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grandslam1991 12-23-2012 03:04 PM

'66 impala brake system
Hello everyone I have a 66 impala two door hardtop. The car has the stock 4 wheel drum system with single chamber master Cylinder and one line coming off the master. What I want to know is if there are any valves in the brake system on Chevys of this year? Or are there any aftermarket ratio/proportion valves that can be installed to improve braking performance? Or should I be looking for a disc brake conversion kit?

poncho62 12-23-2012 03:42 PM

There is no valving in the least there wasnt on my 62, which is the same brake system, I believe.

Not really much you can do except go to a dual MC, where you will need a proportioning valve.

Better quality brake shoes will help with brake fade etc.

51 styline 12-23-2012 06:01 PM

I am pretty sure there is no valving in the 66 brake system. Top line brake shoes would help. I think abrake system from a 68-69 Chev ( disc/drum setup) would be the solution and a safer setup. It would be a bit more work but a much safersystem and well worth it.

MARTINSR 12-23-2012 09:22 PM

I don't believe if you run both drums front and rear you don't need a proportioning valve do you? Can't see why you would.


grandslam1991 12-23-2012 09:41 PM

I would assume you would want the front brakes to do more work due to the transfer of weight into the front axle.

MARTINSR 12-23-2012 09:44 PM

I have never seen a proportioning valve on any four wheel drum car. The front brakes do more of the stopping but that doesn't require more pressure. Maybe I am missing something, maybe with a dual cyl? I just don't ever remember seeing one on a four wheel drum car.


grandslam1991 12-23-2012 10:21 PM

I would assume you would want the front brakes to do more work due to the transfer of weight into the front axle.

jaymz 12-23-2012 10:43 PM

you dont need a proportion valve on a 4 wheel drum set up, they are only for front disc and drum or disc on the back since disc brakes work so much better, that with out it...and with out it set up right, the car would want to spin out every time you brake, and that is because you do want more braking done with the front brakes do to weight transfer but not to the point that they lock up, hence.....make sure its set up correctly

grandslam1991 12-23-2012 10:54 PM

I would assume you would want the front brakes to do more work due to the transfer of weight into the front axle.

MARTINSR 12-24-2012 10:21 AM

The front brakes are larger usually, that is your more braking power. There is no proportioning valve on four wheel drum brake cars. Remember modern drum brakes are "self actuating". As they are applied the shoes rotate and press more onto the drum because of the design, so the more that's needed is the more that is given by the brakes themselves.


MARTINSR 12-24-2012 10:27 AM

With the drum turned and new shoes you are going to improve your braking. If your drums have been turned out too far they heat up faster and fail due to heat faster.

But they are going to be no where near as good as discs. Going down long winding hills for instance use to smoke the brakes in my Skylark. But driving as I do with my Rambler every day, the little drum brakes are plenty because I don't drive fast or on hills. I have had a few real life panic stops without a hitch, it actually stops damn fast, once. But if it were asked to do that over and over they would smoke just like my Skylark going down a long winding hill. But for me they are plenty, that isn't for everyone.

I put front disc brakes on my Gran Sport because it has much more power and I use to race it at the drags, but the driving I do 99% of the time the drums would have been plenty.


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