Wow, I've been busy working on the Heep lately!
First off, some (new to me) tires. BFG M/T 31x10.50X15 (40% Tread remaining, $100).
So Memorial Day weekend I take the plunge and finally got around to installing my ZJ Disc Conversion for the rear. Man...I think that if it were possible for one person to find all the possible way to have something go wrong, I'm a good candidate!
I went to a U-Pull and Save (First timer, none near me...had to go to the BIG city to get what I needed) and got pretty much everything. I already had the backing plates, just needed everything else. Pads and rotors had only 1K on them, so a good score to get everything for $75.
Not going to do a write-up as there are already plenty out there, just my advice...take it or leave it. = )
Check out these pitiful drums...I didn't realize it, but the actual "Drums" can wallow out the stud holes. A little tough to see but, check out the top stud in the pic.
I really had to fight those stupid little washers that hold the drum in place! For whatever reason, I think mine were made of titanium! Literally couldn't break them and had to slowly screw them off. PITA
Once they were off including the drums, I had a look at the internals. Shoes were wearing funky, certain spots were hitting and not others. Guess I should have adjusted them every now and again!
Wow, that rear end was nasty! Took almost an entire can of Brake Cleaner to get it pur tee again.
Ok, now for the hardships:
1) Little bolt that holds the cross piece in the diff...started to round off on me. I was luckily able to get it out with a good socket once I got lined up to the rear most position.
2) The backing plates were really tough to machine down. I used a grinding wheel for my Dremel, but progress was so slow, watching paint dry is quicker! Then I tried some sanding drums with heavy duty sanding wheels. Nope! What finally worked for me, was getting a 10" file (half flat, half rounded) and just working around and around. I also had to use my angle grinder to prep the axle portion, it was all rusted.
3) The hard lines were almost completely seized to the old backing plates. I had doused them with Penetrating oil the previous day, but that didn't seem to help. I broke 2 wrenches trying to get them off! I went to Autozone to see if they had a tool or anything. Guy just hands me a 3/8th's inch wrench. But...it did work! Damn near broke my hand with the force I had to put into it. (Slammed it on the leaf spring when it finally gave.) Gotta love that painful euphoria!
4) I forgot to tighten the little cross piece bolt in the diff!
Had to re-do the RTV, what a sloppy mess trying to get that stuff off! Stupid mistake on my part! "Your in much too much of a hurry!"
5) The pads I got from UPAS were all messed up. If you look at normal pads, one side is notched, the other allows you to slide the caliper on. For my lucky self, one set had notches opposite each other. So I couldn't get them to slide on! I beat on that caliper for 30 minutes before seeing the problem. I thought, (You dummy...this is on the wrong side!) Nope, no matter the orientation, it was always backwards. Finally got it on by setting the pad in place on the rotor and pushing the caliper over it. PITA!
6) No parts store had MORE than 4 ZJ Studs, I had to go to 3 different parts shops!
7) One of the UPAS calipers had a rounded bleeder screw. Nice to find that after everything was ready to be bled. Had to pull it off and hammer a smaller socket on, then head back to the parts store AGAIN for a new bleeder screw.
8) First test drive...(HOORAY!!!) "Scrap, scrap, scrap" Oh great...what now! The backing plate dust shield was bent on the drivers side. Pull it all back off and hammer the crap out of it where it was rubbing. Put it all back together.
After all that....fun....it was finally DONE!
I threw some dimes out on the street...but didn't stop on any. I think I need to bleed again, pedal felt squishy. But, after the initial quick starts and stops I did notice some unexpected surprises!
It used to be that whenever I put my Jeep in Reverse, I always had a "Ka-Clunk". This was gone! Also, when rolling up to a stop light, if it was a somewhat hard stop, the Jeep would clunk as it came to rest in the back. Also gone!
Braking is much more level, I don't feel as though I am lurched forward and down during hard braking.
I also had to try it out wheeling. I have some dunes about a mile from my place. It was cool being able to hold the Jeep on a steep incline. One hill in particular I would slowly slide down with brake pedal to the floor front would lock, but the rear kept rolling. Tonight, I was able to hold the hill without any problem.
So...what's next? My improvised exhaust hanger at very rear of my Jeep broke off while wheelin'. Now I can hear the pipe slamming on the hanger after large bumps.
Might as well add another leaf from my donor pack to level things out front to rear. Also, I need to find the patience to work on the e-Brake setup. It wasn't priority, but I would like it to function...eventually. One of the WJ Upper Control Arms has a bad bushing that needs replacement. I'm also tossing around the idea of Control Arm Drop Brackets at the same time. Two birds...one stone!