Have you experienced poor brakes after crossing a river with your truck? If yes, your truck rear brakes are drum-type. If a brake drum is submerged on water, it will result in poor brakes function. Because water gets trapped in the drum for a while, it makes your brake pedal hard. Converting your brake drum to disc brakes will solve this problem and give you a better braking performance. This procedure may require a conversion bracket depending on your disc brake kit or brake assembly.
You will need:
- Tire wrench
- Hydraulic jack
- Jack stand
- Vise grip
- Socket wrench
- Hydraulic presser
- Mechanical puller or bearing puller
- Stainless braided flexible brake lines
- Brake fluid
- Raise the truck using your hydraulic jack and secure the vehicle on jack stands.
- Remove the wheel and tires at both sides.
- Use a vise grip to clamp the rubber brake lines on the frame to the axle brake hose in order to prevent excess brake fluid from escaping from the axle brake lines once the fittings are removed. Put a cloth on the vise grip’s clamp to protect the rubber lines from leak and damage.
- Loosen and disconnect the brake lines from the drum brake backing plate.
- Remove the brake drums and the 4 bolts holding the bearing retainer to the axle housing on both sides.
- Remove the rear axles from the housing.
- Use a hydraulic press and bearing puller to press off the bearings and retainers.
- Remove the brake backing plate, and re-install the bearing and retainer.
- Replace the axle -- put it back into the housing.
- Bolt the calipers to the conversion brackets.
- Fit the rotors onto the axle flanges over the studs.
- Bolt the brackets with the calipers attached to the housing, making sure the caliper bleeders are pointing up.
- Remove and replace the factory steel hard brake lines with the flexible stainless braided lines, and connect it to the calipers at the outer ends.
- Remove the brake line clamp.
- Bleed the brakes and check for leaks.
- Test drive.
There are various brake conversion kits for certain types of vehicle available on the market these days. However, price issues are the main reason why we often can’t achieve this improvement to our vehicle. As a solution to this, try searching for a surplus shop or a secondhand parts warehouse.