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dm7288

series 3 disc brake conversion

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dm7288    0

I am looking to upgrade my front brakes to discs.

I've looked at a few kits that allow the standard leaf spring axle to be used with a replacement hub swivel housing.

Only a couple seem to offer a kit that will use standard defender discs, calipers etc and they are hugely costly.

So my idea is to get my cousin, he owns his own cnc engineering factory, to manufacture replacement swivel housing casings that will accept all series 3 parts, ball, drive shaft and so on (maybe replacing the raiko bush with a bearing) to add the luxury of front disc brakes.

He is well versed in material suitability for this type of venture, he makes components for Redbull F1, Mclaren and Prodrive to name a few.

I intend to get a series 3 swivel hub complete and a defender swivel hub complete, get them both measured and produce a cad model for the hybrid that will allow discs to be fitted.

Does anyone close to bedfordshire have either swivel hubs that they could donate/ lend to the cause?

Are any of you familiar with possible snags/ incompatibilities that we may encounter?

Cheers...

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Jon White    14

BCB off road in the states used to market exactly this - a series outer swivel housing that was specifically made to use defender disks and calipers.

There are easier ways to do it as someone has said. I made my own conversion using wilwood calipers, which bolt up to an un modified series swivel housing.

Bear in mind that a new wilwood caliper, that comes from the factory with stainless pistons etc, can be had for about the same money as a re con landrover one.

Jon

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dm7288    0

Spongie, I've read that thread and it hardly seems easy to me. All within my capabilites but a hell of a lot of mods required.

Also not all series enthusiasts have access to the lathe, pillar drill etc required.

Jon was it a case of bolting on Wilwood calipers and using defender discs?

I assume some brackets or adapter plates would be required?

Does it require a deeper dished wheel rim?

Could you post details of what you have done, this sounds like an interesting option.

My goal in all this was to make a nut and bolt conversion without the need for additional machining, and without it costing the earth!

If I can get this designed (family rate for the prototype ;) ) maybe we could produce a kit that will be more within the reach and capabilities of the majority of series owners.

All the other kits I've seen cost about a grand plus calipers discs etc.

I'm sure that the material and machining cost, if there is the demand, would come in much lower than that.

Ultimately though all I want is a future proof disc conversion without the need for specialist discs and pads..

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Spongie    0

In initial post you did not make it clear you intended to produce this as a retailable product. Either way good luck

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Jon White    14

This has been covered at length on here many times in the past. The search button is your friend.

Mine is the one that Tonk and I developed years ago. http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=22910&p=232683

All the info you need is in the old posts on the forum somewhere.....the rest you'll have to work out but it's not hard to make something that more or less bolts on, and yes mine allows you to fit a standard wheel.

Jon

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Spongie    0

If you want a real challenge do it for the 101, plenty of people would like that conversion as the Zeus conversion still expects you to take a grinder to the swivel housing and caliper

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Pollywog    3

I've recently fitted a Haystee kit to my series 3, it is more or less as you had planned; new swivel housings & hubs cast & machined to take the defender discs and calipers.

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10746403535_513a0b27fa.jpg

I chose the Heystee kit as I like the idea of it using Defender parts. I have also fitted a Defender pedal assembly with type 50 servo & MC so the braking system is essentially now that of an early Defender and therefore, I feel, much more suited to a Series motor than a system made up of random parts adapted from other vehicles. Also it would be just my luck that had I gone for one of the cheaper kits they'd end up going bust in a couple of years and I'd be in the same boat as those who now can't get discs for the old TIC kit.

I have tried standard wheels on and they fit perfectly, I'm quite sure you could even run 15" rims but haven't got any to try.

This is by no means a cheap setup, the basic kit from Heystee cost me 999Euro delivered. I am not going to even guess at how much it's cost me in all with everything else I needed to complete the job but as I have owned the vehicle for 12 years already, and don't see myself ever sell it, I see it as a worthwhile investment.

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dm7288    0

Pollywog, the heystee kit is exactly what I have in mind. Uses original discs pads etc and as a result is future proof!

I just cant believe that they want a €1K!

They must manufacture batches of them, I would guess it costs them less than half the retail price to manufacture.

One hell of a mark up, but a lovely put together kit that looks great on your series.

My aim is to produce the same type of kit, but hopefully more affordable for all series owners.

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Pollywog    3

I agree it is expensive and it took me a lot to convince myself to go for it but I'm pleased with the result.

Are you thinking of having them machined from a solid billet? The heystee ones are cast and then machined to finish.

The demand for disc conversions is probably quite a lot lower than most of us would expect hence why none of the kits are exactly cheap.

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greenmeanie    0

I note that the names you quote for your cousin's business are all very high end racing names with VERY deep pockets. This might be something to note.

Once you factor in design (Note that design for quantity manufacture is very different from one off prototypes), programming time, tool set up, run time, first article inspection, scrap cost for the material you have removed you might find the CNC solution a lot more expensive than you would imagine. There are reasons that almost everyone that chooses to do this in commercial quantities ends up with a casting.

I'm pretty sure that if Haystee are selling these kits into Europe they require TUV or equivalent certification for the various countries to accept the modification for registration. On what is essentially a niche market component it chews up a significant chunk of change to obtain so that will be built into the price.

Others on this forum who are in the business will be better informed but if you plan to sell these kits commercially then you might have to look at liablility etc.

Sad to say but as we all know these days lawyers are not cheap.

Then there is marketing your product etc all of which eats up cash.

Just pointing out that there is a lot more involved in cost of a kit than just CNC time.

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Jon White    14

The above is a good point. I was chatting to Simon from x-eng a whole back, and this was precisely the reason he never marketed a disk brake conversion - his insurers flatly refused to cover it. They were happy to cover the disk hand brakes however as they were not the main service brake.

In addition as I have posted in the past this is the reason why I won't post precise details of how I did my conversion.

Jon

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Gremlin    5

Just my 2c worth, i did it as well and it works well, till now its been several years in service. I have thought of making a sort of kit (just brackets and instructions!), but it stated getting complicated quickly.

Here is mine Series Discs - LR4x4 - The Land Rover Forum

Good luck on your quest, but cheap was my main goal, plus using lr components only.

G

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missingsid    38

There are a number of members who have done or are in the process of doing this in different ways. None are perfect or have some minor issues (custom part required or steering issue etc.).

As Jon and Si in other threads have said, a major concern is litigation/police action iif an accident happens.

If it is your own work then you only are responsible (this is one reason why people try to keep it LR based if possible unless you are qualified structural engineer). If you want to manufacture you need a large company behind you for testing, developement and litigation, but the numbers may not warrent it as a product? Most Series owners will want originality as time goes on?

A major concern for me was that when the LR driver crashed and caused a train wreck the Police went all out to get him for something to blame. If it is a custom build with no engineer report then you are at risk!

This is just my view and may or may not match others views but other comments seem to be similar.

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simonb    3

They went after him as he crashed off a motorway, landed on a railway line and partially derailed a passenger train. A freight train traveling in the opposite direction then hit the derailed passenger train. 10 people were killed and 82 injured.

The roadworthyness of the Land Rover was never in doubt, it was the driver who was at blame for not keeping his vehicle on the motorway after being awake all night.

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Jon White    14

Didn't that guy who killed several of his kids after crashing his 110 into water get prosecuted too for an unroadworthy vehicle that had been poorly maintained and poorly modified? Can't remember his name now......

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simonb    3

Yes, that was something else, but not what missingsid was referring to, and my previous comment, which was the Great Heck derailment.

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Bowie69    382

Gresh was his forum name iirc, not on here though.

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Didn't that guy who killed several of his kids after crashing his 110 into water get prosecuted too for an unroadworthy vehicle that had been poorly maintained and poorly modified? Can't remember his name now......

Nigel Gresham

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Snagger    197

Gresh's vehicle apparently had numerous faults and mods. Few of the mods were cited as causal, though the centre of gravity shift from the full roll cage and suspension lift, plus the oversized, mismatched tyres (different sizes front and rear, IIRC) were cited ad contributory. Causal factors were listed as severely under-inflated tyres, a mismatched pair of rear trailing arms, the rust induced failure of a trailing arm bracket (allowing adverse axle movement) and mismatched brake callipers and pads. A family friend also testified that on her trip in the vehicle, one of the rear half shafts and drive flanges kept detaching and sliding out of the axle. All of this points more towards maintenance rather than modification faults. However, the prosecution was rigorous and the investigation into the vehicle very detailed. The lesson is that you need to be careful about both maintenance and alteration, that major work should be inspected by professionals, and that major mods should be inspected and detailed in a report by a suitably qualified engineer or mechanic with the document forwarded to your insurer to cover your back side.

As far as disc brake conversions go on Series vehicles, my advice is basically don't. SIII servo assisted brakes are very effective if correctly set up and in good order. Disc brakes are no more powerful, they just have the advantages of less fade (not a problem for sensible drivers) and less maintenance requirements. The only reason I have discs on my 109 is that I fitted coiler axles in order to get a much tighter turning circle and wider track with standard offset rims (to reduce the steering loads without going PAS, which I'll probably do in the future anyway).

Buying a kit to convert your Series to discs is expensive but if you have the cash, is a reasonable proposition - it'll be easier to look after in the long run as they're self cleaning and self adjusting, and replacing pads is a doddle. Building your own conversion is viable if you are an experienced mechanic and fabricator of have access to one, subject to the inspection and documentation advice I gave. Making and selling your own kits is an expensive legal minefield of testing, approval and liability indemnity - that is the reason for the high prices of the existing kits.

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greenmeanie    0

(this is one reason why people try to keep it LR based if possible unless you are qualified structural engineer).

You'd trust someone who's speciaility is generally considered to be in civil engineering? As brakes are a system that includes static components, moving components and elements of materials and hydraulics I'd suggest that if you are worried about it a mechanical engineer would be better suited to the design and certification than someone limited to the structural aspect.

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Pollywog    3

I got to drive mine for the first time today to and from the garage. I did a few test emergency stops on the way and I've got to say I'm very happy with my new brake system!

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BSF    0

Just to add my twopennoth

I have put disc conversions onto three Land Rovers now. The full-fat Rocky Mountain kit on a Series 3 109, the cheaper Bearmach based Rocky Mountain kit on a Series 1 80 (rivet counters don't worry, it was nowhere near original before I started) and the Heystee kit on a Series 2b FC I am rebuilding. I chose the Heystee kit because it uses standard Defender brakes and not those off some American truck.

In the first two it was clearly very well worth the effort (I can't report on the Series 2b, it's not on the road yet). The improvement in braking is well worth the effort; I agree that with dry brakes on a nice day the drums work, but after going through water, or the umpteenth application with a heavy trailer on the back the discs win every time. For one thing it always stops in a straight line. The brakes are pretty much invisible unless you crawl around underneath, so they seem to fool most rivet counters.

As for the kits; all had a few problems with some very badly made Bearmach components and the need to take an angle grinder to wheels and other bits (Bearmach/Rocky Mountain). The Heystee kit seems very good, but with a couple of production problems. Both suppliers were very helpful in solving problems and in the case of Heystee they supplied modified parts that I needed at no cost.

When you fit these kits you realise that design and manufacture is not easy, in some cases there is very little room to fit the other parts and also that in short production runs things get missed. I would suggest that in all cases the kits were good value for money as I would not want to get involved in manufacture of the parts, I very briefly considered it, but the swivel housing is a very complicated piece of engineering and the market is never going to be other than small.

A couple of points, you will need a servo for the discs and you will need to balance front and rear brakes (assuming you are leaving drums on the back) There are two ways of achieving this; in the case of the series 3 which already had a servo I needed to fit smaller wheel cylinders at the back to stop the back wheels locking up when there was no load in the truck. 88" 3/4 inch cylinders did the job.

With the series 1 and the 2b I had to fit a remote servo anyway, so the brakes are connected with the servo only in circuit to the front discs (put the tee piece to the back in the pipe before the servo).

The disc brakes are well worth the effort.

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missingsid    38

(this is one reason why people try to keep it LR based if possible unless you are qualified structural engineer).

You'd trust someone who's speciaility is generally considered to be in civil engineering? As brakes are a system that includes static components, moving components and elements of materials and hydraulics I'd suggest that if you are worried about it a mechanical engineer would be better suited to the design and certification than someone limited to the structural aspect.

Ha ha fair enough but you know what I mean.

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Arjan    68

We have Zeus on the Hybrid at all 4 corners.

Good deal saw me after a long time finally getting brakes that will just do that - stop you in a straight line. Here, France, brakes are the 1 thing that old vehicles are tested very strictly on.

Serious money but also serious stopping power.

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