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Hi.  I'm new to this forum.  Just purchased a 1953 Roadmaster 72R with a friend and we are trying to find some resources for 4 wheel disc brakes.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

 

Also, I have not been able to find replacement carpet for our sedan.  There are plenty of options for convertibles and I don't know if those kits will fit.  Thoughts?

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You can do a search on this forum for "disc brake upgrade" and get some posts that will offer information. The general consensus is that the original brakes, in good working order, will be more than adequate for stopping the car. The only thing discs do better is shed heat--they don't stop sooner or faster, they just resist fade longer. And I'm not entirely convinced that the weenie 11-inch GM discs that the "kits" offer are in any way superior to the giant 13-inch drums already on the car. You'll find in a lot of those posts, there are guys who have done a disc brake conversion and are wondering why their car stops worse or has a soft pedal, and the answer is typically, "no idea" simply because anything that isn't factory-issue isn't covered by the manual and is therefore difficult to troubleshoot. A universal-fit combination of aftermarket parts versus a complete system engineered by the smartest guys with the most money at the biggest company in the world with millions of test miles behind them--hmmm, which would I be inclined to trust more...?

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3 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

You can do a search on this forum for "disc brake upgrade" and get some posts that will offer information. The general consensus is that the original brakes, in good working order, will be more than adequate for stopping the car. The only thing discs do better is shed heat--they don't stop sooner or faster, they just resist fade longer. And I'm not entirely convinced that the weenie 11-inch GM discs that the "kits" offer are in any way superior to the giant 13-inch drums already on the car. You'll find in a lot of those posts, there are guys who have done a disc brake conversion and are wondering why their car stops worse or has a soft pedal, and the answer is typically, "no idea" simply because anything that isn't factory-issue isn't covered by the manual and is therefore difficult to troubleshoot. A universal-fit combination of aftermarket parts versus a complete system engineered by the smartest guys with the most money at the biggest company in the world with millions of test miles behind them--hmmm, which would I be inclined to trust more...?

Very good points

 

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I remember fading the brakes on a 61 Caddy 'vert to nothing in one stop from 70ish so depends on the brake and the lining material. Pontiac 8-lugs are very good when set up rite.

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The disc brakes on my 66' formula S Barracuda were terrible. They were good for 1 hard stop and after that stopping was very questionable.  

I'd say leave the brakes on your car stock and just make sure they are in good operating condition. 

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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When I restored my 63 Grand Prix I put everything new in the brake system with the 8 lugs. I just touch the pedal and I am in the windshield.

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Peer pressure seems to be the most common reason for disc brake conversions. A nebulous definition of toast also gives a nudge.

 

One thing I have learned; sleeving your old cylinders is the best way to assure quality casting and machining. You might have to buy the higher quality new cylinder to get the rubber cups and maybe pistons. The quality of the bleeder tap machining is very poor on the common new wheel cylinders. The threads are so loose you can only pressure bleed. The bleeder wobbles in the threads that are poorly cut. And you will find the bleeders to be 11MM. Mine did not match my good bleeder wrench. I bought a new metric bleeder wrench from NAPA thinking they had better quality tools. The now sell Evercraft. It is so poor I think I might cut my hand on the rough Taiwan logo stamped in the shank. And none of the three right angles is 90 degrees.

 

It will take effort to rebuild your original brakes but it's worth it. The knuckle dragger behind the parts counter won't know. If by some odd chance he drove a 4 wheel drum brake car it probably wasn't done right.

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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