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Disc Brake Conversion

CJ-5 Drum to Disc Brake Conversion Parts – Dana 25, 27, 44

When I was doing the research on how to convert my Dana 25 to disc brakes, there were parts lists and how-to posts all over the internet.  Since then, they have either gotten old, been removed or whatever.   So, FYI, here is the list of parts I used to convert my front Dana 25 and rear Dana 44 to disc brakes:

Front Dana 25

  • Calipers from a ’71-’78 Chevy ½ ton or light-duty 3/4-ton 4×4 with a Dana 44.  I used NAPA part number SE4596 (right) and SE 4597 (left) remanufactured calipers.  There were $35.83 each plus a core charge of $22.50 each.
  • Caliper mounting brackets from the same Chevy truck mentioned above.  You can get them from the junk yard or save yourself some trouble and get them from the aftermarket.  I used aftermarket brackets from Parts Mike part number CB7191K GM Universal Caliper Mounting brackets.  I’m told they fit Dana 25, Dana 30 and Dana 44 front knuckles.  $145 per pair shipped.
  • Rotors from a 1976-78 CJ 1 1/8” thick.  Four Wheel Parts P/N 16702.1 $149.99 for the pair.
  • Front brake pads NAPA part number TS-728AM, $38.10 for the set.
  • Banjo Bolts NAPA part number 828702, $3.49 each.
  • Brakes hoses, NAPA part number 36761, $19.99 each.
  • 10 Longer wheel stud Dorman P/N 610106 (NAPA P/N 641-1144) $2.29 each.

Remove all of the brake hardware, including backing plates down to the spindles.  You will need to pound the studs out of your existing hubs with a hammer or press them out with a press.  Be careful or you will easily ruin the hubs if you miss the studs and hit the face of the hub instead.  You can get new hubs at Four Wheel Parts if you ruin yours like I did.  They are about $147 for the pair.  It’s an expensive mistake so be careful.

You will need to press the longer Dorman studs through back of the rotors, into the hubs.  The hubs will be on the front of the rotor.  Make sure the hubs are properly seated and that the hub/rotor assembly is true.  Depending on the hubs, you might need to machine the back of the Hubs slightly so they can seat properly on the rotor.

Bolt the mounting brackets directly to the knuckle behind the spindles and mount the rotor/hub assembly to the spindle, just as you would normally mount the hubs.  Use the stock seals, bearings, washers, etc.  Here are some pictures of the process.

Note that you may need to grind the grind the caliper a little to make sure that there will be no contact between it and the knuckle as the pads wear out, but be careful not to grind through the casting.

Rear Dana 44.

Note: this conversion works using the same parts I used on the front because I converted my rear Dana 44 to a full floating rear axle allowing the use of front end parts such as spindles and hubs and therefore the same rotors, calipers, brackets, etc.  The spindles need to be machined to mount properly to the rear axle, but once that is done, all of the parts and procedures are the same as above except for one change.  You must use Timken LM501310 inner bearing cups rather than the stock ones.  If you don’t, you not have enough clearance for your inside brake pads.  I got the machined spindles and a new set of bearings, seals, hubs, nuts, etc. (as well as the parts for the rear full float conversion) from Herm.

Here is a picture of the frame after completing the disc conversion on both front and rear axles.

Cj5 - Disc Brakes all four wheels

Cj5 – Disc Brakes all four wheels