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Thread: Rear Disc Conversion for FWD Cars

  1. #1
    I definitely ain't a Chief Engine Builder wagonist's Avatar
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    Jul 2005

    Default Rear Disc Conversion for FWD Cars

    This conversion was originally written by Written by Dicky Tong (smellytofu) for the website & the SV21 Camry, but is now updated to include other newer models. Updates are in italics Links to Pics are in blue
    My conversion was to use ST184 Celica parts on a CT190 Caldina.
    Note: Pre ST20# cars have a 54mm centre hole in the rear disc/drum, whereas later models have a 55mm hole. For later cars, either change the stub axle as well, get a brake machinist shop to enlarge the centre hole on the disc, or buy new discs (but they don't do much on the back)

    This conversion is for 5x100 stud pattern cars but may be very similar to Corollas 4x100

    These include:
    Camry, AT### / ST### Celicas, AT### / ET### / ST### / CT### Carinas, AT### / ET### / ST### / CT### Coronas & Caldinas


    1 x Rattle gun - aka Impact wrench (A must if you don't want sore arms) though I did without.

    1 x socket set (preferably both ¼" and ½" drive with a short and long extension bar)

    1 x set of spanners (up to 6mm to 14mm)

    1 x soft rubber mallet

    1 x pair of pliers

    1 x G-Clamp or F clamp

    2 x chassis stand

    1 x hydraulic jack

    1 x jar of bearing grease (I used Castrol LMM, but any high temp bearing grease for CV's will be fine)

    1 x large screwdriver

    4 x plastic dishes (2 x hold nuts and bolts, 2 x hold leaking brake fluid)

    1 x set of rear pads

    1 x set of rear parking brake shoes (not essential)

    1 x bottle of DOT3 or 4 brake fluid

    Depending on how new the car is, you may need replacement rear brake lines, as the newer versions bolt onto the strut rather than clip on.

    ABS equipped car may require extra effort too (like mine) unless you find an ABS equipped donor car.


    The SV2# Camry rear brakes are 268mm in diameter made by Aisin. Parking brakes are a drum in disc set up. These are the same size as the ones found on the imported VZV2## models. All SV2# were equipped with a front/rear proportional valve regardless of brake combination. The need to replace these is up to the discretion of the installer (I chose not to).
    The ST Celicas & rear disc braked equipped Coronas, etc share these parts.

    Buying Tips:

    - When you are buying, check that the hubs are straight. This is not crucial as you can use the existing drum hubs. I found this not the case for the Celica parts on my Caldina & had to reuse the Celica parts (see note above) so I'd recommend finding straight ones (ie off a car that had a head-on accident only)

    - Check that the rotors are not severely scored or bent/damaged.

    - Check that all cables are not cut like mine was. You should have the handbrake and brake line in-tact for both sides. Make sure of this one. The drum handbrake & disc handbrakes are different lengths & have different fittings on the brake end

    - You don't need the strut as shown here as the wrecker threw them included. Just the brakes with the mounts to the strut is all you'll need.

    Donor parts from outside

    Donor parts from behind
    Tips when attempting this:

    - Do all your off-car work first. If you've installed it all on the car and then run into troubles (I almost did), then you're going to have to put the old stuff back together again.

    - Set yourself a full day if you are working without a rattle gun nor a friend who can help remove anything. It took me 3.5 hrs with a friend helping out.

    - This instruction will focus on one side. It is obvious that you have to repeat the exercise for the other side.

    - Don't sue/blame me if you break something. Do it if you are somewhat mechanically inclined.

    Working off the car:

    - Looking at the back, there are 2 x 14mm bolts holding the calipers. Remove them so you can check the condition of the new brakes.

    Caliper retaining bolts
    - Once you have removed the calipers, the rotors (disc) will fall straight out. If it's rusted like mine, then using the rubber mallet to slowly hammer it out (as to not damage the hub) will do the trick. If you don't have a rubber mallet, use a piece of wood in between the hammer and rotors will soften the hammering.I severly recommend NOT doing this. There is a good chance you will damage the disc which has very tight tolerances for its machined face. Instead on the inner part of the disc there are a couple of threaded holes. Get bolts that fit into this thread & simply wind them in. They will push the disc off the hub

    - Turn the rotors using the hub threads and the large screwdriver as a support to turn the rotor as you slowly hammer it out.

    disc off

    - With the disc looking like below, check the condition of the shoes. Also look at the pads left on the calipers that you've just removed (not in pic)

    - Using the G-Clamp, push the pistons back in (after you've check the piston condition)

    - Replace pads and shoes if necessary

    - If the handbrake cable was cut like mine was, this is a chance to put them in.Don't reuse your drum brake cables. Either get the ends modified to fit the disc end, or buy proper cables from the wreckers

    - Remove the 4 bolts holding the hub. (You can see the 4 holes in the centre of the brakes.)

    - Check that the hub is not bent. If it is, then undo the bolts off the drums holding the hub and replace the bent one. I would recommend that you use the ones off the drums if they have been working fine. At least you know what condition they are.My Caldina hubs wouldn't accept the Celica disc. The centre mounting hole was too large, so I used the Celica ones (& haven't had an issue with them except not knowing how old they were & hence how far the bearings had travelled). In hindsight, I would now get the disc's centre hole machined larger.

    - remove the backing plate from the hub (not necessary if you want to replace the entire hub, but I'd rather work with as many original car parts as possible)

    - Here comes the work with the ABS / non ABS cars. My Caldina has ABS, while the Celica didn't. If I'd managed to find some ST204 brakes, I may have been better off. Anyway, the ABS tone wheel is a press fit into the opposite end of the stub axle to the wheel. I removed this by gently twisting this wheel relative to the hub using a monkey wrench with a rag in between, plus a screwdriver to lever while twisting. I took the Celica parts & the Caldina ABS tone wheel to a machine shop & had them machine a square hole (there's already a tapered one there) into the stub axle. Cost was about $50 per side

    - Grease up the back of the hub with the bearing grease.

    disc backing plate minus stub axle & disc

    Stub axle

    Repeat for other side

    Working on your car:

    - Place car in gear ("P" for automatics), handbrakes off and chock the wheels.

    - Jack the car up at the centre of the rear suspensions and place chassis stands at the rear jacking notches.

    Jacking car

    - Remove tyre

    evil drum brakes on car

    - Remove drum (for the last time) and then say "You are the weakest link in this car, Good-bye." (don't inhale as the drum dust is carcinogenic)

    drum removed

    - Undo the bolts that hold the brake lines. (Tip: Place the tray underneath the pipes as the brake fluid will stain the floor.)

    - Using a spanner or a pair of pliers, pull the C shaped clip holding the brake line to the strut and chassis off.or on later models, undo the bolt holding the line

    brake line in background

    the original instructions here went through steps where the entire hub was removed from the strut. This is unnecessary & certainly not doable if one part has ABS & the other doesn't
    - unclip the handbrake cable from the drum

    - unbolt the backing plate from the hub & discard

    - Crawl under the car and undo all the clips holding the parking brake.

    - Pull the parking brake cable off the Y joint (location is in the pic but not in the pic itself)

    - You might need to take off part of the heat shield of the exhaust (this is where the smaller 1/4" drive comes in handy)

    front end of handbrake cable location

    - The handbrake runs from the centre in the last picture and in front of the fuel tank.

    - Connect the hand brake cables with the clips to both ends (Tip: Loosen the handbrake cable if it is too tight)

    - dummy up the disc brake backing plate on the hub (the bolt retaining it are also what hold the stub axle in)

    disc backing plate

    disc backing plate

    To make this easier, screw in one of the bolts from the wrong side. This will locate the hub & backing plate while you are trying to hold it all together. Once one of the other bolts is done up, you can remove it again.

    hub fitted

    - Connect the calipers, brake lines and C clips (or bolted clips) to hold them on the strut and chassis.

    disc brakes fitted

    brakes fitted

    - Admire the new brakes

    full shot of new rear brakes

    Repeat for other side

    Finishing off:

    - Open the brake fluid cap and make sure you have fluids up to the full mark.

    - Using your friend, press the brakes 5 times.

    - Release the rear brake caliper bleed valve and the brake pedal will fall. After it is fallen, tighten again.

    - Repeat until a steady flow of brake fluid (which you have contained in the plastic dish) and looks clean.

    - Remember to repeat for the other side.

    - Wash all brake fluids off throughoutly.

    - Replace the wheels and lower it to the ground.

    - Test the handbrakes hold the car secure

    - Go for a slow drive and build up speed slowly, pumping the brake pedal to ensure the pads are fully seated on the disc.

    - On your drive, laugh at the wussy Lancers, Hyandais & Protons with their tiny rear drum brakes (probably painted too )
    Last edited by wagonist; 28-06-2006 at 02:54 PM.

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