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  #1  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:52 AM
bubbas78f250 bubbas78f250 is offline
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dana 60 rear axle disc brakes

Looking for a little help. I have a 78 f250 with a dana 60 rear axle. I am thinking about converting it to disk brakes. Has anybody done this with a parking brake option. I see you can use 78 eldarado calipers to do this. How does the brake hold? What other options are there? anything that uses ford parts?

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Bubba
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:12 PM
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This conversion does not use ford parts, and before you wave the blue flag, know that the axle that you are working with is not ford either. Its a Dana which was used by several manufacturers.
Chebby front rotors are the least expensive and calipers are a dime a dozen. They match diameters so this installation is incredibly easy.
The El Do caliper uses a linkage and an arm that pushes the piston closed mechanically not hydraulically so the parking brake can work via a cable.

Ive never used a parking brake and I do not run one. Its the difference between a rather expensive caliper and on that costs about 15 bucks.

Real nice swap, only takes about half a day.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:34 PM
bubbas78f250 bubbas78f250 is offline
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Thanks for the info. Yes the dana is not Ford. I am more interested in other options. The reason I am interested in a parking brake is that I have a manual trans. It would be very handy to park the truck and leave the engine running. Do you have the chevy set up on your truck? is it a improvement?

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Bubba
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:37 PM
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Yes he has chevy (I'd say 90% of people who add disks in the rear do) and yes it is an improvement.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:31 PM
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The pic you see is actually a GM axle. I am not much of a Dana rear axle fan, so I go as far as using a GM full floater. The 14B FF has many advantages and are not only easy but cheap to build.

Ok. Disc brakes on a dana. All of the concepts are the same and the GM rotor offers the correct offset to use any of the many brackets available form the aftermearket. Sure a ford rotor could be used, but compare the prices of a ford rotor and a chebby rotor. If you use the ford rotor, you will have to use a custom bracket that nobody makes, and should you decide to use a ford style caliper, you will again be forced to use a custom bracket. The chebby design or style for caliper retention is superior and easy.

I understand that 4 speed guys desire a parking brake, but I too run a 4 speed, and I dont use parking brake style calipers. I use a hydraulic braking device called a Mico lock, and I can engage front brakes, rear brakes, or all 4 and leave them on. This did cost a few bucks, but works like a champ.
My only concern would be if I lived in a state where this type of modification would not pass inspection.
The other option would be to use a pinion brake located on the output of the transfer case (assuming 4wd) and activate a small toyota style caliper to prevent the driveshaft from moving. These brakes have been used forever and are still a reasonable option.

Do these work better than drums? IN most cases yes. Actually the drum has more surface area and has a better ability to dissapate heat. However, the disc cools so much better in thr first place so it does not get as hot, it is self adjusting, its lighter, I mean a lot lighter, and does not get saturated when exposed to water or other stuff that we encounter on the road.
Brake pad changes are a snap. This is a win win situation and a great investment for not too much money.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:11 PM
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I have been thinking of doing this myself. Instead of starting a new thread, I'll jump in here. 75F350, what parts do I need to look for when I go "shopping" at the bone yard? I'd be converting a D60 rear. Do you use an off the shelf rotor, or is it a custom made item?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:18 PM
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only custom item is the caliper bracket, and even for this I think you can use a bracket off a 10 bolt front axle.

Caliper, rotor and even the brake line used are over the counter (and cheap!!) parts.

I'll let Ed post the part numbers he uses if he wants to give out the info (which I'm sure he will). He has those saved somewhere - I always forget to...
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:09 PM
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There is no reason to shop for brake parts at the salvage yard. You never know what you will get and the chebby parts are so cheap you can buy them new for next to nothing.

You will need a caliper bracket. These are available from the aftermarket, check e-bay, or just use your favorite search engine and you should find thousands. If you use the 14B remember that there are different spindle and hub configurations, as well as a SRW cab and chassis axle, and each uses a slightly different bracket.
Fortunately all of them use the same rotor and caliper configuration, and so far I have been succesful with Autozone.
Start with a 77 or so K20 front rotor. You will need two. (about 30 bucks each)
Then purchase the same caliper for the same application. You will also need two (about 15 bucks each, plus a minimal core charge)
Brake pads (about 13 bucks for a complete set)
Front rubber brake lines for same application. (about 7 bucks each)
Misc line and fittings to meet the rubber lines to the single supply line. (cost can vary based upon material, still minimal)
Two sets of caliper bolts also avialable in the help section at autozone (about 16 bucks for all 4)
Thats it.

Start with some parts:

Click the image to open in full size.

Remove the hub from the axle, and pound the studs out.

Click the image to open in full size.

Then remove the drum and replace with rotor and press the studs back in. Bolt the brackets to the axle after the backing plates and old hardware is removed.
Install the hub and rotor. Load the caliper, and install it to the bracket.

Viola, you have disc brakes.

Click the image to open in full size.

Slide the axle back in, and plumb the lines. Rubber lines can be substituted for just about any stainless line as long as it is not rigid. You will need some flex so you dont have to remove the hard line when you replace the pads in the future. Front rubber lines are perfect. If you ever have to replace anything, you will have off the shelf parts available accross the country.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:07 PM
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Thought I might add a couple pics of the lines that I mentioned. I recommended a factpry style front brake line for simplicity and cost savings, but there is also an advantage. Those neat little clips will work on the axle too. You can make your own or find them from some race car shops for about a dollar. Then you have a nice secure way to mount your lines.
I just happen to be doing a conversion on a Sterling as we speak. One would think that this would be simple, but it took the better part of the day running through several rotors to find the exact one. The end result was worth the frustration and effort.
These fit real nice.

Nice little line here, but the rubber ones with factory banjo fitttings are also quite nice, and secure in the same fashion:

Click the image to open in full size.

Quick shot of the sterling axle with a mocked up rotor. I had to size up the brackets today. Not sure which way to go yet, but it should get done in a day or two.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:10 PM
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That's a real nice upgrade and great pics. I should have done that before I spent the dough to redo my drum brakes (brakes, spring kits, parking brake cables, true drum cost, etc). The old drums work fine, just would rather have discs. Just something else to keep on my "Future upgrade list".
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:11 PM
bubbas78f250 bubbas78f250 is offline
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Thanks for the great info. I am still interested to find out how the eldorado calipers hold for the parking brake. I am interested for ease of use. Other people do tend to take my truck. Great pics this has been lots of help. Time to start getting parts.

Thanks again
Bubba
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:41 PM
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The El Do caliper is not unlike any other caliper, it is just activated hydraulically just like any other, but also has a lever that activates the piston mechanically as well.
Do you own an ATV with a rear disc brake? It activates the same way.
The piston end of the caliper is pushed by the lever when the lever is pulled. There is a cam inside that changes ramp heigths. This ramp puts pressure on one end of the piston, thus pushing it towards the rotor. This tension activates the brakes.

You can see the lever here:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:27 AM
bubbas78f250 bubbas78f250 is offline
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I have another question. Any changes to the master cylinder or proportioning valve?

Thanks again
Bubba
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:03 AM
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Master cylinder,,,,,no. Most masters have enough volume and stroke to function a disc brake caliper properly. Since the caliper is full of fluid it is only a matter is displacement.

The prop valve on the other hand is a fairly critical element. Some install a new valve from a later vehicle with 4 wheel discs while others simply install an adjuatable prop valve for the rear.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:30 AM
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you can also put a mechanical e brake on your drive line. the rotor bolts to your yoke on the t case and there is a caliper and bracket that bolt to the t case
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:30 AM
 
 
 
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