PDA

View Full Version : FJ40 Rear Disk Brakes


Maddmatt
08-25-2005, 04:56 PM
Hi all,
I've been using the 40 as my primary driver since the BOW run, been working great until this morning. Went out to run some errands, backed out of the driveway and the brakes just barely stopped me from rolling into the neighbors yard. Opened up the hood and noticed my brake fluid was really low.

Since I live pretty close to a local garage, and it was already moving, I very carefully drove it down there and had them take a look. The streets of Louisville are safe again, it's on a lift until further notice.

Turns out my rear drums are shot. Cylinders, drums and shoes. Local guy got quoted $533.46 just for parts from his supplier, and to his credit thought that was robbery and called me to see if I could do better. Hell, I can do better at SOR, and I have a call into Cruiser Dan.

In the meantime, I got to thinking, wouldn't it be great to have disks back there?

So anybody have any experience with any of the conversion kits out there? MAF has one for $499 + $43 for the proportioning valve. Anybody use that one? How about Custom Cruisers out of Gilroy? They have a kit for $225 that says its complete and bolt on, but the picture doesn't show any rotors or calipers. That makes me think it's somewhat less than complete, so I have an email in to them. Anybody have experience with them?

And I know, if I was a real man I'd spend the next two months crawling around pick and pulls looking for a '78 monte carlo to pull the calipers off, and in the meantime smelt up my own pads from old insulation, and hand carve the rotors from only the finest melted down 1964 Toyota engine blocks, and whatever else it is I should be doing, but mostly I just want it safe and running asap. Any experience with this swap would be most appreciated.
Thanks
-Matt

Uncle Ben
08-25-2005, 05:08 PM
I like TSM kits. They are well made and use common GM parts available anywhere. You will need an adjustible proportioning valve also if you like the rear to follow the front in a panic stop! Well worth the price! Never ever have to adjust those pesky individual per shoe adjusters again! Axle wont leave housing in case of fracture! Wont slam into the truck stopped ahead of you on the other side of the stream crossing! Once installed properly very cheap to maintain! Bling factor very high!!!! :cool:

Hulk
08-25-2005, 05:37 PM
Plus TSM is a Toyota Trails advertiser. Take a look in a recent issue to see if they're offering any kind of TLCA member discount.

nuclearlemon
08-25-2005, 07:16 PM
if you need drum stuff for now, i've got a couple of complete backing plates you can have.

Maddmatt
08-26-2005, 09:06 AM
Thanks everybody. I'll put a call into TSM today. Ige, thanks but I'm going to let it sit until it's fixed, one way or the other. I figure that's why I bought two, so one could be broken for awhile.
-Matt

nakman
08-26-2005, 09:14 AM
This guy has a pretty good write-up on the disk swap, here (http://www.wejacks.com/disk-brakes/disks.html) if you go that route. If you want to stay with drums, there's a good argument for that here (http://www.rzeppa.org/tech/brakes.htm) as well as some maintence tips from this dude in Kittredge... ;)

My vote is stick with drums- you like driving the 40 more than you like working n it, and the right amount whiskey & good beer should net you a good amount parts & tech advice. I gave you back your jack stands, right? :)

edit: Oh sure, post while I'm posting..

wesintl
08-26-2005, 09:38 AM
I'm not a fan of RDB.. I put them on my 40 (monte carlo scrouge type) and to me it was a waste of money. My drums were more powerful. On the otherhand if you have to buy all new drum stuff it is probably worth it to go disc. Remember keep the bleed valve on the top :rolleyes:

FJBen
08-26-2005, 09:47 AM
I've got RDB on the 55...they stop better than my old drums...the best part is ease of maintenance on them...that for me is worth it...I HATE working on drums.

Uncle Ben
08-26-2005, 11:06 AM
I'm not a fan of RDB.. I put them on my 40 (monte carlo scrouge type) and to me it was a waste of money. My drums were more powerful. On the otherhand if you have to buy all new drum stuff it is probably worth it to go disc. Remember keep the bleed valve on the top :rolleyes:

One thing needs to be pointed out here. FJ-40's are old tech! Upgrading to 4 wheels disks is vastly superior to the primitive prone to seizing drum setup! On later model vehicles with double acting single wheel cylinders (mounted sideways so water and crud runs/falls off) and self adjusters disks are a mild improvement if done correctly. If I built another 40, 4 wheel disks and P/S would be the very first mods after the vehicle was baselined!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maddmatt
08-26-2005, 12:02 PM
On the otherhand if you have to buy all new drum stuff it is probably worth it to go disc. Remember keep the bleed valve on the top :rolleyes:

In the end, this says it all. I need all new drum stuff. I can't justify spending more money for a higher maintenence, lower performance item, so I'll be picking up the new disk parts from TSM on Monday or Tuesday (they close at noon today).

Thanks everybody for your input.
-Matt

Rzeppa
08-26-2005, 12:40 PM
I agree that 40 series are old-tech, but when working properly, drums work just fine. While they do need adjustment from time to time, shoes last twice as long as pads in my experience. I have personally experienced fade from overheated disk brakes too, anyone who says that disk brakes can't fade from heat just hasn't had to be strapped down to Slickrock Campground from Sand Creek Recreation area with no driveshafts :-)

I have also pleasantly been surprised that the drums on my 71 work fine after water crossings, including the south Platte going from Hackett Gulch to Longwater. For whatever reason, the drums in my 78 aren't as tolerant of water.

I hate adjusting drum brakes as much as the next person, but I'm a fan of "if it works leave it alone", I've got enough projects!