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Old 12-26-2003, 11:09 AM   #1
bennett9000
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Default Disc brakes all around!

Well, on Christmas Eve, I finally got around to doing my rear-disc conversion. Man, what a pain! The process itself isn't difficult or confusing, but dealing with suspension parts is always a pain. The corrosion builds up like nobody's business down there, and everything's frozen in place. So my advice is to be prepared with a full can of good-quality penetrating oil.

We took about 3 hours to do it. Got one scare, after bleeding the brakes and one caliper LOCKED. But after inserting a large screwdriver and breaking it loose, it sprand back into place and has been perfect ever since.

Impressions: feels good! My Cougar has 4-wheel discs, and has ALWAYS stopped MUCH better than my SW2. After driving the Cougar for a few days and then getting in the Sat, it would take some getting used to, and felt like I was really standing on the brakes to get it to stop. But now it's like NIGHT AND DAY better. And need I mention the added relief of never having to deal with BRAKE SHOES and DRUMS and SELF-ADJUSTERS EVER AGAIN!?

The best part is the (salvage-yard) price:

2 Calipers: $10

2 Caliper brackets: $10

2 E-brake cables: $10

2 Rotors: $10

2 Dust shields: $6

2 Flexible brake lines: $4

New brake pads: $18

Total cost for rear-disc conversion: $68. A little better than SPS's $750 price tag for basically the same stuff... ...and I got heat shields, too

If you have the means, I highly recommend doing it. And if anyone ever has a question about rear-disc conversion, ask away - I've got first-hand experience!

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Old 12-26-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
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What would have been real nice is a step-by-step with pictures, for those of us who have no idea what anything looks like under the car, let alone with the wheels off

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Old 12-26-2003, 11:47 AM   #3
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those are dust shields on the back, not heat shields. i tossed mine into a box that the front ones from my 92 sc were sitting in. after doing two rear disc conversions, i forgot to take pictures. oh well. it's better to just get a chiltons manual and look at it if you don't have saturn factory service manuals.

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Old 12-26-2003, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by K-1
What would have been real nice is a step-by-step with pictures, for those of us who have no idea what anything looks like under the car, let alone with the wheels off
You know - I did it down at my Dad's house, and forgot to bring the shorter flex-lines. So we used the longer drum lines for now, but I'm going to have to take them apart again to put the new disc lines on it. So maybe then I'll shoot some photos.

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Old 12-26-2003, 01:20 PM   #5
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I've been using the longer drum lines for several thousand miles. I peeked under the car just recently, and they are working like a champ, not rubbing on anything. The disc lines are not required.

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Old 12-26-2003, 01:49 PM   #6
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My concern is this:

The length is such that the lines have to bend out and back - A LOT - to reach the calipers. The line is too long to be a straight shot, and too short to have a gentle bend. So the line is kinda in a bind right now, and I'm sure they will split sooner than later.

I picked up a set of disc lines just because of this. Better safe than sorry, to me. Especially since its my neck that's on the line...no pun intended...

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Old 12-26-2003, 03:13 PM   #7
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All around disc?

Nothing special, I have that stock.

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Old 12-26-2003, 03:28 PM   #8
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But your car isn't a 99-

...no 99 Saturn had all-around discs stock

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Old 12-27-2003, 11:55 AM   #9
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I did the same conversion for my 93sc because I want to autocross her. I saw the conversion on SPS for 750.00 and went to the junkyard and paid about the same as you and they work great! I recomend it to anyone who has the means. My car did not have abs so it was not stock with all wheel discs. I am lucky to work at a Saturn store and have techs around to give great advice so the conversion was very easy! 93 SC 5-speeed

...
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Old 12-27-2003, 01:22 PM   #10
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I wonder if I could swap the front disc brakes on my Ion to the back? As in, buy another set, put 'em on in the rear...

...
2003 Saturn Ion
2001 Mazda Miata
1997 Saturn SC1

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Old 12-27-2003, 02:23 PM   #11
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The fronts on the Ion won't simply bolt up to the rear. With enough time and money, the rears could be modified, but it probably wouldn't be worth it.

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Old 12-27-2003, 06:43 PM   #12
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The Delta-based Ecotec-powered SAAB has four-wheel disc brakes, albeit in a five-bolt pattern. Not sure if you could heist the parts off that and possibly use an S-series rotor to make it work. Worth looking into.

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Old 12-27-2003, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by bennett9000
But your car isn't a 99-

...no 99 Saturn had all-around discs stock
thats what i was thinking.

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Old 12-28-2003, 03:53 AM   #14
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Bennett,

Did you just steal the calipers from the front of another Saturn or did you have to find an S series with rear discs?

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Old 12-28-2003, 01:18 PM   #15
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You have to find an S series with rear disc, and preferrably the correct wheelbase if you want all the cabling to work correctly.

...
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Old 12-28-2003, 02:22 PM   #16
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Bennet,

I'd like to do the swap on my 2000 SL2. One thing I noticed is SPS lists a bunch of different kits for different years/models. Do you know first hand what the differences are? What would be the ideal donor vehicle for the 2000 SL2?

I also was wondering about the front/rear proportioning. I checked with Saturn parts and found the master cylinder is different between drum/disk rears - yet no one doing the conversion seems to have changed the master cylinder or anything to tweak the front/rear proportioning. How does yours feel? Do the rears lock first?

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Old 12-28-2003, 06:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by THX712517
I wonder if I could swap the front disc brakes on my Ion to the back? As in, buy another set, put 'em on in the rear...
Wait a few months for the turbo charged Ion to come out. I suspect Saturn will have to put 4 wheel discs on it to avoid safety lawsuits for a braking system not being up to the performance level of the car. If they put 4 wheel disc brakes on that car, then replacement parts shuld be available to convert any Ion to 4 wheel discs.

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Old 12-28-2003, 07:10 PM   #18
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The discs from the fronts will not work on the rear. The rear calipers have a closer tolerance, since they do not use vented rotors. They also have parking brake levers on them, which the front calipers do not. And finally, they mount on the opposite side of the hub than the fronts. So no - there is no way to use front calipers on the rear.

Far as I know, the only difference between the brake kits at SPS is the length of the e-brake cables. Calipers and rotors are the same all around. My kit came from a 93 SL2, and fits with NO problems on my 99 SW2.

I have noticed no adverse effects of using the drum-based master cylinder on my setup.

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Old 12-28-2003, 08:19 PM   #19
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Supercharged Ion Redline uses five lugs instead of four on the sedan. Damnit. I guess I'll have to buy some overpriced kit.

...
2003 Saturn Ion
2001 Mazda Miata
1997 Saturn SC1

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Old 12-28-2003, 11:27 PM   #20
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Hey, maybe you can use the ION spindles, and have 5-bolt lugs. I've never seen the ION with the tire off, but it could work...

...but you'd have to carry 2 spares...

...
-Andy

01 SL1 (2011-2014) 99 SW2 (2002-2009) 95 SL2 (1997-2002)
00 ROUSH Cougar V6 03 SVT Focus #2370 08 Mustang Bullitt #5389 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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