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How To: 8.8 Drums to Disc swap the hard way



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BKennedy

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I just want to say thanks, buddy.
I am just about finished with this swap and this thread made it easy to figure out. Using a right side soft brake line for both sides was a great idea.
The link to the Detroit locker axle removal was helpful and made that part easy and smooth.
A little added information for people like me who do things over several days and forget what goes where:
The bleeder valve always goes above the brake line on the caliper, so if you forget what part number goes where, just remember that one thing and you are in business.
The carrier bearing caps should have little dimples in them that match the dimples on the face of the diff, under all that sealant. Mine has two on the right side and one on the left. If you forget which way the cap goes, just match the dimples. Carrier bearing cap bolt torque is 85 foot pounds.
Also consider replacing the soft brake line above the axle that goes to the frame. Mine looked old and it was only a few dollars extra.

Haven't hooked up the parking brake yet, but am going with turnbuckle method. Easy and adjustable.

I won't be able to give an opinion of how great an upgrade this is, but I have switched other vehicles to disc brakes and the stopping power was greatly improved. I am not even taking it for a test drive before I pull the front axle out for the SAS.
 




Tbars4

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..Glad to be of some help..:biggthump
 




BKennedy

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I finally got to work on the parking brake and I seem to have a different issue than most people who do this swap. My parking brake cable is too long and to get any tension on them the new cables need to overlap the old cables. I have them on there temporarily with cable clamps and it seems to work. The turnbuckle I bought the other day is too short.
The cable diameter is 1/8" by the way, so all of your cable accessories should be for that diameter cable.
Consider changing out the brake line from the axle to the frame while you have it apart. The Autozone special I got is three inches longer than stock, which helps because at full right rear tire stuff/left rear down travel, the hose was so tight you could play music on it.
Instead of cutting down the brake lines and replacing the ends, I just made a few loops to shorten the lines.
I also welded on some small 1/4 x 20 bolts onto the axle to hold the brake lines as shown below:
IMG_20131104_125935_977_Large_.jpg

IMG_20131104_125956_264_Large_.jpg

IMG_20131104_130004_735_Large_.jpg

IMG_20131104_130013_709_Large_.jpg

I have not road tested the Explorer, but after bleeding the brakes, I seem to have nice firm pedal feel. I noticed most people say they had to replace the master cylinder with a disc brake year, but it seems I might not. I have a new 1994 F-150 MC in my parts pile for my SAS, but I might be taking it back to the store.
 




Naasau

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For the master cylinder, I would. I ha e had no issues with my stock Mc or proportioning valve.

As for the e-brake cable, I had that issue as well. My fix was to shorten the intermediate cable the requisite amount, and weld on a replacement drum that I had bored out and turned down on a metal lathe... not exactly what most people would do.

The trick for welding was two part: 1. Make sure the cable doesn't get hot, I spooled mine up in an empty wiper fluid bottle filled with water so that only the very end that was welded was exposed. 2. I slipped the cable through the 'drum piece' so that some was sticking out the far side, then welded a cap on that side. The metal of the weld is then intension, and the stock slip brackets can be reused.
For the record, I'm honestly surprised that it worked, and I measured about 5 times before I finally cut the cable down.
 




BKennedy

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Good info.
How much tension do you want on the cable? It seems like I could pull the cable to the stop of its tension without too much effort. If I leave it with just minor tension, the parking brake will not function. I guess I just need to keep adjusting it until I get the sweet spot.
 




zekew64

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...As soon as it was mentioned I remembered when the Rangers came out with the rear disc brakes..:banghead:

...But what I don't know is, did the 2010 and newer Rangers that came with the rear disc brakes use a 28 spline axle or did the FX4 31 spline or Explorer 31 spline replace the 28 spline axle?..:dunno:

...This info may prove useful to yet another way to do an easy 8.8 with disc swap although, the newer axles may be a bit pricey...:(

To my knowledge, the 2010 and up Rangers--until the last one built for private buyers (the ones in 2012 were fleet vehicles)--had switched from the 28-spline axle to the 31-spline axle, as Ford had previously done this for the Explorer, Sport-Trac and Edge. The difference for the Rangers is how the suspension is set up; on the early Explorers, the leaf-springs were mounted under the axle. For a Ranger, the leaf-springs mounted on top of the axle. For a SLA-style suspension, I'm not sure if the 2010 Ranger was the same as the Explorer/Sport-Trac/Edge, or if the suspension was set up differently.

And, in the catalogue for LMCTruck.com, I did find a listing for a proportioning valve if your master cylinder doesn't have one. TMK, if a donor vehicle has disc brakes already installed, then the master cylinder should already have an internal proportioning valve. Also, the RABS module on RABS-only vehicles, in theory, doubles as a proportioning valve for early Rangers, as it meters the proper pressure to the rear axle under a hard braking situation.
 




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