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Willys Jeep Disk Conversion for $250

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Nick_ View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Feb. 2017 at 10:22pm
Intro
Parts suppliers charge huge money for disc brake kits ($750+ per axle). I thought this was excessive and began hunting down all the required part numbers to build the same exact kit. How does $250 sound? In the following pages you will read myself and other members trying out specific parts, finding what works/doesn't work etc. We have it nailed down - and this first post has been updated.

Do I need discs?
Yes: For constantly driving through mud, then yes discs are a necessary safety improvement. Because drum brakes are a "sealed" system, they contain all that mud/dirt/debris and you will eventually loose brakes. Not to mention how miserable it is to remove the drums and clean them after an off-road trip. Regularly driving through icy water will also cause drums to become worthless. I have experienced both. For those with larger tires and heavier built rigs, upgrading brakes is always a good idea.

No: For simple street driving, off-road in clean environments such as rocks and minor trail riding, then discs are not a requirement. Properly adjusted drum brakes will lock all 4 wheels and kick the Jeep sideways.

Kits Fit
Front axles 1941 to 1986 including Willys MB, Ford GPW, Willys CJ2A, Willys CJ3A/B, CJ5, CJ6, CJ7, CJ8, Jeepster, Commando, FC, Wagons, Pickups, Postal Jeeps, and others.

Rear axles: Up to approx 1970 that have the same 6-bolt bearing retainer pattern as the front axle, this includes most universal style Willys and Jeep products that did not have an e-brake on the rear axle.

Types of Kits
1. Chevy: This is what all parts suppliers sell (Kaiser Willys, Horsepower Sales LLC, Herm etc). This is the kit we are discussing throughout this thread. 

Pros: Heavy duty parts that will probably outlast your Jeep. For those will heavily modified and overloaded vehicles, this will stop it. Parts availability is at any big box store any time of day.

Cons: If you ever need to change a rotor, it'll require pressing out the wheel studs.

Because the calipers are so large, the front axles will require *minor* grinding on the knuckle.



Front 



Rear




2. Trackick: Made by our very own member, Metcalf. He designed caliper brackets and provides a complete list of parts needed to complete the kit. All info on his website here.

Pros: Brake discs easily removable. No front knuckle grinding required. Proven for years on his heavily modified rig known as "Rango."

Cons: Not all parts are easily available on a moment's notice at all big box parts stores.



3. Geo Tracker: Made by our very own member, Stev. You will have to message him for caliper brackets. More information on this thread here. I found a similar thread on G503 here. 

Pros: Similar to the Sidetrack kit.

Cons: (Personally I don't know much about this kit and cannot provide accurate information).

*Do not install a moving, rubber line inside a hole (without protection) where it can wear through such as this individual did. Bad bad bad.



Picking a Kit
Truthfully there's never a right answer and each one will get the job done. If you're the kind of person who likes making a statement with a monstrous big brake kit (myself) then go for the Chevy. If you like supporting our members and don't indulge in excessive behavior, go for Metcalf/Stev's kits.

Wheels
Aftermarket: Most wheels have enough backspacing to clear any disc brake kit.

Originals: You will need 16" wheels at a minimum. Remember Willys are a 2-piece wheel, some are welded together and some are riveted. For the Chevy conversion, you will need wheel spacers. Metcalf/Stev claim that no wheel spacers are required for their kits. I helped a neighbor install Metcalf's kit with 16" wheels, and he needed spacers - but had the riveted style wheels.

Wheel Spacers
If you're getting a wheel spacer, get a 1" because it's easy. This is the minimum size spacer that will have its own set of wheel studs. If you go any smaller, you need to guess how much longer of a wheel stud to press into your hubs and it can turn into a mess. The wider stance looks fills the wheel wells out nicely.

1” wide 5x5.5” aka 5x139.7 bolt pattern




Master Cylinder Upgrades
Yes absolutely yes upgrade that stock master cylinder. Originals are a single reservoir, meaning that all brake lines share the same fluid. If one brake line goes out, all brakes go out. With a dual reservoir, the front and rears have a separate system. If one goes out, the other still works.

Kaiser Willys sells Herm's complete dual master kit. Yes it's expensive, but the only way to go. I tried buying just the bracket and used some master cylinder part numbers from this forum and gained 3 months of misery, then had to buy Herm's master anyways.

*Note: There are disc/drum for front disc with rear drum, and disc/disc for all 4 wheel disc masters. This is important to know before buying the kit.

Proportioning Valves
Now that you have altered brakes, you need to adjust the brake bias. Basically, the fronts need to lock up before the rears. I use an adjustable inline proportioning valve between the master cylinder and my rear brakes. One line in and one line out (you can block off other open ports). It's clean, simple and easy. Forget the complicated GM style one.

Chevy Kit Install Video
Here I am installing discs onto the rear axle. It's almost the same exact setup as the fronts, but without dealing with the miserable tapered hub on the axle shaft you see me cut apart.



Chevy Parts List for Each Axle


Calipers

Fits 1980 Chevy K10 Pickup 4x4

(1 qty) Cardone #18-4124

(1 qty) Cardone #18-4125

 

Caliper Brackets

Fits 1971-1991 Chevy/GMC 1/2 ton 4 Wheel Drive Trucks. Blazer, Jimmy, K5, K10, K1500 and more.

(1 set) #CB7191

 

Pads

Fits 1980 Chevy K10 Pickup 4x4. Fronts, organic material

(1 set) O'Reillys #D52

 

Rotors

Fits 1977-78 CJ *1-1/8'' thick*

(2 qty) Bendix #PRT1155

 

Hoses

Fits 1978 Chevy K10 Pickup 4x4

(2 qty) Brakebest #BH79339

*I believe these come with the necessary banjo bolt. If not, stores carry them.

 

Lug Studs

(10 qty) Dorman #610-219

 

Wheel Spacers

For original 16” wheels only

(1 set) 1” wide 5x5.5” aka 5x139.7 bolt pattern


Bleeders

(1 set) Russel Speed Bleeders #639580 (10mm x 1.5 thread) 

*These are not necessary, but gives you the ability to bleed brakes by yourself.



Disclaimer: This includes the physical disc setup while using your original hubs, wheel bearings, and races. Other parts suppliers include these in the bundle, but most likely part, or all, are unnecessary.


Edited by Nick_ - 06 Feb. 2020 at 12:12pm
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cpt logger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cpt logger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 4:54am
Nick, Thanks for this list.

I have a question. Does it matter if the Chevy disk parts are from a 2WD or a 4WD?

The reason I ask is I have a 1975 Chevy 1/2 ton 4X4 that I am parting out & my cousin has a 1974 Chevy 2WD that she is parting out. She would swap me if I needed her to. If both will work I will trade her out of her parts & keep mine as well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markcl52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 8:34am
great post. Do you know if this will work with the 15" wheels?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 9:50am
cpt logger: Great question I'm not sure. If you find out while taking those apart, let me know.

Markcl52: Yes see above wheel spacers section.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 10:16am
Nick,

Disc Brakes are a great safety up grade.

I have done the Geo Tracker conversion on our trail Jeep (Dana 25).  No spacer are required.  I also put a dual master cylinder kit on at the same time (Herm's).  No grinding - stock Cj2A wheels fit.  Stops on a dine!  I love having disk brakes up front!

If people are using their CJ2A and not restoring it, it should be strongly considered.

Be Safe out there.

Stev


Edited by Stev - 07 Feb. 2017 at 10:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 12:09pm
Cpt Logger,
  The 2WD does not have a separate caliper bracket, it is part of the spindle or knuckle. I'm pretty sure but not positive that the calipers and pads are the same, however.  BW
Happy Trails! Good-bye, Good Luck, and May the Good Lord Take a Likin' to You!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wheelie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 8:25pm
Stev, got a parts list for the Geo set up?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb. 2017 at 8:35pm
I'd be interested seeing that as well. Here is an excellent write-up on G503 but he states a 1/2'' spacer was needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 10:13am
Disk Brake Conversion for a Dana 25 using Geo Tracker parts:

Willys Stock CJ2A Wheel Disk Brake Conversion (combat rims would require a spacer to deal with the bolts in the combat rim).

This conversion is for a DANA 25 front axle.  It was done in conjunction with a dual master cylinder conversion.   The rear brakes remain as stock 9 inch drum brakes with 1 inch wheel cylinders.  A proportioning valve was used on this conversion. 

 

Parts required are from a Geo Tracker (1989 to 1998) L4 1.6L 1588cc two Door:

·         Calipers 2 each with mounting brackets

·         Rotors 2 each – solid non vented

·         Brake pads 

Tire bolts / studs (these are longer that the stock studs by 3/8 of an inch to accommodate the thickness of the brake disk):

·         Napa Part Number 641-1112

Metric bolts to mount the caliper mounting brackets to the backing plates:

·         Menards - HXCAP SW12MM-1.25X30MM M 2026862

·         Menards- HEX NUT 12mm 2026846

·         Menards- 3/8 “ Lock Washer 2326024

Spinal to steering knuckle bolts – These bolts are longer than stock because they have to capture the spindle and flat bracket that the caliper mounting brackets attach too.

·         Menards- HEX-CAP 3/8-24X1-1/4 GR 2028008 12each

Custom brake lines:

Ohio Hydraulics (2 each brake line assemblies) with these components:

·         1/8 SST Brake Hose Clear HFB09 (17” front and 12” Rear)

·         Banjo 10 x 10MM HFIF01

·         Female 3/8 x 24 19MM BQ251-SV

·         Braided Hoes Insert/Silver

Brake Line bolts:

·         Ohio Hydraulics (2 each) BQ1016 Banjo Bolt 10 x 1.0 x22mm

·         Ohio Hydraulics (2 each) BQ1016 H/D Copper washer 10mm

Bracket Conversion:

·         3/8 inch steel plate (2 each) flat stock to mount the calipers (I have a drawing and several sets of laser cut plates if you are serious about doing this conversion.  I can also send you a drawing if you need a pattern).



Ste








Edited by Stev - 08 Feb. 2017 at 10:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smfulle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 2:49pm
I wonder what parts will be most available come time to replace stuff in 5-20 years? Just thinking out loud. Probably not going to do either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 3:07pm
Chevy C10 parts will survive a nuclear fallout. They're everywhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 3:22pm
Stan, 

I have a couple of 70 year old Willys Jeeps that I can still find parts for on the internet.  I think you will be able to get what every you want in the future unless it is electronic.   None of these retrofits are irreversible.  This stuff just bolts on.  In the future if a better solution comes along just unbolt your old disc brake solution and install the new- fangled solution.  

Be Safe Out There.  

Stev


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smfulle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 7:06pm
First off I want to thank Nick and Stev for their time and effort on this. I think it will be very helpful for many, maybe even me some day.

I work part time at a national brand parts store and it seems that the parts we stock and the parts we can order from the "warehouse" come and go as things age out. Things that don't move are dropped from in store stock, and eventually from special order stock.

Our jeeps are iconic vehicles and there will probably be a demand for spares for them for a long time, even though we often have to go to speciality vendor. Chevy stuff may or may not fall into that iconic future category. (Anybody out there putting any money into a Citation restoration?) It may just be me, but I think the Tracker is closer to the Citation than the Chevelle SS as far as likely to gain iconic status and therefore having spares produced well into the out years, in my opinion, is less likely. Not sure about the S-10, but there sure are a lot of them out there.

I'm not really making an argument here, just thinking out loud about stuff I might want to consider if I ever do this in the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb. 2017 at 10:24pm
Stan,

The Tracker is a bolt on solution that uses stock CJ2A rims.  No spacer.  What else have you got that can bolt up with no wheel spacer.  Let me know and we can figure out the backing plate.  The Tracker conversions backing plate is 3/8 piece of flat steel no bends, no special forgings, no stamping.  Just a pattern and bunch of holes.

I am all in on  whatever it takes to make these wonderful old machines actually stop reliably.  

They made 998,590 trackers - just under a million so there might be some parts out there for now.  How many CJ2As do you think are out there still in use?  A few thousand would be my guess.  Seems to be a lot of Trackers that could be scrapped for parts.

All good here just be safe out there.

Stev  


Edited by Stev - 08 Feb. 2017 at 10:26pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb. 2017 at 12:08am
OR....Stev can use his Tracker stuff, Stan can use his stock 9 inchers while he sells hundreds of Chevy parts and I'll keep using my Corvette four piston calipers all the while knowing that's not the route I would advise others to take.....and we all have brakes. Wink



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berettajeep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb. 2017 at 2:44am
Originally posted by smfulle smfulle wrote:

(Anybody out there putting any money into a Citation restoration?)


 Maybe if it is a X-11 LOL




 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote clayvt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar. 2017 at 10:14am
I just ordered/picked up everything to do the chevy swap. Holy crap these calipers are huge!
I was able to get the calipers/hoses/pads and hardware kit all in stock at one of my local auto zones.
Rotors and studs from rock auto and the backing plates from the linked eBay seller

Excited to get everything in the mail and installed!

Question: I got the factory brake lines with the banjo bolt on the caliper. Is there going to be any issues using an adapter into my much smaller brake line? I don't remember the exact size I used but it's pretty much the smallest. The lines for these are massive...

Edited by clayvt - 11 Mar. 2017 at 10:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lee (MN) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar. 2017 at 11:00am
Originally posted by berettajeep berettajeep wrote:

Originally posted by smfulle smfulle wrote:

(Anybody out there putting any money into a Citation restoration?)


 Maybe if it is a X-11 LOL




 


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