Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To - Suspension and Brake Forum

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Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Monday, September 12, 2011 9:21 PM
This how-to will cover most all of the steps that need to be taken to swap out the rear drums for saturn rear disc brakes using Jeffie's spacer/caliper bracket.

I am writing this to the best of my abilities, as I am doing this swap on a 99 Z24, and I am 100% sure the swap will differ in certain areas of different cars in different genrations/body styles and etc..


Required items........

1 pair of Jeffie's hub spacer/caliper brackets. Still a few left in the GP as of now, and as for the future anyone will need to contact him if they are interested in a set.
1 set of saturn rear disc brake calipers & caliper brackets from a 93-02 S series car. Coupe, Sedan, or Wagon will all work, mine for example are from a 96 Sedan
1 pair saturn hydraulic hoses, I reccomend that you get new hoses, mine were less than $8 each, and its good insurance
1 pair saturn rotors. As of now these are only available in a 4x100 bolt pattern and must be redrilled to 5x100, some have looked into custom rotors but nothing yet, future maybe
1 set rear brake pads to fit above saturn calipers
Assorted mounting hardware that may not be included with the calipers you recieve, such as banjo bolts, caliper bracket bolts, guide pins, bracket tins etc.. Also anything you may break in the process of swapping your brakes.

Tools required will be assorted end wrenches and sockets (metric), Torx socket to remove old hub bolts, Allen sockets to install new bolts, ratchets, screwdrivers, vice grips, pliers, pry bars, hammers, whatever it takes to get the job done, only basic hand tools should be needed, no real speciality tools so the backyard and garage mechanics will do just fine here.

Obviously the first step is to get the car in the air and get the wheels off. It is always a good idea to use jack stands to hold the car, don't count on your floor jack holding the weight for you the entire time.

Remove your wheels to reveal those (most likely) rusty worn out drum brakes


Remove the drums, this may take some beating with a hammer, pry bars, and possibly profanity if they haven't been off in a while.

Here you will find the shoes and old Ebrake assembly, this can all be removed however you want, usually you would want to pay attention to where everything goes but for this how-to just rip it all out and throw it in the scrap as far as i'm concerned. I think the easiest way is to remove the springs from the pin on the top middle, pop out the retainer pins/springs and let the brake shoes and hardware fall down and out away from the backing plate and hub.


After this is done you can remove the four bolts holding the hub and the backing plate to the axle/crossmember whatever you might call it. My Haynes manual said it was a T55 but mine were T45 and a 15mm nut on back, I ended up breaking one T45 bit, rounding out one bolt, and then started twisting my other bit, this led to the use of a cutting torch, not reccomended but I was burning daylight and needed the bolts off. This is also the time to remove the Ebrake cable from the backing plate, un plug your ABS sensor connector, and remove the brake line from the back of the wheel cylinder and hide them out of the way for now.



By this point you should have the hub and backing plate off, and your car would look something like this:


At this point your about half way done, from here you can get out your Club Jeffie brackets and prepare to install them, If you would like to take the time you can clean up your suspension while everything is out of the way.

Your brackets will basically be installed in place of where the backing plate was for the drums, between your axle and wheel hub, I installed mine with the caliper to the rear, the same way they were removed from the saturn. From the GP Jeff included 8 new bolts to replace the old ones that aren't long enough, and are probably too beat up to use. These require an allen head to install, and need to be torqued to 44 ft/lbs (according to Haynes) Also not sure on the size I just grabbed the one that fit from my tool box, size was worn off.


Once your hub and spacer/bracket assembly is back on with the ABS re connected (don't forget!) you are ready to put your new rotor of choice on. I picked a cheapo from RockAuto to start with, going to upgrade in the future. Remember these need to be re drilled to 5x100, this means 4 new holes, using one of the existing holes as a guide. They can be drilled using a drill press, or even a corded/cordless hand drill using the correct size bit, I used 1/2". A good way to drill these is to use your old brake drum or an old 5x100 rotor from the front maybe, line up one stud hole between the two and the center hole. As stated in the original feeler thread, these rotors are hub centric just like the drums were, your holes can be a little big and a bit sloppy, as long as it fits over the center of the hub it will be centered where it needs to be.


After your rotor is installed you can move on to your caliper bracket, this bolts on just like the saturn if you pulled it, or like this if you didn't have the chance to see it on a car already


Here is the back side of the rotor showing where the caliper bracket mounts to the spacer bracket. This can be bolted on solid as soon as your rotor is on, here I have also installed the hydraulic hose that will connect the factory Jbody brake line to the saturn caliper.


After this you can install your new brake pads, followed by the caliper. The caliper attaches to the caliper bracket using two guide pins, these bolt solid to the caliper, while allowing the caliper to move freely and adjust itself for wear on the pads. Also connect the hydraulic hose to the caliper using a banjo bolt and two crush washers. Once both sides are done you and a friend, or whoever you can get to pump the brake petal, can bleed the brakes. starting at the right rear and then left rear. You shouldn't need to bleed the fronts unless you have worked on both the front and the back. Be sure to top off your brake fluid before going on a test drive.

The only thing that I had major trouble with is the emergency brake cable, it was advertised as a direct hook-up but I am finding it difficult and I'm sure others will too. I have came to the conclusion that the springs on the ends of the cables aren't needed, considering the saturns didn't have them and the caliper has a spring on its mechanism.

I don't have completed pictures yet, camera died, and its late. Will follow up tomorrow. This is the first real write up/ How-To I have ever tried so I hope its up to, or at least close to par and I hope it helps some people out. Everybody feel free to post up questions, and answers if you've got them, and pics of your swaps!

Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Monday, September 12, 2011 10:21 PM
for the 4 bolts. i would have broke them lose from the back of the hub rather then then the torx. but this is a great write up. i will be using this if i ever get to it.



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 4:17 AM
Nice write up so far. Will be very useful when the time come for others to do this, myself included.

I am curious to see pics of the ebrake cable issue your talking about.



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9:02 AM
Here are the caliper installed pictures, please ignore all the gravel road dust. My Ebrake still does not function properly. I don't have enough slack in the ebrake cable to let the caliper mechanism all the way down, I made it fit temporarily but I need to find a way to extend the cable a bit. I'm not sure how they made it work on the test car, it looks like a perfect fit on theirs. I do have an issue on my car with my swaybar being in the way of my cables, this could be part of my issue. Also had to route the Ebrake cable around the inside of the shock to get it to line up with the arm on the caliper (Saturns were also routed this way).

Also the end of the caliper piston is a suspect for the Ebrake, there are some groove type things in them (didn't get a picture but you will know what i mean when you look at yours) At first I couldn't get the left side caliper over the bracket assembly for some reason, I found it was because of a rivit in the pad that wouldn't clear the piston, fixed this by turning the piston so that the rivit fit into the groove, I'm not sure but this could be part of the ebrake not functioning, besides the cable shortness, if the piston won't turn out to lock the brake like it should?



Here you can see how short the cable had to be for me to get it into the clip on the mechanism, and I couldn't get it to fit without taking the spring off of the cable, which doesn't bother me any as once again this is how the Saturn cable was, springless since the caliper has its own return spring.


View from the top, you can see the Ebrake routing, and the hydraulic hose... I will be changing out the factory Jbody hardlines ASAP, they are too long to fit anywhere nicely after adding the hydraulic hose to the caliper. I think someone said in the GP that a 13" SS line would fit nicely, but I am going to re measure for myself later.


And the other side installed


And finally the brakes tucked behind the beat up z wheels, cant notice them that much now, but hopefully new rims will show them off more



As for the four hub bolts, they were soaked in about 3 different penetrating oils, I tried breaking loose the nuts first but it just spun the whole bolt all the way through, I could have heated the nuts but I needed to save them because I forgot to get new ones for the bolts Jeff supplied, and had no other car to go get them. They will be changed out this weekend once I have time again and can get the nuts.

And I believe a Thank-You and Congradulations is in order to Jeff, Ryan, and anyone else that has had any part in making these brackets, and I think one of the most successful GP's ever with 60 sets in the GP and only 4 left up for grabs as of now.

Everybody post up questions and comments, theres always room for more information in a How-To.
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:59 AM
there's a trick to getting the cable hooked up right, and functioning like stock.

Taking the spring off the cable is NOT helping you at all.

any tech questions can be pmed to me, oh and I'm glad everyone is liking the product. I had a pretty tough time getting is all designed and what not.




Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:25 PM
SO has anyone found a SS line that will screw into the J's Ss rear lines and then to the caliper?



FU Tuning



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:29 PM
Yes listen to Ryan he can give you the in's and out's of this since he did the prototyping and took the time to help make this all a possible in the first place.

Ryan you should post up a tips and trick type post to help people out on this.


Want hub spacers rear disk brackets or trailing arm bushings? Shoot me a PM.



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:30 PM
If i ever get to it. i was going to test fit a front J SS line into a rear J SS line, but it seems like it might be a little short.





Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:02 PM
Slowzee wrote:

there's a trick to getting the cable hooked up right, and functioning like stock.

Taking the spring off the cable is NOT helping you at all.

any tech questions can be pmed to me, oh and I'm glad everyone is liking the product. I had a pretty tough time getting is all designed and what not.


What might this trick be? I tried for hours to get the spring on and it just wouldn't go. My cables are near shot as well so they will be replaced, my sway bar isn't doing them any justice either.
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:48 PM
I'll try to post up an explanation with pics tonight




Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:35 PM
Slowzee wrote:

I'll try to post up an explanation with pics tonight


Thank you sir, I was wishing I had the original pics from the feeler to look at but they have been gone for a while now...

Hopefully all the problems can be covered in a few posts to keep the pages down... unlike the neon thread that ended up being 29 pages of nonsense and only a hand full of informative posts.

Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 5:55 PM
If you need SS lines for just the rear, this will be the place. And D.O.T. approved.
You're welcome ladies.



>>>For Sale? Clicky!<<<
-----The orginal Mr.Goodwrench on the JBO since 11/99-----

Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:49 AM
Club Teh Jeffie wrote:

Ryan you should post up a tips and trick type post to help people out on this.


This^ x infinity. lol



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 9:00 AM
Slowzee wrote:

I'll try to post up an explanation with pics tonight


I would very much like to hear your solution for the e-brake cable. Right now I have one 2005 cable with a 1996 spring and one 1996 cable. It works sort of. Still to much slack in the line.

-I drive my car to work-
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 11:12 AM
On the subject of SS lines.... I said 13" from the caliper to the hard point on the body and I also put my calipers in front so the distance is a little closer than going in the rear.

-I drive my car to work-
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:11 PM
I'll do the write up when I get time..... I've been on dad duty the past few days and just don't have the allotted time to do such at the moment




Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 5:49 AM
word, I feel ya, my oldest broke his arm in 2 places so I've been on "dont re-hurt your arm duty" the last few days.



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:23 AM
durandall05 . wrote:

On the subject of SS lines.... I said 13" from the caliper to the hard point on the body and I also put my calipers in front so the distance is a little closer than going in the rear.


In front is where they're supposed to be, I think. Give me till tonight to reference a few books to make sure I'm remember that right.


1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

WPI Class of '12 Mechanical Engineering
WPI SAE Risk and Sustainability Management Officer
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:07 PM
Leafy (Club Jeffie FEA man) wrote:

durandall05 . wrote:

On the subject of SS lines.... I said 13" from the caliper to the hard point on the body and I also put my calipers in front so the distance is a little closer than going in the rear.


In front is where they're supposed to be, I think. Give me till tonight to reference a few books to make sure I'm remember that right.


Ok cool, that would be good info to know. I can swap them to the backside but I would rather just leave em...

So far everything is holding up great. At first I drove very slow and timid then I worked my way up to beating the crap out em. SanDiego freeways can be lots o-fun, and since my wife will be driving the car I wanted to be sure that the set-up would not blow apart. Next step, e-brake drifting =)

Slowzee wrote:


No custom lines needed for install, no brake cable switching. Just hook up the jbody ebrake cable to the saturn calipers.


I am a bit irritated about the e-brake bit. It is not plug and play, and I am not looking forward to another trip to the junkyard. I know that Slowzee has many other much more important things in his life, but since the e-brake is not plug and play especially for us 03-05 guys, it would have been nice to have that info upfront.

Over-all I am very happy about the set-up and I would buy them again in a second

-I drive my car to work-
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 3:00 PM
Well to he honest I was unaware that 03-05 was different. So I apologize for misleading people on that end of it.


And I'm still trying to get time get to do a trouble shooting oriented post, but my 2 year old daughter is top priority.




Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 4:57 PM
I was wrong. Calipers are supposed to be mounted behind the upright because of how the forces and torques from braking effect the suspension.


1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

WPI Class of '12 Mechanical Engineering
WPI SAE Risk and Sustainability Management Officer

Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:26 PM
Slowzee wrote:

Well to he honest I was unaware that 03-05 was different. So I apologize for misleading people on that end of it.


And I'm still trying to get time get to do a trouble shooting oriented post, but my 2 year old daughter is top priority.


Ya no worries, I totally understand that your daughter comes way before some silly car project... I busted open a bunch of drums last week and from 03-05 are quite a bit different, seems us 03-05 are just special

Right now I have one 96 cable and one 05 cable. It works good but I would like a solution that doesn't involve zip ties.

Leafy (Club Jeffie FEA man) wrote:

I was wrong. Calipers are supposed to be mounted behind the upright because of how the forces and torques from braking effect the suspension.


Fine be that way about it I'll just swap em when I get SS lines...

-I drive my car to work-
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Thursday, September 15, 2011 8:28 PM
Make sure you swap calipers from side to side. You have to make sure that the bleeder screw faces up... Or well you could bleed the caliper not connected to the bracket with just a spacer in there to prevent the piston from popping out.


1994 Saturn SL2 Home Coming Edition: backup car
2002 Chevy Cavalier LS Sport Coupe: In a Junk Yard
1995 Mazda Miata R-package Class=STR
Sponsored by: Kronos Performance

WPI Class of '12 Mechanical Engineering
WPI SAE Risk and Sustainability Management Officer
Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Friday, September 16, 2011 5:59 AM
I'm not upset about the ebrake issue at all, its far better to do a tiny bit of work/ and swap the e-brake cable for a 95-02 unit to have the caliper e-brake system rather than the pain in the arse to get wokring neon style drum e-brake system, IMO.

take your time slowzee, fam first bro.



Re: Saturn rear disc brake conversion How-To
Saturday, September 17, 2011 11:34 AM
Wow. This is great! I'm really glad to see another easy swap like this.

.



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