How-To: SRT rear disc brake conversion

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How-To: SRT rear disc brake conversion

Post by quicksilvr » Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:17 pm

I know there have been different posts here and there about swapping SRT brakes onto standard Neons, but I hadn't seen one that was written step by step with pictures...so here ya go. This is just for the rear discs, because I saw no need to replace my front discs with SRT units, stock fronts suit me just fine.



Here is everything you need from an SRT-4: Knuckle/hub assembly, rotors, calipers, brake lines and e-brake cables. The knuckles are under the hubs...I just didn't take a good enough picture, sorry. :)

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I'm starting with the inside e-brake stuff first, because it's easier to do this when the car is still flat on the ground.

1. Remove the 4 screws in the bottom of the center storage area and 2 screws in the lower cupholders. Pull the parking brake lever as high as you can get it without hurting yourself. Remove the shift knob. Now lift the center console out of the car.

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2. Pull up on the single output cable of the e-brake with your fingers and slide a punch or something thin and strong through the hole in the e-brake mechanism. This allows slack on the individual cables so you can take them off.

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3. Once there is slack, remove the two cables from the equalizer bracket.

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4. Remove the rear seat cushion (simply pull up on the front of it). Remove the door sills on each side by pulling up on them, and also remove the single plastic push pins on each side.

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5. Pull the carpet out a bit from where it's tucked under stuff, and fold it forward to expose the e-brake cables.

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6. Put a 12 point 1/2" box end wrench over the clips that hold the cables into the center console bracket, and slide the wrench onto the clips until they are compressed and you can pull the cables rearward and free of the bracket.

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7. Remove the outside bracket on each side holding the e-brake cables to the underside of the car.

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8. Now work the rubber grommets that seal the holes where each cable enters the car backwards and out, and you'll be able to pull the cables completely free of the car. Okey doke, e-brake conquered.




9. Jack the rear of the car up enough to take the rear wheels off and have some room to work. Remove the rear wheels....obviously. :lol:




10. Removing the knuckles is very straitforward...you have four bolts to remove and the brake line to disconnect and that's it.




12. Before disconnecting the brake line, brace the brake pedal with something that will hold it at least 1.5 inches compressed. This isolates the the master cylinder from the rest of the system so all your brake fluid doesn't dribble out all over the place when you open the lines. A little will come out, but your master cylinder reservoir won't drain out.

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13. Disconnect a rear brake line. If you only do one at a time, it's easier to bleed later. I swapped one side completely, then the other side completely, so that only one brake line was open at a time.

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14. Time for the knuckles....after doing one side, I realized it's easiest to take the long bolt that goes through both lateral control arms out first, because it takes some hammering and a little vibration coaxing from an impact wrench to get it to slide out....and all that is easier to do when the brake assembly isn't flopping all over the place.





15. Now take the two bolts that hold the strut to the knuckle out. Don't do this.....

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Actually that lower strut-to-knuckle bolt broke on both sides....I think they had been in and out too many times, and the tire shop probably torqued them too much when I had my last alignment. But at least my camber bolts didn't break...I was gentle with them, 'cause they are thinner. Anyway after this happened, I was a little pissed and didn't care as much about taking good how-to pictures because I had to drive 25 minutes one way to the auto parts store to get some 2.5" long, 1/2" grade 8 bolts, nuts and nylock washers. And I was on a time schedule....broken bolts don't fit into time schedule's well.





16. Finally, remove the nut that holds the tension strut to the knuckle by putting a wrench on the flat section of the tension strut and a ratchet on the nut. Otherwise the tension strut will twist in the rubber and the nut will never break free. Now you should be looking something like this...

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17. Install your new SRT knuckle/hub assembly. Note my nice grade 8 lower strut bolt....

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18. Install the new everything the same way the old stuff came off, but don't torque the control arm nut until the car is back flat on the ground. Then torque it to 70 ft/lbs.

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19. Put on the rotor and caliper.

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20. Now bleed each rear caliper until you just get fluid...no bubbles. It takes two people to do this. One to push the brake pedal and one to open and close the bleeder screw. Always remember - Push pedal, open bleeder, close bleeder, release pedal.....repeat. :) And please, but a little rubber hose on the bleeder to direct it to a pan or bottle or something so fluid doesn't just run everywhere...that makes baby Jesus cry. If you have to make a trip to the parts store JUST to get a small rubber hose that will fit the bleeder in order to do this......DO IT. :lol:





21. Finally, reinstall the e-brake business. It should be pretty obvious what to do...just reverse the taking off process. Good job, you now have rear disc brakes. 8)
Last edited by quicksilvr on Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
-Dave
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Post by OB » Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:36 pm

excellent write up this will help several people out im sure, myself included whenever i get around to swappin in the rear discs. great job dave
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Post by 04solaryellow » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:37 pm

Good write up..Just a couple of questions. Will any year srt work on all 2gn's ? the spacers you mention, are they the wheel spacers? And if so what thickness did you go with?

Thanks,
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:38 pm

Great right up!! :D
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Post by ilpadrino » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:51 pm

Agreed! One of the most detailed write ups I've come across. Good job :thumbup:.

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Post by MorganCroft » Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:10 am

I would imagine that instructions would be the same for swapping 1st gen brakes to 2nd gen?

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Post by quicksilvr » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:26 pm

04solaryellow wrote:Good write up..Just a couple of questions. Will any year srt work on all 2gn's ? the spacers you mention, are they the wheel spacers? And if so what thickness did you go with?

Thanks,
Shaun
The wheels spacers I am using are 8mm generic spacers for 5x100 bolt pattern wheels. They are not hubcentric, although the slots in the spacers for the wheel studs are such that, when installed, the spacer can't really move much at all, and it's easy to just visually center them behind the wheel. 8mm is as thick as you would want to safely go on stock length wheelstuds, any thicker and you're only catching a few threads on the studs. I'm going to be getting wheels with a 45mm offset, (SRT's are 40) and with those 45mm wheels, I'll take the 8mm spacers off and go back to my INCH thick self studded spacers on the rear, and put the 8mm spacers on the front. Woo hoo. :lol:

Oh, and yes any year will work.
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Post by Riddler » Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:01 am

No offense but why not just put in the calipers that are powdercoated?

I mean the rotor size is the same for 1st, 2nd gen and SRT4. For the rears. The fronts are 10.2 stock I believe. I'd have to check my notes and the SRT4 fronts are 11.2".

I swapped the entire SRT-4 brakes to my 1st gen and only used the rear calipers. The brake line banjo bolt holes should be the same for the 2ng gen and SRT-4.

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Post by quicksilvr » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:09 pm

Riddler wrote:No offense but why not just put in the calipers that are powdercoated?

I mean the rotor size is the same for 1st, 2nd gen and SRT4. For the rears. The fronts are 10.2 stock I believe. I'd have to check my notes and the SRT4 fronts are 11.2".

I swapped the entire SRT-4 brakes to my 1st gen and only used the rear calipers. The brake line banjo bolt holes should be the same for the 2ng gen and SRT-4.

Riddler

Because calipers don't swap onto drums? :lol: I swapped stock rear drums for the stock SRT disc setup. Sure, any disc's would have worked, but why piece together the setup, when most people sell it all together?
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Post by MorganCroft » Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:38 pm

How much space did you have between the tire and the perch before the swap? And how much space do you have after you put on the spacers? Also, what size are your tires?

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Post by quicksilvr » Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:02 pm

MorganCroft wrote:How much space did you have between the tire and the perch before the swap? And how much space do you have after you put on the spacers? Also, what size are your tires?
Probably about 1/4" before the swap. After spacers, right back at about 1/4". I'm running 215/45 Kumho's. A little big I've decided, so I'm going back to 215/40's next time tire buying time comes around.
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Post by MorganCroft » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:37 am

Thanks man... I am doing my swap late this week I believe... Hopefully everything goes well:)

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Post by MorganCroft » Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:37 am

Well I didn't get around to doing it as early as I had originally hoped. However. Tonight after 5 hours its done. It was a bitch getting the long bolt out going through the lateral arms.. Almost broke one of them in the process. lol.. All is well. I am very happy with the way it turned out!!!

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Post by Riddler » Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:10 am

quicksilvr wrote:
Riddler wrote:No offense but why not just put in the calipers that are powdercoated?

I mean the rotor size is the same for 1st, 2nd gen and SRT4. For the rears. The fronts are 10.2 stock I believe. I'd have to check my notes and the SRT4 fronts are 11.2".

I swapped the entire SRT-4 brakes to my 1st gen and only used the rear calipers. The brake line banjo bolt holes should be the same for the 2ng gen and SRT-4.

Riddler

Because calipers don't swap onto drums? :lol: I swapped stock rear drums for the stock SRT disc setup. Sure, any disc's would have worked, but why piece together the setup, when most people sell it all together?
Ahh 10-4... I do enjoy the fact that both my main cars came rear disc equipped. 95 sport and 2k2 R/T.

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Re: SRT rear disc How-To

Post by lambostealth » Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:09 am

quicksilvr wrote: SRT knuckes are not the same as stock knuckes...they fit just fine, but the knuckle/hub assembly is "shallower". Meaning, my rear tires had cleared the strut perch by about 1/4". Now, one side rubs, and one side clears by about 1mm. I maybe could slide a dime between the tire and strut perch on the side that doesn't rub. I ordered spacers from Modern Performace today to alleviate the problem. Just be aware that your offset with stock struts will change.
They are Identical, you may have messed some geometry up when everything went back together. How do I know they are identical you ask?

Because when I got my SRT rear disk setup about two years ago, one of the spindles was bent, so on a leap of faith I took apart my factory hub, and put the SRT hub and bearing assymbly onto my stock drum spindle ( think you called it a knuckle), it worked flawlessly, they are the same as far as internals, and mounting designs.
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Re: SRT rear disc How-To

Post by quicksilvr » Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:17 pm

lambostealth wrote:
quicksilvr wrote: SRT knuckes are not the same as stock knuckes...they fit just fine, but the knuckle/hub assembly is "shallower". Meaning, my rear tires had cleared the strut perch by about 1/4". Now, one side rubs, and one side clears by about 1mm. I maybe could slide a dime between the tire and strut perch on the side that doesn't rub. I ordered spacers from Modern Performace today to alleviate the problem. Just be aware that your offset with stock struts will change.
They are Identical, you may have messed some geometry up when everything went back together. How do I know they are identical you ask?

Because when I got my SRT rear disk setup about two years ago, one of the spindles was bent, so on a leap of faith I took apart my factory hub, and put the SRT hub and bearing assymbly onto my stock drum spindle ( think you called it a knuckle), it worked flawlessly, they are the same as far as internals, and mounting designs.
You're right. I thought they differed, because I thought I could actually trust the manager of the Tires Plus store that did my alignment. He told me he adjusted the camber with my cam bolts... and went so far as to have a 2 minute discussion with me about how those cam bolts just don't have enough adjustment in them, when I asked why the camber wasn't set the way I'd asked. Two weeks ago when I got the car put all back together from replacing ball joints and bushings, I realized he hadn't done crap to the camber. I set the camber by guessing, and it looks better and drives better than ever before. The doofus at Tires PLus had 1.8 degress NEGATIVE in the back...making the tires rub the strut perches. I turned the cam bolts over to where they were supposed to go, and now I've got pretty much 0 camber in the rear. And the tires don't rub.
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swap rear

Post by datadave49 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:12 am

Hey Hey
Quick we just finish the swap (also did the front )your how to was helpful it was the best info I had (I wish I had one as complete on the front but with my 205X40X17 we had a lot of room so we don't need the spacers only problem we have is I hope the e-brake need to be adjusted (if that s not it Huston we have a problem LOL
My problem was my rims were hitting the calipers so the spaacers were needed anyway here are some shots
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Post by NiteHawk » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:39 am

A little added info for this thread:

You can eliminate the worries of tires rubbing very easily. If you're in the market to lower your car with lowering springs and are planning on replacing the struts, BUY STRUTS FOR THE SRT, and SRT lowering springs, this is what i ahve done and i now have a LOT more room for tires. I'm currently running 215/40, but switching to 225/45 next time i need tires.....

Swapping struts is just like replacing your stock struts, they bolt teh same, use the same spring and strut mounts, everything is the same except the spring perch height and the spring height...
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Post by quicksilvr » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:05 pm

Yes, SRT struts have the perches located higher, and that is good to know. But, it's unecessary for this application. I just removed my rear spacers today when I adjusted my camber, and I still have plenty of room for my tall 215/45R17's. The problem isn't the SRT knuckles, they're the same as stock knuckles pretty much. The problem in my case was an incompetant mechanic doing my alignment. Bottom line, there isn't a clearance issue.



(Original "How-To" edited with update and clarification on clearance issue)
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Post by datadave49 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:04 am

Hey Hey
I will say that you have to watch your front rims and caliper if you do the swap when I first try to move the car it had a bind (we thought it was the e-brake but it was the caliper hitting the back of the rim (good thing we had the spacers) Oh does anybody know it there is a caster kit out there when I had mine alignment done he could nor do the castrer no way to adjust he said it is not a tire ware thinh it just pulls to the right a little he said that adjustment is in the top of the strut??
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Post by quicksilvr » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:56 am

There is no way to adjust caster on our cars as far as I know. It would be an adjustment at the top of the strut like he said, it's the forward/backward tilt of the strut. I don't think there are any pillowball mounts available that have that adjsutment, and it's certainly not possible on the stock strut towers without serious serious fabrication. My car also needs it adjusted, and pulls to the right also. I DO think it's a tire wear issue though, because the outside edge of my right front tire wears out faster than any other tire...and has done this through the last 3 sets of tires.

Also, caliper/rim clearance issues are mainly because of your specific wheels I would guess. But I suppose having some cheap spacers on hand just in case never hurts.
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Post by MrPinkles » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:37 am

You can adjust front camber/caster with these:

http://www.ground-control-store.com/pro ... php/II=145

the rears are only camber adjustable

note: defenetely not cheap!

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Post by quicksilvr » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:05 pm

MrPinkles wrote:You can adjust front camber/caster with these:

http://www.ground-control-store.com/pro ... php/II=145

the rears are only camber adjustable

note: defenetely not cheap!


Very nice, and correct.....not cheap. :) I knew GC made camber plates, but I didn't know they had caster adjustment. Thanks for that link.
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Post by datadave49 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:45 pm

Hey Hey
Thanks for the link bu is out of my price range for now maybe down the road when it is all done (yea right its never done so they say) LOL
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Post by 04sxt2.0 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:02 pm

great how to i have also done the SRT rear brake swap and i love the braking reaction i get better then the drums.. i would recomend if you want better braking go with the srt set up, doesn't take to long to install did mine in abour 1.5 to 2 hours to fully install.

there are only two ways to adjust caster on a neon, either have the strut tower slotted towards the nose or the fire wall or buy the camber plates.
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Post by soul_sword34 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:10 am

Won't the braking bias be off with SRT-4 rear calipers and stock Neon fronts?
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Post by quicksilvr » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:36 am

soul_sword34 wrote:Won't the braking bias be off with SRT-4 rear calipers and stock Neon fronts?

Not that I can tell. Mine actually feel exactly the same as when I had drums. No noticeable difference in braking performance or feel. I've gotten on the brakes pretty good a couple times from 90 mph (slowing to make the closest turn off at the drag strip), and nothing locks up or anything.
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Post by datadave49 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:23 pm

quicksilvr wrote:
soul_sword34 wrote:Won't the braking bias be off with SRT-4 rear calipers and stock Neon fronts?

Not that I can tell. Mine actually feel exactly the same as when I had drums. No noticeable difference in braking performance or feel. I've gotten on the brakes pretty good a couple times from 90 mph (slowing to make the closest turn off at the drag strip), and nothing locks up or anything.
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Post by tamadrumr88 » Sun Oct 01, 2006 12:51 pm

i wanted to add the argument before that srt knuckles are NOT identical to reg 2g knuckles. the srt knuckle boss that the rear tension strut mounts to was pushed inward (from what ive read somewhere between 8mm-15mm) as to gain additional wheel and tire clearance

the problem im running into now is exactly that, i have 17x8 wheels with +45mm offset and with no spacer both the wheel and tire rub the rear tension strut. in the rear i mounted 5mm spacers and once i took the car for a drive after everything settled down it was still very very close to the rear tension strut

i dont know yet if i want to swap out the srt knuckles/discs/calipers, if the aftermarket mopar rear tension struts provide additional clearance id much rather go with those both for price and ease of installation over the rear knuckle/brake swap, but i havent found any conclusive information as to whether the mopar rear tension struts do provide additional clearance

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