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Old 08-25-2005, 04:56 PM
Maddmatt Maddmatt is offline
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Default FJ40 Rear Disk Brakes

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
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:08 PM
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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!!!!
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:37 PM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:16 PM
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if you need drum stuff for now, i've got a couple of complete backing plates you can have.
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:06 AM
Maddmatt Maddmatt is offline
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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
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:14 AM
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This guy has a pretty good write-up on the disk swap, here if you go that route. If you want to stay with drums, there's a good argument for that here 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..
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:38 AM
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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
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:47 AM
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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.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesintl
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
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!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I need an FJ40....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2005, 12:02 PM
Maddmatt Maddmatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesintl
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
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
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