In previous posts, we have discussed the safety and performance rationales for upgrading to disc brakes. Unless you have a rare, factory original classic ride that spends most of its time in a museum or the garage, you should consider upgrading to disc brakes. As a classic car enthusiast, you are sharing the road with cell phone toting, text messaging drivers who drive newer cars that come equipped with disc brakes and ABS. The rationale for upgrading to disc brakes seems pretty obvious. The tricky part comes after you’ve made the decision to do the upgrade—should I convert the front end only or both the front and rear brakes?
Most classic car owners fall into one of two camps. On the one hand, we have a small minority of owners with rare, museum quality cars. In most cases, these folks are reluctant to make any changes to their cars because even the smallest modification means losing an important part of automotive history. On the other hand, we have classic car enthusiasts that modify their vehicles for better performance and safer operation. In many instances, these owners are willing to look at making a change if better performance is achieved without substantially compromising the appearance of the car. A great example here is the brake system. Most classic cars came originally equipped with drum brakes—and even the best drum brake systems of yesteryear lacked in the performance department. At the same time, classic car owners can make significant improvements to their brake systems without losing the curb appeal of their vehicles. To improve the performance of your classic, drum brake equipped vehicle, start by asking these three basic questions:
For many years, Master Power Brakes (and every other company offering disc brake conversions) has simply used the General Motors thought process for converting drum brakes to disc brakes on the 64-72 GM A-body, 67-69 GM F-body and the 64-74 GM X-body vehicles. We aren’t saying what General Motors did was wrong, but we felt it was time to re-visit this system and approach it with a new line of thinking for our Legend Series.
We recently received a note from the owner of a 65 Mustang asking us to justify the cost and expense of converting his car from drum to disc brakes. We field this question on a regular basis, so we thought it made sense to share our thoughts with our readers.
Most classic car owners are willing to invest large sums of money on custom paint jobs, new interiors, and re-built or upgraded engines restorations. At the same time, many of these same owners balk at investing restoration funds on new brakes. Obviously, we think this is a mistake, but even if didn't sell brakes, we would urge classic car owners to consider swapping out inefficient drum brake systems for disc brake technology.