Out of the 87' XJ Dana 44 what options are there as far as a 100% COMPLETE conversion? No junkyard runs for this or that....I want something that includes everything, the new master cyclinder needed for 4 wheel disc brakes etc. Who makes something like this?
all the valve does is lets a predetermined PSI of brake pressure build in the rear brakes before engaging the fronts. this is because with drum brakes its needed to keep a good front-rear bias in an emergency stop situation...most likely if you wailed out on your brakes with the 4 disc setup the rears might lock before fronts.
There are tons of kits out there: SSBC, Currie, Teraflex, Ford 8.8 or Ford 9" (Ford kits will work with minimal effort). You can get the parts at a junkyard for $150 or less, replacing the calipers will cost another $100 for a total of $250. A new kit will cost you $500 to $1000.
Dang, well I was under the impression that there was a specific kit out there that took care of the Dana 44 rear disc conversion straight up. The reason why I am slamming bone yards is cause they suck around here....Tacoma, WA, Lakewood, WA.
You still never said why you want rear disc brakes. I put rear disc brakes on my CJ7 Dana 44 and then decided not to put the setup on my XJ Dana 44 since there is not much advantage to doing it. I have an XJ Dana 44 brake setup that is for converting to 5 on 5.5" wheel pattern. I would not recommend swapping to rear discs unless you just want the self cleaning aspect of it. There is really no other advantage to them and you have to deal with changing the residual valve in the rear line from 10# to 2#.
Most people report good results with an XJ rear disk swap. They report increased braking ability with a ZJ proportioning valve installed. The self cleaning and self adjusting benefits are definitely worth the the effort.
The parts list is very short, so a "kit" really provides no benefit. You just need the caliper brackets, calipers, rotors, some new soft lines to the calipers, some parking brake cables from an Explorer with disks, and maybe a ZJ proportioning valve (if needed). Buy all the stuff at the junkyard and take the used parts in to return as cores when you get new calipers and rotors and soft lines.
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^ I'm 100% sure that you say that because your drums were working like they are supposed to; but for most of us the drums doesn't work like they should (me included) and the disc brake actually improve or better said take back the lost braking power from the POS drums.
For the drums to fuction correctly you need to have drums, brake pads, lots of metal springs and adjuster that are thing that are prone to damanging and at least in my case the avalible reeplacements are a POS (i'm from Venezuela)
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1. Drum brakes are so antiquated. They look like something that should be on a Model A.
2. Ease of maintenance. Although a well-maintained drum brake system will brake very well, it can be difficult for the average Joe to get it set up just right.
There are so many little pieces that comprise a drum brake system. I know that I have trouble being confident that I have everything installed properly. Plus, have you ever shot one of those springs across the garage?
Changing the pads on a disc system is much easier and quicker than replacing the shoes on a drum brake system. Discs are simpler and easier to maintain. There are far fewer moving pieces involved.
Braking performance may or may not have improved. I honestly can't sure with certainty. But purely for the reason of maintenance, disc brakes win hands down.
I've twice seen the internals of a rear drum on a Dana 44 implode. Last year on the Rubicon Trail, one of my friends had a catastrophic failure. The brakes shoes and lever were bent beyond repair. He had to crimp off the brake line and continue with no rear brakes. He got replacement parts once we reached Tahoe. We still don't know the cause.
Then my buddy had a rear wheel stud back out slightly on his alloy shaft. The quarter inch that the stud was sticking out completely wiped out the entire shoe/spring assembly. Sure that one was avoidable with proper maintenance. But he didn't even know that was a possibility, so how can you take steps to prevent it?
I currently have Explorer rear disc brakes on my D44 and they work very well, even with the MJ's stock "distribution block". I have a ZJ 4-disc prop valve to install in place of the distribution block...whenever I get a chance.
When done properly, Drum brakes can have more stopping power that disc's but have a problem with brake fade because they are enclosed inside the drum and cant dissipate the heat as well. Theres more surface area between pads and drum than pad and rotor. Thats why Semi's use drums over disc's, I know because i work building semi axles.
Personally i find it easier and cheaper to swap in a ford 8.8 that already has disc brakes because they are everywhere in junkyards.
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