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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
we're finally done and the brakes are working 100% perfect. The parts there were needed were the complete rear brake assembly, just the rotor, knuckle, caliper, brake lines and the ebrake cable from the SE that did not have abs and mine does not either , i circled it in green , what's red is the old brake line. The black hard one is from the drum since we couldn't use the tube break line from the SE we tried setting it up like this... it won't work so don't try using it. We only tried this ghetto method because we did not have the banjo bolt which was left at the junkyard we got the parts so tried to improvise but brake fluid shot out when we tried to bleed

 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #2
here's a shot of the ebrake cables, the one on the bottom is for disc and the top from the drums i had

 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #3
here's what it should look like with the proper brake line and everything in place, the swap is very straightfoward really, everything we needed is highlighted in green here

 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #4
also, the brake line on the rear disc is one whole unit unlike the drum hard lines which are two units that connect, here's a shot of the rear disc with half of the rear drum

 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
i have some more pics but i don't wanna be too redundant and i'm not too good at explaining this kinda stuff, i have stock wheels also so it's sad nobody can even see the swap, lol but if anyone wants more pictures let me know or more information, also my friend will be posting here soon.

btw, swapping the rear SE swaybar made a huge difference in the handling, i noticed i kept squeeling the tires everytime i took hard turns and the car was more tail happy..all that just by 1 cm thicker
 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #6
stock nasty drums

 

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omg..you are my new hero. nice job man. thanks for the list of parts. so its a basic..take apart drum..install disc(with parts) job..right?
 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
ZKrazy said:
omg..you are my new hero. nice job man. thanks for the list of parts. so its a basic..take apart drum..install disc(with parts) job..right?
lol, that's pretty much it, you only have to take apart the drums so you can detach the ebrake cable , it's a bitch to get the other side out from above the heat shield of the exhaust too but it can be done without removing the whole exhaust. Just take off the drum and the knuckle it's attached to the suspension so you can pull it off then detach the ebrake cable, put on new ebrake cable and then put on the knuckle from the disc version which is different but mounts the same to the suspension and the rotor with the caliper and brake pads, then just use the SE brake lines and the banjo screw that shoots the brake fluid into the caliper and the shit works. now this is with non abs so i don't know how the abs would work, the brake fluid pressure is different on models with abs so i don't know if that would be a problem. you gotta bleed the brakes too of course , if you have an fsm this job is easy
 

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U13 Drifter
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1,136 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
one more thing, if you don't have access to an air wrench use a cheater bar, just put the socket wrench over the bolt and use a long bar to turn the wrench easy, without those we couldn't have done it by hand...for the next ppl who do this swap themselves it should be cheaper than 350 like i paid but now i have lots of rear suspension goodies in case something breaks = ) and you can find easier way to do stuff like maybe you don't have to take apart the drum cause you can pull the ebrake cable out from behind the heat shield and slide the whole knuckle itself out i believe? we didn't do it fast or the most efficient or cheapest i just wanted to get it done really
 

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Ok, I'm normally a lurker here because I don't own an Altima. I actually a moderator (TheMAN) from the ProtegeClub board. I'm Biohamhock's friend. :) Anyway, he listed pretty much all the parts you really need. Here's a rough instruction on how to do it; we're eventually going to make a real how-to page about this, till then this should do. Estimated time should take 3-5 hours with 2 persons. Installation is fairly straight forward and anyone with a basic mechanical skill and good attitude can do it. The instructions listed are fairly detailed.

Parts needed:
-rear knuckle assembly with hub, caliper, rotor attached (which means everything from the knuckle outwards should be in one piece; do NOT have the stuff ripped apart at the junk yard, you don't want missing pieces!)
-Hand brake cable from a disc brake car
-Rubber brake line from a disc brake car (see 4th picture which has the longer brake line with a metal bracket attached, that should be it); be sure to get the banjo bolts to attach that brake line! We found out the hard way and we didn't have it so we tried using the stiff metal brake line from the drum brake car and it did not work at all. If you don't have the copper washers, get them at a local auto parts store. You need a set of 4. Make sure you have the bolt to attach the e-brake cable also (if you loose them or don't have them, the bolts used to mount the back side of the drum brakes will fit)!
-set of new rear brake pads for good measure
-At least 2 pints of DOT3 (at least, use Motul 600 DOT4 or whatever other brand if you like, do NOT use DOT5)
-Set of metric sized cresent and socket wrenches; most common sizes used in this project was 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm I think. You will also need a HUGE one (something like 25mm) to disassemble the hub. If you don't have a metric one, just use the SAE 1 1/4" one that I had with my toolset to remove the hub; we're not putting that crap back together anyway (we'll get to this in a bit) It's best to have a socket for each different size of ratchet (1/4", 1/2", 3/4"
-Torque wrench(es)
-Breaker (cheater :D ) bar(s)
-Needle nose plyers
-Normal plyers
-Hammer(s)
-Chissel or flat head screw driver
-Caliper piston adjustment tool (optional)
-Brake bleeder bottle kit (optional)
-Basic mechanic skill :) (if you don't know how to replace brakes or change a tire, have a shop do it, please!)
-A repair manual (the hayes one should be sufficient, though we had the luxury of the FSM); we'll be leaving out a lot of details on installing pads and other junk because those are considered "basic skill" and you can find instructions in the repair manual anyway
-Floor jack
-Set of jack stands
-2 blocks of wood or something to place in front of the tires

As preparation, please remove the caliper and holder plate from the disc brakes and pull off the old pads and rotor. Get those rotors turned! If they are too thin like what we run to, try to talk them into turning them. Let them know that they are not legally responsible. We were lucky and got them turned because I know a mechanic who ran a shop. When removing the old pads, please don't throw them away just yet! You will need to rip off the shims which you will be reusing later. Don't loose those razor blade like pieces from the caliper holder too.

What to do (removing bolts require significant force, we will assume you are using an impact wrench or breaker bar throughout this):
1) losen tire bolts
2) Roll floor jack under center of car where there is a buldge at the center (you should see where the control arms attach to this huge metal) and jack at that point
3) when at sufficient working height, place car over jack stands and slowly drop the car onto the jack stands. Place wood blocks in front of front tires
4) remove wheels w/tires
5) using chissel and hammer, tap (you have to use lots of repeated force) at the edge of the hub cap (which looks gold) and remove it
6) using needle nose plyers, bend the wrist pin straight and remove
7) using the HUGE socket, remove the hub bolt
8) making sure the e-brake isn't engaged, pull off the drums
9) now there should be 2 spring loaded push mounts at the left and right side (facing you); there is a pin that goes all the way to the back of the drum. Hold the back of the pin in place and turn the front metal piece to remove; remove both of them
10) there will be a spring at the bottom of the brake assembly, use needle nose plyers to remove
11) now you should be able to detach the e-brake cable
12) now go happily chunk those disgusting drums and remove the brake line :)
13) start unbolting the lower control arms; work from the outside arms in.
14) loosen the bolts at where the strut is attached to the knuckle
15) carefully remove the final bolt and carefully pull the old knuckle assembly out and chunk it :)
16) Now, get under the car and immediately behind the cat, there should be a heat shield. Try to get that out of the way. It's going to be a bitch and you will be cursing for the next hour. You can remove the pipe between the cat and muffler too if you like and it will be a lot easier.
17) detach the e-brake puller end of the e-brake cable and install the new ones
18) attach the other end of the e-brake cable to the caliper
19) Get the disc brake knuckle assembly (with caliper and disc brake removed to reduce weight) and start bolting them on like they were before and torque to spec (I forgot those torquing specs but we'll get them to you pretty soon)
20) installed the turned rotor and caliper holder
21) Now adjust the piston, and install the new set of brake pads (with shims) and attach the caliper to the holder (this is going to be a bitch too because of the stiff e-brake cable)
22) detatch the rest of the rubber brake line to where it meets the stiff metal line at the wheel well. Try not to strip the bolt on the brake line! Tip: loosen the bolt but don't try to pull it off
23) remove the holder bracket used to hold the rubber brake line and the metal/main brake line as well as the holder bracket bolted on the strut (keep these brackets in order as right or left side because they are uniquely different)
24) Using plyers, pull the clip off of the bracket and install the new brake line using hammer to tap the clip back in
25) Reinstall the brake line holder brackets. Tip: thread in the main brake line to the rubber one attached to the bracket before bolting it on
26) Install the other end of the brake line (which has a weird circle end) using the banjo bolt. Sandwich the brake line with copper washers before placing them onto the caliper to bolt on
27) Make sure everything is a tight fit
28) Now go bleed the brakes per instructions; order per Nissan goes as Rear right, Front left, Rear left, Front right
29) Check for brake fluid leaks and reinstall wheel w/tires and finger tighten the bolts
30) jack up the car back higher again and remove the jack stands
31) lower the car slowly
32) tighten the wheel bolts (we torqued them to 80 lbs)
33) Pull the e-brake a few times and make sure it is working properly; if needed adjustment, do it now
34) Go drive off slowly and get used to the new pads
35) hit the open road and bed the rear brake pads per se-r.net (Mike Kojima) instructions; we used the hand brake to bed the rear ones. We would hold the button down and slowly yank it nearly all the way up while driving ~60mph. Be sure to do this on a flat straightaway!!!


Have fun with the new rear disc brakes! Your car will look nicer with aftermarket wheels installed too. :)



Going back to lurk again... :D
BJ5P (TheMAN)
'01 Mazda Protegé ES; MP3 FSTB, MazdaSpeed pedals, K&N drop in filter
 

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I forgot to mention. If you people are worried about brake distribution, I wouldn't worry too much about it. We checked through the FSM and we were not able to find anything specificly stating a different master cylinder or brake distributor in it other than having the stuff totally different on ABS cars. Installing the rear disc brakes from an ABS car to a non-ABS car (your's) should work. There will be an extra gear and sensor inside the hub which won't be used anyway. If you feel like it, you can remove it. For you people with rear drum braked ABS cars, I wish you all luck!


BJ5P (TheMAN)
'01 Mazda Protegé ES; MP3 FSTB, MazdaSpeed pedals, K&N drop in filter
 

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U13 Drifter
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Discussion Starter #15
werd, lol, there's a better explanation. I'm not good at instructions
 

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more details (yet-another-friend)

Damnit gay VB ate my message by logging me out!! ok, I'm not retyping it all, making it short.
BTW I'm yet another friend of BioHamhock and BJ5P.


9) now there should be 2 spring loaded push mounts at the left and right side (facing you); there is a pin that goes all the way to the back of the drum. Hold the back of the pin in place and turn the front metal piece to remove; remove both of them
10) there will be a spring at the bottom of the brake assembly, use needle nose plyers to remove
You may need to brute force these by holding the pin back in place, pushing on the spring cover, and turning the spring cover until it lines up and pops off. Then the bottom spring will be more easily removed if you let the front crescent shaped shoe mount thingy bend backwards (it'll want to) at an angle.


16) Now, get under the car and immediately behind the cat, there should be a heat shield. Try to get that out of the way. It's going to be a bitch and you will be cursing for the next hour. You can remove the pipe between the cat and muffler too if you like and it will be a lot easier.
This is a major PITA. It's possible to leave the cat in place, and there are two shields you must (re)move. the back one can be taken off easily, the middle one I just crammed above the cat and out of the way. with a SMALL ratchet driver it is possible to get at and even reinstall all the screws.

19) Get the disc brake knuckle assembly (with caliper and disc brake removed to reduce weight) and start bolting them on like they were before and torque to spec (I forgot those torquing specs but we'll get them to you pretty soon)
The specs were something to 72 on the control arms and something to 108 on the struts, I did 70 and 100.


22) detatch the rest of the rubber brake line to where it meets the stiff metal line at the wheel well. Try not to strip the bolt on the brake line! Tip: loosen the bolt but don't try to pull it off
a large set of pliars w/ recessed section to fit around bolts works well here, thats how I broke them free.. they both got practicly stripped before, and then I got the pliars and just held them as tight as I could manage, two-handed, and rotated.. wasn't easy.
And I mean that they wre almost rounded (not the threads stripped).

A nice bonus of BioHamhock buying nearly the full rear end was the larger SE swaybar. I'll let BJ5P tell you the "ride" he got (as in passenger) with the new one.
 

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FAQ indeed. Btw, don't get scared off on the swap because we paid 350 bucks for this. It was 350 bucks because we didn't know what we needed and so we got the whole rear end. It should be a LOT cheaper by just getting those specific parts we listed. :)

Do the swap, you won't regret it! Before when Biohamhock had the drums in the back, the car liked to nose dive a lot during braking. Now after the swap to disc brakes, the car feels very composed during braking. Now OTOH, we went ahead and swapped the rear sway bar to the SE one which is 1mm larger. This created some pretty crazy oversteer and I witnessed some pretty insane FWD drifts when we took the car out for a test drive. :D
 
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