There is a treacherous mix of vehicles on the roads today. Everything from SUVs, trucks, muscle cars, and modern econo-boxes are all sharing the same increasingly crowded stretch of asphalt. The biggest problem with all these different age and types of vehicles is the huge discrepancy in braking performance. While acceleration is king with any self-respecting grease monkey, it's usually not the reason for bumper-to-bumper contact.
Let us put it in perspective for you. The car we used for this four wheel disc brake upgrade is a '66 Bel Air that came with factory drum brakes at all four corners. This mid-'60s land yacht weighs in at almost 4,000 pounds and took 210.38 feet to stop from 60 mph. Most newer cars on the road have disc brakes and anti-lock systems, which puts their stopping distance around 160 feet or less. So imagine the outcome if you were behind one of these vehicles when they decided to slam on the brakes.
We want the Bel Air to stay nice so shortening the stopping distance was a must if this car is going to be used for anything more that putting around the parking lot. We contacted Stainless Steel Brake Corp. (SSBC) and had it ship out a complete disc conversion, which we coupled with high performance Nitto tires and new Cragar rims. Once everything was installed, the car will have a fighting chance out on the road, and our test data proved it. During the testing, the brakes were working so well we were fighting wheel lockup, proving to us we are at the limits of traction. The Bel Air now comes to a halt in 181.00 feet, shaving 29.38 feet from the overall stopping distance. That could be the difference between just calling the guy in front of you some sort of expletive or calling your insurance company to report a claim.