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Old 09-15-2017, 11:15 PM   #1
SaturnHunter
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Idea Rear Disc conversion

So I have a 2002 Saturn SL1 and I was wanting to do a rear disc conversion on it. Could anyone tell me what parts I would need from any other Saturn and possibly post links to a parts site that would have them? When I do the conversion I'm going to record it and post it on YouTube for others to learn from. Thanks

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Old 09-16-2017, 08:19 AM   #2
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Rear Disc conversion

It's a direct bolt-on swap from any '91-'97 DOHC w/ABS (SOHC's still had the option of drums w/ABS '91-'97 but can be used if they have rear disc). Rear disc was dropped entirely starting in '98.

The only "gotcha" is the parking brake cables, for a SL/SW you should be good with cables for a '96-'97 SL/SW. The cables are the same length for both brake styles but the tab on the end of them are just enough different you can't swap between disc & drum. '91-'96 SC cables are roughly 3" shorter than every other model because their shorter wheelbase is taken out on the poor rear seat foot-well, so don't get those cables for any SL/SW.

I'll never buy another '80's/'90's GM with rear disc, the looks and ease of working on them is not worth the requirement of tearing apart every 4-6 months ('89 Gutless Supreme went through calipers yearly, 3 S-Series with rear disc had to at least be re-greased every 5-6 months if not replaced).

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Old 09-16-2017, 09:01 AM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Rear Disc conversion

There are a couple of brands of aftermarket brake cables that are too short, be careful as they will not stretch. You can go to RockAuto and look at the overall length and figure out which ones will fit. Do not buy off brand cables as they will not fit or last.

As fetch pointed out this is not a great idea of a performance increasing swap, it is a major continuing maintenance headache.

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Old 09-18-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rear Disc conversion

And on the other hand, Luke mentioned that in the entire ~650,000 miles that he drove his Saturn, he did so on the original rear brakes - never replaced any part of the drum brakes

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Old 10-08-2017, 07:55 AM   #5
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2001 SC2
Dizzy Re: Rear Disc conversion

So....apologies for thread-jacking here a bit but am I correct in concluding that this is a mod that I shouldn't consider? I THOUGHT discs on the rear would be an upgrade but the general consensus here seems to indicate that it's just adding a failure-prone headache to a perfectly reliable system. Can someone please clarify this for me?
-M!ke-

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Old 10-08-2017, 08:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rear Disc conversion

Disc brakes require more maintenance than drums, this is made worse with rear disc on FWD cars...the moving parts never get moved to keep them freed up TO move so you need to re-grease them at least every 12 months. Half the rear disc S-Series I've had required new calipers because the idiotic parking brake mechanism seized up due to rust.

If you want better looks and don't mind higher maintenance then rear disc is fine, but unless I got a parts car of the same model as what you have now with rear disc...IMO it's just not worth the effort even for the "looks".

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