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RivNut

Aluminum drums on the rear

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A number of years ago, before the existence of this forum, I contacted Tom T. about what it would take to add the wider brakes shoes and aluminum brake drums to the rear axle of my '64 Riviera.  I did the one thing that I remember him saying but can't recall any of the rest.  The one thing I remember,and did, was to acquire a set of backing plates from a '56 era Buick Roadmaster.  Apparently the mid-50's large bodied cars came with wider rear brakes than they did in the 60's.  What I'd like to do now is to reach out to Tom for the rest of the process.  I thought I'd put it on the forum in case anyone else had an inkling to do the same thing.  So, Tom, now that I have the backing plates, where do I go from here (after removing the hubs from the drums?)

 

Thanks,

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Might adding larger brakes to the rear upset the braking proportion?  The stock system has (IIRC) 1-1/8" cylinders on the front and 1" on the rear, as one aspect of having more braking at the front.  One might guess that the size of the respective shoes is also part of that calculation.  Ergo, if you change the size of the shoes, you throw that relationship out of whack.  Would it matter in a practical sense?  I dunno, but you might guess there's some chance that you'd be likely to lock up the rears.

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Hi Guys,

I'm thinking of doing this, because I'm changing my wheels on my 64 to  a open style aftermarket wheel and think it would look cool (kinda old school) to see the aluminum drums the same all around.  Rivnut and I have been discussing this a little the last few day (he mentioned it in a past thread of mine) and he decide to throw it out there for Tom T. and whoever else has seen this done.  I seem to think most of you are purest with your 1st Gen Riviera, I'm a little of a re-stomod guy, not over the top stuff, but a little bolt on stuff to my liking.  Any help on this would be great.  Going to the 1st Goodguys Show in York, PA this weekend.  Anyone else going?

 

KongaMan,

That is the type of stuff I'd like to discuss.  Your point is well taken on the rear brakes locking first.  I know from doing disc brake conversions you typically add a adjustable valve in rear line to adjust the pressure.  This a good start. 

 

Thanks Rivnut.

Art

Edited by awk409ak (see edit history)

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Back before rear discs were common, the hot set up for the rears was Olds Vista Cruiser wagon rear brakes. They had the offset backing plate and 2 1/2" shoes. I have had a set of these put away for about 40 years (hard to admit that) for my 55 Chevy. Not the aluminum drums, but same principle with the offset backing plate and wider shoes.

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9 hours ago, KongaMan said:

Might adding larger brakes to the rear upset the braking proportion?  The stock system has (IIRC) 1-1/8" cylinders on the front and 1" on the rear, as one aspect of having more braking at the front.  One might guess that the size of the respective shoes is also part of that calculation.  Ergo, if you change the size of the shoes, you throw that relationship out of whack.  Would it matter in a practical sense?  I dunno, but you might guess there's some chance that you'd be likely to lock up the rears.

I had considered this so if that scenario developed, a proportioning valve would be added.  When I talked with Tom T. about this, I was considering disk brakes up front so a proportioning valve would have been part of the system to  begin with.

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I have all the hardware sitting next to my '64 to go through all four wheels. Just need one of these:

image.png.3c23698faded73fd4867fbbf9798af51.png

 

The brake relining service I use was an early converter to non-asbestos products and has three levels of lining material that they say "ranges from routine driving to stand on your nose". I drop off my drums and they fit and arch for each drum. There has been quite a bit of advancement in friction materials with the new non-asbestos lining, and, per design, they are self energizing. I will go with the standard material fitted to my drums.

Some advancements in standard systems are worth a fresh look.

Bernie

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6 hours ago, awk409ak said:

I seem to think most of you are purest with your 1st Gen Riviera, I'm a little of a re-stomod guy, not over the top stuff, but a little bolt on stuff to my liking.

 

I'm not a purist, but I'm always a bit leery of trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

 

If the entire process is driven by cosmetics, you may have to make certain compromises -- but you should be aware that the changes you make may not be seen as improvements by a potential buyer should you sell the car.  That is, you could end up spending a lot of time and money to make the car less valuable.  OTOH, it's your car, and there is not insignificant value to kitting it out the way that you like it.

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