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Converting to Disc Brakes

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:10 pm
by Alan
Once again I have to point out at the risk of being boring that this is only an account of how I changed to disk brakes. This is not an instruction page and if you decide to try the conversion yourself, it is at your own risk. I have had both Rover and Suzuki types fitted, the procedure is the same.

Now then, to do the conversion you will need:-

Two Caliper hanger plates per axle (which type depends on the calipers you fit and are available from Tim HERE) , two Suzuki SJ series SOLID brake discs. Any petrol model and any year, they are all the same. You need these particularly because they fit the hub on our Jeep. As you can see I'm putting new ones on mine, but I did get a pair of rusty ones from the scrap yard to mess about with during the early stages of fitting.

A set of these. They are brake lines. You will need to get a set made up at a brake specialist. They are not expensive unless you go for the steel braided type in the picture. You will need to take the old brake line from your Jeep along with the line from the brake calipers to the supplier and they will sort you out, usually while you wait. Make sure you get the banjo fitting on the end, although the original line will fit in the caliper, it is not designed to accept that type of connection.

A set of these. They are from a rover 214. The caliper at the top is from a 216. These are not suitable for this conversion, although very similar they are designed for ventilated discs so will not suit the solid discs I'm using in the conversion. The one at the bottom is the correct item (thanks for the photo Chris). This subtle difference in calipers caused a few sharp words with my local scrap dealer and a further delay in the completion of the conversion. If you have plenty of money to spend you can buy them new from a dealer at over £75 each plus VAT or you can find a pair in good condition at a scrap dealers for about £30, which is the path I took. They were still fitted to the car they came off, so I know they work properly and are in good condition.

Well that's the big stuff accounted for, now for the little stuff. You will need a new set of bolts to mount the backplates on. Take one of the old ones to a local supplier and they will match them for you, you need them about half an inch longer. YOU MUST USE HIGH TENSILE STEEL BOLTS. Accept no substitutes, these are the bolts that take all the braking forces from the brake calipers.

Now on with the job.

Separate the hub from the drum by screwing a wheel nut on to the wheel stud and knocking it out of the assembly. When they are all out, the hub can be knocked out from the drum. The picture shows the separated hub and drum.

With your hub removed from the drum, you need to check which type of hub you have fitted to your Jeep. There are (as far as I know) two types of hub. Which part of it you will need machining will depend on which one you have. This difference in the hubs has been the major cause in the long delay in the conversion. All the experimenting was being done on my brothers jeep but with my parts if that makes sense. Couple all that together with the information I was getting from other people and the plot got a little lost because the only hubs we came across that were different, were my brothers.
Mine is the one on the left (yellow top) that seems to be most common one. As you can see my brothers is wider at the top (so it fouls the hanger plate bolts) and the wheel stud flange is machined smaller (so it drops straight into the disc). Other than those differences they are exactly the same

Here you can see the difference in the machined edge. Again mine is on the left. The distance from the outside edge to the wheel stud hole is visibly different.

Here you can see the hub in position with the backplate bolted in place. The other picture shows a caliper mounted on so you can see where it will go when its finished.

As you can see the hubs have been machined down and cleaned up on the front face (thanks Mike). When I fitted the new disc's on I discovered that the wheel stud splines protrude out far enough to stop the disc being pulled down to the hub face. The width of my wheel stud splines are 15.5 mm so the stud holes in the disc where drilled out to match. I then built up the hub, disc and wheel spacer and fitted them to the Jeep.

The calipers lined up without the need for any spacers and the new brake lines were fitted.

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:35 pm
by cheiftain
Welly Welly Well!! That's a very InDepth look into the disky convertion once again, Alan.

Only thing I will add is if using Rover Calipers on the original sized back plates, there will be a small over hang of the brake pad on the outer edge of the disk, this is because of a small miscalculation of pad/caliper position in the original design of about 2.5mm but dosen't stop them working well and has been completed very succesfully on many convertions, it only means after several hundreds of miles have been covered and possibly before a test it may be nessesary to remove the small amount of material left on the pad outside of the disk. NOT a big price to pay for being able to stop in a straight line after all. :good:

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:49 pm
by Alan
Ya beat me to it Keith :D

I am half way through creating another post to explain why the Zook caliper route maybe better. ;)

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:57 pm
by cheiftain
Alan wrote:Ya beat me to it Keith :D

I am half way through creating another post to explain why the Zook caliper route maybe better. ;)
WHoops!!!! Sorry Alan I wheel Spun out off the paddock a bit quick there, Won't happen again.

Stops to hand a packet of wetwipes to Alan to remove said mud splatter from himself, and retires quickly to bed where he can cause no furthet havock :grin: :grin: :grin:

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:12 am
by Alan
This is the issue Keith pointed out. The pads don't fit perfectly on the disc and uneven wear results.

This is the Suzuki caliper fitted. As you can see it fits perfectly.

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:37 pm
by Tim036
All this and also the ease of getting the bits, I only recommend the Suzuki conversion.

Also I allways keep a stock of seriously good brake hoses for the Suzuki cost

Not to mention those impossible to find bolts !

:yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:


Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:01 pm
by phil
I have some Rover calipers for sale if any one interested

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:12 pm
by Phil.
Hey guys,

Could someone confirm if the calliper in the photo is off a 214 or a 216. I did the conversion so long back I can’t remember which vehicle I took ’em off. :doh:

Could have sworn it was a 214....but having just read Alan’s easy guide.....I ‘er... mmmm!!

:blush: :blush:

Re: Converting to Disc Brakes - The rough guide

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:45 pm
by cheiftain
I suspect the one in the photo is a 214. the 216 uses vented disks which are a bit wider than the 214's and the suzy disks are solid Non-vented so the calipers off the 216 don't line up the pads correctly.