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Technical How Hot do Drum Brakes get?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by HuskerNation, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. HuskerNation
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 229

    from Montana

    I’ve finally gotten all the old paint off my old cars drum brakes & was going to use a black caliper paint which is said to be good to 900 degrees F. However I’ve no idea what temp the drums run within?

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  2. They will be fine. How hot they get is entirely dependent on what brakes they are, what and how heavy the car is and if your driving in the mountains, towing, heavy use stuff. I have been using black engine paint for years on mine with no issues.

    if your brakes are in good working order the caliper paint will be fine.
    HuskerNation likes this.
  3. We always painted them with rustoleum or whatever rattle can was available. Caliper paint should work fine.
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  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,943

    Jalopy Joker

    as long as you have them off put a mic to them - if plenty of surface material have them machined for a good braking surface
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  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,531


    I use regular old spray bomb black Krylon and it hasn't burned off.
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  6. If there is nothing wrong with the friction surface it’s foolish to remove material for no reason.

    Regular spray paint works just fine

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  7. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,656

    J'st Wandering

    Regular spray paint. If you burn off the paint, fix the brakes. (or release the park brake) ;)
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 496

    from 94577

    I've been using Rust-Oleum High Heat BBQ Black 'satin' spray bomb paint(1200°)
    It actually makes for a cheap temp indicator as well.
    Spray it on let it dry, it's a matte finish.
    Get some heat into them, has a satin look.
    Get more heat into them, semi-ish-gloss.
    Cook the brakes, glossy looking.
    Time to check the linings and dump out the excess material.

    I've used regular flat black spray, it doesn't seem to cover as well and lets the rust to 'bleed' through if the car sits as well as turn chalky looking.
    HuskerNation and town sedan like this.
  9. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,052


    In answer to your question " How hot do drum brakes get? ". When we were racing at the old Saugus, CA half mile back in the late '60s, the track management had spotters between turns 1-2 and 3-4 looking for anyone whose brakes were on fire. Saugus was built like two drag strips tied together with real short turns. It didn't help that the turns were flat and in some places they were banked to the outside. Speeds of 130 on the straights coming down to 45-50 in the turns played hell with the brakes. As I recall, no one bothered with painting the drums.

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  10. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,174

    from Berry, AL

    I've seen semi trailer drums cherry red........but you won't be trying to hold 80,000 lbs down a 6% grade, so you'll never get them that hot!
    Truck64 likes this.
  11. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,609

    from Ks

    I would bead blast them and spray the outside with epoxy then prime and sand them till smooth. Then four coats of basecoat and four coats of clear. Then color sand with 1500 grit wet and buff them. Lippy
    Hnstray, RMR&C, Bird man and 2 others like this.
  12. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    Metal flake too?
    David Gersic likes this.
  13. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,191


    Jet96, town sedan and David Gersic like this.
  14. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 552

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    Seem 'em glow.
    Of course by then you got bigger problems...
  15. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,166

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    I used caliper paint on mine. Seems to be holding up fine.

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  16. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 496

    from 94577

    Nah, that just means they are working properly.
  17. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,172

    Rusty O'Toole

    It's possible to get them so hot they fade out and stop working but if it happens in normal street or hiway driving it means you are a rotten driver. Any kind of paint is fine but it's best not to put it on too thick.
  18. duncan
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,125


    You think just like the Street Rodders in my area.
  19. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,609

    from Ks

    I was kidding. They probably wouldn't be.:D
  20. Sounds like the perfect excuse to order yourself one of them hand-held non-contact thermometers. ;) I mean, you obviously don't have one yet or you'd already know how hot your brake drums get. :rolleyes:
  21. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 464

    from Alabama

    I have used the POR brand of caliper paint in gloss black and it has held up well. I have no idea if this works but I have heard about guys rubbing headers with automatic transmission fluid. Supposedly after a couple heat cycles it turns a flat black, doesn’t rust and is very durable. If it works on headers it should work on brake drums. Anyone else heard of this?

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