1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Repair Question
Oldsmobile Cutlass Brakes Problem
Your drum brakes were carefully designed to provide balanced braking front-to-rear. Any brake linings you can buy for the front or rear, from any manufacturer, must meet the exact same coefficient of friction to maintain that balanced braking. Lawyers and insurance investigators love to find modifications like tire size, wheel offset, and especially ride height because they will convince a jury that you were partly at fault for the crash caused by the other guy running the red light, because you were less able to avoid it, and they will be right. They will have a field day with you and your car if someone hits you and they find any modification to the brake system.
The drum brakes will already lock up the wheels and make the tires skid. What more do you want? You have enough safety concerns with your car already. Before you start butchering it, as I've seen other people do, consider that disc brakes require a lot more pedal force to operate. Are you aware of the differences in the master cylinder between disc and drum brakes? What about the combination valve assembly? That was carefully calibrated to the weight distribution of your car. If your model was never available with rear disc brakes, what valve are you going to use, or are you hoping the drum brake valve will work right?
I have a '93 Dynasty with rear disc brakes, and I've driven many others. As a brake system and suspension and alignment system specialist, I can't tell the difference when driving the car. The only successful retrofit I've ever seen was to a Dodge Neon because they guy used all the factory parts that were available as an option on that car. When he got done he was quite disappointed to see there was no difference in braking ability. All the other cars ended up with "For sale as is" signs in the windows.
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