Help Choosing 1965 Impala SS Drum Brake Shoes - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2020, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Question Help Choosing 1965 Impala SS Drum Brake Shoes

Hello everyone, I am looking for some suggestions on who makes the best drum brake shoes for our Impalas
I have a 65 SS with drum brakes all around and I am looking to replace all the shoes on the car. I was reading up on shoes and getting all confused about friction coefficient. I understand that a higher friction coefficient means better stopping (to a point at which you start sacrificing cold stopping power) but when searching for shoes ive not seen one rating listed.

Does anyone have any experience or know which brand offers the best stopping power ?
I was told the best shoes were always the asbestos shoes but they dont make them anymore.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2020, 02:20 PM
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Original equipment was Raybestos organic (asbestos) with metallic linings being used on police cars and heavy wagons.

Though you can buy ceramic brakes they area race only item (rarely used with drum rakes so they hard to find, but e-Brakes sells them out of England). The greater the coefficient of friction the less wear you will get from your drums. And as you noted cold braking is poor. I had some ceramic brakes on a Camaro and the holding power of the brakes was so bad that the car wouldn't stop well at all on the street. Felt I needed a hole in the floor to stick my foot down as if I were riding a Harley. They worked great at the track though. If you were talking about a truck in the mountains were brake fade is an issue then you could run ceramics on the street.

Metallic linings are the best compromise.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2020, 08:11 PM
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I used these "High Performance Matrix Ceramic Brake Shoes" on my 64 with otherwise stock drum brakes.

Muscle Car Brakes

I have been happy with them. No brake fade on a drive down from Crystal Lake in the San Gabriel Mountains. That is 6,000 ft down to 1,000 ft in 23 miles of windy road. That works out to an average 4% grade, but obviously some parts are a lot steeper than that.

1964 Impala 4 door sedan

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-27-2020, 12:26 AM
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If you end up with aftermarket shoes (metallic or ceramic) be sure to but modern drums to go with them. If your drums are original GM than set them aside unless or until you find NOS shoes.

Modern shoes do not like old drums. The materials are not compatible. The drums will heat up the wheel almost hot enough burn your hand if you touch them. I've seen it happen several times.
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