1. Registration trouble? Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right corner of the page and your issue will be resolved.
    Dismiss Notice

My Geo Tracker Disc Conversion Experience

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by mickeykelley, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Aug 23, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    I'm almost finishing up with the Geo Tracker conversion so I thought I start posting my experience and give a full list of parts and issues along the way. First, I want to give a shout out to Stev over at The CJ2APage as he was where I first heard about this, got my plates and he has been very helpful when I had some questions.

    This thread is only intended to be MY experience, not a debate on the merits of disc or not, original or not, my brakes are better than yours, etc, etc. It is just my experience and why I went this route and what I ran into. Hopefully it will help others. But it comes with the disclosure that brakes are serious stuff and my list and steps are just what I did. You are responsible for your own moves and I am not promoting nor guaranteeing anything and take absolutely not responsibility for what you do to your vehicle.

    First, is why I even went down this path. First of all, when I got Willie, his brakes were really scary. The wife drove him once and said not again til something is done. I learned to drive very far ahead when I took Willie out. Even so, I had a very close call when some idiot pulled out right in front of me, then immediately slowed down and decided to get on his brakes. So I started research. I figured rebuilding the factory fronts would run me at least $100, IF I didn't have any major issues like having to replace a drum. Plus I read all about the not self adjusting, so I moved on. I read about the Chevy disc conversion, but I wanted to keep the original KelseyHays wheels and was not excited about grinding the knuckles. I also looked at Herm's booster but it only works with the single master and I was pretty sure I would want to upgrade for the safety part. So it looked like the only real option was going with the 11" Bendix self adjusting. I ordered the kits for both front and rear but got busy with life so had not gotten around to them. Then I keep reading about the issue of going thru water when on trails and the drum issue vs disc. About that time I stumbled into Stev and others about this Geo Tracker conversion that works without spacers, works with factory wheels and no grinding. I eventually decided that was my direction and would resell the 11" Bendix at some point in the future. Here is the original thread I read Dana 25 Front Disk Conversion for $250 but it was also talked about on the G503 site and then eventually even here.

    I'll be adding more and pics and parts list, issues, etc as time permits.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  2. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    My biggest regret is not having ALL parts on hand before I took Willie out of service and lost time out driving him, as well as tying up the garage. The whole thing is probably just a good weekend job, if, and I stress if, you have everything on hand in advance and it's the right stuff. I did order the mounting bracket, calipers and rotors early and naively believed the rest would be no bid deal. WRONG. First a rotor was backordered. Then had a problem finding the metric bolts required to mount the calipers to the bracket (plate) and the longer bolts to mount the bracket to the knuckle. Once I got that in I decided to just go with the Geo brake hose and adapter route as apposed to custom made line. By then I was in a hurry so just got the line from O'Reillys. It was half the cost at Rock Auto but I was in a hurry. Then, of course they had to order it in. And of course they were two different ones. Both same part number and their brand but different (I'll get into that later with pics and what issues later). Ordered another one only to have that style be an issue so have to get the 'last' one in the region to hopefully get it right, otherwise I'd have to pay shipping to get it from a different zone. In any event, that process ended up being 4 trips and a week of time wasted and frustration. Then the adapter to go from metric hose to SAE hard line was eventually figured out and 'ordered' in by NAPA. Fortunately my NAPA store still has good old guys who know stuff and are helpful. But they couldn't get the hoses except from FL and I'd have to pay shipping. Go figure. Then when trying to take off the old Willys rubber hoses, the rusted hard lines just crimped and basically went to hell. So now I had to order a line kit from Walcks. By the way, Carl was great getting them right out and he sent them 2 day FedEx no charge. Another shout out to Carl, Robin and Daniel at Walcks are fantastic. Then trying to decide on which longer wheel stud was an issue and of course they had to be ordered. I'll also go over the stud issue later too.

    The moral of the story, is get a 'correct' list and get it all in advance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  3. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    So this is where I started. You can see why they weren't so good.
    image.jpg
     
    tripilio likes this.
  4. Aug 24, 2018
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sheboygan
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,981
    nice. more pics!
     
  5. Aug 24, 2018
    Daryl

    Daryl Sponsor

    Bonney Lake, WA
    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,819
    Thanks for writing this up. Those of us with all the extra parts on the shelf in the garage sometimes forget all the little details of making these things work. I believe that Brennan has a pretty comprehensive list of parts on Facebook at Brennan's Garage. Every Jeep I touch these days seems to get every brake line replaced now. For those that fear making their own brake lines, the Eastwood flaring tool actually makes brake lines easy. Just a few seconds per end, perfect every time.
     
    Jrobz23 and TIm E like this.
  6. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    One of the first things to note was that the brackets I got from Stev were 3/8". I've read where some use 1/4" plate and then had to use shimes. I'm not expert but my sense is the stronger 3/8 is better and not having to mess with shimes. Stev had them powder coated which sounded great BUT as I found out, all the bolt holes and the center hub hole naturally got the coating too and it created problems for getting things thru. Another person who used his plates also said he had to remove the coating on the inside of the holes. But I had to find out the hard way as I attempted to dry fit everything. So be sure to watch for any coating on these areas. Here are the parts I used and where I got them. Some things might be cheaper at different places so be sure to check around. I'll continue to edit this list as I get everything entered.

    Mounting brackets/plates. $53.60 including shipping Stev
    Calipers Raybestos remans loaded with pads RC1031 $85.78 and RC1032 $54.18 Amazon prime
    (Not sure why one was more but it was)
    Rotors Premium Raybestos PRT1710 $7.74 and $25.11 Amazon Prime
    (The $7 one was as an Addon but they only had one)
    2 - passenger side Geo Tracker brake line BH38616 $23.99 ea O'Reillys
    (be sure to read below about the issues with getting to correct ones)
    (Can be had for $10.xx ea at RockAuto if you have time and get the correct one)
    2 - banjo bolts 10-1.00-23mm O'Reillys H9477-2 $8 total
    2 - 3/8-24 by 10-1.00mm adapters NAPA 641-3312 $8 total
    12 - 3/8-24 x 1.25 Bolts plus cut washers for mounting plate new bracket to knuckle $9.83 total
    4 - 12mm 1.25x30 metric bolts and cut washers to attach calipers to brackets $9 total
    4 - 12mm flat washers to space the calipers away from the brackets to help center it on the rotors $1.50 total
    10 wheel studs NAPA 641-1112 $24 total
    20 WheelGuard 1104 lug nuts $11 Amazon Prime
    (Since I was needing lug nuts for the getting rid of lefty studs I decided to get ones to protect the paint while I was at it)

    Brake line kit Walcks $118
    (Not directly part of the conversion but since old were rusted and got damaged)
    axel seals Walcks. While I was in there I cleaned and inspected the bearings and races and re packed them
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  7. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    Now for individual items during the conversion.

    Brake lines. I decided to just go with the standard Geo Tracker lines instead of getting a custom set made. But by doing this, you have to adapt somewhere from the metric Geo parts to the old SAE brake lines. That is where the NAPA adapters come in. They go on the end of the hose and while it makes the end longer, just a little extra bending of the steel brake lines makes it all fit. The issue with the brake lines is apparently they come in 2 different styles. Same part number but slightly different where it mattered. I'll refer to them as the shinny one vs the yellowed ones. I ended up with this by accident as the first round with O'Reillys they sent one of each. So it was a process of getting 2 of the correct ones. At one point I had 2 of each to play with and decide. Both were correct as to basic fitting the calipers and length but it is in the details. The shinny ones would slide thru the Willys mounting bracket welded to the axel, but they had this giant rubber bumper that would not fit thru. The yellowed one would not fit thru the hold but did have a removable standoff. This will be obvious in the pics below. So if you plan to use the mounting bracket already on the axel, you definately need the ones with the removable white standoff. The opening on the bracket measured .68" and the head on the yellowed hoses measured .72ish. Eventually I decided to just drill out the bracket hole to .75" and move on. The mounting point on the hoses actually worked out well with the ones all ready welded on the Willy. You can see in one of the pics where it works. While there is a 180 bend, I think it will be ok. It is important to get 2 Geo passenger hoses. NOT ONE DRIVERS AND ONE PASSENGER. The driver's side has a 90 degree bend in the metal part you don't want. They will look at you weird when you order 2 passenger but that is definately what you want. That standoff keeps the hose from rubbing on the caliper itself. Since my calipers did not come with a banjo bolt, I had to get thoses separate. Someone else said his calipers came with the banjo bolts, so who knows. As for the different style hoses but same part number, again who knows. Maybe O'Reillys gets them from different suppliers, or old vs revised, I don't know. Maybe it won't be the same with other parts places, but I would bet all this stuff comes out of the same plants in China.

    If I were to get a custom hose, I would get a standard Geo and have a hose place cut some of the section out where the 180 is and install a SAE end on it to do away with the adapter and keep the factory steel lines as they were originally and get rid of the 180 hump in the hose. But I did not price it out as I am tight on time getting this ready for the Colorado Fall Colors Tour. But when I get back, I may check into that.
    image.jpg image.jpg
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  8. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    As for wheel studs, I really spent a lot of time chasing parts. The issue is that the factory are only 1 3/8" and by the time you add the rotor they are just a few turns too short as you can see below. And that leaves no extra threads as is recommended. The factory knurl is .618 and my hubs actually measured at .615. The knurl can only be so long or it will interfere with the rotor sitting flat against the hub. I found lots of longer ones, but they had knurls of .621 and .625. So I worried they would ruin the hubs being pressed in. And I didn't like the look of the ones with the little extra 'starter' nub some of the longer ones had. One of the final ones was the Dorman 610-191 which was the .621 knurl (not a such of a stretch the hole) but only 1 1/2" long. I finally decided to use the ones Stev did on his 2a which were the NAPA 641-1112 with a knurl of .625. I pressed one and all went smooth so I just did the rest. A plus is that with the length of the stud being longer at 1 15/16" it allowed for me to get the wheel protector lug nuts which are longer than standard lug nuts. And as you can see what happens the the wheel paint around the lug nuts. But I'll tell you I agonized over this one. Probably too much so.
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  9. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    The next issue is the caliper centering on the rotor. Stev used a single washer between the bracket plate and the caliper mount. That doesn't quite center it and when I tried 2 washers, it's too far to the other side. I found some thinner fender washers that are about haft thickness that I'm going to drill out to the 12mm and use one flat washer and one of the thinner to try centering it. Stev said he has been running the single washer as a spacer (shim) for several years now with no issue, so I think I may not spend too much time on this just yet.

    You can see in the pic the lower green arrow is the cut lock washer, the higher arrow points to the washer that is the spacer washer and the double arrow shows the attemp to center the caliper on the rotor. The pic with the green arrows looses resolution so I also included the original pic.
    image.jpg image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
    tripilio likes this.
  10. Aug 24, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    The final thing before I post some 'stages' pics, is the bottom line wheel clearance. Forget the 15" KH wheels, at least the one rim I have that has the 3 hub cap nubs. I have not pulled a wheel off my 55 wagon which has the 15" KH but I may at some point just to 'verify' they won't clear. But I'll be running the 16"KH that are riveted so that's my main concern. Again, I'm no expert but it is close. I talked to Stev and he said he has not had ANY rubbing issues. The clearance issue is not the rivits, but the part of the rim that lips back. I have a video but have to get it loaded somewhere to get it on here, but I do have a still pic. The clearance comes in at .095 inches which is almost 2.5 mm. Looks tight to me but in researching this, I find that on performance track racing they say have a minimum of 1mm but best if 2-3mm. So this fits those standards but just looks close. The caliper edge is the issue and it does take a 45 away at that point. So my fall back is I could grind some off that high area on the caliper to gain some room or add a small wheel spacer, again depending on available wheel stud length. But the idea of this mod is no grinding and no spacers. At least the grinding would not be on the jeep itself but on a replaceable modern component. With any luck I'll get everything buttoned up tomorrow and bleed the brakes so I can do a test drive and get comfortable as to avoid the grinding. I think a couple bumps and turn will tell the story. My thoughts are that everything in there is supposed to be bolted tight so there should not be any play is the system.
    image.jpg
     
    tripilio likes this.
  11. Aug 25, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    Almost forgot to cover 'clocking' the plates. The holes are not drilled symmetrical. Meaning there is not a hole at say 12 o'clock but instead at 11 o'clock. What this means is that by flipping the plate you can clock it at different positions when mounting. By flipping, I mean making the front the back or vibe other way. I didn't realize this and was having a problem getting a 2 o'clock for the driver's side and 10 for the passenger. The 1 o'clock position created difficulty getting to bolts and 3 is a bit low. That's when I asked Stev and he explained it to me. Then things went smoothly. Also someone found me a torque spec for a 60's CJ that said the factory backing plates are torqued to 25-35 so I did 30.
    image.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
    tripilio likes this.
  12. Aug 25, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    Here are couple extra pics that were not part of the above.

    Drivers side
    image.jpg
    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
    tripilio likes this.
  13. Aug 25, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    This morning I drill out the fender washers I got. They were almost exactly half the thickness of the regular flat washers so by using one of each on the inside, it pretty much centers the caliper bracket on the rotor. You can see the two washers up at the top of the pic.
    image.jpg
     
    tripilio likes this.
  14. Aug 25, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    And of course another set back. Started to bleed brakes and hear it just pushing air at the master. Sounds like in the master piston every time you pump. I had the dual master coming but it was supposed to ship Monday and didn't until Friday. Hopefully it gets here Monday or Tuesday or else I'm running out of time to get it all done and tested by the Fall Color Tour.
     
    tripilio likes this.
  15. Aug 26, 2018
    krom

    krom New Member

    San Francisco...
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Getting ready to do this conversion as well. Are you planning to go with discs at all 4 wheels or are you leaving drums in the rear?
     
  16. Aug 26, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    For now leaving the 9" drums in the rear, but after this trip to Colorado, I plan on pulling the 9's and putting the self adjusting 11" Bendix on that I bought initially. Then at some point I'll sell the Bendix I had originally got for the front. I plan to give the existing 9's a quick cleaning just to get rid of the major mess, then box them all up in the event I (or someone after I pass on) ever decide to take it all back to original. I plan on that for any parts I change out.
     
  17. Aug 30, 2018
    justin_bongo

    justin_bongo Member

    Pampa, TX
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    74
    Do you have contact information for Stev?
    I would like to order a set of his plates.
     
  18. Aug 31, 2018
    mickeykelley

    mickeykelley Well-Known Member

    Republic of Texas
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,739
    I touched base with him and he does not any more plates available but can send you the drawing if you want to get them cut.
     
    tripilio likes this.
  19. Aug 31, 2018
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,120
  20. Aug 31, 2018
    justin_bongo

    justin_bongo Member

    Pampa, TX
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    74
    Thanks guys.
    I am in contact with Brennan now.
     
New Posts