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Drums to Disks

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Not that I have any near-future plans for taking on such a task, but how difficult is it to convert drum brakes to disk brakes? For example, I know th `69 Barracuda has all drums and they suck.

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if any trim level or simmilar model had them, it can be very easy. For example, on the Saturn S-Series, only cars with ABS/traction had rear disks, but they'll swap right onto any other S-Series as long as you get all the pieces, and the right e-brake cable. And you don't have to swap the ABS system with them.

If there wasn't a trim or feature level of the same car that had them, then it can be hard, and you'll either need to find out if another model used pretty much the same brake setup, and they can swap, or if the aftermarket has any availiable.

Edited by PurdueGuy

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there are honestly two ways of doing it, one is buying a kit that allows you to convert from drums to discs. the ohter way is either go up a few years, or find a "sister" car to your cuda that had discs and change them.

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if im not mistaken the largest mopar bone yard is located in alabama. maybe someone can confirm, but that might be in your future plans if youre serious and going for an all out rebuid.

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If you're just doing a front drum > front disc and leaving drums on the rear, then usually you're up for a new front uprights (some models had different mount points for the disc callipers), the discs and callipers, master cylinder, and occasionally new rear buckets (different diameter) for the rear drums.

The Valiants over here had front discs/rear drums without a power booster, so if you have an unboosted drum/drum system now, you may get away with an unboosted disc/drum installation.

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my friend has a 70 malibu that came with 4 way power discs...he bought a kit for 600 bucks, and we had it installed in 4 hours

Sorry about that pal, but 1970 Malibus came from the factory with 4 wheel DRUM brakes. You can get kits to change out the fronts,

but they usually require a new spindle assembly, due to different mounting points.

Rears are more complicated however. Since your parking brake operates on the rear drums manually, and you cannot do a

manual actuation on a disc set-up, most rear discs incorporate a small drum assembly for the parking brakes. Best way here

is to find a compatible (same-size) rear axle complete amd do an entire rear axle swap.

The third way is to get an after-market kit designed for your specific car. These will include all the necessary components.

Don't forget that you also need to swap out the master cylinder! Drum brakes vs. disc have different pressure requirements,

and especially if you do a combination of front disc/rear drum, the proportioning pressures need to be revised.

This can be accomplished with an adjustable proportioning valve, that would install right off of the master cylinder before the

brakes lines going to each wheel assembly.

The best way to convert and get the best safe brakes is buy a kit that has been engineered for your specific car. Parts swaps

with used brake parts, whose condition is unknown is like playing Russian Roulette, with all the cylinders but one loaded!

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