Drum brakes on the rear or discs?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:18
ThreadID: 30983 Views:2538 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi All
Are disc brakes better on the rear than drum brakes? Personally had both and have not had a big drama with either. Discs probably have a more positive feel , lighter pedal maybe, its just i saw a late model nissan navara 4wd ute this afternoon with very impressive size drums on the rear. Also a lot of small sedans are sticking with them . Is it just a cost factor?.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:25

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:25
Yes.............a cost factor - not so much with the brakes but the retooling..........as for effectiveness - good drums will be as good as good discs in all but very wet and/or muddy conditions - other than that it is easier to change disc pads than drum brake shoes................rgds
Slow down and relax......

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AnswerID: 156104

Follow Up By: Eddy - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:33

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:33
Discs have far better fade resistance than drums and also don't trap lining dust.
They are also completely self adjusting.
Disc caliper piston seals very rarely leak, drum brake cylinders are very prone to leakage and the fluid does get onto the linings.
Go for discs every time.
After a water crossing a disc brake will dry out far quicker than a drum.
Also every time you wash your vehicle it is easy to hose the brake dust out of a disc brake.

FollowupID: 410123

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:48

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:48
I prefer discs. Drum brakes stop working in water - whereas discs dry out pretty quick after water.

Also, drum brakes often have self-adjusters that can lock up the brakes if you reverse back down hills - seen that a bit on 60series.
AnswerID: 156110

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:59

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 20:59
I just changed the shoes on my drums.... Go the discs everytime, WHAT A PITA!
AnswerID: 156113

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:19

Monday, Feb 20, 2006 at 21:19
Seen a F1 car with drums lately?

Drums suck, discs are the way to go for every reason.

I don't really buy the manufacturers' claims that discs are more expensive to put on the rear of vehicles - I think it's just a bit harder to make an effective handbrake on discs. That said, none of the vhicles with rear discs seem to have handbrake problems.
AnswerID: 156118

Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 12:17

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 12:17
No! Not a cost factor on 4x4's..It's a safety factor..When we have old fashioned "drum" brakes we have old fashioned hand-brakes that actually work and can lock the rear wheels (if adjusted correctly) which is so neccessary for the small,trained minority of four wheelers,who have the ability to do a "key-stall" start in reverse,usually after running out of "puff' or traction when hill climbing..When Jeep™ planned the KJ wagon,they had the option of fitting "disc" rear brakes with the tiny,almost useless,inside drum for the hand-brake,or,fit drum brakes and have the inherent safety factor that could save lives in real off-roading situations,whereby the hand-brake actually has the ability to hold almost the entire weight of the vehicle on a steep climb.(No doubt,you are aware,at this point,in the climb,almost all the frontal weight has now been transfered to the rear axle,luckily,just enough remains on the front tyres to gain some steering)..As for the efficency in a commuter type emergency stop,the race car type braking abilty of the discs on the rear are to all intents and purposes,dissipated by the forces of the rear mass trying to move in a vertical circle,thereby,removing most of the weight (and frictional road surface area of the tyre) from the rear tyres and depositing it on the,already,heavily loaded front tyres..Maybe,one of the few areas where a disc set on the rear would be prefered,is where an in-experienced driver is using the brakes to descend a long mountain decline,where over-heating would start to take the toll.A good driver would,of course,use the gears to allow the motor the oppurtunity of slowing the vehicle on either braking set-up,with just occasional jabs on the brake pedal..Whew! Got that of my chest! RockyOne!MPG:3!
AnswerID: 156231

Follow Up By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 12:42

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 12:42
Must be "A Jeep Thing" :-)

Keep your drums. I'll have discs anyday.
FollowupID: 410288

Follow Up By: jon p qld - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:30

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006 at 22:30
Only the first of the KJ cherokee's had drum rear brakes then they fitted discs all round.
FollowupID: 410440

Follow Up By: Baldrick - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 22:53

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 22:53
That's why real 4wds have transmission hand brakes ;-)
FollowupID: 410657

Follow Up By: Eddy - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 23:25

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2006 at 23:25
Methinks you doth protest too much!

Manufacturers don't give a rats about "key stall starts in reverse"

How many people do that in their shopping trolleys?

FollowupID: 410663

Follow Up By: Member - RockyOne - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:48

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 08:48
Yeah Baldrick,I think you are pretty close to right,re handbrake on drive shaft.Easy to maintain,does'nt get wet except in deep water,if your brakes failed on the rear,a great back-up braking situation.Our Diahatsu we took to Cape York and still going strong at age 26yrs (rafted over the Wenlock) has the hand-brake on the rear drive shaft...I re-read my original posting and concluded that I never at any stage suggested that my preference,in this day and age,was drums on the rear,just making the point that every time we gain something,we lose something.That's life I guess! :-)

Have fun..RockyOne
FollowupID: 410689

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