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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Sedan Classic car


car currently has the original manual brake system, and is a pain to stop, I have replaced every line and connector and bleed the system and still have to push as hard as I can to brake, its drum brakes all around and I have adjusted the pads out as far as i can, is it possible to easily convert the system over to power brakes? I know I can get the master cylinder w/power booster for around 90 bucks new at a local parts dealer. car was a birthday gift from my wife this year and I really want to be able to take her and the baby for a ride but not if I dont feel it is safe.. any help/advice would be great thanks!
 

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Good call safety is the first thing you should look at on a old car. There is a reason drum brakes are not around any more.
One nice thing about Nova's is theres a lot of aftermarket stuff and full change overs are already worked out.
Google Nova disc brake conversion and make sure you get a power disc brake one. Jegs, Summit Racing, Year One and Classic industries all should have something.
I don't know what one to recommend because my car came with disc front drum rear. I just added disc to the rear a year or so ago. Maybe someone else could recommend a kit they tried and liked. If your already going thru the system I would prob do discs both front and rear. Its worth it in the long run and they are much easier to work with as far as maintenance.
 

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You know you should have some clearance on the brake shoes to the drum??
Adjust the brakes until you cannot easily turn the wheel then back off about 13 clicks.
If the shoes are too tight they get hot and reduce braking efficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Noone: Thanks for the advice I will look into your suggestion

rhorne12: thank you, yes i do know that and they are adjusted correctly even had a local garage check over everything, they said it was all good its just the way old manual drum brakes work, just doesn't feel safe enough to me, takes to much force and time to stop to be considered safe enough to have my son in the car with me, thats just my own personal feeling, my son comes first and I just dont want to take that risk. I have to push the pedal as hard as I can to stop the mechanic who worked on the car said that is just how manual brakes are I just dont like it so I am looking for some way to reduce the amount of pressure I have to use on the pedal and reduce the amount of time it takes the car to come to a stop
 

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I felt the same way about my family in my car, When it was all manual drum I swapped in a vacuum booster from a friends Chevelle and it did help a little. Still wasn't great though.


I'd suggest the 4th gen Fbody front brake upgrade along with a vacuum booster and a modern master/prop valve. I'm sure there is a write up on it here somewhere. I did it and couldn't be happier with the brakes now. I couldn't use a vacuum booster, had to go hydraulic because of low idle vacuum.
 

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Have you looked into changing the shoes out. Maybe you could get better shoes. I had a C10 back in the day with drums and manual brakes and it stopped really well. I know you said you've done a lot of work on the brakes but if you haven't replaced the shoes maybe you should try that. Converting to power disk brakes would be your best option eventually. Good luck.
 
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