Jump to content

My first 510 Wagon, brakes need a lot of pressure


Recommended Posts

I just got a really nice conditon 1972 Wagon with a KA24DE swap already professionally done... Only issue is the brakes aren't giving me the stopping power I need! I have the stock 510 front discs and rear drums, first thing I'm going to try is bleeding and adjusting the shoes, but is a brake booster a necessary upgrade to get better stopping?

Link to comment
  • Replies 3
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

No need for a booster. The stock brakes stop quite nicely when they're working right. I've posted this before, so I'm going to keep it brief....


If the pedal travels too far, most likely your rear brakes need the shoes adjusted closer to the drum.

If the pedal is squishy, there's probably air in the lines and they need bled.

If the pedal feels firm, but goes down while pushing on it, there's a leak.....don't forget to check up under the dash...the m/c can leak inside the firewall.

If it feels firm and doesn't go down more than half way, but it doesn't stop very fast, a caliper may be hanging up, the pads may be junk.....or they may be glazed over. If your brakes feel like this, start at the front brakes. If it feels like the other two....start at the rears.



Link to comment

First be sure the stock system is working properly. If shoes/rotors/drums are worn replace them with new. Anything leaking... replace.


New drums will fit new shoes better than ones that have been turned. New thicker drums will have more thermal mass and will absorb more heat and fade less in sudden extreme brake applications. Look into a pair of the finned aluminum Z car rear drums. (they are lighter too!) It is essential that the rear shoes be adjusted properly or there will be excessive peddle travel. Stock shoes are more than enough for the rears.


Front calipers do the majority of the braking so spend some money and get a premium pad. $15 Wall Mart brakes.... ya get what ya pay for. Expect to pay around $50 or more. You want a pad that works well when cold. On the street, an accident isn't going to wait while you ride the racing compound brakes to warm them up. Look into carbon/Kevlar pads. Buy a new rotor for the same reason as getting new rear drums only more so.The rotor has to absorb more heat. Forget the cross drilled type, that is so, so '60s old and not at all necessary with today's pad technology.


Tires play a big big part in stopping performance. A grippier compound or perhaps wider tread will allow harder stops.


Lowering the vehicle, stiffer (or new) shocks and stiffer springs will reduce weight transfer to the front allowing more weight to ride on the rear tires.


Replacing the rubber flex lines with steel braided brake line will reduce swelling and peddle travel.


Premium brake fluid with a higher boiling point will allow you to brake more and more heavily longer without fade.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.