fix rear brakes or convert to disc?

1978freebornred

78 fj40 LE and 79 fj40 LE w/ stock ac
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i have the most stock of stock 40 besides the diamond plate and air lockars ... i would have put on air lockars but not diamond plate but thats a po thing ... i took it to the shop to check on what is wrong with the brakes they said the master and booster was bad the rear brakes need shoes and wheel cylinders basically everything but front brakes for 3600 so im going to do the work myself ... what is the best route for me to fix while im driving it since i drive it primarily... rear disc brake conversion or new wheel cylinders? what are some parts websites that are good? i dont like ccot everthing ive ordered is cheap there.
 

JohnnyC

Long ago TLCA# 2231
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poser selles a rear disc brackets...

i went with rear discs...i DD mine for the last 18+ years...stops great...easy weekend job...

I got an old downey kit

i got a rebuilt master from advance auto...good quality...
... you could just replace all...not all that expensive
they say the booster is bad?
 
Joined
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Atlanta, GA
Repair......

I NEVER install rear disks on Cruisers. Just fix the stock parts and you will have all the rear break that you need and properly balanced as well.
 
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Victoria, BC
Repair......

I NEVER install rear disks on Cruisers. Just fix the stock parts and you will have all the rear break that you need and properly balanced as well.

Go discs...:D

They are super easy to balance, almost never lock up, never need adjustment, and will significantly reduce your stopping distance.

I've towed a heavy trailer with my 40, and the four wheel discs stopped it quickly and straight... Every time.
 

reddingcruiser

Practicing for retirement
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Pssst, 1978freebornred! Everyone gets to build their own cruiser, and learn from the experience. Except in extreme conditions, the rear drums are fine. But yeah, disk brakes are really nice.
As a general rule, when deviating from stock, and this is your daily driver and you are looking for the "best route to take", just ask three simple questions - 1) WHY do I want to do it, 2) will the benefit be worth the investment of time and money, and 3) can I afford it to be down for the time required to do the work? If you are happy with your answers to all three - Knock yourself out!
 
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I would check your brakes. Post a picture of the rear shoes they say are bad. Rear shoes do not wear out very often since most of the braking is done by the front. You might want to start a post with what your brake problems are and get the experts here to help you diagnose the real issue. You would hate to replace the master, booster, and rear parts because the rear shoes need adjusting, or you just needed to bleed the brakes. To many shops try and rip people off when it comes to brakes because they can scare you. If it were me I would keep the rear drums but I do not off road a lot, but make sure you really need the work first.
 

JohnnyC

Long ago TLCA# 2231
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best conversion i have ever done.

x2 .... I think the best I've ever done

the 1st time you have a near miss that in no way should have ever been a near miss you'll want to go to disc brakes.

I had one such close call...almost T-boned a car full of blue-hairs...in the process of swearving almost rolled it...if it wasnt on 2 wheels it was darn near close to it...It's my DD have put over 150,000 miles on the conversion and never had a close call like that again...believe me there were times that would have been with drums if they were still on :meh:

not saying he needs to do it....just something to consider if your going to spend the $$$ and its your DD
my 2c
 
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North and South of Mason Dixon
Solid, well adjusted brakes will stop this vehicle whether they are disks or drums.
The only issue with drums is if you don't have the discipline to keep them in proper adjustment.

If you're going to do this yourself, start by popping off one of the rear drums. Show us the shoes and cylinders that are supposedly bad. Cylinders leaking? Get rebuild kits. Shoes worn? Get new shoes and turn the drums. This is not a huge job, go for it. (and I agree, I would not buy brake parts from CCOT.)

3600 is ridiculous.
 

1978freebornred

78 fj40 LE and 79 fj40 LE w/ stock ac
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
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Springfield Mo
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well the reason i belive the master is bad is i dont have brakes until the pedal is halfway to the floor so i dont think they were hosing me on that but i havent looked at the rear brakes myself yet its been far too rainy... and i would like better stopping power and i have driven a vehicle with brakes that would go non existant before i will probably occassionally pull a 1ton trailer so i am torn with the work because i dont want to have to tinker with it constantly unless i want to thats why i drive toyota instead of chevy now. so im am not opposed to disc by any means other than fundage.
 

DickM

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I was in the same situation, except mine is a trail rig with some road use, and I went with discs. Lots of info on the site, and a pretty straigtforward mod. After the install,and getting the proportioning valve dialed in I have been really happy- pretty much maintenance free- and they stop on a dime.
 
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well the reason i belive the master is bad is i dont have brakes until the pedal is halfway to the floor so i dont think they were hosing me on that but i havent looked at the rear brakes myself yet its been far too rainy.

That could just be an adjustment issue with the pedal pushrod.
Spend your $$ on a Service Manual and fix what ya got.:meh:
 

1978freebornred

78 fj40 LE and 79 fj40 LE w/ stock ac
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
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Springfield Mo
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forum.ih8mud.com
good idea but i thought the hissing noise was a givaway but im no expert... i have a chiltons manual which is okay but so far only used it for wiring which is always a nightmare.
 
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Dec 17, 2005
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One big benefit not mentioned for disc brakes is fording. I often ford on my hunting trips, and the braking power with drums is very, very poor. Takes me over a quarter mile or more to get them dried out ot the point where they work. That's not an issue with disc brakes. They are fully operational within a few feet.
 

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