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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone swapped the rear drum brakes for disc?
If so..how involved was it?
I've never owned a vehicle that had the back brakes go out of adjustment as fast as my truck does.
Instead of crawling under it every couple of months to tighten them up I'm considering swapping to disc brakes.
Just wondering if it is as easy as bolting the parts on to my axle or do I need a degree in mechanical engineering to accomplish it?
 

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It’s not hard. I’ve done it many of times and I have 04 esky duals on my 08.Any 99-04 Silverado or 00-14 Tahoe/esky/avalanche/SUV/ whatever will fit. There all the same rear end, mostly.

Backing plates is the hardest. Axles must be removed to change that. The caliber will sit at an angle since the axle flange is straight on a brake drum rear end, won’t hurt anything. Once that’s changed it’s a simple as just bolting on a caliber and changing pads.

Also need the brake lines that run the length of the rear end. fittings are different than your drums lines. Oreillies keeps straight lengths of them in stock, super easy to bend if you can’t source a set.

All in all I have around $300 in my swap and couldn’t be more pleased. I just bought an entire junk rear end off an esky for $50. Power stop rotors and pads for it, and only needed one line to make it work.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply. did you need to make any changes to the proportioning valve, did it mess up the abs system?
 

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thanks for the reply. did you need to make any changes to the proportioning valve, did it mess up the abs system?
None made stops even, no pulling, and no codes are thrown.

I’m sure it would work better with the right proportioning valve, but as it sits it’s a night and day difference from rear drums. It works good enough that I’m leaving it alone or swapping to a hydro booster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
None made stops even, no pulling, and no codes are thrown.

I’m sure it would work better with the right proportioning valve, but as it sits it’s a night and day difference from rear drums. It works good enough that I’m leaving it alone or swapping to a hydro booster.
good to know. anything would be an improvement over the drum brakes..
I have the self adjusters well lubbed with anti-seize and the brakes won't stay in adjustment for more then a week.
Normally it isn't an issue as I'm used to it but if I have a load on the truck it gets sketchy.
 

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good to know. anything would be an improvement over the drum brakes..
I have the self adjusters well lubbed with anti-seize and the brakes won't stay in adjustment for more then a week.
Normally it isn't an issue as I'm used to it but if I have a load on the truck it gets sketchy.
Mine need wheel cylinders, shoes, and new drums. It was cheaper and IMO easier to swap disk on it. I have a firm hatred of drum brakes.
 

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Boltspeedmen
Thank you so much for an honest informative reply. a lot of people would have been screaming use the search engine Google is your friend.
With your information I am confident I can go to the boneyard get the actual I need and starts conversion myself.
Thank you kind sir.
 

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It’s not hard. I’ve done it many of times and I have 04 esky duals on my 08.Any 99-04 Silverado or 00-14 Tahoe/esky/avalanche/SUV/ whatever will fit. There all the same rear end, mostly.

Backing plates is the hardest. Axles must be removed to change that. The caliber will sit at an angle since the axle flange is straight on a brake drum rear end, won’t hurt anything. Once that’s changed it’s a simple as just bolting on a caliber and changing pads.

Also need the brake lines that run the length of the rear end. fittings are different than your drums lines. Oreillies keeps straight lengths of them in stock, super easy to bend if you can’t source a set.

All in all I have around $300 in my swap and couldn’t be more pleased. I just bought an entire junk rear end off an esky for $50. Power stop rotors and pads for it, and only needed one line to make it work.
Very good info. After breaking my 10-bolt, I swapped in a complete 2008 Esky 9.5" 14-bolt that had less than 20 miles on it--it fell of the transport truck during an accident and was totaled by insurance. It was a complete bolt-in with the only purchase being a 3R to 1350 adapter u-joint, and the only issue being the left & right rear parking brake cables not connecting up. I was able to do a makeshift fix that works "just okay" but I eventually I need to come up with a better, permanent solution.

QUESTION FOR BOLTSPEEDMEN: The calipers that came with the 08 Esky rear are single piston--when the pads need replaced, I would like to swap to the dual piston calipers. Do you know if the caliper bracket mounts are all the same as far as bolting to the flange and correct offset for alignment with the rotor? Life typically is not that easy for me, but the rearend bolting in as it did, I would not be surprised.
 
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Very good info. After breaking my 10-bolt, I swapped in a complete 2008 Esky 9.5" 14-bolt that had less than 20 miles on it--it fell of the transport truck during an accident and was totaled by insurance. It was a complete bolt-in with the only purchase being a 3R to 1350 adapter u-joint, and the only issue being the left & right rear parking brake cables not connecting up. I was able to do a makeshift fix that works "just okay" but I eventually I need to come up with a better, permanent solution.

QUESTION FOR BOLTSPEEDMEN: The calipers that came with the 08 Esky rear are single piston--when the pads need replaced, I would like to swap to the dual piston calipers. Do you know if the caliper bracket mounts are all the same as far as bolting to the flange and correct offset for alignment with the rotor? Life typically is not that easy for me, but the rearend bolting in as it did, I would not be surprised.
The mounting pad on the axle tubes are all the same. Singles and duals will interchange. You just need the 13” rotors and caliber and slide braket. It’s as simple as remove if the rotor and 2 18mm bolts and swaping out the loaded caliber.

GM did make like 10 difference dual rear pistons. They all take the same 13” rotor, but differ pads and caliber/slid brackets. But they all bolt to the axle the same.
 

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Good deal. I have the Baer Eradispeed +2 14" kit on the front (uses your stock caliper)...will look to see what Baer gets for their 13" rear rotors. Greatly appreciate the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
the only issue being the left & right rear parking brake cables not connecting up. I was able to do a makeshift fix that works "just okay" but I eventually I need to come up with a better, permanent solution.
this was my other concern as we have bi-annual safety inspections here and a working parking brake is mandatory. I'm wondering if the intermediate cable for drum and disc brakes are the same and all that would be required is new back cables?
 

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this was my other concern as we have bi-annual safety inspections here and a working parking brake is mandatory. I'm wondering if the intermediate cable for drum and disc brakes are the same and all that would be required is new back cables?
Yeah, that's what I was wondering as I researched...if the Esky rear cables would connect to the earlier intermediate cable or if I would need a later intermediate cable, and if that would connect properly at the forward end. Sure would be nice to work in a GM parts center where I could lay those out and see firsthand.
 

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this was my other concern as we have bi-annual safety inspections here and a working parking brake is mandatory. I'm wondering if the intermediate cable for drum and disc brakes are the same and all that would be required is new back cables?
You are correct. The intermediate is the same.

I think the older cables are the same as new body styles.

I have a set off of a nbs truck for mine, but never installed. They look identical to the current rear sections, just different connnection on the brake side. They only clip to the frame in one spot, should they should go on fine. But like I said I never installed because parking brakes aren’t required here so I don’t know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a good friend that works at the NAPA store here..he will order in each of the cables for me so we can compare them. I won't be tackling this until the spring though.
 

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It’s not hard. I’ve done it many of times and I have 04 esky duals on my 08.Any 99-04 Silverado or 00-14 Tahoe/esky/avalanche/SUV/ whatever will fit. There all the same rear end, mostly.

Backing plates is the hardest. Axles must be removed to change that. The caliber will sit at an angle since the axle flange is straight on a brake drum rear end, won’t hurt anything. Once that’s changed it’s a simple as just bolting on a caliber and changing pads.

Also need the brake lines that run the length of the rear end. fittings are different than your drums lines. Oreillies keeps straight lengths of them in stock, super easy to bend if you can’t source a set.

All in all I have around $300 in my swap and couldn’t be more pleased. I just bought an entire junk rear end off an esky for $50. Power stop rotors and pads for it, and only needed one line to make it work.
What is an esky?
 
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