How to Do a Truck Disc Brakes Conversion

What You'll Need
Torque wrench
Lubricating oil
Disc brake conversion kit

Truck disc brakes slow down or halt the rotation of your truck wheels due to friction from the brake pads. Altering truck disc brakes is usually the first option in tweaking the performance of your vehicle. You may follow two methods: front disc brake conversion or rear disc brake conversion. In a rear conversion, you have to remove not only the drum but also the parking brake. Although both conversions are different, they are interchangeable, and the same conversion steps apply to both, despite the slight difference.

Step 1 – Remove the Drum

Remove the drum brakes. Remove the wheels and tires first, next the dust cap, then the center nut and the washer, and finally the brake-drum bolts. Make sure to disengage the brake hose before you remove the drum. Also inspect the spindle to evaluate if it needs to be replaced.

With rear conversion, you will also have to remove the parking brake. Before removing the drum, disengage the brake hose and the parking brake's cable. Afterward you may proceed to eliminating the drum as well. Again, you must inspect the spindle before you relocate and attach the steering arm.

Step 2 – Convert the Truck Disc Brakes

Use your purchased kit. Some kits are pre-assembled; others are not. If it's not already assembled, do it yourself by attaching the rotor to the spindle, followed by the nut and bearing, next the washer, cotter pin and the dust cap. Install the new brake lines and the brake pads as well, before you attach the caliper to the rotor.

For rear conversion, you will reattach the parking brake and the brake lines after you place the caliper over the rotor. And you may proceed to replacing the wheels and tires before you move on to the last step.

Step 3 – Bleed the Brakes

Once you have accomplished the conversion of your truck disc brakes, you must bleed the brakes to ensure optimum performance and also to get rid of the air present in the brake line. There are three methods to bleed the brakes–vacuum pumping, pressure pumping and pump and hold. Detach the master cylinder reservoir and check if it is low on fluid. Investigate why it is low on fluid when the braking system is a closed system where no fluid can escape. Choose from vacuum pumps, pressure pumps to one-way check valve bleeder to help in the process of bleeding the car.

Vacuum pumps works by sucking the brake fluid from the system through the bleeders. There is a risk that air will go in if the bleeder is not securely installed. Pressure pumps meanwhile acts by forcing the fluid out through the valves. One-way check valve bleeder screws let the air and fluid to go out in a snap so no air can go in.

Lastly apply new brake fluid on the master cylinder. Make sure that you use the exact brake fluid for your car. Be careful in using brake fluid because it is hazardous.

Do some testing and checking on the parking brake. (This part is also applicable for rear disc brake conversion). Make adjustments if required.

If everything checks out, you now have successfully converted your truck disc brakes.