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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I found this forum while doing a search on how to convert my drum brakes over to disk. I've been around cars and trucks my whole life but this is one project I have never undertook. What do I need to have in order to complete this and have it reliable? All I need is a "parts list" and "Technical Advice" and then I can put it together. I know it's a big job, but building this truck as a daily driver requires me to make this change. Anyone got any advice for me?


Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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Do It In A Van
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Sweet truck.

My advice would be to find a donor truck w/disc brakes. Not sure what year range you should look for, but at least anything from '74 up to '80.

You'll probably need the spindles off of the donor truck along with the proportioning valve. Disc brakes use a different master cyl. than an "all-drum" system and possible different front brake hoses.
 

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I'm with "Dodgevanman" ...
A donor truck is the way to go!!!
I'd snag the spindels Calipers & rotors, Master cylinder, Vacuum booster, & even the Proportioning valve as well (I'm not sure if they differ but it would be a good idea)
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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With there advice I would check the donor vehichle for location of frame mounts for the brake hoses, so you can get brake tubing extensions if needed. Also I have done this swap on different vehicles, and would replace the brake hoses if they are at all suspect.
:IDEA: Check balljoints and tie-rod ends for ahead of time and replace them as neccessary.
I did this swap on my personal van with all new parts, except the spindles, back plates, hose tabs and booster bracket+ booster which I got from a salvage yard. I measured the position to locate the frame/ hose tabs in installed them, adding about 8" to the brake lines in my case. All hoses, bearings, seals, rotors, pads are new. Calipers are remanufactored; the core was cheap so I didn't bother with them at the bone yard.
--B-300--
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys!.. I will start digging into what years will work. I want to find the newest year possible. I was wondering how hard it would be to adapt a mid 90's K-Member, frontend and rearend under my 72' ? I know there would be some fab work, but it would be nice to mix the "vintage" look along with the modern ride quality and suspention travel. What are ya'll's thoughts on this?
 

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Aka Force Fed Mopar
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I did the same swap on my '72 D100. I used '73 van spindles, rotors, and calipers, just had to change the tierod arm on the spindles, it was different. For the booster/master cyl, I used the newer setup off an '85 model, w/ the aluminum master w/ the plastic reservoir and the flat, skinny booster. I just had to buy new flex hoses for mine, the hard lines were the same.

If you're talking about putting a '94-up K-frame into it, there's really not that much advantage to it IMO. The main difference is the lower control arms, they are a dual pivot style a-arm type. I don't really see where they would be that much better.
 

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I think 73's had discs standard didn't they? Our 72 has all 73 equipment on it, but was tagged as a 72. So ours has discs up front.
 

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Aka Force Fed Mopar
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NeDodgeguy said:
I think 73's had discs standard didn't they? Our 72 has all 73 equipment on it, but was tagged as a 72. So ours has discs up front.
I think so, my 73 Club Cab has manual discs.
 

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Ours are power brakes, but like I've said before, it has a 73 motor, tranny, electronic ignition, brakes, even the paint.

Plus I think it was mandated that cars and trucks needed front discs. I could be wrong too.
 

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Hello,
I'm from Catalunya, in Europe, and I'm working in the same operation, but in a '72 W200.
I have a lot of dudes about the MC to use, anybody know the visual diferences between the drum MC vs. the disc MC?
I use a Mercedes calipers (4 pistons all each).
A lot of thanks.
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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The drum master cylinder (MC) has residual pressure valves under the seats that the brake lines screw into on the front and rear circuits. These are not easy to see and may require removal of the seats to verify. The disc MC doesn't have this valve on the front circuit.
I would use Mercedes caliper, if I could find something to fit over the rotors. The rotors are 1.25" thick (32mm) on are Dodge trucks and vans. This will require a metric to SAE adaptor on the brake lines or hoses somewhere.
--B-300--
 

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Sorry, what are the seats? In the MC ? If i un-screew the hoses from the MC, i will see the residual pressure valve?

The Mercedes 400SL have 32mm thick rotors, y loose a lot of time under a lot of cars......
The brake lines hoses aren't a problem, I build a set of racing lines with the ends Mercedes to Dodge.
The big problem is calculate the volume that i need for move the caliper pistons....

A lot of thanks....

Thanks.
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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The seats are what the brake lines contact when tightened. The can be removed using an EZ-out (broken bolt remover) or sheat-metal screw of the right size. (The valve is on the back side.)
I have Willwood disc brake on the rear of my van, they are 4 piston calipers with 1.625" pistons. My front is currently stock with 2.75" single piston sliding caliper. The brake balance is great. If I changed the front to 4 piston caliper, I would use 1.875" piston calipers, as they have the nearest working area to a single piston 2.75" caliper.
Some Dodges came with larger calipers so check to see what yours has. I used the 2.75" example because it is what I have and I think it's the most common size caliper.
Good luck with your project and thanks for the caliper info.
--B-300--
 

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A lot of thanks, B-300.
If you never need the braket for use the Mercedes caliper in a Dana 44, I have the AUTOCAD for cut with laser.

Another question: My MC have two ports, the front and smaller is for the front brakes, and the rear and bigger (recipient) for the rear.

I don’t know if it is the stock MC, because the old owner change “something in the brakes”, I see in rockauto that all the MC for 4 drums have the 2 ports identical. I don’t know what is my MC.

The diference between the disc MC and the drum MC is the size of the ports? A lot of thanks.
 

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1977 Power Wagon Utiline
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Generally if its a disc/ drum MC there are 4 mounting bolts otherwise there are 2. Not always however.
 

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4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
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On my '71 van both MC outlets are the same size. The MC is for '78 B-200 van. The proportioning valve is stock and has different size inlets and outlets. The front circuit is connected thru the larger ports and to the MC outlet closest the brake pedal.
According to pictures in a Chilton manual the B-100 and 200 vans with disc brakes are connected this way and the B-300 with disc brakes has the MC connect opposite. I connected mine according to the B-100,200 example because I have changed my van from a B-300 with 4 wheel drum to a B-200 front brakes and willwood disc brakes on an 8-3/4" B-200 rear-end so I could use 5 bolt wheels that I had.
--B-300--
 

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Aka Force Fed Mopar
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Drum brakes I believe have the same size reservoirs for front and rear, whereas the disc masters have uneven size reservoirs. Basically if you look at it fromt the top, if the reservoir is split in two evenly, it's a drum master, if it's uneven it's a disc.

If I were you Dodgew200, I'd just buy a new master for a W200 w/ disc brakes. The masters all bolt up the same.

Generally if its a disc/ drum MC there are 4 mounting bolts otherwise there are 2. Not always however.
The drum brake trucks usually had 2 bolts mounting it to the firewall, simply because the masters only have 2 bolts. With the discs, generally there were 4 bolts through the firewall because most disc brake trucks had power discs with boosters, and boosters have 4 mounting studs. The master still bolts to the booster w/ 2 bolts.

Only you had 2 mounting bolts through the firewall with discs was in the early disc days, when you could still get manual disc brakes, where there was no booster.
 

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It's just that you say, Speed Dragon. I have a Disc/Drum MC installed in a drum/drum truck. And it help to me to do the disc conversion; since today, the braking are ugly, and I know the problem.
One last question, the discs use the big or the litle reservoir? I have the litle in the front of the truck.
 

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Aka Force Fed Mopar
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They use they big one I believe, since the calipers hold more fluid than the wheel cyl's.
 
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