In the early part of the last century, there were a lot of different
styles of brakes. Seems that we all settled on the internal drum brake
for a good part of the century.
Drum brakes worked. They stopped the car.
Thing is, we all know these days that disc brakes are superior. Better
stopping power, better cooling ability, self-adjusting for wear, etc.
The thing that I can't seem to wrap my noodle around though, is why
didn't we see them sooner? Compared to drum brakes, disc brakes are a
much simpler design. I would wager that it is even cheaper to make
disc brake sets. The master cylinder is irrelevant- same concepts
apply, just different front/rear proportioning.
I realize that in manufacturing, *nothing* gets changed unless there is
a damn good reason to. But why did it take until when.... Late 1960s,
early 1970s or so until FRONT disc brakes became the norm? How come it
took until now for them to start showing up on the rear wheels?
Was there some enabling technology or manufacturing process that needed
to be developed or invented that made disc brakes possible? I can't
seem to think of anything disc brakes require that drum brakes didn't
already have. Why didn't disc brakes become the norm instead of drum?
Or is this another thing where the rest of the world had 4-wheel disc
brakes since the 1950s, but Detroit refused to 'progress'?
- posted 14 years ago