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Old 03-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
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converting rear drum brakes to disc

I'm wanting to convert the rear drum brakes on my TJ to disc. Has anyone done this and if so any good conversion kits to suggest?

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Old 03-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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If u have Dana 35 I'd do an axel swap to ford 8.8 wich has disc prob Cost the same as the conversion

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Old 03-14-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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I'm wanting to convert the rear drum brakes on my TJ to disc. Has anyone done this and if so any good conversion kits to suggest?
What is your goal, better braking or easier maintenance? If it's better braking, don't bother as converting rear drums to disk won't help braking in a meaningful, significant, or noticeable manner. The rear brakes are only allowed to provide something like 25% of the total braking force to prevent brake lockup and going out of control, so you'll be much better off doing something to improve the front braking which if done properly, can produce dramatically better braking.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #4
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I agree with Jerry here. I spent a fair amount of time trying to make my rear drums perform better. I finally realized, with some discussion with others here, that they were working exactly as designed. A simple change to the right brake pads on the front, and my Jeep stops better than I could have ever imagined.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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I'm wanting to convert the rear drum brakes on my TJ to disc. Has anyone done this and if so any good conversion kits to suggest?
I'll post up a link in a bit, but we just put together a very economical Rear Disc Brake conversion for the Dana 44, Dana 35, and Ford 8.8.

The kit includes New loaded backing plates with New parking brake shoes, New Rotors, New high quality Centric Brake pads, Centric Reman Calipers, and new brake hardware.

You will need to cut and flare your hard lines, supply flex hoses, get some 1/2" longer 3/8-16 bolts to attach the backing plates to the housing end and convert your axles to the Rubi retainers.

We haven't been able to check everyone's prices on a rear disc conversion but we are trying to get it down below everyone with higher quality parts. It should go up on the site for about 395.00 plus actual shipping charges.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
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A disc setup out of a grand cherokee with a dana 35 will bolt up. I noticed a huge difference because I would adjust my drums and they would work great for a day and then go back out of adjustment from mud and water. The e-brake is a little tricky when you do the swap. The ends are different so I cut the grand cherokee ends off at the junkyard and used 1/8" u-bolts from Home Depot for steel cable to put the ends on my ebrake system. Doing this was experimental and I have been checking it often but it seems as though it is holding up fine. You may also need the Cherokees proportioning valve but try it first cause I didn't need it. A couple hints would be to knock out and take the four bolts on each side that hold the mounting plates to the rear as they are longer. The studs in the shafts are longer as well cause the discs are thicker.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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If u have Dana 35 I'd do an axel swap to ford 8.8 wich has disc prob Cost the same as the conversion
Probably not considering that most of the TJ bracket kits cost almost as much as a conversion.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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Mr. Blaine, does Black Magic have rear brake shoes for the stock drum set up?

second question; $395 is a really good price for a conversion kit, will you have at some point a full 4-corner TJ kit out from Black Magic?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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If u have Dana 35 I'd do an axel swap to ford 8.8 wich has disc prob Cost the same as the conversion
That is extremely unlikely. Just the cost of an 8.8 and brackets are probably more than a disc conversion.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Can you take the disc brakes from a grand Cherokee. I was pulling axles today and noticed that a grand Cherokee has discs on their 35 and thought about this. Glad I saw this thread.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #11
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Can you take the disc brakes from a grand Cherokee. I was pulling axles today and noticed that a grand Cherokee has discs on their 35 and thought about this. Glad I saw this thread.
Yes, as long as it is a ZJ. The backing plates bolt right up to the Dana 35 with no other mods but the centerbore will need to be enlarged to let the Set 10 bearing and seal slide through if you have a Dana 44.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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400 bucks sounds very reasonable (cheap) for a fairly complete disc conversion.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:20 PM   #13
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Mr. Blaine, does Black Magic have rear brake shoes for the stock drum set up?
We do but they are just Posi-quiet premium shoes. We've not delved into the brake shoe market yet due to my worries of inducing unneeded lock-up. Rear drum brakes are touchy enough as it is and swapping in a high friction compound would generally just make a mess of things.

I only know that from doing it previous. I had high enough friction that I could bend over the ends of the shoes. I then took a set of new shoes, had the linings stripped off so I could tune them up. Myself and a sheetmetal shop made small plates of the correct shape and reinforced the ends of the shoes where they rested on the anchor pins and then I had Porterfield reline them for me. Testing showed I had now exceeded the strength of the backing plates and I was folding the anchor pins over and ruining the backing plates.

At that point I enjoyed a small epiphany and learned that I should quit trying to make the rear brakes do more than they are supposed to and concentrate my efforts on the front where I should have been all along because I learned a whole bunch of what not to do.

Given a choice, I'd rather not mess with drum brakes but we get a lot of requests from 1 stop buyers that just want to get everything all in one place, so we oblige.

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second question; $395 is a really good price for a conversion kit, will you have at some point a full 4-corner TJ kit out from Black Magic?
The fronts are in the works now if I'm understanding the question as being about Big Brake Conversions although it will be unlikely we will sell them.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:22 PM   #14
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400 bucks sounds very reasonable (cheap) for a fairly complete disc conversion.
Trust me, it ain't a high profit item, but I've grown weary of sub standard quality in rear disc conversions and really don't like the prices I've been seeing.

Centric makes good stuff, the Backing plates are very high quality at least equivalent to OEM, and we already know the pads and rotors are good when you get the premium stuff.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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400 bucks sounds very reasonable (cheap) for a fairly complete disc conversion.

As promised, here is the link to the kit-

Dana 44 Rear Disc Brake Conversion

We also have them for the Ford 8.8 with same or similar pricing.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:34 PM   #16
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Just when I thought I was content with my rear brakes...
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:51 PM   #17
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Just when I thought I was content with my rear brakes...
You are the reason we dug these up.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #18
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You are the reason we dug these up.
How so?
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:31 AM   #19
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How so?
I felt sorry for you having to mess with bedding in those poorly arched brake shoes.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:34 AM   #20
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I kinda feel obligated to buy a kit now...
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:42 AM   #21
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I felt sorry for you having to mess with bedding in those poorly arched brake shoes.
I'm glad, though, that you took me seriously. Most everyone else basically told me to just put some shoes on it and forget it.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:08 AM   #22
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I put the teraflex kit on my last jeep. Then my wheels didn't fit! Make sure that you have clearance for the calipers. I did a write up Drum to Disk swap

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