On my car I didn't have any brakes when I got it. When it was time to work on them, I had decided it was a good idea to put a disk brake conversion kit on the front. This cost about three hundred dollars, but from everyone we have talked to this is a good idea, they have probably gotten cheaper since I have done mine though.
This was a very easy procedure and had it done in the matter of about thirty minutes. While we had the old spindles off and before the new ones were put on, I had the ball joints replace which I would recommend to anyone so that their car is safe. But if you want a better description of this go to the front end section.
We also had to replace the brake line that runs from the master cylinder to the splitter in the rear. At first we had a little trouble, but then we got the hang of bending it carefully and getting it to fit just right. If you have not had any experience a doing this then you should probably get a small one or a piece of scrap line and practice bending it so that you do not crimp it.
Another thing that is a good idea to replace is the master cylinder. If you do not know what condition it is in then you should definitely replace it. It is not hard to do and only takes a few minutes.
You should also check the rear bearings and brake pads for any wear so that you can replace them before they cause any problems. Now that I have replaced and repaired basically all the important parts I am confident that I will be able to stop when I want to.
I had to use a cheater pipe to get them off and leave the car on the ground until they were loose enough to get off when the car was jacked up. I also found that one side of the parking brake cables is longer than the other side. If it has just stretched or the brake pad is worn down that is ok, but if there is a way to fix this I would like to know it. I have also heard that you might want to put grease on all the cables so that no water can get into the pipes where they are and freeze them up. I did it and it makes it easier to slide too.
If you want to make it stop even faster, you can get some T3 rear drums for the back. They have a larger surface area so they work better. That way you can still use the parking brake.