1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

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1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby Adam » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:23 pm

Is there a kit out there? Ugly Truckling lists one, however I seem to recall them no longer manufacturing them. Has any one here performed the swap?
Thanks
-Adam
Last edited by Adam on Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby jimmy » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:38 pm

Not that I know of.
Did you try Scarebird? I know they make disc converions for D100's but I don't think W300.
I'm sure you thought of this, but its not very hard to install a newer dana 60 from a 92'-93'. The only reason I say 92-93 is they have thicker rotors. Mid 70's to 93' will all work.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby digdoug » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:14 pm

Have you tried contacting Ray?
http://www.uglytruckling.com/Contact%20us.htm
I remember reading that he was moving overseas,but his son -in-law? was still building kits here in the US.
I don't know much more than that.They look like they do good work.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby Adam » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:32 pm

I've contacted Ray-He's still in business. I've gotten feedback from folks that have installed the kit.
I'd rather not switch out the axles- the bolt pattern on the '68 and earlier wheels is different than '69 on.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby MikeMc » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:04 pm

Adam, ask Ray about the master cylinder. I believe you need to change it out too because disc brakes require so much more pressure. Let us know what you find out.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby PowaWagon » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:46 am

IMG_0065s.jpg
here is a disc conversion i just finished up on yesterday, 2/6/10. its a project ive been meaning to get around to for the past 5 years. had most of the parts stock piled and finally was up against the wall with either paying the money to buy new drums and shoes for the same sorry drum brake performance (or should i say the lack there of) or bite the bullet on time and energy (and a few $) and make the change to disc.

the original plan was to bolt on Chevy suburban backing plates, but once i got into the job i found out quickly that like many of the other oddball parts i have a hard time sourcing for this truck the backing plates were a good 9/16" shy of set back. at this point in the game i had no choice but to move forward and commit to doing whatever i had to do to to getting this thing done.... in doing so i found out some really cool things about doing this retrofit and chevy disc to rotor relationship..... which i am more than glad to share.

the brackets in the picture are a modified set of 14 bolt brackets that i had laying around the shop. i was lucky to have these lying about because i did not anticipate the 8 lug chevy backing plates to be incompatible.

all i can say is im so glad i took the time to do this conversion, because this truck now has incredible stopping power without pulling or squealing, while using the stock master and proportioning valve. supple and powerful braking like a modern vehicle. the whole disc brake thing is sooooo clean, efficient and powerful, that as soon as i can afford the parts to do the rear axle im going for it! between the new disc brake upgrade, the built 383 under the hood, and the 100/130 H4's that light the road at night, this truck is now super fun to drive! once i figure out how i want to retrofit to power steering i think my package will be complete.....

enjoy the pics!
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby digdoug » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:59 pm

Those are some nice welds! It looks like a great retrofit for the W100/200s with 3000# axles! :Thumbsup
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby PowaWagon » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:35 pm

thanks for the compliment, although i could have done a lot better if i had a decent flap disc to better prepare the knuckle itself.

after much deliberation as to how to best approach the whole bracket mounting thing -- given the many differences there are out there with offset, this seems to be a good way to go, there's plenty of purchase to the knuckle itself. FYI, mine is the D44 HD. so, i guess its a 3500# knuckle....?
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby digdoug » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:21 pm

Are you sure thats a 44 hd? The 44hd has a even bolt pattern on the steering arm,large knuckles,a short piece of steel brake line between the slave cylinder and flex hose,and 11 bolts holding the spindle on.
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby PowaWagon » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:46 am

mine only has 6 bolts to hold the spindle on so.... i guess its just a run of the mill regular D44? i figure if i need more beef, ill just upgrade to a Dana 60 front altogether.....?
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Re: 1968 W300 Disc brake conversion

Postby Suburbangeorge » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:31 am

I know that this is an old thread but it comes up in searches. Recent issue of Four Wheeler had a question from a guy who wanted to convert an IH Dana 44 with closed knuckles. Here's what I wrote to Four Wheeler:

"Hello,

Read the question about converting the IH S120 front axle to disk brakes. Searched online and found that it has a Dana 44 ihc44fclosed - Torque King 4x4 .

I have a '66 K10 Suburban with a closed knuckle Dana 44. Early on in ownership I decided the stock drums were not going to cut it. Bought what was supposed to be a '73 Blazer disk brake 3.73 Dana 44 front axle. Even had a 3.73 rebuild tag. It was a 3.07. Started looking at the cut away in my '66 shop manual of the front brakes and a cut away from a '70s front disk Dana 44. Up to a point everything seemed the same. Contacted Dana and talked with an engineer who told me that you could not convert a closed knuckle drum brake axle to disks. The more I looked at it, It sure seemed that he was wrong. I had all of the donor parts so I set out to do it.

If I recall correctly, you strip the closed knuckle back to the steering knuckles and replace all of the outboard parts with parts from the disk donor. There's only two differences. The caliper carrier and the drum backing plate both have the same bolt pattern but one is drilled 6 and 12 and the other 3 and 9. Would mount the caliper in the wrong place to use the stock Blazer rubber brake lines. Took the mounts to a machine shop and had them re-drilled to match the backing plates. The other difference is that the u-joints both have the same number but one has an "X" suffix. The open knuckle disk brake axle uses u-joints with dust seals to retain the grease.
The closed knuckle u-joints have no seals so that the gear oil in the closed knuckles can lubricate them.

Called the Dana guy back after I had it working and told him what I did. He didn't apologize but told me that he'd never done the conversion but that friends of his who had, had done the same. Companies were worried about liability back then also. Speaking of liability, I could not find a shop willing to power bleed my brakes once they found out that the system was modified. Crazy world we live in.

A Nov '88 article in 4WHEEL & OFF-ROAD has an article "Poor Man's Floater" (pg 124-129) which details converting a Ford 9" rear axle to full float using Chevy front axle disk brake parts. As a sort of after thought, the article talks about using Chevy parts to convert a Ford drum brake Dana 44 to disks so I'm hoping this will also work for your reader."

When I say everything from the knuckle out, I also mean from the u-joint out. If your spindle uses a different bolt pattern from the Chevy a machine shop should be able to fix that. You won't have the bolt together front hub look and wheel bolt pattern may be an issue but you should be able to do this. Was a snap with my Suburban. Good luck.
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