Put a Halt to Your Rat Rod

Posted by at 3 December 2014, at 22 : 42 PM

Put a Halt to Your Rat Rod

If anyone asked you how important it is for you to stop, take a second, and think about that question.

Most traditional Rat Rodders aren’t really worried about how effective their braking system is. Some real old school Rat Rods don’t even have front brakes, just rear drums. Can you imagine an everyday driver having only rear drum brakes? Most traditionalists wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keep in mind that 60-70% of your stopping power comes from your front brakes. So even with four wheel drums, it will stop better, but nothing stops like a disc brake. Not to say that you need 6 piston calipers with vented rotors that will cost you thousands. But it is conventional to have disc front and drum in the rear. Most cars throughout the late seventies into the present are still this way.

Now, we understand that you want your Rat Rod to look good and not like a kit car. So the look of four wheel drums and performance is sufficient enough for cruising purposes only, not high performance applications. After all, your Rat Rod will not weigh that much, since it won’t have a full interior and possibly no hood or front and rear fenders.

Big Buick brakes are popular and look very good on any Rat Rod. They are massive in size and are actually a work of art to look at. Plus, their large size does help with stopping power. Be creative mixing and matching parts. Make it perform as well as it looks. But in the end, never sacrifice looks for performance.

Some expensive independent rear ends have disc brakes inboard, and it does give performance with good looks, since you don’t see the disc through the wheel. The downfall to these rear ends are their price. Even a used rear out of a Jaguar can run you over a thousand dollars easily.

Brake boosters are very popular on most late 40’s to present cars. It uses to engines vacuum to “boost” the braking ability of the entire system. Naturally, your Rat Rod needs to be running in order to be able to use this feature. Larger trucks use hydraulic to assist in braking, which means it uses a separate pump to pressurize the fluid which “assists” you when braking.

Hopefully this is some insight on some braking for your Rat Rod. The more simplified the system, the easier it is to maintain and repair.

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