1964 Cadillac Coupe De Ville - Building A Better Boat Anchor!

John and his son Greg have been driving a mostly stock 1964 Coupe De Ville for a few years. However, the heavy weight of the car and outdated drum brakes posed a safety concern during testing. Therefore, John decided to upgrade the brake system to ensure better performance and safety. They took the car to ABS Power Brake in Orange, California, a company known for manufacturing power-brake boosters and disc-brake kits for various classic cars and trucks. ABS offers complete brake kits for about 50 different applications, including Cadillacs like John's.

If they don't have brakes for a specific car or truck, they can custom fabricate them. The Cadillac disc kit presented a challenge since the center portion of the stock rims didn't clear the caliper. To solve this problem, Pedro Gomez, an expert at ABS, replaced the 12-inch rotors with 11-inch ones to fit the stock wheels. The new brake system included front discs, a new master cylinder, double-diaphragm booster, and disc/drum proportioning valve. The upgrade made a significant difference in the car's performance. John noticed that the new brake system was well-balanced and perfectly matched to the Cadillac.

The brakes were not touchy, allowing for smoother stops without jerking. And when he needed to stop quickly, pushing the pedal harder resulted in faster stops. More rigorous testing confirmed the improved performance. Although they couldn't obtain hard numbers because of the previous brake failure, they estimated that the stopping distance from 60 to 0 mph would have exceeded 250 feet. With the ABS discs, it was reduced to 167 feet, achieving a stopping time of 3.87 seconds. This impressive result was especially notable given the car's heavy weight and non-performance tires.

However, the most significant improvement was the increased confidence in the brakes. John no longer worried about driving the car in rainy conditions or having to make repeated stops in heavy traffic. He could now relax and enjoy driving the vehicle. In conclusion, John's decision to upgrade the brake system of his 1964 Coupe De Ville proved to be a wise one. The new disc brakes provided better performance, shorter stopping distances, and increased confidence, making the driving experience more enjoyable and safer.

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