Rear Brake Upgrade

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Weighing the options. Even if what I’ve got going on is relatively simple, should I take this as an opportunity to upgrade to disc brakes in the rear?

I know a few people who have done it without swapping axles, by just using the hub from a Disco or something.

But I’ve also heard people discussing putting Disco axles in. So.... what is the advantage to swapping to a Disco rear axle? What needs to be done to the Defender to get this done? And what type of cost am I looking at if I could get the axle for free and it has no problems — hypothetically.
 

rlynch356

Well-known member
I have been musing over which way to go with my 110...
Rover Axle, HD shafts, and an ARB or the same on the Sals with discs and all of that. Staying with a sals will be about the same cost so no advantage there.

Really the disco axles advantage is the easy of parts and rear discs for “free” and ground clearance.
Plenty are in use on the LS builds. I hate the thought of giving up a sals though so hence i’m Still on the fence (and neck deep in projects so this one is on the back burner for now but on the list of things to do.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
I've managed to get a bit of research done when I was held up in a place where I had internet, but could not do my homework. I also talked with a guy who did it about two years ago, and has no regrets. He kept the Salisbury, and managed the swap for minimal cost, no odd parts, and no real mods that can't be done really easily. I'll get around to posting my research in a few days.
 

Uncle Douglas

Well-known member
Have built a bunch of 110's on d1 axles and have also converted a bunch of Salisburys to discs.
The argument for keeping a Sals is strength. Rover gave up on this with the td5 vintage stuff but they did things to strengthen the
rover axle.

My issue with the sals is the obvious, even with 34 or even 35 inch tall tires on the 130 I was constantly picking the rear of the truck up on rocks because of how low the salisbury hangs. I ripped off two of the massive Southdown galv steel skid plates.
Again with the argument being strength, I've snapped Salisbury shafts but never twisted off a rover axle shaft, I realize this is just luck and driving style. From a load bearing/ towing standpoint the rover axles,again never broken one. Not sure how one would break a properly maintained one.

John would argue that drum brakes are just as good as discs because there is more braking surface area etc.
I'm in the efff a drum brake camp.
 
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Red90

Well-known member
John would argue that drum brakes are just as good as discs because there is more braking surface area etc.
Nothing wrong with going to discs, but there are better things to spend money and time on. It won't improve braking, if that is the goal.

As to stock half shafts, the Disco ones are certainly weaker than stock Salisbury shafts. The Disco shafts are waisted quite a bit. Sals shafts are not. Aftermarket shafts would be the same between the axles. The whole topic is a bigger one that has been discussed to death,
 

CaptMilks

Active member
They make a kit to shave the bottom of the diff to aid in clearance. The Dana 60 guys end up doing it all of the time. 35 inch tires, from what I have seen, are the limit to breakage on both axles. Some people do just fine while others constantly break bolts etc. It just depends upon what you want to do with the truck and how you plan to wheel it.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
My run around with the issue that has my truck currently parked at home, instead of on the road, has me with a theory:

I've been lucky over the past few years to have rear drums that are effective. I've adjusted them several times with good results. However, for one reason or another, I'm not able to adjust them properly anymore. Several other people have told me that they eventually ran into the same problem, and were frustrated with continuously trying to get them to work right, the way they used to. Of course, I could buy new drums, pads, and adjustment kit for something like $250 if I go cheap, do the job, and have drum brakes that have worked like I've had over the past two years. The drums on my Series work very well, and when these worked correctly, they worked well. The problem with this route is that in my experience, drums simply do require more maintenance, they warp more readily, and they are less effective in the wet, especially when they actually get wet.

Why are mine so difficult to get adjusted properly now? I'm not sure, but my theory is that the drums have warped. This not only makes it down right difficult to properly adjust, but I have a feeling that it may have contributed to my hub coming loose. Now the hub must have been loose for some time, even though I didn't actually identify it with the standard lift and shake test. This looseness also contributes to the loss of proper adjustment in the drums, and the cycle repeats. One way or another, that's where I am right now.

Although I've never broken an axle, I've also never bashed a diff open. I'm super careful off road! I get out with a shovel for that crap. Well, and the ground here is often soft, even if it is rocky. So when I do hit rocks, I'm often just pushing them out of the way with the diff. But the extra strength is appealing, so are disc brakes ------ so why not convert? If I'm lucky, I can find good used items, and buy the new items I need for the same price as what I would spend on a new set of drum kit. The trade off being that I never have to adjust the drums again! or deal with the other disadvantages of drums.

However, I am still open to the idea of swapping to a Disco axle and ditching the Salisbury. But I have not been able to search for the process involved here. Mods and fab? More expense, or less? Is it a straightforward swap, or is there welding and new parts needed?
 

Uncle Douglas

Well-known member
direct bolt in. Driveshaft needs to be lengthened.


Nothing wrong with going to discs, but there are better things to spend money and time on. It won't improve braking, if that is the goal. As to stock half shafts, the Disco ones are certainly weaker than stock Salisbury shafts. The Disco shafts are waisted quite a bit. Sals shafts are not. Aftermarket shafts would be the same between the axles. The whole topic is a bigger one that has been discussed to death,

Knew that would get a rise out of you....:)
 

dcg

Active member
On a side note GBR Bill over on BaT stated:

"People obsess about changing the rears to disc although I discourage customers from doing this unless they plan on taking the rigs to their local track days which of course no one does as a participant! I do encourage folks to upgrade the fronts to vented rotors because all you need is calipers and obviously discs. Much better bang for the buck. "

I know this doesn't solve your rear adjustment issues, but something to think about.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
When I need to fix the front brakes, that's when they get upgraded. On the other hand, just last week I watched one of those Engineering Explained videos about vented discs, and they only make a difference.... on the track.
 

Red90

Well-known member
If you are going narrow hub, get used ones from the junkyard. They will be better than the cheap aftermarket ones.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
If you are going to go narrow hub, also going to need new axle shafts , drive members, stub axles.
 

RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Right, narrow is the later version?

I think I'm right that the early version will take the shafts and such that I have now.
 

Napalm00

Well-known member
Narrow = later

If you have Drums now you have early disc/drum wide hubs and the longer shafts. You cant use these shafts with the narrow later hubs as they are too long.

you need to keep it all early and wide or all late and narrow.
 

brdhmltn

Well-known member
I used this link for a part list. Worked for me with some minor hassles with aftermarket parts fit. Ordered everything from LRDirect for around $850 after shipping but that was a couple years ago.
https://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/lr-110-salsbury-rear-axle-drum-to-disk-brake-conversion.77813/

Edit: I ordered HD drive flanges instead of stock. In hindsight I'd look into modifying some of those parts to aftermarket, like swap from the stock rotor / caliper to an aftermarket one. I was so worried about ordering a bunch of non-fitting parts I just did stock for stock.
 
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RBBailey

NAS-ROW Addict
Callsign: KF7KFZ
Narrow = later

If you have Drums now you have early disc/drum wide hubs and the longer shafts. You cant use these shafts with the narrow later hubs as they are too long.

you need to keep it all early and wide or all late and narrow.
I think I've got the whole thing worked out in my head, except for a few basics:
Unless I'm mistaken, I think there are basically two different ways to do this. One way with spacer, one without. Assuming that either way I'm going to get new rotors, pads, and calipers, I think I am going to go the way of using a spacer, because...
With spacer = early/wide hubs (what years can be used?), keep my shafts and stub axles = probably the cheaper way to go.
Without space = late/thin hubs, new shafts, new stub axles = probably more expensive.

...or is it the other way around?
 
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