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Disc - Drum? 14FF

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by woody9, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    just acquired an eaton 14bolt rear/matching corp front (4:10s).
    Had gears checked, ok. they're finishing the new seals tomorrow, but.. i was going to do the brakes... and suspect i'll need complete rear hardware, cyl & maybe 1 drum....
    Wonder what's best source for these parts?
    Source for anything I may need up front?
    These are MASSIVE brakes compared to what was on my 10 bolts!
    OR....
    What's an easy way to get into that disc brake conversion? Est cost? Understand the actual work to be minimal.
    Suggestions?
    Maybe someone who's converted has the drum stuff i need?
    thanks!
     
  2. ScoobyDann

    ScoobyDann 1/2 ton status

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    This is what I did--hope it helps.

    I'm almost done w/ the disk brakes for he 14FF using Misfits brackets. This was probably one of the easiest things I have ever done to my truck. I'll have some pictures when I'm completly done. Here are some of the things I had to buy

    1. Misfits brackets and spacers ($65.00)
    2. Bolts to hold caliper-2 1/2" long (8 @ $0.80)
    3. Locking nuts on the back of the bolts cause I'm paranoid
    (8 @ $0.65)
    4. 1975 Dana 44 8 lug rotors (2 @ $35.99 w/ 2 yr waranty at Auto Zone.
    5. New seals for the bearings (berings were fine)(2 @ $2.59)

    All I need are the calipers
    From what I've noticed prices are different everywhere but here the Dana 44 rotors are $35.99 each w/ $10.00 core
    and the caddy ones are $70.00 each w/ $70.00 core. Umm yeah i think I will go w/ the Dana 44 unless I can find the caddy ones much cheaper.
    I need the caliper hardware (the bolts and sleves to mount it to the bracket) and pads (i think the calipers were either loaded or you can get them loaded for a little more.)
    Rubber brake lines cause the caliper moves and therefore would eventually break the hard line. I can get them here for about $5.00 but you can order them through TSM for $50.00, yeah you know what i'm gonna do.
    And if need be a proportioning valve. Check the summit catalog.

    All of this added up is around $260---Half of what you'd spend on the TSM kit. Of course add $190 if you use the caddy calipers and $45 for the TSM brake lines. and what ever for the proportioning valve.

    Hope this helps anyone that might be planning on or actually doing this conversion. Again this was amazingly easy, I think even my sister could do it


    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://jimjim.coloradok5.com>http://jimjim.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  3. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    Here is a list of parts that were required to do the conversion with and e-brake! [​IMG]

    misfit's backing plates - $65.00
    calipers from TSM (best source for the eldorado's, if you find them locally they don't have the e-brake arm) $300.00 these also come with the caliper bolts...
    gm D44 rotors napa $70 (35 for each)
    $90 for proportioning valve and steel braided brake lines

    total is $525.00 this could be done cheaper, buy hey it's only your safety!

    I'm also putting in a 3/4 ton master cyl., but I don't know how much that costs yet! [​IMG]

    also add in 8 grade 8 bolts w/ nuts.

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    I think its' wonderful a lot of guys have converted to Disc brakes...............but I don't see why it is imperative to do. These drums are heavy, yes, but they STOP fantastic!

    Maybe if you have to dump a bunch of $$ to bring your drums up to snuff it could be justified.

    I am just not convinced that a pair of 10 bolt discs has the same stopping power of a 14FF massive drum brake setup. Just my $.02..........but when I am pulling a load (boat/firewood, etc) I want stopping power. And yes, I know front brakes do most of the work but I am skeptical [shocked}.

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com>http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  5. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    I just completed a TSM disc conversion on my 14BFF. I bought TSM's complete kit mainly because I like one stop shopping and knowing when I tear it down, I have everything I need. Total cost including shipping was $693. Easiest brake job I ever did. I also replaced the master cylinder with a 1992 Chev 1 ton set up for discs front & rear. My braking improvement is 150% better then the stock drums, besides having better brake feel or modulation. One side benifit I see is It is now easier to check wheel seals and replace them. Not near the work it was.

    87 K5, D60 & 14FF, 5 sp & NP208 & 383 stroker. Build it Bulletproof and take it fishing!
     
  6. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    hey, at least I know what mc to use... been looking for one that is made for disk brakes all the way around that will work...

    how hard was it to install, and how much was the cost???

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  7. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Its not the stopping "power" of the massive 13x3.5" drums that is suspect. Its the "fade" that is.

    Having driven a wrecker off & on, here & there, there is a BIG difference between a 1-ton Chevy (disc/drum) and an F-SuperDuty (disc/disc) for example. The discs are still there at the bottom of the hill. Drums? Look out! Better hope you picked the right gear and and your horn works.

    Drums plug up with mud too. Calipers aren't concealed and are self-cleaning for the most part. Not a big deal for desert rock-crawlers, but here in the nortwest you get mud AND rock on nearly every trip.

    My 2 cents.

    Oh, you want an all-disc master cylinder? Try a heavy 1-ton step van, the ones with 10-lug wheels. Another one is the 3500HD. Same basic idea as the step van. Don't let the guy at the parts counter bog you down with details or specific years. Just get him to haul one out and see if it bolts up to the booster the same. (Have your old one with you.) Go home, try it out. Come back for a an adjustable proportioning valve if necessary and you're done.
     
  8. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'll be doing the 14FF soon myself, Disc brakes seem like the hot ticket but I'm worried about worped rotors. It seems like every other year I have a worped rotor on something. It might be the cold climate or something. Is there a better rotor out there (SS?) that won't worp as easy? Are the D44 the bigest set that works?

    [​IMG]<font color=red>[/b]"Rid'in HigH in my K5"[​IMG]
    ....[​IMG]<font color=blue>[/b]"6" Lift -<font color=purple>38.5's"[​IMG]....
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    The rotors used on a 14-bolt disc brake conversion are massive, vented rotors from the front of a 3/4-ton truck. You'll have to try really hard to warp those monsters.

    And Frank, they'll easily lock the rear tires if they aren't adjusted properly. [​IMG] I'm still not convinced they're worth the hassle and expense though. While they have a high "cool" factor, it's very seldom that you really need them. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  10. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    ahh yea, but it is those seldom times that I am worried about.

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  11. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    u2slow - you mentioned Northwest mud............lots of us here from the Portland metro area............where are you?

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com>http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    But those drums are rated to stop a 3/4-ton 4x4 and several thousand pounds of payload. They don't even work up a sweat stopping a K5. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  13. prjt_blzr

    prjt_blzr 1/2 ton status

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    The drums do a great job of stopping a K5 until they are wet, full of mud or the stinkin seal leaks. In fact the most common way to figure out that the rear axle seal is leaking is when you HAVE to stomp on the whoa pedal and the truck is sideways due to only three sets of brakes working. My .02.
     
  14. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    I can tell ya this much I sent a PM to Wes (thatk30guy) and he recommended I put them on. That was enough for me...

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  15. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Agreed that properly set-up drums are more powerful than discs. Otherwise, tractor-trailers probably would have went disc a long time ago. Here's more fuel for this fire:

    What does that big-@$$ drum weigh? I've heard 100lbs each mentioned here on CK5.
    What does that 3/4 ton rotor weigh? Maybe 20lbs each (I'm SWAG-ing here since I've never handled one).

    Assuming the above numbers are close to correct, there's approximately 160lbs of unsprung, rotating weight GONE from the vehicle. Result: Less horsepower to get the wheels moving, less brake required to slow the wheels down, less work for your rear suspension to dampen that axle motion. For me personally, not having to work on drum brakes again is justification enough.

    <font color=red>Click those banners and help support CK5!!<font color=black>
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    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.jarheadsk5.coloradok5.com>http://www.jarheadsk5.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  16. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    While the drums are heavy, they don't weigh 100 pounds. [​IMG]. I've read in one of the 4WD rags that you shave about 75 lbs off the rear axle by going to disc brakes on a 14-bolt FF. But if you're building a desert runner that really needs reduced unsprung weight, then you probably wouldn't install a 14-bolt back there in the first place. Removing 75 lbs from a 525 pound axle still results in a very heavy axle.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  17. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    The master cylinder came from NAPA and was $148. It has the same 1 1/4" size bore on front and rear cylinders. If memory serves correctly, it was for a 1 ton service truck body or high van body. Bolt on exchange and matched brake lines perfectly on my 87. Looks stock on the truck. Main reason I went to discs was due to not being able to see my wheel /axle seals. I've had 2 sets of seals go bad primarily due to hot brakes coming off mountain passes with my 24' travel trailer. Drums just hold too much heat in. Discs allow better air flow across seals and less heat build up around seals. I learned this from GM engineers while I was back in Detroit this past summer attending a conference. They told me this has been a problem with "trailer toters" for some time and is the reason they went to rear discs on the new 2500HD trucks. Good enough for me.

    87 K5, D60 & 14FF, 5 sp & NP208 & 383 stroker. Build it Bulletproof and take it fishing!
     
  18. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    Dang, didn't mean to spark this much discussion, but was looking for parts from those who had converted..
    coming from 11" to those 13" i figure my braking is going to be (now) awsome! add the front brake conversion as well, and mamma be buckled in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    From backing plate out, (cyl' hold down, etc, + 1 drum = $280 ).. not enough to justify going disk (at this time!!).
    however, have a 7200 lbs trailer that started this whole mess (breaking 10 bolt axles) and hope these 4:10 14 Bolt solve that problem from those limp 10 bot 3:42s......
    Appreciate all the input guys!
     
  19. solowookie

    solowookie 1/2 ton status

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    so there werent' any complications huh???

    if that thing bolted in that easy I might have to try it! especially if I don't have to re-run brake lines! that even sounds easier then the 3/4 ton everybody references, but then again this ones a bit more expensive too!

    [​IMG] <font color=blue> Jeff </font color=blue> [​IMG]
     
  20. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    solowookie, it was too easy, like changing a stock one for a stock one. Also found it easier to bleed brakes with. Seems to move more fluid for sure. No complications at all. No way do I want to run new brake lines if I don't have to.


    87 K5, D60 & 14FF, 5 sp & NP208 & 383 stroker. Build it Bulletproof and take it fishing!
     

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