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OBS 250 - Drum brakes to Disc Brakes Question

Discussion in '7.3L Powerstroke Diesels' started by GHLAND, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. GHLAND

    GHLAND Registered User

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    OBS 250 - Drum brakes to Disc Brakes Question

    Did a quick search in the forums and didn't find anything, so apologies in advance if I missed anything.

    Found out last week that my 97's brakes were toast. Today I drove it up to the shop without much brake power and had to drop it down into granny gear to help stop.

    Got a quote from the shop. It needs a new master cylinder, brake booster, and 2x brake shoes, 2x brake drums, supporting hardware, and labor. Quote was around $1800 to get the brake system back to healthy. I trust the shop I took it to and never like to do anything less than 100%.

    I did some googling and have read up on the drum to disc conversions that alot of guys have done.

    Trying to figure out the best way forward. Should I:

    1) just replace everything and keep the drums

    2) convert to disc brakes

    3) use this as an excuse to swap in super-duty axles

    It might be a push for the money to do the disc conversion so is it a better option? Or an axle swap would be around double the money and I'd have disc brakes and a smoother ride on the highway.

    Hoping for any counsel on the matter from you pros out there. Photo of 97 7.3 attached. Many thanks in advance.

    upload_2021-3-4_19-32-18.png upload_2021-3-4_19-32-18.png
     
  2. 79jasper

    79jasper Chickenhawk

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    If towing, most aren't happy with converting the axle from drum to disc.
    Better off swapping whole axle.
    There's nothing really wrong with rear drums, but for whatever reason, it seems like ford couldn't figure out a good auto adjust setup.

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. IDIoit

    IDIoit MachinistFabricator Supporting Member

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    i have lugnut4x4's rear disc conversion.
    they stop great, but ive also swapped to hydro boost.
    ive also never noticed an issue towing with it in the past 5 years ive had them on
    sorry @79jasper :kick::flipa

    HOWEVER.... the e-brake is completely sub par.

    I DO NOT SUGGEST THE DISC CONVERSION because of the e-brake.

    the kits available do not come with e-brake cables, so youre on your own to find cables.

    i suggest you axle swap, super duty have a inner drum e-brake, and its alot better.

    dont expect it to ride any different if you axle swap only.
    if you want a better ride youre going to have to RSK the front end and use super duty springs, which can get quite expensive.
    esp. if youre the type to take a brake job to a shop.
    :smoke:
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow bilge rat

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    $1800 brake jobs is why I don't let shops touch my truck.

    I spent $500-600 when my '95 f350's rear brakes were sacked. Shoes, hardware, cables... and a hydroboost swap (new Ford unit). Truck never stopped better.
     
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  5. GHLAND

    GHLAND Registered User

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    Appreciate the input Gents. I've learned how to do many things myself over the years, but for some reason I have always left the brake stuff to the shop guys, especially drum brakes. So perhaps I'll work up the courage to give it a shot given the cost savings involved.

    Also, if anyone happens to know a shade tree mechanic well versed in 7.3's near the Katy area please message me...i'd be happy to pay a finders fee too.
     
  6. greenskeeper

    greenskeeper Full Access Member

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    drum brakes aren't that bad. Take both drums off so you have an idea of where things go when you work on one side at a time. The master cylinder is pretty straight forward as well.

    I'd at least pull the drums and take a look before dropping $1800 (I'd do it myself FWIW).

    With the rear wheels off the ground and the transfer case in N, there should be resistance at the wheels if the drums are adjusted correctly. It's tough to feel because you'll also be turning the rear drivetrain.
     

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