No, Keeping Your Old Drum Brakes Isn't Worth It
People maintain classic cars for many reasons. You may enjoy owning a piece of automotive history, or you might just like driving a car that stands out among its more modern peers. Whatever the case, there are plenty of decisions to make for upgrades and maintenance. After all, keeping something with decades of life under its belt on the road is no easy task.
Unfortunately, it's also easy to get caught up in the idea of keeping an old car precisely as it left the factory. This approach can feel like preserving history, but there are plenty of reasons it shouldn't apply to safety items such as your brakes. If you've been thinking about leaving your old drum brakes in place, here are three reasons that it's never worth it.
1. You Want to Drive Your Car
Safety always needs to come above all other considerations. If your classic car gets out on the road (even if only on special occasions), you need to consider your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of other drivers. Drum brakes aren't inherently dangerous, but disc brakes are safer in numerous ways.
In particular, drum brakes have more potential failure modes and tend to perform worse in wet weather. Even if you're meticulous when it comes to maintaining your car, you'll still open yourself up to more potential break failures by keeping your old drums in place. Unless you want to own a museum piece that never sees the open road, disc brakes are always the safer option.
2. You Don't Want to Waste Time on Unnecessary Maintenance
Classic cars are often synonymous with project cars, but that doesn't mean you need to spend all your time performing essential maintenance. Maintaining drum brakes takes more time and effort, and it's even more time-consuming to check them for wear and other problems. On the other hand, disc brakes are straightforward to service, and it's easy to check the condition of both their pads and rotors.
As a bonus, it's often easier to find parts for disc brakes, even if you're using non-standard brakes from a conversion kit. Better part availability means you'll spend less time sitting around and waiting for rare parts to arrive and more time enjoying your car.
3. You Want a Smoother Ride
Driving a classic car doesn't have to mean suffering a rough, noisy ride. Drum brakes can create vibrations, noises, and other nuisances that may not affect their performance but can impact your enjoyment of your car. Upgrading to disc brakes means you can enjoy your vehicle without these frustrations bringing down on an otherwise pleasant weekend drive.
Enjoying a classic car means getting it out on the road and sharing it with friends and family. Upgrading your old drum brakes with a conversion kit is a great way to share your pride and joy in a way that's safe and comfortable. Look for a front disc brake conversion kit that you think would work for your car.