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Plymouth Breeze drum to disc brake conversion?

Discussion in '1995-2017 FWD Sedans, Coupes' started by MisterBreeze, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. MisterBreeze

    MisterBreeze New Member

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    Hi all. First time poster here.
    Has anyone converted a Breeze or base model Stratus to rear disc brakes? The model I have is a '98 Breeze base model with power front disc/NON anti-lock rear drums. These are horrible. I know I will need disc specific parts i.e. Parking brake cables, caliper mounting brackets, rear brake hoses, rotors and calipers and such.

    Is the proportioning valve built into the rear hoses or separate like my old Dart?
    Since I have non anti-lock brakes, will I have to change my master cylinder?
    Will my rear hubs still work?

    How about 4 wheel disc conversion from a PT Cruiser or Minivan of the same era? I would love to have larger brakes, rims and bolt pattern.

    Thanks in advance,
    R.
     
  2. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Minivan is totally different. Forget that, most minivans never had rear discs in those years. If you expect to install all the ABS stuff you need a car as similar to yours as possible. If the Allpar pages are correct, the 98 Sebring convertible was the first car on this platform with 4 wheel disc brakes.

    Realistically it would be easier to swap cars.
     
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  3. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I started driving with 4-wheel non-power drums, and 5 vehicles since, over 600K miles, with power disc/drum. In none of these vehicles would I ever say the braking was horrible. I'm wondering if you grew up with ABS, or if the condition of your particular car is bad, such that the brakes need complete replacement. What shape are the shoes and drums in? Have you visually inspected them? Have they been badly neglected?

    My brother had a 76 Duster with non-power disc/drum, and they were badly worn, and he was in a minor accident that may have been avoidable. I replaced everything except the brake pedal and the proportioning valve - lines, master cylinder, discs, drums, bearings, pads, shoes, hardware - and he almost put himself through the windshield the first time he drove it after the repair. He claimed he never would have had the accident if he had had the braking power that a total rebuild gave him.
     
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  4. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I'll also add to Bob's advice - the front brakes do the vast majority of the braking, especially in a FWD where the weight is concentrated up front. Getting the front brakes working properly will have a bigger effect than what type of rear brakes are present as long as they are functioning at factory level.
     
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  5. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Along those lines at one point I thought my brakes were worn out on the '92 Acclaim I had at the time. It had front disc/rear drums. Took it to a buddy of mine who ran his own repair shop. Told me the brakes were fine, but the rear drums were way out of adjustment. After he adjusted them I dang near put myself through the windshield the first time I hit the brakes.

    My buddy told me before he adjusted the rear drums, the front brakes were probably doing 95% of the work. The rear pads were barely touching the shoes when braking. The adjustment made a big difference.

    I agree with Bob - simply replacing the pads, shoes, etc might be all it needs.
     
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  6. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    And with any car that old, bleed the brakes until the fluid comes out clear. I've had cars where brake fluid came out like ink, from deteriorating rubber hoses, and where it came out bright orange with rust, like orange soda. Change it about every 5 years.
     
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  7. MisterBreeze

    MisterBreeze New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I shouldn't have said horrible but I was generalizing. The rear drums keep warping. Up until a few years ago I did all the work on my cars. Then health problems occurred.
    This car has traveled 150,000 miles and had 3 sets of brakes in the rear since new.

    *Shop number 1 ( an independent garage in business for 60+ years) replaced both rotors and drums, pads and shoes and all hardware. I also asked for a complete brake system flush. The wheel cylinders and calipers are still good. When I came to pick it up, it made a grinding noise similar to when I used to turn drums and rotors. (I was an automotive machinist in the 80s and a professional mechanic in the 90s.) They were embarrassed but solved the problem. When I confronted the service manager, he said he didn't chg me for the brake flush because they just extracted the fluid from the MC resevoir and filled it with clean fluid. I rolled my eyes and left.

    *Shop number 2 (a Meineke) just turned the drums and slammed new shoes in it. No backing plate cleaning or lube, no new hardware. I know this because he let me watch him do the job from outside the bay door.

    *Shop number 3 was an inspection station. Everything was in specs but they recommended a rear brake system cleaning and total brake system flush. I agreed to it. I asked the service manager what that included. I asked if they power bleed the brakes with a machine and do they lube the backing plates. He said yes to the first and no to the second. LOL I can't win.

    Needless to say, I'll be doing the brakes on this car next time soon myself. I should've done it that way all along. It will get all new drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, hoses, hardware and parking brake cables. Even though the cables and wheel cylinders are not sticking. I tested those myself.

    Anyhow, thanks for the advice. I'll keep you posted.
    R.
     

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