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Disc brake conversion

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Bunky1267, January 23, 2020.

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  1. Bunky1267

    Bunky1267 New Member

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    I have a 1991 explorer rear end and want to convert the drum brakes to disc. Is there and aftermarket bolt on mount or should I go to the junk yard and buy all the parts off a junk rear end ?
     
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  3. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Faster and easier to just buy/swap in a whole rear end.

    Points to know:
    • Parking brake intermediate cable will not match up. 2nd gen is too long, 1st gen too short. Common solution is to get wire clamps and use them to clamp the two together
    • The 1st gen master cylinder proportioning valve will be wrong for discs. (You can use it but the brakes will not feel right) You will want a 2nd gen master cylinder They make new ones for 95-97 without the cruise control switch.
    • Make sure you do not cut the rubber hose going to the hard line on the frame. There is connection point on the back side of the bracket, then use a screw driver to pop off the c-clip retainer holding the rubber hose to the bracket. You will not need the bracket.
    • ABS sensors are the same for all 1st/2nd gens so you don't have to replace that.
    • You need to use the 1st gen swaybar, the 2nd gen one will not work with your sway bar links
    • If you can, find one out of a 03 Sport, or 03-05 Sport Trac, they have bigger discs than '95-'01.
    • 2nd gen gear ratios are available in 3.27, 3.55, 3.73, and 4.10. Sports, Sport Tracs and higher trim level 4 doors are the ones that are most frequently found with 4.10's. V8's had 3.73's or 3.55's (2WD)
    • 1st gen ratios are 3.08 (2WD only), 3.27, 3.55, 3.73
     
    Last edited: January 23, 2020
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  4. waywaay

    waywaay New Member

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    NOO the best way is not to do it...meaning drum brakes are vastly superior to weee little rear discs And the lame ass parking brake that goes with it hahahahaha...seriously why in the world take away one of the 1st gens best traits (On purpose at that lol)

    The rear brakes are fine trust me, However the Front brakes suck on the 1st gens...So if you are looking for better braking there is a solution

    Go to the junkyard and get front spindles hubs rotors brackets calipers from a 2nd gen and bolt it up....magic you have dual piston calipers now !!!!!!!
     
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  5. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Ummm, it's proven that disc brakes are superior than drums in every way. Drums are ancient technology and are insufficient on a 2 ton SUV.

    You are correct however in that the front discs on a first gen are inadequate. If you can find a 95-97 ranger with the TTB suspension, pull the knuckles to get dual piston calipers. However, the 2wd knuckles won't work on a 4wd and visa versa.
     
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  6. Turdle

    Turdle Habla tortuga Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    This sounds so unique, I must see pictures.
     
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  7. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @Turdle

    I for one favor leaving well enough alone, after many years of witnessing "butchery" attempted by misinformed home mechanics. If ya want a better vehicle, buy one. imp
     
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  8. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    from a second gen Ranger he probably means?
    96-97 Rangers have D35 ttb with dual piston calipers and are the upgrade of choice for FIRST GEN EXPLORERS 91-94 with the ttb and slide pin/compression pin brake calipers.

    Brett Grooms did a nice write up on installing rear disc brakes on the explorer 8.8 drum brake axle.....many many many years ago right here on EF!

    Ford Explorer Disc Brake Installation For 1991 - 1994

    You would have to be old to remember this :)
     
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  9. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    I read this a while back looking through the old threads. Amazing what you can find. Especially on the old Explorer4x4 site. A lot of my questions were answered there.

    You can do it either way, but for a $100-$150 for a complete 8.8 it's hard not to go with a full replacement, especially if you can find one with lower mileage and better gears.
     
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  10. Gary Crist

    Gary Crist Active Member

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    I would leave the rear drums. %70ish + of the braking is done
    on the front. It would be hard to get rear brake fade under
    "NORMAL" conditions.

    If your heart is really set on rear discs, then Mustang 5 lug conversions would
    also be a place to look...
     
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  11. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I swapped my drums for disc off a 1999 Explorer and it was one of the best mods I have ever made. Disc brakes are superior in every way. I bought the rear axle from a 1999 Explorer out of a junk yard, removed the rotors, calipers, caliper brackets, parking brake hardware, cables, etc. Then I sold the axle back to the junk yard. I used the calipers for cores and purchased new rotors. I used a turnbuckle to attach my front brake cable to the new rear brake cable, and it works great as an adjuster. Have had them for about 6 years now, and they function much better than the drums ever did.

    You will also need a 1999 Explorer master cylinder, no proportioning valve, no cruise control. I added a proportioning valve to the rear brakes above the axle. Its not necessary with stock front brakes but I have a D44 solid front axle that has much bigger brakes than the Explorer came with.

    This thread has everything you need to know, and its the right way
    How To: 8.8 Drums to Disc swap the hard way
     
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  12. 96AWD5.LOL

    96AWD5.LOL New Member

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    Hands down, it was one of the best modifications to my first gen. The rear discs make a hell of a difference. The drums were intolerable.
     
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  13. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah.... drive a first gen with drums and then one with discs, it's a night and day difference, especially when you replace the master cylinder with the right one. The proportioning is different in the 2nd gens so more of the braking is pushed toward the rear to even it out. It is the combination of these two that makes it better. Doing just the disc conversion will not net you anywhere as much braking power.

    There is a reason 2nd gens (proportionally the same size/weight as the 1st gens) received rear discs.
     
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  14. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    Agreed
    I drove my BII with drums and RABS for many years
    Then I removed the RABS because I got tired of getting sideways on wet roads under braking
    Then I converted to a explorer rear axle with discs...the rear brakes were better but they would drag after letting off the pedal
    Then I swapped in a 95 explorer no frills master cylinder and finally had correct braking to the rear discs after messing with the rear bias setting I was happy happy
    LIKE NIGHT AND DAY braking performance
    The ability to hold the truck when dropping down rock ledges went from KINDA able to control the rear tires, to WOW I am able to control the rear tires.
    The BII with 35" tires, 97 Ranger dual piston caliper front brakes and explorer rear discs with 95 master cyl STOPS ON A DIME better brakes then any other truck I have ever driven!
     
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  15. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm still waiting to do my disc conversion on the '93 due to the fact I want to swap in a 4.10 rear end, but Ford did not make a D35 TTB 4.10 front diff, so I would have to re-gear it. That costs significantly more AND then if I am going to re-gear the front I might as well put in better (4.56) gears AND then that leads to re-gearing the rear to match. AND then I would want an e-locker for the rear so it makes sense to do that at the same time AND then if I do that maybe I should put in a limited slip for the front. On and on it goes... and I just blew $2000+ dollars on a 27 year old truck :crazy:.

    (Well, I threw $6500 at a 22 year old Explorer, so maybe that's not so much of a reach. :help: )

    I could try to re-gear myself, but I am not overly confident in my ability to do so.
     
  16. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    Ford didnt make a D35 TTB 4.10 front diff?????

    I list 3.27-4.56 as factory options for the D35 ttb? I know 4.56 is very rare but I thought some 4.1 did leave the factory?

    Its only MONEY!!
     
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  17. MrQ

    MrQ Smokey the Clutch is, Missed Shift You Did Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    My drivetrain manual from Ford states the Ranger got the D35 hybrid in 4.10's and the D28, neither of which will work. All the 1/2 ton pickups got the D44 so that's out too.

    What vehicle would get 4.56's in a D35?
     
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  18. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    a ranger or explorer that ordered 4.56 from the dealer, 4.1 and 4.56 were offered, rare but some did leave the factory with 4.1
    I have a 4.56 diff downstairs I have been holding onto for years
     
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  19. BKennedy

    BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    And so it goes.....

    Don't think about spending money with no financial return. The money spent on your hobbies, interests, and passions return 10 fold in life. I have spent at least 25K in parts alone on my Explorer over the years and wouldn't have it any other way. Well, I might have planned better and maybe went all in at the beginning so I didn't have to redo so many things. Might have cut my expenses by about 1/3. Resale value to someone who wants a purpose built vehicle would not reach half of what I have spent. Don't care, not selling it.
     
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  20. Gary Crist

    Gary Crist Active Member

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    I had '91 4x4 Gen1 since it was new, looking for the 3rd roll on the odo. Silver with
    plenty of Arizona pin stripes. We did not get into many harry spots and stockers worked just fine.
     
  21. shran

    shran Elite Explorer

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    Ford absolutely did offer D35's with 4.10s and they are found in Rangers although they are VERY hard to find. I got the gears for mine from another guy who pulled them from a 1992 Ranger when he re-geared it.

    I'm in the process of doing a disc brake conversion on mine right now. I was going to leave the drums on it because they were gone through with all new parts about 10k ago but I ran across a '99 Explorer in the junkyard that had 7400 miles on it and the brakes were like new - rotors needed turned because of some rust but everything else was in amazingly good shape. Fortunately I have a Ranger with a worn out 7.5 axle that my nice drum brake 8.8 can go in.

    I'm not sure that I agree with discs being "better" all the way around - I'm not an engineer but it seems drums would have some mechanical advantage because you're forcing the shoes outward into a large contact area rather than clamping pads onto a much smaller part of the rotor with discs... I think there are some pretty clear pros and cons both ways.

    FWIW the F150 I have offroad raced the last few years has disc on the front, drums on the rear and manual brakes and it stops on a dime. It certainly requires some more effort to push the pedal but if anything SHOULD have shitty brakes, that would be the truck, and they're surprisingly good as it turns out.
     
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