Engines get all the glory, but in terms of driving enjoyment, brakes can make, or break, a car. Having tons of horsepower is useless if the car's braking system is sketchy. This is especially true of older Chevys that still run four-wheel drum brakes; or worse, a system without the aid of a power booster.
It's not that this system is inherently "bad," after all; cars ran this type of brake system just fine for decades. But, given the stopping prowess of modern cars, we've grown accustomed to better. In addition, it doesn't help that all of the cars around you can stop in under than 130 feet while your Chevy needs quite a bit more space. For these reasons one of the best upgrades you can perform on your classic Chevrolet is a drum to disc conversion.
We all know there are big-brake systems on the market. But those kits cost equally big bucks, and they simply don't work for the guy looking to run 15- or 16-inch wheels. Besides, many gearheads don't plan on attacking the track. They just want something that will better keep them from eating the bumper of the car in front of them on the road.
Speedway Motors has a collection of kits that lets those looking to ditch under performing drum brakes, in favor of their more modern disc cousins, and in a wallet friendly bolt-on way. To see what's involved, we ordered up some parts and headed over to Don Lee Auto to knock more than a few feet off of a 1965 Chevelle's stopping distance.