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Old 02-24-2005, 05:20 AM   #1
between5and7
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1993 SW1
1995 SL2
Wrench Rear Disc. Conversion??

If I do the conversion do I have to replace the Master cylinder? I have a 2001 SC2. I need front brakes and rotors and want to convert the rear. I can go to the wrecking yard for most of the hardware, and get the pads and rotors from the parts store. I know I will have to replace the E-brake cable. Any major warnings I need to know about.

Also is it possible for warped rotors to cause such a vibration that it damages the trans-axle? My rotors are pretty bad, I was going to do a brake job then this happened. My trany went out with only 67000 miles. Major repair. It is an automatic. Supposedly two nuts came loose and all hell broke loose after that. Valve body, pump, converter, etc., etc.

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Old 02-24-2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Your current master cylinder will do fine. I have been on my rear disc swap for well over a year now on my same old master cylinder, and it's awesome. One of the best mods I have ever done to the Wagon; I recommend it to EVERYONE.

If you aren't sure, check out SPS. They sell a complete rear-disc conversion kit for well over $700, and it doesn't come with a master cylinder OR proportioning valve, neither is either one mentioned.

...
-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

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Old 02-24-2005, 09:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
If I do the conversion do I have to replace the Master cylinder? I have a 2001 SC2. I need front brakes and rotors and want to convert the rear. I can go to the wrecking yard for most of the hardware, and get the pads and rotors from the parts store. I know I will have to replace the E-brake cable. Any major warnings I need to know about.
i've done two rear disc conversions myself. no, you don't need to replace the master cylinder. you will also need to get rear disc hoses. drum hoses connect and work, but according to a brake engineer at saturn, there is a risk of the drum hoses popping out from the rear discs if/when the rear suspension hyperextends. other than that the rear disc conversion is straightforward. you can use a chiltons manual and follow the instructions to remove the rear drums and parking brake cables, then install the rear disc parking brake cables and rear discs.

...
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:53 PM   #4
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1993 SC2
1999 SL2
Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

I'm running on the drum hoses (for now) until I can get me some nice braided lines. They're working fine for me so far, and I've had the new rear discs (pulled from a 94 Homecoming SL2) on for about 6 months. However, the hoses should be changed soon, I know.

Like Eric said, it's pretty straightforward and fairly easy to do. My brother and I did mine in one afternoon back in August.

...
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Old 02-28-2005, 03:02 AM   #5
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1995 SL2
Wrench Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Do I have to replace the proportioning valve? If so where is it located on a 2001 SC2?

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Old 02-28-2005, 09:24 AM   #6
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1994 SL2
Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

I just changed mine over.

The interesting thing is, even with the suspension all the way extended, there was still plenty of slack in the brake hoses. Go figure, and that's with drum hose.

...
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
Do I have to replace the proportioning valve?
No. You do not.

...
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Old 03-03-2005, 02:57 AM   #8
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1995 SL2
Wrench Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Great. Thank You.

Another question I have. I want to convert my 2001 SC2 from drum to disc. I checked with my dealer and found out that the 2001 SC2 did not come with rear disc at all. So what year SL2 do I use as a donor? Also what do I do for an emergency brake cable? I don't gather the SL and the SC would use the same cable would they?

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Old 03-03-2005, 07:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

This has been covered extensively.

Use calipers and rotors from any S-series; it does not matter. Coupe, sedan, Wagon, SOHC, DOHC - they are all alike. Use e-brake cables from the same year that the calipers are from, and you'll be fine.

...
-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

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Old 03-18-2005, 05:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

I just got the parts for my 02 SC2 conversion (except for the hoses) and will be working on cleaning and painting the parts first. I'm thinking of replacing all hoses with braded while I have everything apart anyway - thoughts? Also, since I'm going to be under my car all weekend pretty soon, is there anything else that I should be upgrading, replacing, etc...

Since I have a similar problem with my rotors warping and I talked with John @ SPS - figured I'd relay the response publicly for anyone that may run across this post - but, my situation is a little different due to location;-) (sorry about the long post)
Nine times out of ten, the pulsation of the brake pedal is a result of a rotor thickness variation.

This thickness variation comes from 2 sources:
1. Thick spots along the rotor that result from corrosion deposits.
(Usually a matter of humidity and pollution causing a corrosion reaction
between the caliper and the rotor.) These deposits create high spots.
2. Thin spots along the rotor that result from sudden brake application,
causing the pads to momentarily gouge out a section of rotor. This creates
low spots.

So you get a few high spots and a few low spots and then press the pedal,
and the result is a rapid pulsation as pads are pressed over the spinning
highs and lows.

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way for you to avoid this (other than to
wrap your car in plastic and never drive it again.)

As a rule, drilled and slotted pads tend to wear out brake pads faster and
deliver very little performance benefit.

Slotted rotors can clean the pad face - and prevent glazing in circumstances
in which you are using a low temp pad in a high temp situation. But in my
opinion, it makes more sense just to use a high temp pad to begin with in
most cases.

Drilled rotors tend to cause very uneven wear patterns on the pad - (sort of
a cheese-grater effect) - and they can be somewhat more likely to crack.

So I'm not a big fan of fancy rotors. They wear pads faster, have no better
chance of resisting thickness variation, and cost more to replace down the
road. Since you asked, my opinion is that its better to use the stock rotor
and combine it with a better pad so as to get an improved pedal feel - and a
combination of friction coefficient and temperature resistance that is
suitable for your application.

In other words, if you are doing low speed autocross driving that requires
lots of driver precision but does not incur alot of high brake temps, then
you want a pad with a very high friction coefficient and not alot of temp
resistance. If you are doing high speed road course lapping which generates
alot of high temperatures, then you will usually give up a little bit of
friction coefficient and choose a pad that is much more consistent at high
temps.

For autobahn driving, you are generally more like the autocross guys. You
don't make many stops, so you usually do not generate very high brake temps. However, when you need to stop, you want a high fiction coefficient and a very firm and responsive pedal.

So I would think that either the Hawk HPS or Magnum Silver compounds would
be appropriate for you in the front.

On a street car, you might also like an aggressive compound like this on the
rear. I can tell you that on our racecars, we found that an aggressive
compound in the rear tended to cause a rear brake bias and thus premature
lockup in the rear. (This was largely due to our very stiff suspension
setups and the fact that we are allowed to lighten IT cars, but the stuff
that we are allowed to remove tends to be in the rear, so we lightened the
rear of the car disproportionately, causing the rear wheels to want to lift
upward under hard braking.) So on the racecars, we use the stock Saturn pad in the rear - because it tends to have a very low friction coefficient.

A street car with a stock weight distribution would be less prone to
experiencing rear bias with an aggressive rear pad.

But this also illustrates one of the advantages of a rear disc setup: the
large selection of pad compounds allows you to experiment to get a balance
that works for you. You don't have much flexibility in your selection of
available drum shoes.

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Old 03-18-2005, 10:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

so how long do these conversions take?

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Old 03-19-2005, 09:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2dave
so how long do these conversions take?
Depends on whether or not you know what you're doing; and whether or not the parts are siezed from rust.

If everything goes smoothly, you're looking at about 15-20 minutes per wheel, including parking brakes.

...
-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

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Old 03-19-2005, 10:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

I got all of the stuff I need from the local junkyark for about $200. That includes the hubs, rotors, calipers, pads, and dust shields. All of that was from a '95 SC2. It was really a bolt-on replacement. Just swap the hub assemblies. You'll need two parking brake cables from Saturn at about $35 each.

On a side note, my brake pedal doesn't feel very solid or responsive. I just had the 130,000 mile old fluid flushed. I'm still running the stock drum brake lines and stock rotors all around. I'm debating whether I should look into braided stainless steel lines to improve feel. Also, should I check and see if the pads are glazed? I took the car down down from 100 and had some major fade and a nice burning smell coming from the pads.

...
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Old 03-19-2005, 03:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

do i require the backing plate? also,is the hub different than the drum one?

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Old 03-19-2005, 04:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2dave
do i require the backing plate? also,is the hub different than the drum one?

Require, no. But it's nice.

Hub is the same.

...
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
so how long do these conversions take?
my first one took 4 hours. the second one took less that 2 hours. the hardest part is/was beating off the rear hubs.

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Old 03-20-2005, 08:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 96sc2
my first one took 4 hours. the second one took less that 2 hours. the hardest part is/was beating off the rear hubs.
Here's how I did that:

First, loosen all four hub bolts. You can even remove 3 of them entirely. Next, you put the 10mm socket on the remaining bolt head (just the socket). Then you find something SOLID with a hole in it (I used the end of a crescent wrench handle) that is about the same diameter as the 3/8" drive extension. The hole in the wrench must be large enough for the extension to fit through it, but small enough that the 10mm socket CANNOT. Put the 3/8 extension through the hole in the hub, THEN through the crescent wrench handle, THEN snap the extension into the socket (which is already on the bolt). So now you basically have a ratchet with extension going though the hole in the hub, and a crescent wrench hanging off of it between the hub and the base.

While backing the bolt out then, the wrench handle comes into contact with the hub, and as you back it off even more, the 10mm socket, pushing against the wrench handle, acts as a press, and pushes the hub out of the spindle from inside.

Much cleaner, safer, and easier than beating on the hubs.

...
-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

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Old 03-20-2005, 01:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

do you really have to take off the hubs? or only if they are worn?

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Old 03-20-2005, 02:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

Quote:
do you really have to take off the hubs? or only if they are worn?
yes you have to take off the hubs in order to remove the drum hardware.

...
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Rear Disc. Conversion??

The rear disc brake conversion is a simple job. I think that the most work was involved in replacing hand brake cable. I checked the price of the required parts from the dealer. This was only a little less than the price of the parts from SPS. I bought the SPS kit. I considered looking for the parts from a junk yard but was not interested in all the work required to remove, and reinstall the used parts.
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