Do you have old brake drums that need replacing? If so, you may want to consider switching to disc brakes. Is it worth going through the process of converting to disc brakes? We think it is, for many different reasons. Let’s talk about some of them:
1. It’s Possible That They Don’t Make Replacement Drums For Your Vehicle Anymore
Depending on your vehicle, you may have a hard time finding a set of replacement drums. Drum brakes have fallen out of favor, and many are no longer made. That means your chances of finding replacement drums that fit your model may be slim.
Rather than spend a lot of time looking for drum brakes for your vehicle, convert to disc brakes. It will be easier and it will bring your vehicle into this decade. That means you won’t have to worry about your brakes going obsolete anytime soon.
2. Replacement Drums That Don’t Fit Quite Right Will Be Problematic
If you find a set of drums that are close but not quite perfect for your truck, they can be a source of ongoing problems. For this reason, avoid universal drum brakes or drums that are specific to another model. You will most likely encounter some problems, such as:
- Difficult installation that will compromise the drums’ ability to perform
- Excessive brake shoe wear and/or heat
These problems will impact your brakes’ performance and compromise your safety. If you can’t find replacement drums that are made for your model, your best bet is to convert to disc brakes.
3. Replacement Drums Can Be Quite Expensive
Even if you find a set of drums just for your vehicle, they’re usually something you have to order online. This makes them very costly, relatively speaking. Shipping costs can be sky high. A big heavy brake drum in a big box can cost at least $40 to ship to your door. That doesn’t count the cost of the part itself. A pair of brake drums could cost you at least $200, depending on what you need and who you buy from.
Usually, replacing drums costs more than converting to disc brakes. Often times, the cost of the drums alone is higher than a high quality disc brake conversion kit.
Even if you find drums that are cheaper, it still makes sense to convert to disc brakes. Read on to find out why.
4. Disc Brakes Offer Better Stopping Power
If you ask us, it doesn’t make sense to splurge on a drum brake replacement when disc brakes work better. Disc brakes offer better stopping power because:
- Disc brakes dissipate heat more evenly
- Disc brakes shed water faster in wet weather
- Disc brake pads create more friction on a rotor than drum brake shoes create on a drum
- Disc brakes warm up quickly to an optimal operating temperature
- Disc brakes also cool down quickly to help prevent brake fade
It doesn’t take much for drum brakes to overheat. Also, drum brakes take a while to heat up after you start the car. That means they don’t provide consistent stopping performance.
5. Disc Brakes Are Much Easier To Maintain
It’s a hassle to either inspect or maintain your drum brakes. To inspect drum brakes, you would need to:
- Lift the vehicle
- Remove the wheel
- Pull the drum
To maintain your drum brakes, you would need to do all the above and then take apart the entire assembly. Disc brakes are so much easier to inspect and maintain. Pair that with the fact that disc brakes last longer and need less maintenance, and you’ll see that disc brakes are a clear winner.
6. Disc Brakes Are Lighter
Drum brakes on one axle weigh about 100 pounds combined. Disc brakes weigh about half that. This is a clear benefit for two reasons:
- Less unsprung weight: This means better ride quality and the shocks will last longer.
- Less rotational inertia: There will be less of an effort to start and stop the vehicle, which means:
- Less wear and tear on the brake system
- Better gas mileage
- Quicker acceleration
Isn’t It Hard To Convert To Disc Brakes?
That’s a common misconception. Converting to disc brakes is actually quite an easy and straightforward process. You just need to:
- Remove the old drums and backing plates
- Attach a set of brackets to your wheel hub or axle flange
- Install the rotors and calipers
- Hook everything up
Finding A Disc Brake Conversion Kit Just For Your Vehicle
Deciding on a disc brake conversion kit is not a decision to be taken lightly. To make the purchase worthwhile in the long run, you need a disc brake conversion kit that:
- Is high quality
- Fits your wheel and axle perfectly
At Lugnut4x4, our disc brake conversion kits fit the bill. We have a variety of model-specific kits for Dodge, Chevy, and Ford models. Check out our disc brake conversion kits here. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our disc brake conversion kits!