No More Laughing at Noisy Brakes
While driving through Bobcaygeon Ontario after the 2011 five points tree clean, up my better half, Kim said what is that noise? Hearing the faint noise as well, we slowed down and hit the side streets looking for ice cream at Kawartha Dairy. While making a corner some guy yells, “Your jeep is making a noise, what a piece of $@#!. Hahahaha.”
How rude I thought, waiving at the guy. This truck is worth a ton of coin with one ton axles, nice paint, roll cage etc etc. How dare this guy take a stab at the old 1988 YJ. Reaching Kawartha dairy I climbed under the truck, looking around and wiggling stuff. I soon found that it was the 1979 Ford Front Dana 60 brakes clacking back and forth on the H block. After making a slight mod, we carried on and got home.
Completely forgetting about it and about 3 weeks later during Camp NL pre-runs we once again heard that noise going down the forest access road. “What the heck is that……” before I got the words out we heard scraping and grinding. Pulling over and climbing under we found that the H block had completely fallen right out, only the retainer bolt was still there. The caliper and holder had lodged itself inside my brand new 17 inch aluminum XD rims with 39.5 Irocs on them. SOB!! I thought, taking the wheel off and looking at it’s wounds. I knew this was going to happen but forgot! Tying up the caliper and putting a piece of wood in there to restrain the piston, we limped it back to camp. A buddy of mine who had to head into the city said he could machine up some new H blocks and make them bigger to get me through for the weekend. What a great idea, let’s do that.
A day later I was putting in the larger blocks and ran into one of the OF4WD Camp NL sponsors, TMR customs. I had asked Tim if they made anything to correct this known Ford Dana 60 issue as TMR makes a wide range of upgrades for your 60. Turns out they only make rotor conversions for the rear but are interested in making a conversion kit for the front. “Leave the idea with us.” Tim said.
While living with the larger H blocks and hearing the odd, small noise once in awhile, a notice came out in June 2012 that TMR had released their new front Dana 60 conversion kit to switch to Chevy brakes. Moving faster than an 8 year old on Halloween, I called Tim up and got the first kit.
1) Tearing off the old ford brakes was a snap. First, take off the locking hub assembly or drive slug, whatever you have.
2)I placed the brake assembly on the King Pin until I was ready to transfer the brake line. This saves on fluid and air in the lines.
3)Take apart the brake holder leaving the dual piston caliper aside for now.
4)Pull the rotor and hub assembly off and place it on the bench for later transfer
5)Pull off the spindle and brake holding plate
6) This is a good time to replace spindle seals and spindle bearings if required. Might as well do it once while you’re in there all greasy.
7) Time to put on the pretty stuff. Put the new TMR brake bracket on first with the ears curving inward and horizontal to the floor. Remember, the other side of the axle has a different spindle bold pattern so try both of your brackets before you decide something is not working.
8) Install the spacer donut as shown.
9) Install the spindle that you just took off.
10) Now back over to your bench where you need to take the old rotor off your hub and install the new Chevy one. You may need new studs, part numbers are provided below. It maybe a good time to re-grease those bearings as well.
11) Once complete, put the rotor and hub back on the spindle. Torque to 50ft/lbs on the main bearing nut, then back off approx 90 degrees. Put on the anti-spin washer and torque down the secondary nut to 70ft/lbs. Spin the assembly and check for play.
12) Now you’re probably saying “Where did the pictures go?” Remember I said you were all greasy, well so was I. Put the locking hub back on and make sure it works.
13) Put the pads in the new chevy caliper and install onto the new TMR bracket.
14) Remove the brake line from the Ford caliper and quickly replace the brass washer, install onto the Chevy caliper.
15) Check your line clearances and make sure nothing is going to get caught up as the angles have changed slightly.
16) Do the other side the same way and bleed the brake lines.
17) Clean your hands before touching the fridge for a beer, the wife hates dirty hand marks on the fridge. Hahaha
And that’s it, you’re done, no more H block headaches.
Part numbers: Part Source
1986 Chevy 3/4 ton Rotors QLS5523
1986 Chevy 3/4 Ton Calipers SL528 (left) and SL529 (right)
1986 Chevy 3/4 Ton pads CTD52
Studs 9/16’s – 2 13/16’s = 560-335
Spindle seal Small = National 710044
Spindle seal Large = Timken 710045
Brake Conversion Kit Brackets www.tmrcustoms.com