try the Yellow Pages under clutch and brake most can reline your shoes with the new material.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  6. motorhead711
    Joined: May 7, 2008
    Posts: 737


    You will be fine man. Yep, just regular maintenance, shouldn't have any problems.
  7. Look at it this way.. if you run the stock brakes, with a little scrounging you can redo the fronts for about $100, and run a rebuilt master for about $20 if you go to the late 60s GM dual chamber drum-drum type.

    Now if you do that and it stops like crap, even after adjustments, you can always turn around and buy a disc kit and install it then, and what are you out? Even if you end up spending $200, that's not a lot of scratch - and I'm sure you can find a buyer for the old brake hardware that you put on that will make a dent in what you spent on it.
  8. Bettlejuice
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 481

    from WV

    Yep, it's hard to explain driving in southeastern WV and really make other people understand. It's just something you have to experience for yourself! Not only are you going up and down thousands of feet constantly with switchbacks galore, the roads are narrow and there is NO WHERE to go if you have a problem. Also, because of the Greenbank National Radio Observatory and the Sugar Grove Navy sonar facility (I have to coordinate with them when I design new cell sites to make sure I won't interfere) being in that general vicinity there is no cell phone coverage. Essentially, you're screwed (because NO ONE lives there). I work up north and have to go to central VA alot, I went through the mountains in the dead of winter and it was TERRIFYING! You couldn't even SEE the road, it was geniunely one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life. I'd rather drive over to Hagarstown or DC and go south instead of across the mountains. That's how I smashed up the driver's side on my Galaxie, goin' to fast on the wrong roads.

    Those coal trucks DESTROY any road that's used commonly. You can always tell where the mines and the coal-fire power plants are just by how shitted up the road is. Driving in the WV mountains, it's just a CONSTANT stink of fried truck brakes.

    I saw Avail a few years ago in Pittsburgh... I don't recall any details other than I was there, it's all sorta hazy. :rolleyes:
    Joined: May 6, 2008
    Posts: 910


    Got drums on my 57 Fairlane,460cu/in, but I have to drive to the conditions,its all part of the fun;)
  10. Drums are fine if you keep them adjusted. If you're running a single chamber master cylinder I'd have the emergency brake adjusted to the top. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to a dual master cylinder.
  11. dear RICH FOX did u know that each pad and shoe have a friction rating ??and that u might have had some things machined at a machine shop and then u picked them up and they had lines on them .well each lathe be it a engine lathe or brake lathe are mostly on screw feeds.and if u polish the lines away with emery paper they become smooth . now what we have found in the brake industry is that if u cross hatch a rotor u increase the friction because the pad has to sit flat and canot crawl on the lines hence caled caliper crawl .now id u cross hatch a drum u do not get the movement of the brake shoe from side to side and what i have found out is that if u have a big ass old heavy car. u want it to stop and not take years to stop 40 grit body paper works best and norton sand takes longer to come off the paper
  12. oh yes i am that mechanic that invented FLEX HONE FOR ROTORS
  13. vertible59
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,058


    Did that deed to my '59 Ford over the winter, and it worked out very well with no hassles. Sure gives you a more secure feeling while crusin'. I removed a '64 Ford MC when I did the swap. '64 parts were the way to go back when my car was built. Anyhow, I doubt that my sled would stop any better with non-power discs than it does with drums.
  14. panic
    Joined: Jan 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,450


    What do drum brakes do reasonably well?
    Stop - once - from 80mph.
    Higher speed?
    More than once?
    Heavy car?

    Keep your organ donor card with you.
  15. I have drums on My 54 Chevy with an ECI bracket and dual MC conversion. Stops great, my wife drives it with no issues. Driving in our hills which are steep I have no issues with fade or power. Car is 350 powered. As said way up in the thread these are actually LIGHT cars. As in 3400 pounds. A pals Toyota weighed more and was 2/3 the size.
  16. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    My 4,400 LB 55 Lincoln stops very well on it's 4 drum brakes.

    I think that drum brakes are generally under appreciated.

    They will loose some effectiveness after driving through standing water (while wet), and I suppose they might get hot it a person drives through traffic like an asshole, this crap aside, I think they are more than acceptable on most any period correct car.

    In short I like them and they are very safe.

    99% of big trucks still run drums.... hmmm... they must not totally suck... :D
  17. Cshabang
    Joined: Mar 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,458


    i run a 14 to 1 compression small block in my 65 comet...never had trouble stopping..i did put a dual chamber master in it though
  18. JBEAU
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 39


    You up grade brakes for a reason !!!!! Keeping you and others safe !!! Do what you please...just stay out from behind me on a long trip...
  19. just don't drive it like your every day car-you'll need room
  20. JBEAU
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 39


    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  21. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    from Yakima WA.

    Running drum brakes will work fine if you observe some of the issues that were mentioned before:

    Keep them in good shape and adjusted.

    Drive sensibly; this is the one that has created problems for me. Always leave enough room for you to stop, like a couple of extra car lengths in front of you. Living in the Seattle area and probably other areas have similar problems as well, just invites other drivers (jerks) to pull in front of you and do a panic stop. The only other problem would be brake fade, going down hills.

    I have drums on my Model A’s, but have been thinking about going to disc’s.
  22. How fast is it? :eek:

    Keep your brakes adjusted and up to par and you'll be fine.

    I owned a '58 roadmaster in '69. It was a pig and would really get on down the highway once you got it rolling. it had drums and stopped just fine.
  23. Yeah, 4 is good. 3 would just suck.
  24. kwoodyh
    Joined: Apr 11, 2006
    Posts: 641


    Properly adjusted, dry and functional self-energizing drums will work as good as any disc brake set-up until heat and fade make them less efficient. Water, lack of maintenance and heat are the drum brakes biggest enemy. You will be fine!
  25. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 959


    I understand that drum brakes fade when they heat up. My 55 has drum brakes on all 4 corners. I can lock the wheels up at speed. What advantage would disc brakes provide on a single panic stop?
  26. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    I was just thinking the exact same thing, stopped is stopped...... right?

    My Lincoln has big 12" drums, so I am sure there will be differences between cars and equipment, but as for stopping this car, I cant imagine disks doing any better.

    I drive the car every day and the only brake problems I have had was a defective booster (brand new, it lasted almost an hour before going south) and then the vac hose to the new booster collapsed (once it got really hot), neither one of these was a drum problem and both were overcome with additional pedal pressure...

    The car stops very well stop after stop, in traffic, and on the highway. I have yet to experience any noticeable fade. While I have not actually tried, I have NO DOUBT that I can lock up all 4 brakes whenever I want.

    I also have no doubt that there are instances where my old Lincoln with "dumb" drum brakes will stop shorter than my 08 Chevy truck with front disks and antilock....
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  27. 51fleetline
    Joined: Mar 18, 2008
    Posts: 367


    cool..ill just leave it as it is..thanx
  28. rivguy
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 131


    All my old cars have run the original drum brakes and I really haven't had any problem. If your brakes can lock up the wheels at moderate speed you don't really need any more stopping power. However if you upgrade to higher speed rated radial tires you will probably be able to stop quicker due to the increased friction with the road. My minivan ran H (110) rated tires and it stuck like glue. My other cars have run Z or W rated (over 150) tires and they really handle. Even my old 66 F250 running radial truck tires stops and handles pretty good. I know that they are not traditional but I've run radials on my 50s and 60s cars without any problems. I don't like bias ply tires, although there were some very good ones made back in the 60s and 70's.The double master cylinder is a good upgrade but attention and maintanance is good insurance too. Really it depends on who else drives your car. My wife and son have grown up an ABS and they would probably think it is too much trouble to learn how to drive an old drum brake car properly.
  29. Remember, locked brakes=no control.

    Well modulated brakes on the other hand, no matter what the type are what you are after.
  30. 52style
    Joined: Mar 22, 2009
    Posts: 326


    true but some big cams people run make for very little vacuum or almost none at all

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.