Brakes 101 - Read This First!
The first thing in Brakes 101 is to look over your
braking system (or lack of one.)
Now keep this in mind: Your brakes are probably the
most important part of your hotrod.
If you can't stop well, you're going to rear-end someone
with your hotrod. It's not If, it's When.
We've all had a scary moment when a car in front of us
slams on it's brakes and we've had to slide to a stop.
If you can't stop well, you'll hit them, injure yourself
and them, and destroy your ride.
This is a cheery lesson, huh?
That's because this is important and too many people
don't take their brakes seriously. Remember, it's not
just you out there, it's everyone else.
Older brakes, when rebuilt, can stop well. But not nearly
as well as newer brakes. Which is what the car in front
of you has. See where we're going with this?
So, you need hotrod brakes on your hotrod!
Switching to disc brakes on the front should be the
minimum you do. Now, many guys don't want to run them
because of the looks if they're seen on their nostalgic
hotrods. Some drum brakes can stop well if the car is light and the brakes are bigger than stock. Remember, we want performance braking...
Besides, there's aftermarket disc brakes that look like
the finned Buick drum brakes, so that's not an issue
So, what's some good guidelines?
Don't try to save hotrod money by not upgrading your
brakes. Your brakes should be at the top of the list
when making your hotrod budget. (You did read "Build
What You Can Afford" in Hotrod Wisdom didn't you?)
Don't sacrifice safety for looks. If your brakes
show, there are options for making them look nostalgic if
that's important to you. There is simply no reason to run
brakes that aren't up to par with current braking
Upgrading your brakes is easy nowadays. If you
aren't sure how to go about fabbing up your own system,
there are tons of aftermarket systems that will literally
bolt on to almost any car.
If you want to use newer factory parts to upgrade your
braking system, try to use them from the same car.
Specifically from a car as heavy or heavier than your
hotrod. Mixing and matching different parts usually leads
to problems and frustration. Not always, but usually. It
can be done, but why go through the hassle? The factory
has already tested their systems and made them fool
proof. There are some exceptions, but we'll get into
Return from Brakes 101 to Hot Rod Brakes
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