Jump to content

can i put aluminum drums on the rear of my 69 riv gs?

mark little

Recommended Posts

You can but it’s not a simple swap.  The front drums are wider than the rears. You have to accommodate for that. I know what do do on the rear ends used up through 1965 but for the late rear ends with the inspection cover, I have no clue. If I may ask, why do you want to put disks on the front?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only problem with Buick's aluminum drums can be finding replacement drums.  I believe that they are now being reproduced.  Those finned drums will stop fine and are a lot more interesting looking than aftermarket discs. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/10/2022 at 12:00 PM, mark little said:

How can I respond to rivnut directly, I am new to this site and it says I can't contact directly because I don't have enough content

Keep coming here for advice and you will have a point count high enough to PM in no time!👍


Back in the day, 50 years ago, fixing pull issues was easy, every technician knew how to properly do a drum brake job. Now with rear drums fading away also, no one knows to proper way to fix pull issues, so the band aid disk conversion is done. 


Pull issues:

Were both wheel cylinders checked for ease of push of the pistons?

Were both front brake hoses replaced? They are now 50+ years old.

Were both front brakes adjusted according to shop manual?

Were suspension bushings checked for play? I've seen the lower or upper control arm move (rearward) upon braking and cause pull. This should be fixed even if band aid disk brakes were installed. Safety issue.


Notice I did not say true the drums! That is a last resort, especially with unobtainium Buick aluminum drums. Just sand the surface equally on both drums, 40 or 80 grit. Let the flame wars begin!🤣


Funny, we have gone full circle, as the first major brake pull incidents I saw were the pistons freezing in 70s Dodge front calipers!😲

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that my IR thermometer was helpful in balancing the adjustment of the brakes on my '67 Riviera.  After initially adjusting the shoes I'd go for a ride and then quickly check wheel temps as soon as I pulled into the driveway.  Later, I'd back-off the hotter wheel a few clicks and go for another ride.  After a few test rides I was able to get the L&R wheels adjusted to register within 5* F of each other.  Needless to say, it stops dead straight.  ;)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the responses, especially frank Duval, like you my friend I am an old school mechanic, in fact one of the first few ase master mechanics if that shows you how long I have been practicing, lol.

It is relatively easy to get the front brakes to work equally on the initial install but down the road factors change and if you ever do a hard panic stop when they aren't working properly it's not a warm fuzzy feeling. 

I haven't measured my aluminum drums yet but there is no lip and they are nice and smooth so pretty confident they are cherry so would look cool on the back, I'll post progress

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...