Team Chevelle banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Evening all,
I've done disc brakes consistently but have never done a brake job on a car with drum brakes.
Here is my scenario, wanting to do a brake job on a 1968 Chevelle with manual drums on all fours.
I've looked through the forum for advise on the better shoe brands or materials but haven't had any luck.
Could someone steer me to the website or advise what brake shoe material/brand to look for?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,664 Posts
Although I haven't done front drum brakes in probably 30 years, here are the parts I recommend. NAPA has great parts when it comes to brakes, I recommend you purchase the top quality parts that they sell. When you take one of the drums off, take a picture to help you remember how things are so you can reassemble them correctly. Do you know the age of the existing parts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@LeoP
Thanks for the fast response!
I will def. check out NAPA.
To answer your question, I don't know the age of the parts.
I've had the car for a year now so just trying to take care of all the safety essentials.
What are your thoughts on just going converting to disc brakes and any positive input on a reputable kit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,842 Posts
Well, on the other side of the coin, I have VERY little experience with disc brakes. I'm extremely familiar with drum brake maintenance. Consequently, I'm very at home working on drums. In fact, I have my own brake lathe and grinder for matching shoes to the drum.
Wood Gas Machine Thickness planer Toolroom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
Raybestos brand is what I use. make sure the rubber lines are not cracked and the wheel cylinders are not leaking. Replace as required. If you had a vibration when applying the brakes the drums need to be trued, a lot of parts stores can do this for you. Inspect the mastercylinder for leaks, replace as required. Do one side at a time (fronts and then rears) so you can look at the other which is a mirror opposite if you get stuck. Make sure you adjust them so that they just barely rub on the drum when you slip it back on. When you do the fronts clean, inspect, and repack the wheel bearings with grease. When you inspect them if they are pitted or show blue in color, replace the bearings, races, and seal if required. There are many videos on how to do these things including on how to bleed the brakes to finish the job. You'll need special tools to do the job, pictures posted below.
Automotive lighting Circuit component Cable Electronic device Wire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,898 Posts
You asked about a brake conversion kit - I went with a kit from "The Right Stuff". No trouble and its well equipped. Still operating well at three years and 11,000 miles or so. I stayed with drums on the rear.

I did swap out all lines at the same time and as advised above, take pictures. For the rear, some of my original brake springs looked better than those in the drum rebuild kit so I re-sprayed and re-used them.

Rick

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
1969 Chevy Chevelle SS396, M20, 12 bolt 3:55, 454 w/fuel injection
Joined
·
281 Posts
@LeoP
Thanks for the fast response!
I will def. check out NAPA.
To answer your question, I don't know the age of the parts.
I've had the car for a year now so just trying to take care of all the safety essentials.
What are your thoughts on just going converting to disc brakes and any positive input on a reputable kit?
I wouldn’t roll around these days with drum brakes on all four corners. If you plan on doing any real driving, and stopping, I urge you to at least consider upgrading the front to disc. I did the same as B52, (right stuff) discs up front and drums out back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,453 Posts
I wouldn’t roll around these days with drum brakes on all four corners. If you plan on doing any real driving, and stopping, I urge you to at least consider upgrading the front to disc. I did the same as B52, (right stuff) discs up front and drums out back.
A properly maintained drum brake system is more than adequate for these cars. I've seen more operational issues arise from some of these conversion kits that make them worse than any perception of 4 wheel drums.
 

·
Premium Member
1969 Chevy Chevelle SS396, M20, 12 bolt 3:55, 454 w/fuel injection
Joined
·
281 Posts
A properly maintained drum brake system is more than adequate for these cars. I've seen more operational issues arise from some of these conversion kits that make them worse than any perception of 4 wheel drums.
Are we having a debate? He asked, I offered. I’m not looking for advice on brakes, I’ve got my junk sorted out.
(These cars?)
My car CAME with disc brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
Look on e-Bay for a vintage set of Grey Rock metallic brake linings. They will have asbestos, but it won't hurt you, just don't go snorting the brake dust!
Those brake linings with a proper adjustment of the shoes and the anchor pin at the top both when new and then after a few hundred miles and you'll be set. It's best to check the adjustment once or twice a year. Those self-adjusters rarely adjust the linings to their optimal setting. This is why so many people don't like drum brakes, nine times out of ten they were never adjusted properly or checked once or twice a year. The drum brakes have a nice feature called self-energizing. Once applied they apply themselves so long as they are correctly adjusted.
 

·
Registered
1970 SS 396 25-C, 1966 SS R-R
Joined
·
1,063 Posts
Replace the wheel cylinders while your there. Replace the hardware, springs etc if needed. Take pictures, make sure you have the shoes in the correct positions (long and short linings). The multi tool pictured above makes the job easier. Probably some videos out there to show how to do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,977 Posts
I wouldn’t roll around these days with drum brakes on all four corners. If you plan on doing any real driving, and stopping, I urge you to at least consider upgrading the front to disc. I did the same as B52, (right stuff) discs up front and drums out back.
Don't be a candyass. I went 118 more than once and slowed the beast down with good old shoes. Manual shoes.

OK Ok, to be honest I did use the best shoes available, including all new hardware: http://www.musclecarbrakes.com/

From 50% friction coefficient vs discs to 85%, and it's for real. Stock shoes where quite a pucker factor at the track. The PraiseDynoBrake shoes ( now MC Brakes) took much of the pucker factor away at the track. Still some.

With Leed front discs on, there is no more pucker factor from 118mph. Yet the drums worked well, WITHOUT DUST!

LayLow, you definitely need to pick up that twisty tool to unlock the shoes. Sort of a bayonet mount stud holds them in. The spring stretching tool is nice, although I jury rig that. ONLY DO ONE AT A TIME> use the other for a reference.

Drums are a bit more complicated than discs imho. Lots of "geometric shapes": to remember! Dont remember them,use the other drum as a guide.

PS i had to replace/rebuild all my wheel cylinders at the first brake job. New fluid throughout with a new master cylinder. I did use oem RAYBESTOS shoes initially. If you have 400+ HP, you may then think about what 65Muscle said. Go Praise, or go front disc.

Hopefully your system isnt as "inop" as mine had been and doesn't require EVERY bit to be changed out. Aint no big deal though.


For stock power levels the drums will be fine, but wont stop on a dime as you may be used to.
 

·
Premium Member
1969 Chevy Chevelle SS396, M20, 12 bolt 3:55, 454 w/fuel injection
Joined
·
281 Posts
Don't be a candyass. I went 118 more than once and slowed the beast down with good old shoes. Manual shoes.

OK Ok, to be honest I did use the best shoes available, including all new hardware: http://www.musclecarbrakes.com/

From 50% friction coefficient vs discs to 85%, and it's for real. Stock shoes where quite a pucker factor at the track. The PraiseDynoBrake shoes ( now MC Brakes) took much of the pucker factor away at the track. Still some.

With Leed front discs on, there is no more pucker factor from 118mph. Yet the drums worked well, WITHOUT DUST!
Now THATS impressive 😉
Puckering is something I try to avoid now, takes me too long to recover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
hi
Compound of linnings is critical a softer linning that provides more friction is best for a road car

Matching parts
Always radius grind shoes to finished drum size [after being machined ]
Always machine drums on front when doing linnings replacement
Machining of rear drums optional if in good condition

Hydraulic cylinder always replace , when retracted they will sit in a corroded part this will cause leaks of brake fluid
Always inspect rubber flex hose stiff and or cracked replace

Always flush bleed brake fluid from all four wheels,, good maintenance practice

Adjust wheel bearings with minor drag
Adjust linnings with minor drag ,, this is critical
 

·
Registered
1966 Chevelle SS396
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
The only upgrade I plan on making to my 66 once I get it put back together is a dual reservoir master cylinder. Never had a problem with the non power drum brakes on it before. As already said, as long as they're set up correctly, they work fine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,664 Posts
Lots of good info here and a swap to front disc brakes is a really great idea. Fresh brake parts all around including the rubber hoses!! Since you didn't post where you are, I can't directly help you but I bet that you are close to someone on here and these folks are all over the USA!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Morning all,
Appreciate the input and I agree with someone else that posted, VERY good information on this thread.
LeoP, to answer your question I'm in Leander, TX so please let me know if any other Velle owner(s) are nearby!
Now, I got some work ahead of me.
Appreciate you all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
If you are going to get into the hydraulics, may I suggest a squirt of PB Blaster on all the bleeder screws a couple days before hand.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top