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Converting front drums to discs?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jughead, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    I have a 1972 K5 I am going to start the lift kit install and putting the cross over steering in from ORD. I figure this would be the time to convert the front drums to discs while everything is apart. My question is if there is a kit out there that anyone knows of to ease the pain of this job? Or should I look for another rear with discs already on it? I am running Dana 44's any help would be great thanks.....
     
  2. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    There are lots of kits out there. What axle are you using in the rear? You can check my website or do a little searching and i"m sure you'll find something that fits the bill.
     
  3. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    Cybrfire thanks for the feed back I fowarded your site to my mechanic
     
  4. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    Sorry forgot this part.....cybrfire I am interested in the XD tube doors....Do you make them to fit the 72 blazer....They are exactly what I am looking for....thanks again for the help
     
  5. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    You say both "front" and "rear," so I donno which end axle you're talking about. (Some folks say "rear end" to mean "differential", so it's easy to get confused.)

    IIRC, early Blazers had drum fronts... if you're talking about the front drums, I'd just switch using factory parts, as later Dana 44's were of course disc fronts. You'll need to switch the spindle, as I recall, and MAYBE the knuckle... then of course the wheel bearings/hub and rotors, calipers ... oh and the backing plates to mount the calipers :)

    Might be easier just to switch axles, if you can find a whole one with the right gear ratio ... I can't remember if you first-gen folks have different spring perches up front than the later ones, though.

    Worst case, get a whole D44 or 10-bolt with disc (the outers are the same for D44 or 10b) and swap the outsides.

    Now, the REAR axle is a whole other issue, as these were not offered with disc from the factory... but kits such as DIY4X's are available. Maybe post up and say which end you wanna put discs on, we can be more specific.

    -- A
     
  6. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    Dremu, thanks for the reply. Yes I was talking about the front differential and I am looking for a later model Dana 44 maybe to change over....Thanks for the help I was just looking for the easiest way to go about it.
     
  7. TheSunDanceKid

    TheSunDanceKid Registered Member

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    so cybrfire basicly your shop thinks of what niffty protective and conversions it can and frabricates them because no stock or aftermarket companys will make them your just straight dedicated i guess to the everyday guy and not just the professionals and sponoring i dunno sounds pretty damn awesome and thats what your company apears to be if thats what you were going for you definatly got a good idea there
    but damn you took out all the enjoying painfull hours of fabricating somthing random because no one makes it poo so now we dont even have to diy anymore lol your doing all the crazy custom fabs for us!
    lol but i think i want just about everythink on the site lol no matter if it goes to my blazer
     
  8. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    Your '72 K5 should have come from the factory with a disk brake D44 in front and a 12 bolt rear with drums. Are your axles not the factory originals??:thinking:
     
  9. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Yeah, I was wondering ... thought the 69-70ish ones were drum, and later were disc? :confused:

    I'm not so good on my first-gen stuff, having never owned one.

    -- A
     
  10. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    72 should be disc up front. But who's to say it wasnt swapped out over the years. I think you can swap the knuckles out for discs, but not sure. I just swapped the whole axle out.
     
  11. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    I think the truck is a mix of 72 and a 69.the more things I look at throughout the truck seems to point to it...I have been getting the same feedback that you guys have given me...I am going to look at some rims and tires tomorrow and the guy says he has a 86 dana 44 with disc brakes for a $100. He said I would be able to swap out everything I need from one to the other. What do you think? He said everything is there down to the brake lines.
     
  12. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking.
     
  13. jk3078

    jk3078 1/2 ton status

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    The 86 axle is NOT a 44 but a ten bolt. The ten bolt will work in your truck but the brake lines are a differant size. Dana 44 disc brakes will hook up to your drum front brake lines. I just did a swap like this on a friends 70 chevy pickup, 3/4 ton front/1 ton 14 bolt rear, and we used all of his stock non power brake system. It worked out fine for us with the back brakes coming in just a hair before the front at full brake. Do a search in the first generation forum on this site there is some good info on this. good luck!
     
  14. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    Jk thanks for the info. It helps a lot. If I stick to drum brakes in the front how bad will the braking be with a minimum of 38 inch tires?
     
  15. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Oh god. You need discs so bad. Drums *suck*, for performance and maintenance both.

    -- A
     
  16. jk3078

    jk3078 1/2 ton status

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    Braking would not be very good with drums/38''+ tires. Drums are not very iffective if you get water or mud in the them either, disc's clean off alot better. This swap is worth the minmal effort of finding a set of axles with with disc fronts and bolting them in. I would say The differance on brake power with discs over drums is prob. close to 100%. Might get some better gears while you are at it to if you have the usual 3.08 ratio of that era.
     
  17. jughead

    jughead Registered Member

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    That is kinda what I figured to be the case...Looks like I will be dipping into the money I had set aside for the tires.
     
  18. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have 40" boggers on my 89 with the stock drums. If I push too hard on the pedal, they will lock up, and it makes a very loud howl with skidding boggers!!!! Even in the mud, they work fine. Still want to do discs some day, but for now the drums work fine.
     
  19. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Yeah, but those are REAR drums, i.e. you have discs in the front. The OP's first-gen has drums on all FOUR corners :eek1:

    -- A
     

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