1963 Impala "Brakes" - Impala Tech
Brakes & Suspension Conversion Questions & more

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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1963 Impala "Brakes"

I have a 1963 Impala with drum brakes. Almost everyone will tell you the car won't stop with shoes, really? How did they stop this car before disc brakes?...shoes! I have a few questions;

1. Is it really worth the hassle and expense to swap out the front brakes?

2. I've looked at CPP stuff and others and it appears as though the kits for the stock spindles on a 63' will kick the wheel out 3/8" toward the fender... Is this correct or inaccurate?

3. I'm going to 18" wheels....will the shoes fail?

Does anyone have the low down on this from a safety perspective. I feel the shoes will work provided you don't overheat them....ride the brakes.

Need a brake expert with objective point of view.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 01:33 PM
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Disc brakes are used by racers because disc brakes resist fading better than a drum does due to more surface area to radiate heat and the fact that there is more metal there to absorb the heat than with a drum brake.

The factory went to disc brakes on the front of cars because disc brakes are easier, cheaper to make. Additionally a disc brake is cheaper to install on the line from a labor point of view. So disc brakes are on modern cars as a cost cutting measure, not because they stop better which they don't.

Semi's still have drum brakes on trailers and the drive axles because drum brakes work better than disc brakes do.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the facts Dave.

All to often people get caught up in opinions on this stuff without objective facts to support the clams. I have always thought drum brakes were better for all the reasons you stated.

The position that there won't be enough vacuum or they will fade and you won't be able to stop the car is non sense...do you really think Chevrolet made 327s, 348s and 409s that wouldn't stop in the 60s?

I suppose if you were burning rubber from light to light for 20 lights you might have a braking fade. I don't recall this being an issue back in the day. We always pealed out at lights, racing and I guess to everyones amazement we were able to stop, not on a dime but good enough for government work. I say people get caught in the scare tactics of those wanting to sell conversion kits.

Thanks again for making sense of non sense.

M
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 08:43 PM
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I have to agree with you on this subject,kinda like when I was growing up and the adults smoked cigs. I had to be like them thank God I never kept that habit. Copenhagen is much better I was going to do the front disc brakes but also ound the info on it moving the wheel outword .Which would mean a different set of wheels.I think you have to chose the right disc upgrade if you want to run 14" wheels.I see where u are going to run .I kow if I was going to run a lot of city driving or a DD then I would look seriously into the upgrade.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 06:18 AM
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I still have drum brakes on my 64SS and the reason for that is they still stop great. I also had them on a 69 Super Bee that would run 150mph and did quite frequently. However a disc brake car will stop a little quicker but why anybody goes to the expense of 4 wheel disc is beyond me. That is a lot of bucks for little more stopping power.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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You are all correct. As a matter of fact one of the parts distributors told me the disc conversion is one of the worse investments you can make in these old cars. I give him credit for being honest about it.

For me, I'll keep my old drums until there is a good reason to do otherwise.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 06:27 PM
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I ran Drum Brakes for years and never had any problems with them with sense-able driving. Manual Drum to boot. My '62 will stay with Drums.

I agree with the guy that stated it would be "one of the worse investments you can make". In my opinion, it will de-valuate an otherwise all original car.

Bill
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 07:14 PM
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I put a front disc setup on my 69 C-10 it was a piece of cake swap just slid in a 74 cross member and done. I would on my 63 if it were that easy but NOOOOOO
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