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DaveW
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Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
08/06/18 at 23:01:43
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I'm working on writing up a guide to the Geo Tracker/Suzuki Side Kick brake conversion. The write up will be specifically geared toward the installation on my stock 1949 CJ3a with factory Dana 25/41 axles. If yours differs from stock, you might have your own nuances to work through.

I'm in the middle of the conversion myself. I'm going to use the first five posts in this thread to talk about.

- Parts needed
- Parts I chose
- Installation tips and tricks
- Wheels
- Performance

I will make a small comment in them all, and later go back and add details later as I'm able to do a whole write up.
« Last Edit: 08/06/18 at 23:11:30 by DaveW »  
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #1 - 08/06/18 at 23:02:57
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Parts needed

First off, the one benefit of this conversion is not needing to buy a lot of fancy parts, when I did this in the summer of '18 I spent about $450 for all the parts needed to do the conversion using all brand new components.

Brennan Metcalf, the gentleman who I purchased the brackets from had a small write up with some tech notes on the conversion.

technical notes for this conversion below.

-Use 1995 or earlier Geo Tracker/Suzuki Sidekick front rotors and
calipers/caliper mount/pads ( These are available at any parts house
or online at places like RockAuto ).
This kit is designed around using the NON-vented rotor and caliper.

Rotors-
GEO TRACKER 1989-1995
SUZUKI SAMURAI 1988-1995
SUZUKI SIDEKICK 1989-1995
SUZUKI SJ410 1983-1984
SUZUKIX-901996-1995

Calipers/Mount/Pads-
ASUNA SUNRUNNER 1992-1993
CHEVROLET TRACKER 1989-1995
GEO TRACKER 1989-1995
GMC TRACKER1989-1991
PONTIAC SUNRUNNER 1994-1995
SUZUKI SIDEKICK 1989-1995
SUZUKI X-90 1996-1995

-The rotor goes OVER the wheel bearing hub like the later drum/disc systems
On the early D25/27 front axle you will have to press the studs out to remove
the factory drum and then reinstall the studs. A D23 rear axle will be the same
as the early front axle ( press studs out, replace without drum ). The D41/44 rear
has the drum brake on the outside of the flange and is easy to replace.
A dana 30 front axle will have the drum on the outside of the flange also,
no need to remove the studs.

-The holes in the rotors for the wheel studs need drilled out to .609 with a
39/64 drill bit. A good hand drill typically works fine. I have heard of the register being
up to .614" in some cases

-You need M12, 1.25mm pitch x ~25-30mm long metric bolts for the caliper
mount ( I recommend using loctite 243 blue as a minimum along with
approx 70ft lbs torque with 10.9 or 12.9 fasteners ).
Depending on washer thickness, pleas check that the bolt does not
extend beyond the bracket towards the rotor.
Finding good quality 10.9+ grade bolts is difficult. Fastenal is the
best place I have found to order these online

-You need a shim/bushing to offset the OEM caliper mount from my
bracket. Depending on the bearing hub ( or rear axle ) is should be
about 5/16"/.313"thick. (Note:These are now provided with each bracket )
I have had the odd setup happen where this shim is the wrong thickness.
This typically only happens when you mix and match the
hub/spindle/axle flange between different versions.

-The brake hose fitting on the caliper end needs to be a 10mm banjo
style (I use 1985 honda accord front brake hoses on my flatty and they
transition to hard lines at the frame).
Be sure to use the appropriate banjo bolt and crush washers.
I have some shops that I use for custom brake lines once you figure
out what length/end you require.

-You need to chamfer the ID of the center hole of the bracket to
clear the machined corner radius on the spindle step. A file or 4" flap wheel
works fine for this. You want to make sure the bracket has no air gap
behind it. Note: I have elected not to perform this operation on my end.
I have had people clock the brackets into a different position front vs rear
and side to side to help clear shocks, steering, etc.
The caliper should be positioned with the bleed screw at the top
whenever possible.

-The bracket goes OVER the spindle just like the stock drum brake
backing plate did.

-I use 1/4" cold roll steel for the brackets. If you go
thicker the spindle studs/bolts start to get in the way of the bearing
hub. You can use the stock spindle studs and nuts typically.
« Last Edit: 08/06/18 at 23:08:03 by DaveW »  
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DaveW
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #2 - 08/06/18 at 23:03:50
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Parts I chose

Brackets and spacers - from Brennan Metcalf (https://www.facebook.com/Brennans-Garage-147768505901277/) or email him directly brennanmetcalf@gmail.com

These parts I picked up from Rock Auto. They have a decent selection and there was really no rhyme or reason for choosing the brands I did.

Calipers - BECK/ARNLEY      0770705S / 0770706S (you'll need rights and lefts)
rotors - DURAGO      BR3222
pads - CENTRIC      30104180
studs - RAYBESTOS      0528B
hoses - CENTRIC      15066055


The caliper mount bolts I found from the local Fastenal. They had to order them since they were an odd size, but it only look about a day to get them in. The 30mm thread length worked for my application, yours may vary.
Caliper bolts - M12-1.25x30mm and washers (I might swap these out for flange bolts later on)

Calipers, rotors, pads are off a 1995 Suzuki Sidekick 2 door (2 dr uses solid rotors, four door uses vented rotors that are different)

Brake Hoses are off a 1995 Chevy S10 Front 2wd

studs - no idea what vehicle they are used on, just search the PN

There are a few options out there for studs, the reason I chose the ones I did because they have a shorter knurled section than the factory studs (factory studs have to go through the hub AND the drum). You'll see later on during the installation as to why this is important.

Likewise for the brake hoses. There are a few options and lengths out there, some people even seem to opt for having customer hoses made. I prefer to use off the shelf parts for ease of replacement. The banjo end of the hose will bolt directly to the caliper (the calipers I bought came with a 10mm banjo bolt, copper washers, brackets, and clips to retain the pads). I did use the same S10 brake hose on all four corners. For the hoses, I also wanted to retain the factory hard lines as much as possible. These brake hoses allowed me to do that. They will connect to the front hard line without modification, though the rear line will need shortened and re-flared, which I'll talk about further down.

During the install, I found that my hard lines on the Jeep weren't in that great of shape, so I decided to just replace the hard lines on the chassis, front and rear axles, and the hoses that ran from the chassis to the tee on the axles.
« Last Edit: 08/08/18 at 13:10:02 by DaveW »  
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #3 - 08/06/18 at 23:04:34
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Installation tips and tricks


The bracket installation is pretty straight forward. I clocked mine as show for ease of routing the brake hoses, but more on that later. The spindle bolts between the bracket and the knuckle. The bolts in my knuckle were long enough to get more than a few turns of engagement. If you're don't get at least three threads of engagement, get longer bolts.


UPDATE
Due to the poor condition of the existing brake lines on the rear axle, I decided it would be best to replace them given all the other work I was doing (no sense in half assing it). As such, the replacement pre-bent lines were on the front of the axle instead of the rear like before. It made more sense to adjust the position of the bracket and caliper to be oriented toward the front. I needed to swap the calipers side for side to maintain having the bleeder pointing up. Here is the end result. Once I get everything working, I will eventually weld some brackets to the axles between the u-bolts to secure the lines. It was pretty simple to remove and re-clock the brackets and swap the calipers to reposition everything.



The rear brackets mount much the same way. I also chose to clock mine toward the rear because the hard brake lines on my rear axle were on the back side of the axle. With these, you need to position the shims, bearing retainer, then the bracket, then outer oil seal last. If you don't do it in this order, you will have alignment issues.



I didn't take any pictures of pressing the studs out of the drums and rotors. The fronts were fairly easy with a hydraulic press. The rears were a different story because of bring crimped/swaged. I ended up mounting the rears in my milling machine to cut the heads off the studs and pounding them out with a sledge hammer. Word to the wise, wear ear muffs as it gets loud banging on them.

This is how the bracket and spacer get oriented. The caliper mount bracket goes outboard of all that. It's important to note that when installing and orienting the calipers, that the bleeder needs to be the highest point on the caliper, otherwise it will be darn near impossible to bleed.







With the brake hose installed, you can visualize how I intended to connect my hard lines. I'll make a little bracket that attaches to the axle between the u-bolts so it's out of the way. Really the only modification that needs to be made to the re-used portion of the existing brake system is right here at the hard line on the rear axle. The hard line needs to be shortened and re-flared. That's it.


The fronts go together in a similar manner.


This shot highlights why I chose to use the S10 lines. It has plenty of length to use the existing bracket AND will mate to the factory hard line.




Update
After looking this over a bit, I did decide to remove the brackets at the upper king pins. I didn't want them to rub on the brake hoses.

I did opt to order new lug nuts since I was replacing all the studs and mine were a horrible mix of right and left hand thread and different size hex's. One quick note on installing new studs. There are other stud recommendations out there, but the ones I referenced above seem to be the best because they have a shorter knurl on them. If you don't opt to use new studs with the shorter knurl, you will have to drill out the back side of the rotor line Gunslinger had to do in his thread - http://www.cj3apage.com/cgi-bin/3Ayabb26/YaBB.pl?num=1523122427/2



The final step was putting it all together.
« Last Edit: 08/08/18 at 13:16:46 by DaveW »  
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #4 - 08/06/18 at 23:05:19
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Wheels

The one other point of confusion with this whole upgrade was what wheels would actually fit. If you remember back to the 15" later CJ wheels I had, there was mixed messages over what would fit and what wouldn't. Well it turns out they didn't fit. They didn't clear the calipers and hit right where the inner sections mates with the outer.


I managed to find a set of wheels local to me. Unfortunately I didn't inspect them close enough before getting home because I soon learned that out of four wheels, I had three different styles, but it ended up being a mixed blessing because I can now share what wheels do and don't work.




These are early style 16" Kelsey Hayes wheels. Please note the flat lug nut flange area. These wheels WILL WORK.




These are later style 16" Kelsey Hayes wheels. Please note the flat lug nut flange area and the step in the spoke. These wheels WILL WORK.


The third style I had was a 16" MotorWheel. Note the bumps in the lug nut area and the lug nut flange is distinctly different. These wheels WILL NOT WORK.




  
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #5 - 08/06/18 at 23:06:13
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Performance

I haven't quite finished my installation yet, but I plan to review the system once I get it all together and some miles on it and put my overall review here.


Update 8/16/18
I finally got my wheels and tires situated and took the jeep for a drive this evening. All I can say is WOW. The disk brakes make a HUGE improvement over the stock 9" drums.

« Last Edit: 08/16/18 at 22:11:22 by DaveW »  
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Brad Y.
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #6 - 08/07/18 at 19:07:27
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Thanks for taking the time to do this more detailed write up. I am sure I will have questions when I get around to doing mine next summer (hopefully).
  
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Gunslinger
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #7 - 08/08/18 at 11:08:56
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This is a very complete and accurate write up, I would suggest that we pull it down and put it in the Resource Section as well.  Maybe Pascal can get on that.  It would be good to keep this where we won't lose it.
Nice Job.
Thanks
  

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DaveW
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #8 - 08/08/18 at 12:48:19
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Gunslinger wrote on 08/08/18 at 11:08:56:
This is a very complete and accurate write up, I would suggest that we pull it down and put it in the Resource Section as well.  Maybe Pascal can get on that.  It would be good to keep this where we won't lose it.
Nice Job.
Thanks


Thanks!

I hope to add more to it. I made a few changes to my install last nights that I'll have to update and comment on.
  
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #9 - 08/09/18 at 21:00:48
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Fantastic write up! Thanks for taking on the arduous task of doing the job AND documenting it.
One question: does anyone have a drawing of the caliper adapter plate? I'm one of the few nut-jobs who would like to make my own. (I have a CNC, and an account with McMaster Carr).
I suppose I can figure it out myself when I get my hands on the calipers themselves (to figure out the caliper mounting circle diameter) but it'd be nice to make the plates up-front while I patiently gather other parts.
But great work. Looking forward to the final report!
Dave (squidtone)
  

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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #10 - 09/03/18 at 09:42:34
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You could ask Brenan to share his drawings with you, might be a charge and maybe a non compete involved.
  

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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #11 - 09/03/18 at 13:19:47
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Just buy the parts. Brenan did all the work so he should be compensated.
  

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Trust me, It's not out of my way at all.
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Re: Complete guide to Tracker/Sidekick Disk Brakes
Reply #12 - 09/04/18 at 22:03:07
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That's absolutely fine and I get it...if someone is going to put lots of time into it and make jigs and stuff, I respect their decision to not let it out in the wild. It's great to see cool simple reversible mods for these Jeeps on threads like this.
  

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