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Rant: People who think that drum brakes are dangerous

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tugmaster, Nov 13, 2011.

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  1. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    from MN

  2. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016


    I run drums on all 4's on my '46 moredoor Chevy. Boosted on the front only by a Jag remote booster. Stops on a dime every time.

  3. Jalopy Journalist
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 255

    Jalopy Journalist
    from Austin, TX

    No, you really have a death wish if you are riding in a corvair with drums all around. Now that is CRAZY! :D
  4. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,903


    Not true. Already have driven one with discs.

  5. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    Think of brakes like a pyramid. Anchors and safes are at the top, followed by disc brakes, drum brakes, dragging your foot and no brakes. Not much logic there but I'm laughing my ass off, having driven without brakes at all. Just gear it down. On old VWs you could use the E brake. Old Fords you get it down to where you can get it in low and turn off the igntion and use the engine as a brake. To keep from rolling forwards downhill stick it in reverse, crank it and use the clutch for a brake. Transmissions? We don't need no steenkin' transmissions. Or brakes. Tennis shoes are good at low speeds. No putz need apply.
  6. 68hillbilly
    Joined: May 10, 2007
    Posts: 158

    from KENTUCKY

    THE old drum brake systems don't stop anywhere near as good as drum/disc or 4wheel disc combos. I have quite a few old cars that I drive regularly. from stock model a mechanical to modern 4 wheel discs, with a lot of 40's 50's 60's 4wheel drum systems thrown in. with the old drum brakes you have to really pay attention to maintenance, how fast you go, and how close you drive behind others. they work ok and I usually don't change to discs, but you do have to be careful. most modern drivers would wreck our old cars in a heartbeat because they only drive stuff that is easy to drive with no or little thought given to a safe stopping distance.
  7. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Gee I drive a Corvair with a single pot and drums daily !! But I wrap myself up in a thick layer of bubble wrap.
  8. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,747

    from Phoenix,AZ

    After reading 67 posts I find it odd that no one mentioned the effects that quality of linings have on stopping,it is true that you can go to your local parts house and buy four or five different qualities of disc material and usually the top of the line will be ceramic.The choices in drum linings is usually limited to a semi-metallic over the counter and these have proven to promote more wear on the drums over time,however most larger cities will have brake and clutch shops that can change all that by lining your shoes with ceramic or Kevlar material which will fade almost 20-25% less than semi-metallic and decrease drum and shoe wear by a bunch.The statement was made "Bigger is Better" so keep this in mind if you only have 140 Sq inches of contact area with a typical 10"-11" disc brake and you have a contact area of 183 Sq inches like the 52-56 Ford drums have and you have the premium material and you have a dual master or power brake add-on like you would for discs things will probably equal out.
  9. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    You know what I hate, fools that think drum brakes perform as well as disc brakes.

    Drum brakes aren't dangerous unless you go around driving like you have modern disc brakes and think you can stop on a dime with minimal fade like with anti-lock discs.

    I'm cool with drum brakes on old cars and trucks, but I don't go around pretending they are just as good as disc brakes. I run original drums on my truck and they work just fine, but then I drive the truck like it was intended to and how people use to drive; slowly, attentively and respectfully. And guess what, by doing that, it is actually a hell of lot more enjoyable and relaxing. I don't drive my truck fast and like a jackass because I know if I do, it wouldn't be long before I found myself in trouble of my own making.
  10. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,773

    from PNW

    i don't use drum or disc. i use the touchy-feelie method... and carry really good insurance.
  11. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 793


    This says it all for me. The drum brakes are fine on my Acadian because it still has the stock 6 and I drive "slowly, attentively and respectfully" safe! But then again I am a professional driver/trainer..I always drive that way.
  12. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    Ya beat me to it.. I was actually going to quote you Jeff!

    Jeff is 100% right, you can't get Performance Friction, or Hawk or EBC, etc linings off the shelf for your Shoebox or F100. HOWEVER, as Jeff has mentioned on the 52-56 Ford social group, you can find a brake lining shop (Most cities have em) and you can get your shoes relined with exotic stuff, such as Kevlar linings.

    A healthy drum brake system will stop a car quite well. Disc brakes offer one advantage over drums; brake fade. Also they are a bit simpler and under racing conditions can be quicker to service.

    I drive damn near daily with drum brakes and bias ply tires in Northern NJ traffic and have no problems stopping.. and if ya know the area my commute is along Rt 4 between Englewood and Paramus. I NEED good brakes.

    OT, but I'm also into Porsche 356s, the reason that the 356C had disc brakes was for speed of pad replacement under racing conditions and for reduction in brake fade. I have "B" drums on my 356A and that sucker STOPS. I have also owned a 356B as well as a 356C, the discs didn't stop the C any quicker, and if you're fading B drums it's because you're racing the car.
  13. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    So while we're at it why don't we debate radials vs bias again?
  14. Jeff, how did you calculate 140 square Inches with disk pads? I'm having trouble getting 18" sq. per wheel on some avg pads here.
  15. Jalopy Journalist
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 255

    Jalopy Journalist
    from Austin, TX

    Then it is safe. Now you could be really safe by filling the car with foam every time you drive it but, ehh... why nit-pick you know?
  16. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016


    ^^^^^^^^spam don't click on the link.

  17. miraclepieco
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 103


    Front drums, fine. Just don't get all sanctimonious about rodders who choose disc brakes. Ditto for Chevy engines. This "period correct" stuff is getting just as nauseating as "politically correct."
  18. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,335

    from Maine

    Let me put it to you this way you know of any 18-wheelers running disc brakes? Having said that though keep in mind that some drum brakes are better than others, specifically self-energizing vs non-self-energizing.
  19. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Most stuff works when properly maintained.Good lines and a dual reservoir master cylinder are a good thing.The times I faded four wheel drums I was doing stupid shit.
  20. B Blue
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 281

    B Blue

    Drum brakes dangerous? No, and in fact had never heard anyone say that until now.

    Inferior? HELL YES!! Why do you think the old timers would downshift when going down steep, long grades?

  21. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,914

    from Tampa, FL

    Thanx for the info, as Rowan or Martin would have said, "Well, I didn't know that." Gary
  22. Six-Shooter
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 341

    from Ohio

    I have drum brakes on all fours on my T-bucket with a dual master cylinder with no problems. Whether your ride has disk brakes or juice brakes you still have to drive defensively.
  23. hillbillyhellcat
    Joined: Aug 26, 2002
    Posts: 595


    I have had three cars with drums, two which I converted to discs.

    Drums work. Discs work better. There isn't any pulling or fading. I don't think they're dangerous, but if you can upgrade to discs, you should do it. I am glad that I can drive my car like a regular car and not have to be concerned if I am going to stop quick enough.
  24. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    All of the 18 wheeler tanker trucks in West Texas are running discs. They found out that discs work much better in the sand and mud of the unpaved lease roads they have to drive on.
  25. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,593

    from Michigan

  26. as far as the exotic linings on old drum brakes, i have found that old style, "organic" linings work better on non energized drum brake systems. i have also had to change pads that i had just put in because the "life time" crap wouldn't stop the car correctly.
  27. Wow, the retardation level on this thread is simply amazing...

    Of course, it did start off as a rant.:D

    No point in trying to explain it to anyone at this's obvious no one's even reading anymore.
  28. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    well ive got 4 wheel drum single pot on my daily, 62 galaxie. runnin a 352 auto. i drive this ol girl in heavy traffic at times without any problems. i also make sure my brakes are always adjusted right and the pot is fact i check oil water and trans fluid every morning along with the brake fluid.i can also throw you thru the windshield if i have to stop fast.i use to drag race a 55 chevy with a 461 horse 327 4 speed in the early 80s. that had drum and a single pot. i could lock em up and let go of the steering wheel and she would go as sraight as a arrow.but i also would get them drums pretty hot after every race.but its all i had and i kept them in good adjustment.i have no problem with drum brakes i have them on almost all my cars. but disc will stop you quicker,from my experence.and they are a hell of alot quicker to change. but im not gonna go to the terouble of changing drum to disc because im afraid.because im not afraid. drum brakes worked for yrs and yrs.its the assholes out there in there little shitboxes that scare the hell out of me.i got to wear i drive with my left foot just over the brake pedal when im in traffic just so im ready if some asswipe pulls out in front of me.and thats even in a car with disc.

  29. F&J

    That whole must run discs must not run traditional engines etc is street rodder influence and not old street rodders the younger guys who have never been around the old stuff and don't know anything about it. I keep hoping that they well learn. Some of them will.

    Those folks who think you have to have all the modern stuff to drive it safely are not the core group of this site and anyone with any common sense will just ignore there "expert" advice.

    As for drum brakes I am a firm believer that go fast cars need stop fast brakes. I do not believe that stop fast breaks need to be modern brakes drums in good shape will stop your car just fine.

    Ya know what irks me is the group that beileve that kids have got to be in the back seat to be safe. the back seat isn't any safer than the front uless you car has airbags. the whole airbags thing is where that comes from, if you are shorter than 5'3" child or adult you are in danger of being killed by the bag. No bags all you need to be is tied in so you don't ruin the windshield.

    OK whos' rant is next. ;)
  30. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    Not trying to be a smart ass at all, just want to mention that after driving and gawking at trucks since I was 16, that will be about 30 years

    1. I have never laid eyes on a disk brake in a big truck that wasn't a picture in a magazine.

    2. I remember seeing a picture of a truck disk brake in a trade magazine back around 1985 or so, the caption below read that 80% of all heavy trucks would have disk brakes in 5 years.....

    3. I have never experienced drum brake fade.
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