I am considering replacing my main breaker box in my house. There it is a "challenger" brand panel. It has a date written in there of 1978! I haven't pulled off the cover yet to install my 40Amp breaker for my sub panel feed to the addition area. I did my research online about these panels, and it seems they had some bus bar failures due to poor insulation and heat I want to get in there and look around and see if I can find any indication of damage. I've never had any problems with this house tripping breakers, or any electrical issues.
I was able to find out that BR style breakers are direct replacements for this panel. UL listed as such from my reading.
Would it be worth it for safety to replace it with a newer panel even if I find no damage to the panel?
I am capable of doing it, but I have a friend who is an electrical engineer, and does a lot of home wiring(on the side, he does a lot of new electrical installs that are inspected by the power company so he knows what he is doing) that I would have come out to oversee/do it/teach me more than I know now. The only cost would be a 6 pack of miller lite, cost of breakers, box and whatever the power company would charge me to pull the meter so we can be safe. I am not concerned with the cost as my family's safety and home is more important.