Performance Brake Upgrades That Will Make Your Classic Muscle Car Stop Like A Contemporary Sports Car
Classic American muscle cars are renowned for their aggressive styling, rip-roaring engine notes, and superb straight-line speed. However, when it comes to braking performance, most of the classics leave a lot to be desired.
A lot of them rolled off of the assembly line with inefficient drum brakes. Compared to modern sports cars, even high-performance classics with four-wheel disc brakes were equipped with sloppy brake line setups along with subpar calipers, rotors, and pads.
If you want your classic muscle car to have the stopping power of a contemporary sports machine, there are four must-have upgrades you need to perform. If you're not a skilled mechanic yourself, have the upgrades performed by a reputable brake repair shop. Improper installation or faulty components will make your car unsafe to drive.
Ditch the Drums
Drum brakes are prone to overheating when you drive spiritedly. Heat is one of your brake system's biggest enemies. It leads to reduced bite force, sloppy pedal feel, and prematurely worn out components.
Furthermore, drums brakes deliver subpar stopping power compared to disc brakes. Due to their design, they don't deliver nearly the same level of feedback and finesse of contemporary disc brakes, making them a poor choice for track days and spirited drives on public roads. Swap out your drum brakes immediately for a set of quality discs, rotors, and pads to avoid all of those issues and transform the way your muscle car stops.
If you want to go all out, opt for a set of drilled and slotted rotors for maximum heat dissipation. Spring for a set of two-piston or four-piston calipers for maximum bite force and pedal feedback. Finish off your setup with a race-ready set of carbon-ceramic pads that will maximize stopping power and withstand the heat of virtually any performance driving scenario.
Braided Steel Brake Lines
The vast majority of classic muscle cars were equipped with relatively flimsy rubber brake lines. Compared to contemporary sports cars, which use far more advanced rubber compounds, the rubber brake lines on classic cars tend to flex, swell up, and eventually leak. All of those factors translate to poor stopping power, numb pedal feedback, and inconsistent brake engagement.
At the very least, you should upgrade your brake lines to a modern set of performance-tuned rubber lines. However, since you'll already be pulling out the old lines and flushing the brake fluid, you might as well spring for a quality set of braided steel lines. They feature a steel wrap around the rubber line that prevents the line from flexing, swelling, and corroding. They're the must-have choice for any truly serious driving enthusiast.