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1956 Century Brake Drum Interchangeabillity


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So I got my original new master cylinder rebuilt, all new asbestos shoes, springs & hardware, new wheel cylinders, hoses, and the system is bled and ready to go EXCEPT for my drums. They're in horrible shape. All Four. I'm not thinking they're able to be turned.

 

Finding them has been a challenge. I've found some VERY expensive ones, but before spending almost $1,000 on drums, is any one aware of interchangeability from different models or years? I'm only searching 1956 Buick Century but I'm hoping it's not the only model and year to use these. Any help or resources would be much appreciated.

IMG_8168.JPG

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Take yours in to be checked and turned if possible.  The originals have much more 'meat' than any currently available replacement.

Answer to your question: front hub and drum assy = 52-56

                                         rear drum:  53-55 exc special; 56-58

front and rear drums are the same if fronts are removed from hub.

Get a BRAKE DRUM CALIPER  and go shopping... also handy to adjust the shoes for 'pretty close' fit before installing drum.

Willie

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Do not try to adopt later year drums without shaving the lip off your backing plates. It was an embarrassing experience for me, would not recommend it.

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23 hours ago, old-tank said:

Take yours in to be checked and turned if possible.  The originals have much more 'meat' than any currently available replacement.

Answer to your question: front hub and drum assy = 52-56

                                         rear drum:  53-55 exc special; 56-58

front and rear drums are the same if fronts are removed from hub.

Get a BRAKE DRUM CALIPER  and go shopping... also handy to adjust the shoes for 'pretty close' fit before installing drum.

Willie

 

Thank you! That's awesome because fronts are much easier to find! I just need to remove the hub??? That would solve a lot of problems. I'm definitely looking for OEM. I can tell just by looking at them on ebay that the meat looks almost like 1/2" to 3/4" thick! They're much cheaper than new too. I do have a drum caliper and other drum tools, spring removal tool, adjusting fork, etc. I might have two that are saveable but the other two are definitely not so I'm just going to get all four hopefully from the same car.

Edited by killy_4_u (see edit history)
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16 hours ago, Beemon said:

Do not try to adopt later year drums without shaving the lip off your backing plates. It was an embarrassing experience for me, would not recommend it.

 

Thanks for the tip! I'm already trying to stay OEM in my model year range. You just gave me another reason to.

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Here's something I've found while looking at various drums on ebay. Mine have what look like balancing weights welded to them as in the below photo, while many I find do not. I don't know why they'd be there if they didn't need to be so I'm worried about buying any without them. Is this a valid concern?

 

s-l1600s.jpg

Edited by killy_4_u (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...
On 6/19/2016 at 3:57 AM, old-tank said:

Take yours in to be checked and turned if possible.  The originals have much more 'meat' than any currently available replacement.

Answer to your question: front hub and drum assy = 52-56

                                         rear drum:  53-55 exc special; 56-58

front and rear drums are the same if fronts are removed from hub.

Get a BRAKE DRUM CALIPER  and go shopping... also handy to adjust the shoes for 'pretty close' fit before installing drum.

Willie

Have I got this correct that a 1956 Century can only use rear drums from a 1953- 1956 Buick series 50, 60 or 70? Thanks

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4 hours ago, 56 Buick said:

Have I got this correct that a 1956 Century can only use rear drums from a 1953- 1956 Buick series 50, 60 or 70? Thanks

 

53-58 rears from series 50, 60, 70.

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