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Old 12-28-2014, 05:58 PM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Ford kingpin dana 60 modern brake conversion

Figured I would post up the brake conversion I did to my 79 ford front dana 60.
I will start out saying the stock brakes on this axle suck. When they were brand new they probably worked ok. But the design is extreemly outdated and all the parts have around 35 years worth of rust and wear. I remember growing up my dad had a 78 F250 he towed with. It had a HD dana 44 front but it used the same brakes. I always remember when he would change the front brakes, the inner pad would be worn down to nothing, and the outer pad would still be half or more. No matter how much he cleaned, sanded, and greased the sliding surfaces, they would always do this.

So fast forward to now. I have been rebuilding my front dana 60 and I do not want the original brakes. There is pretty much nothing out there in the way of brake upgrades for this axle. Only thing I can find is brackets that let you bolt on the small half ton chevy calipers to run 15in wheels. I definately do not want that! These rigs are big, heavy and usally have large offroad tires. If anything, brakes should be bigger!
Here were the stock brake caliper sliding surfaces on my front dana 60:








As you can see, pretty cruddy. Not what I want stopping my Jeep.
Not only did I want some bigger/better/newer calipers, I wanted rotors to match. I really wanted the new rotors to slip over the hubs like modern axles. I hate having to remove wheel bearings to get a rotor off.
So I promptly tossed the stock rotors, calipers, and brackets in the scrap heap. I start my hunt for new calipers. After much searching and measuring, I settle on calipers from a 03 chevy 2500HD. These are big, beefy, and modern calipers. They have dual 57mm pistons. Stock ford was 56mm pistons.
No pictures of them side to side (cause I tossed the stock ones) but here is a picture of them next to a cold drink to give you something to go by.




OK, now to find some rotors. I had to match the thickness to the calipers, the bolt pattern to the hubs, make sure they were the type that slip over the hubs and be spaced right. After going over measurements online, I decided to try the rotors from the same truck the calipers came from. 03 chevy 2500HD. Stock ford rotors are roughly 12.5in dia and 1.25 thick. The chevy rotor is roughly 12.75 dia and a beefy 1.5in thick.
I order up the cheapest rotor on rockauto so I can test/mockup things. Initial measurements look good, but I need to machine the hubs to fit the rotors, as the ford hubs are too large to let the rotor slip over it. Well the bolt patterns are the same, so there should be plenty of dia I can machine off to make them fit.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.

Last edited by JeepsAndGuns : 01-14-2018 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 12-28-2014, 05:59 PM
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Another thing I wanted to do at the same time as this conversion, is convert it to use 9/16 wheel studs. (stock is 1/2) I am using a late model disc brake rear dana 60 and it has 9/16 wheel studs, so I wanted the front to match. The holes in the hubs are too small. But I luck out at the local pull a part junkyard and find a early 90's ford with a TTB dana 50, which uses the exact same wheel hub, except it has 9/16 wheel studs.
I disassemble and clean the wheel hubs and chuck one up in my lathe.



I do not have any calipers big enough to measure exactly how much I took off, but I just shaved a little at a time untill it was a slip fit. I also had to shave a little off the center next to the old wheel mounting surface to clear the center hole in the chevy rotor. I wanted the do all the mods to the hub and not the rotors. That way, in the future if/when I need new rotors, I wont have to machine them.
Here is a finish machined hub next to a unmachined hub. You can see the shiney metal where I had to take metal off.



So now that the rotor will slip over the hub, I bolt it on a hub, install some bearings and then install a spindle. I then flip it over on the workbench so the spindle faces up. I test fit the caliper but the caliper bracket hits the spindle. I mark and grind it to clear. I gets a little thin in one spot, so I added a few layers of weld to add some metal back.

Stock and then clearanced caliper bracket:






Since the ford dana 60, the caliper mounting bracket goes between the knuckle and the spindle, it should be easy to measure/make a new caliper mounting bracket. I measured the original ford mounting bracket and it with the dust shield measured out to roughly 1/2in. So, cut a new bracket out of 1/2 steel plate. I use some 1/2in thick wood panel to make some prototypes and make adjustments. The brackets will be a main plate, whe two smaller plates bolted to it with the caliper mounted to them.
I measure everything out and then design them in 3D with a free program I got online called sketchup. Once designed, I had them converted to a file that a local laser cutting company could read, and had them laser cut out of 1/2 steel plate:



I couldnt quite get the final holes for the calipers measured, so I drilled them after finishing the brackets. Same with the spindle stud holes.
I drilled the large plate to 1/2. For the smaller tabs, I drilled and tapped the holes for them to 1/2-20 threads. I installed and locktighted some 1/2-20 grade 8 flange head bolts. I torqued them to 100 ft-lbs. I also drilled the caliper mounting holes and spindle stud holes.
Finished:

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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.

Last edited by JeepsAndGuns : 01-14-2018 at 08:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2014, 06:00 PM
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Now that the brackets are done, now it is simply a matter of putting everything together!

Since the calipers I got were used, I ordered some new pistons, seals/rebuild kit for them off rockauto and rebuilt them. I then wanted some high quality rotors and pads. I chose some stoptech drilled/slotted rotors. These are made by centric and supposed to be made from their high carbon alloy rotors. (I hope so, after what I paid for them!..lol) I then picked some akebono ultra premium ceramic brake pads.

Here is the finished bracket bolted on the axle.
(Yes those are 35 spline outer axles)



The rest of the pictures are just some shots of the completed install. The bolts holding the calipers to the brackets are the stock chevy bolts for those calipers. The length ended up being just right.







All and all I am very happy with the install.I have modern beefy brakes for my dana 60. I am still several months away from actually installing the axles, so no road tests just yet. But I will update when I do.
This has been a long time coming, and I have been working on this brake conversion for the past couple years off and on as time and money let me.

Feel free to ask questions, I will try to answer best I can. But to answer one question right off the bat, no, I will not be making these brackets to sell.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.

Last edited by JeepsAndGuns : 01-14-2018 at 08:36 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2014, 12:20 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
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Nice work.

Reminds me of what I went through mounting Lincoln calipers on my late 70's F250 D60.

And I've got those calipers you got rid of on my front end.
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Last edited by SJTD : 12-29-2014 at 12:24 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2015, 12:38 PM
TatankaJ20 TatankaJ20 is offline
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Very nice work. Did you happen to look for ready made caliper bracket? What is the purpose of the caliper bracket in three pieces?
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:35 PM
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DarkMonohue DarkMonohue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
I measure everything out and then design them in 3D with a free program I got online called sketchup. Once designed, I had them converted to a file that a local laser cutting company could read...
Can you tell us how you converted that file? I use Sketchup a lot, as well as a more conventional CAD program, and it would be nice to be able to export and share between the two.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2015, 05:57 PM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkMonohue
Can you tell us how you converted that file? I use Sketchup a lot, as well as a more conventional CAD program, and it would be nice to be able to export and share between the two.

I may have mis worded that a little. I emailed the files to someone on a machinist forum I am on and they were able to do it for me. I honostly cant remember if he converted the files, or just re drew them for me in DXF format. I still have the DXF files for the plates.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2015, 06:03 PM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TatankaJ20
Very nice work. Did you happen to look for ready made caliper bracket? What is the purpose of the caliper bracket in three pieces?

From my first post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
There is pretty much nothing out there in the way of brake upgrades for this axle. Only thing I can find is brackets that let you bolt on the small half ton chevy calipers to run 15in wheels.

Reason for them being 3 pieces is because of their thickness and ease of making it. Your not gonna be able to bend 1/2in plate easy and in the short distance needed. If you didnt want it 3 pieces, your other option would be to mill it out of a solid chunk of 1 inch plate. The plate plus machine work would make it really expensive.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2016, 07:58 AM
DMANbluesfreak DMANbluesfreak is offline
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Do you have an update on how this works yet?

Looking to do something similar to this on my Dana 60. Would you be willing to provide the DXF files?

Last edited by DMANbluesfreak : 05-09-2016 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:29 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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I still have not installed the axles yet,as it is a long time project. Plus I am in the middle of building a stroker for my YJ right now, so that is tieing up all my money.
I do still have the files, send me a pm with you email and I will send them to you.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:01 PM
DMANbluesfreak DMANbluesfreak is offline
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Will do. Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2017, 11:59 AM
87TPIYJ 87TPIYJ is offline
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Awesome upgrade. If the OP is still around would you mind sending me the file as well please? It would be greatly appreciated. Don't really like the solution of adding top springs to my loose calipers.


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Old 02-21-2017, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87TPIYJ
Awesome upgrade. If the OP is still around would you mind sending me the file as well please? It would be greatly appreciated. Don't really like the solution of adding top springs to my loose calipers.

Just PM me your email address and I will send you the files.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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Old 02-21-2017, 06:03 PM
87TPIYJ 87TPIYJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
Just PM me your email address and I will send you the files.

You are a scholar and a gentlemen! Thank you. PM in bound.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:39 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Well after much time, and because photobucket sucks, I have updated all the pictures in this thread to a new hosting site.
Everything should be viewable again.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2018, 08:50 AM
87TPIYJ 87TPIYJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepsAndGuns
Well after much time, and because photobucket sucks, I have updated all the pictures in this thread to a new hosting site.
Everything should be viewable again.
That's awesome man! I had saved it to PDF before Photobucket crashed incase something happened. Thanks again for the file. I have proven out the bolt circle with a rapid prototype, just haven't sent it off to be cut out of steel.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:33 AM
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JeepsAndGuns JeepsAndGuns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87TPIYJ
That's awesome man! I had saved it to PDF before Photobucket crashed incase something happened. Thanks again for the file. I have proven out the bolt circle with a rapid prototype, just haven't sent it off to be cut out of steel.

Yea I am sad to admit I still have not gotten the axles installed. Life has been getting in the way and I have not been able to start on the project yet.
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79 Cherokee Chief 401/T18/D20, MPFI fuel injection, hydroboost, otherwise stock.
Future mods: Caddy 500/NV4500/NP205, HP D60 front D60 smooth botom rear, 5.13 gears, 35x12.50's on re-centered H1 beadlock wheels. Warn M12000 winch.
93 Wrangler 4.0L/AX15/NP231,SYE,CV, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckles and brakes, 31X10.50's Warn M10000 winch.
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