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Old 04-28-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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Rear disc brake conversion

So while my funds are building back up I need a cheap Jeep project. I'm thinking of doing this
D35 Disc Brake Conversion - 1

Seems pretty straight forward, theirs plenty of grand Cherokees in the yards around. Besides a 1996 does anyone know any other years I can use? I would imagine I could use any grand Cherokee with a D35c right? Has anyone done or attempted this mod? any advice?

Also, when taking the backing plate off of the donor Cherokee I need to remove the c- clips and pop out the axles to get it off correct?

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Old 04-28-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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Yep the axle shafts have to come out to get the backing plate off.

If you're wanting to do a rear disk brake conversion to make brake maintenance easier, go for it. If you're wanting to do it for better braking, save your $$$.

Converting rear drum brakes that are working properly to disk brakes won't improve your braking performance or make you stop any faster. I did the rear drum to disk conversion on my TJ years ago when I had more $$$ than experience with rear brakes and was bummed that there was absolutely no discernable improvement in braking afterwards. I knew there wouldn't be much, if any at all since the rear brakes only provide 20% max of the total braking, but I was hoping there might have been... nope.

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Old 04-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Yea I'm mainly doing it for easier maintenance, Drum brakes piss me off

Shouldn't cost me much as long as I can find caliper in good shape. I will put a fresh pair of rotors and pads on but use the junkyard calipers and backing plate. I know the axles have to come out to get the drum plate off but they also has to come out to get the plate off of the disc brakes on the Cherokee?

Is this something you would do again Jerry even knowing it didn't improve braking?
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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I wouldn't do it again. Rear brakes do so little work that they don't wear out quickly enough for me to worry about the slight extra work to replace drum brake shoes & adjust them.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I wouldn't do it again. Rear brakes do so little work that they don't wear out quickly enough for me to worry about the slight extra work to replace drum brake shoes & adjust them.
Jerry, would you reccomend someone to convert to rear disk's if they tow every now and then? Would it make a difference at all? I will be switching out the tranny fluid with synthetic next week. I hear the synthetic has a higher burn rate then reg. tranny fluid. For that bit of $$ I'd like to play it safe then sorry later. Even though I don't tow alot, when I do I want to make sure I do it the best way possible. (with a jeep) that is. LOL.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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Just to chime in, Jerry is right. I converted my rear from drum to disc three years ago and have not really noticed any difference in braking power (I felt like a sucker). I have recently looked at my rear pads and they still have a ways to go before replacing.

If anyone else is interested in more braking power, I've heard good things from double piston kit from VANCO. Although at $750 a pop, it is really pricey.

VANCO Power Brake Systems Wrangler/Commanche/Grand Cherokee/Cherokee front brake upgrade kit Reviews, Ratings, Specs & Prices
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Well it seems like a pretty easy project and I can get the parts cheap from the junkyard and I need something to do. I've been procrastinating taking off my fenders and painting so this will keep me busy while I procrastinate some more...I just hate drum brakes and want them gone, I don't really care about weather it will brake better or not but I thought for sure it would so thanks for the heads up guys i'm surprised.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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Jerry, would you reccomend someone to convert to rear disk's if they tow every now and then? Would it make a difference at all? I will be switching out the tranny fluid with synthetic next week. I hear the synthetic has a higher burn rate then reg. tranny fluid. For that bit of $$ I'd like to play it safe then sorry later. Even though I don't tow alot, when I do I want to make sure I do it the best way possible. (with a jeep) that is. LOL.
If your trailer is heavy enough to where you're worried about that, then the trailer should already have brakes on it. But even so, the rear brakes provide such a low percentage of the overall braking, 20% of so from the rear and 80% from the front, that rear drums are still fine even for towing.

And yes, synthetic ATF can withstand higher transmission temps than conventional ATF can before it is damaged.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
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I'm sitting on a tj d44 in my garage for 4 more weeks and was thinking about it.
I've done drum brakes and they were difficult but not impossible to do in your driveway. And I'm no mechanic.

You might have convinced me to save my $$$. Although I could tell the differance when I had my 318 ZJ on 31's with 2"BB.

How thought how could you FORCE the rears to pull more than 20% of the weight?
Seems like you could set up some sort of valve/ballast.

I've always wanted an emergency break that pulled the disk instead of the drum inside the disk. Drifters have something similar. I think that would be sick in the Jeep!!!!... uhmm How could I do that on a budget?

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