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Old 06-21-2007, 09:04 PM
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Weight of Disc Brakes vs Drum Brakes

Help

I just spent $500 for a front disc brake conversion kit for my 72 nova. When the conversion kit showed up at my door I was very impressed with everything - and then I picked up the boxes. I have to say those boxes must have a combined total weight of like 100 pounds or more. Very heavy.

I started thinking............ok, when I'm done my car should stop better but am I adding lots of extra weight compared to my drum brake setup. My 72 is a muscle car - acceleration is important to me.

I want a little feedback from you folks before I start this project. I can always sell the stuff on ebay or something for near what I paid for it.

Question: approximately how much heavier is the disc setup compared to the drum setup? (front brakes only). The kit includes standard rotors - nothing fancy.

Your thoughts please.

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Old 06-22-2007, 12:55 PM
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Re: Front Disc Brakes

The fade resistance, extra stopping power and greater convenience are worth any extra weight. Especially if you're making more power than stock!

Assuming your kit included new front spindles, you'll be swapping the original spindles with them, so those should be a wash.
While I haven't tried weighing a drum and disc, here too, your probably pretty similar in weights. Also, the brake calipers, compared to the weight of the slave cylinders and backing plates they'll replace should be pretty similar too!

Add the convenience and ease of changing brake pads, the fewer moving parts (springs, hold-downs, adjusters, etc...) and no need to adjust and you still come out good!

You can always go with an aluminum water pump, aluminum intake maniufold and even relocate the battery to the trunk if you're concerned about any extra weight in front. I would be surprised if there is more than a 10 or 15 Lb increase at most. Heck, I'd rather diet a few weeks and lose that much weight!

I changed-out the rear drums in my '79 Formula with discs and love them! Plus they look a heck of a lot better and stop my 'bird with much better brake pedal feel.

Good Luck!

Kevin
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigolotava
The fade resistance, extra stopping power and greater convenience are worth any extra weight. Especially if you're making more power than stock!

Assuming your kit included new front spindles, you'll be swapping the original spindles with them, so those should be a wash.
While I haven't tried weighing a drum and disc, here too, your probably pretty similar in weights. Also, the brake calipers, compared to the weight of the slave cylinders and backing plates they'll replace should be pretty similar too!

Add the convenience and ease of changing brake pads, the fewer moving parts (springs, hold-downs, adjusters, etc...) and no need to adjust and you still come out good!

You can always go with an aluminum water pump, aluminum intake maniufold and even relocate the battery to the trunk if you're concerned about any extra weight in front. I would be surprised if there is more than a 10 or 15 Lb increase at most. Heck, I'd rather diet a few weeks and lose that much weight!

I changed-out the rear drums in my '79 Formula with discs and love them! Plus they look a heck of a lot better and stop my 'bird with much better brake pedal feel.

Good Luck!

Kevin
\

you're mostly right I guess, but I swear those rotors are 20 lbs each and the calipers about 15 pounds each, plus the backing plates about 3 lbs each. so figure like 40 lbs per setup with the disc, and I would say about 20 lbs per setup with the drums so that's a total difference of 40 lbs which I suppose on a 3000 car isnt much. and yes I already have a aluminum water pump and manifold, what I need are aluminum heads.
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:49 PM
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Re: Front Disc Brakes

weight is always a concern, but put it in perspective.
A full tank of gas is over 120 pounds.
Put on the discs, and don't fill it over half a tank.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:12 PM
Will I ever get it done?
 

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40 lbs. = approx. 0.040 seconds in the quarter. Of course, you won't go in the sand.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:18 PM
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Yes, the disc setup is heavier, and it's worth every extra ounce. I've had Novas with drums ('69) and Novas with discs ('69 & '72), and there just ain't no comparison. Even with arc-ground semi-metallic shoes and everything else in top notch order, the drums don't hold a candle. Seriously, if you want to be able to stop decently (and in a straight line) from anything over ~60mph, use the discs.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:22 PM
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Yes, the disc setup is heavier, and it's worth every extra ounce. I've had Novas with drums ('69) and Novas with discs ('69 & '72), and there just ain't no comparison. Even with arc-ground semi-metallic shoes and everything else in top notch order, the drums don't hold a candle. Seriously, if you want to be able to stop decently (and in a straight line) from anything over ~60mph, use the discs.

In an extreme drag-racing situation, drums have two advantages: less weight and less drag. But they also have parachutes.
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:41 AM
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i went through the same dillema on my 71 nova and i decided to use the discs andim sooooooo happy with my choice to do that!!!! is stops so much faster and straighter!!! im happy with them and i'd say its probly only an extra 25 lbs. maybe!!!because you got to remember some if not all drums are almost as heavy if not heavier then the rotors!!! put the discs on you will be happy with that decision!!!
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