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What Axle Do I Have?
Brake Conversion Functionality/What Do I need? FAQs
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Emergency Brake FAQs
Q: Do the Emergency Brake Calipers in your Emergency Brake Kit have only a parking brake function or are they combined parking brake and main brake calipers?
Our emergency brake calipers provide both functions. They are hydraulically operated when pressing the brake pedal for stop-and-go driving. They are also operated mechanically by a lever and cable for your emergency brake or parking brake.
Q: What disc brake conversion kit do I need for my car?/Do you have brake conversion kits for cars?
We do not have brake conversion kits for cars or half-ton trucks. This means that we do not sell kits that service any cars or trucks that are comparable to the F150, Sierra/Silverado 1500, or Ram 1500 which are all half-ton trucks. If you have a car or own a truck that is under 3/4 ton, unfortunately, we do not have conversion kits for you. Contact us if you have any questions about the axle your vehicle has.
Q: Does it matter what year my axle is?
For some kits, it matters and for others, it doesn’t. You should have as many details about the axle on your truck as possible, so you know you are ordering the correct brake conversion kits and brake parts. Please contact us if you have specific questions or check out our blog which has several blogs on identifying different axles; like Which Heavy Duty Rear Axle Does My Ford Truck Have?, Which 14-Bolt Rear Axle Does My Three-Quarter Ton Suburban Have?, What Axle Does The 1986-1997 F-250 And F-350 Use? and many more.
Q: Do you have disc brake conversion kits for 5-lug rear axles?
We do not carry 5-lug disc brake conversion kits. We specialize in 3/4-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks (2500, 3500, F250, F350, etc)
Q: Do you have disc brake conversion kits for Toyota Land Cruisers or other 1/2 ton rated SUVs?
We do not carry disc brake conversion kits for Toyota Land Cruisers or other 1/2 SUVs. We specialize in HD or Heavy-Disc Brake Conversion Kits for 3/4 ton and 1 ton pickups, like F250, F350, 2500, 3500, and more.
Q: How can I tell if I have a Dana or 14 Bolt?
Easy! If you have an 8-lug wheel and there are 10 bolts on the differential cover, you have a Dana. If you have a 6 or 8-lug wheel and there are 14 bolts on the differential cover, it’s a 14-bolt differential. If you have 8 lugs on the wheel and 12 bolts on the differential cover, you have a Sterling 10.25.
Q: How do I know if I have a semi-float axle?
When looking at the axle from the fender area, there are lug nuts that hold the wheel on. On a full float axle, there’s an additional series of bolts in the middle of the wheel that holds the axle shaft in.
Q: Why should you convert to disc brakes?
There are many reasons, but the biggest reason is better braking. This blog post goes into more detail, but basically:
- Disc brakes don’t require as much maintenance as drum brakes.
- Drum brakes can get clogged with mud, especially as the shoes wear.
- Brake drums can get out of round, dramatically reducing brake effectiveness
Disc brakes are standard on most new vehicles for these reasons.
Q: What about a parking brake?
While we designed our standard kits for off-road use, we do have a parking brake option available. To add a parking brake to one of our kits, be sure to select our e-brake calipers. If you’d like to purchase the calipers by themselves, you can do so here.
Q: If I install the e-brake calipers, will they work with my original parking brake cable?
Our emergency brake calipers are designed to work with the stock parking brake/emergency brake cable. While we cannot guarantee they will work with the cables in your specific truck (it’s possible your cables might be the wrong length), most people are able to reuse their original cables with our e-brake calipers. For installation instructions check out our blog, How to Install an Emergency Brake Kit.
Q: If I convert my drums to discs, do I need to change the proportioning valve, master cylinder, or any other brake system parts?
The short answer is no. We designed all of our brake kits to “balance” with the drum brakes they replace. Meaning, it takes the same amount of brake fluid pressure to actuate the disk brake calipers as it would the wheel cylinder in your old drum brakes.
In fact, our kit works best if nothing else is changed in the brake system (besides some new brake fluid of course).
Q: Do I need to do any fabrication to make your kit work? Will I need to weld something?
Generally, the answer is no. There’s always a chance that something on your vehicle isn’t quite original, and therefore some modification is needed, but this is not common. We’ve designed these kits to be quick and easy to install, with no fabrication or welding needed in most situations.
NOTE: Our universal and dually kits require welding, but they’re the exception to the rule. For more details on dually disc brake installs, read the full description here.
Q: Which caliper should I choose?
We offer a few caliper choices on most of our brake kits:
- The standard JB6 caliper is the best choice for most vehicles. It’s designed to work with your factory brake system, and with a 2 15/16″ diameter piston, it’s more than adequate for HD trucks.
- The heavy-duty JB7 is recommended for heavy towing applications only (over 15,000 pounds). This caliper has a larger 3 5/32″ diameter piston. While this bigger piston can clamp harder, it requires more fluid to be effective. So, if you go with the JB7, we recommend upgrading the master cylinder on your brake system to at least a 1″ bore.
- We offer painted versions of the JB6 and/or JB7 on some kits. These are identical to the regular JB6 or JB7 that are unpainted.
- We offer e-brake calipers, which are equivalent to the JB6 but come with a built-in parking brake. You can learn more about these here.
Q: Will your kits work with factory-installed ABS?
Yes! The kits are specifically designed to replace your OEM drum brakes, and this includes vehicles with ABS. Our kits will not affect the function of the ABS system. The kits are tuned to work with the factory master cylinder and proportioning valve, so you don’t have to change anything other than removing your drums and installing our kit.
NOTE: If you have a vehicle with an ABS system and you’re installing our kit (or doing maintenance), it’s important not to let the master cylinder run completely out of fluid. If this happens, you may have to take your vehicle to a shop to have the ABS unit bled using a professional-grade scanner.
Q: Will your disc brake conversion kit work with 15″ wheels? How about 16″ wheels?
The 8-lug disc brake kits we offer will clear most 15″ wheels with 3″ or less of backspacing. In fact, our 8-lug kits typically work with wheels that have as much as 3.5″ of backspacing, but we can’t be sure on every wheel. Also, steel wheels have more clearance than aluminum.
If you have a 6-lug, you will probably need a 16″ wheel as we use a slightly larger rotor on the 6-lug kits. But if you have a 16″ or larger wheel, you will probably not have any clearance issues. The only exception is dual-rear-wheel (DRW) vehicles. For a dually, a 17″ wheel should clear our kit just fine. A 16″ wheel may or may not have sufficient clearance (if it’s close, you can use a grinder – see below).
Finally, if your wheels almost clear our kit, it’s definitely OK to grind the caliper. If the interference is larger, you can either look at a new set of wheels with different backspacing, or you can look at wheel spacers. It will work with all 15″ rims with 3″ or less backspacing. It works with most that have 3.5″ or less. It will not work with most that have 4″ or more. Steel wheels have more clearance than aluminum. I have seen people grind on the calipers for a little more clearance without a problem. All 16″ and bigger wheels will clear except dually wheels.
Q: What about custom kits?
We do offer custom disc brake conversion kits. Please contact us via email to make your request.
Additionally, if you want one of our kits but already have some parts, we can customize things for you and get you a special price. All you need to do is send an email.
Q: Do you offer front axle drum to disc brake conversion kits?
The short answer is no, we do not offer front drum brake conversion kits.
The longer answer is that it’s very difficult to convert the drum brakes on a front axle over to disc brakes, as it requires substantial engineering and design work to develop a front drum brake conversion kit. Currently, we do not offer any front drum brake conversion kits.
However, we do offer upgrade kits for Dana 44 and Dana 60 front axles that already have disc brakes. You can learn more here.
Q: Will this change the width of my axle?
Converting to disc brakes does not change the width of the axle in any noticeable way. Most of the conversions will make zero change. A few of the kits will change the width by the thickness of the drum, which is generally less than 1/4″.
Q: What is the bolt pattern of the 8-lug kits?
All our 8-lug kits are an 8×6.5” pattern (aka 8×165.1mm).
Q: Do I need new wheel studs?
No, there’s no need to change the wheel studs. Your drum is about 1/8″ thick and the rotor is about 1/4″ thick. The end result is your factory studs will be 1/8″ shorter, which shouldn’t be a problem. There is one exception, and we include new studs with that kit.
Q. My brake drum and hub are one piece. Do you have a kit that will work for my vehicle?
This is a common concern. While they may appear to be one piece, they should separate easily once you take out the studs.
Q: How do you center the rotor on the hub?
If you’re installing your kit and you find that the center hole in the rotor is bigger than you need, there’s a process you can follow to align things.
First, put the drum on the floor with the stud holes up. Then, put the hub on the drum with the top down. Align the holes and test the studs in the rotor. They should easily drop in. If not, you may need to drill the holes out to 11/16. Now, put the rotor on the hub and you can center it up now.
NOTE: If the hub hits the ground you may need to prop up the drum with some 2x4s.
Don’t worry about precisely centering the rotor on the hub, as it will not feel out of balance if it’s off a small amount. To get as close to the center as possible, you can use some small pieces of rubber vacuum line to make sure it’s equally spaced if the rotor hole is bigger than the hub. Then put your studs in and proceed to pound them in.
Q: What is the difference between semi-float (left image) and full float (middle/right image)?
Q: How can GM rotors and calipers work on a non-GM vehicle?
Many of the components we use in our kits were GM parts at one time or another, but they’re not really “GM” parts so much as they are parts common to heavy-duty axles.
When you get to the heavy-duty side of the axle market, you find that a lot of parts are the same or very, very similar from one brand to the next. This is even true of a lot of wheel lug/bolt patterns, especially when you go back to the 70s and 80s.
Q: Do your kits include new seals?
Q: What happens if you send me the wrong kit?
We certainly hope this never happens, but if it does, please contact us immediately. We’ll make it right.
Q: What happens if I order the wrong kit?
If you have any questions about a part you plan to order, please contact us. We’re happy to help. We accept returns of brand-new, unused, uninstalled, rust-free, unpainted items within 90 days of purchase. The product must be in original packaging and be accompanied by all the original paperwork. Fill out a return request here. Please be advised there may be a restocking fee.
Q: How soon does my order ship?
We keep a large inventory of parts in stock and ship the same day or the next day, depending on when the order is placed. We ship Priority Mail, so within the United States, you should have it in 2-3 days. Internationally, the delivery times may vary for a wide array of reasons, including customs and air delivery delays.
Don’t worry if you only get one box before the other. Sometimes one box will get delayed a day by USPS, but we always ship both out on the same day and tracking numbers are sent when they ship.
Q: What happens if I need to return or exchange a part?
If you would like to return or exchange a product, please contact us here. If, for any reason, you are unhappy with your purchase, return the unused, rust-free, and unpainted kit to us for a refund. There will be a 15% restocking fee, and unless there is an issue with the kit, you will be responsible for return shipping.
Q: What if the part is broken or damaged during shipping?
If the box is damaged, please check the product immediately. We pack our boxes in such a way that most of the time the contents are fine even if the box is destroyed. Please contact us to discuss if damage occurs during shipping.
Q: Do you ship outside the US?
Yes. There is a standard $150 fee for shipping to Canada. Shipping to all other countries includes a $280 fee.
Please note: No taxes or customs duties are added at the time of the purchase. You may be charged taxes, duty, and handling fees by authorities in your country at the time of delivery.
Q: Do you offer express/expedited shipping??
We offer Priority Mail, so packages usually arrive in 2-3 days for domestic addresses but international orders will take longer. Due to the weight of these kits, it is not practical to ship next-day air.
Q: What shipping methods do you offer?
We ship USPS Priority Mail. For orders in the US, shipping is free.
Q: Can I track my package?
Yes. We will send you tracking information for your shipment.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.
Q: How do you protect my credit card information?
Your information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the web page. We never record or even see your credit card information. If you opt to pay with PayPal, you receive their security protections.
Q: What do I do if I need to cancel my order?
Email us right away at [email protected]. We will try our best to cancel your order. If it has already shipped you can mark it refused when you get it so you don’t have to pay for return shipping.
Please note that we charge a 15% restocking fee on all canceled orders to cover shipping and handling costs.
Q: Do I need to have an account to order a part?
No. You may checkout as a guest.
Q: Do you offer a warranty?
Our brackets are unconditionally guaranteed for life. Even if your vehicle is in a wreck, we will replace the bracket for free. All other parts have a 30-day warranty. If you need a replacement bracket, just contact us to discuss it.
Q: How do aftermarket parts affect my vehicle’s warranty?
The short answer is they don’t. The long answer? It’s actually against federal law to void a warranty for use of an aftermarket part. The Magnuson-Moss warranty act, enacted in 1975, makes it illegal for auto manufacturers to void a warranty simply because the owner of the vehicle adds an aftermarket product to a vehicle. The law states that unless the manufacturer can prove the problem was caused by an aftermarket part, they have to repair the vehicle.
Q: How can I be sure the part I need will fit my vehicle?
Usually, the part description will help you determine if the part you’re looking at will fit your vehicle. However, if it’s not clear, feel free to email us and we’ll help you find the exact part you need.
Q: What if I want to talk to a real person about my order?
Of course, we love talking to customers, so feel free to call us at – 423-207-2090. All we ask is you don’t call after 5pm pacific time or 8 pm eastern time. Most of the time we will not be at a desk when you call. We will be traveling to meet a supplier, working in the shop, or loading inventory at the warehouse.
Often we can give the best service by email because we can reply with links or other helpful documents.
Q: What are your Customer Service hours?
We’re available by phone Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern. However, the fastest way to get an answer to your question is to send us an email using our contact form. Typically, we can respond to emails in a few minutes.
Q: Do you ever offer coupons or discounts?
Typically, we do not offer coupons or discounts to the general public. If you purchase a product from us, you may receive a special offer from time to time.
Rather than offer coupons or discounts, we offer expedited shipping for free on most orders.
Q: Do you charge sales tax?
At this time, only for orders that ship to Tennessee.
Q: Do you offer returns?
We don’t want you stuck with a disc brake kit you can’t use. The first step is to figure out why it will not work for you and get you the correct parts. If for some reason you just don’t want it anymore, you can return the unused, rust free, and unpainted kit to us for a refund within 90 days of purchase, minus a 15% restocking fee. Be sure to request your return authorization number here.
Q: Do you have installation instructions?
Yes, we include basic instructions. Taking the old brakes off is the same as doing a brake job, so we don’t cover that part, but we do provide instructions about installing the kit. To be honest the only difficult part is taking off the old drum brakes.
There’s a 14-bolt disc brake conversion installation video that may be helpful, even if you didn’t purchase a 14-bolt kit. You can find that video here.
One word of advice: Most of our kits require the rotor to be on the backside of the hub.