So... The disk brake conversion...unless there is a person with compelling reason not to ... will be the Great Lake Offroad set up for a Dodge rear.
Really cool that they have a Dodge specific set up. I searched and searched. Blue Torch Fab and Ballistic have brackets for Fords but no Dodges. Wilwood has some universal stuff, but nothing specific to the Dodge. Maybe it is a sign, but there is very little Dodge drum to disk brake stuff out there! Now that absolutely could be that the drums work, there is no NEED to go to a disk.
I have been holding off on my decision since I wanted to do all the reading I could. I wanted to do it...just because!
I wanted to make sure I ordered brackets with the right holes. The last thing I wanted was to get some brackets and mess around with re-driling the holes or screwing with spacers for a month to get the caliper to line up with the rotor. This kit will put the rotors in the right spot instead of me trying to figure it out with a weld on universal unit.
All of the weld on universals used 77ish Chevy Calipers. All from the front end of 4x4 Chevy. I could not find any application that would allow for a mechanical e-brake. There may be one, but I couldn't find it. This being my first one ton job, I am taking the path of least resistance!
An e-brake is must for me. In Colorado there are way to many shelf roads, peak top ends, kids in the Jeep, etc... to not have a mechanical e-brake; at least for me.
Now I know I said above about the big plans being dropped, but to me this is a good one. First, the brake line going into the passenger side drum is bunged up...the PO couldn't get the fitting out and cut the line and stripped the fitting. I would have to take some heat, PB Blaster, or who knows what to get it out. He is a professional mechanic, if he couldn't get it out, why should I?
That being said, he was wrenching on this axle while it was under his rig, after a grave yard shift, after doing a motor swap in his truck, all in the same two days....He may have been tired and chucking tools (his own words). The axle is well maintained and not a rusted hunk o crap.
I would say what a d%ck, but he is a friend of a friend and may become a really good wheeling buddy! He has a sick CJ8 and is a club pres. Good guy. He was moving up to a 14 bolt. He ran this axle for six years with no issues till he moved to some stickies. He ran everything from a 38 to a 42. Snapped a shaft on the 40 stickies. Since he is a wrench, he grabbed a 14 bolt and moved on. He sold me the axle for the cost of the locker and gears.
I have added a lot of weight to my heep over the last year. Cutting out the weight of the drum will be a plus. I have no other reason for doing the swap (outside the above mentioned) than for it is something to do. I know that I will not gain stopping power with a rear drum to disk swap.
I will gain ease of maintenance. It will be an excuse to pull apart the hub and learn all about the full float assembly. I know the axle comes out super simple, but the hub, that may be another story. I have been reading about it ...
When it is done, it will be trick! The last big plan for this axle after it is slung will be some chromo's. It is only a 30 spline. Now yes it is a full floater and that should be more than enough for my little TJ, but it is piece of mind. We wheel alone way too often. The chromo's can come later (Yukon or Dutchman).
The calipers are from a 76-78 Caddy Elodorado - e-brake capable - will work with the existing TJ cables
Brackets that build off of the studs for the drum
Brackets to mount off of the Dodge bolt pattern
All will set up for the 8x6.5" bolt pattern
Only downfall, coin! About 500 bones, but it is what it is...This is one trick thing I want done done before the axle is under the Jeep.