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 Brake Drum Ventilation Holes
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George Eagle

United Kingdom
2471 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2018 :  11:22:56  Show Profile
Many of the classic drum braked racers I seen have plenty of vent holes in both the brake drum and brake back plates; in addition to the holes many of the drilled back plates also have air scoops.

As Paul notes this arrangement must help to cool the brakes?


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United Kingdom
670 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2018 :  12:08:29  Show Profile

I think Bruce, when asking for actual facts and evidence, is possibly referring to technical,documentary evidence ( to include the merits, or otherwise of drilled brake drums) which may well have been collated and published by some of the great manufacturers. This would have included studies and results of experimentation of all aspects of automobile research and developments. Such documents will surely exist somewhere, no doubt gathering dust, but would be most interesting to see.
I seem to remember a reprint of the developement of Grand Prix cars (by Mercedes) for sale not too long ago.

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Bruce Sutherland

United Kingdom
1011 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2018 :  17:07:54  Show Profile

"I think Bruce, when asking for actual facts and evidence, is possibly referring to technical,documentary evidence..............

Chris, precisely correct.
In my professional automotive engineering career, ideas for improvements required hard measured factual evidence for their effectiveness - on a test rig and/or in a test vehicle.

There were times when earlier 'developments', when tested with more rigorous modern instrumentation and test methods, showed some earlier 'developments' results to be be false, hence my doubts about the overall benefit for drum brake ventilation holes, particularly for normal road use.

Ventilation holes may be of marginal benefit for track use, but water and road dirt ingress would not aid brake lining and drum friction surface wear/life on the road.

Bruce. (PB0564)
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586 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2018 :  17:17:18  Show Profile
Have a look at this link:


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United Kingdom
663 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2018 :  18:35:36  Show Profile
Having now used vents drums for a couple of years I have to say that in normal road use there is no discernible difference in brake performance. It is also true that water and dirt are not a problem. The only reason that I use them is that I like the look of them !, Geoff
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