Pathfinder Rear Disc Brake Swap

Prime Oct 21, 2015

  1. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    I am embarking on this adventure to eliminate the drum brakes and get better performing rear brakes.

    This takes place by swapping the rear disc brakes from an 88-95 Pathfinder. This truck also has the H233 rear axle, but with some differences. The axle is slightly narrower (3" total from what I've read), the axle shafts are 31 spline (as opposed to our 33 spline), the axle shafts are also a few millimeters thinner, and of course it's set up for coil springs instead of leafs.

    I'll be building the Xterra axle shafts with the disc brakes on the work bench before even tearing into my truck. Which means I'll also be buying new shafts for the X as well as new bearings, ABS tone rings, and parking brake cables. Once the new disc brake shafts are built, it'll be a quick and easy swap onto the truck without having to futz with rebuilding the drum parking brake with it bolted to the truck. The easy way.

    To accomplish the swap the backing plates from the Pathfinder have to be removed from the axles and swapped on to the X axles. This requires some special kit.

    First is Nissan tool part number J-45073. This is the tool for removing the axle retaining nut and bearing assembly from the axle shaft. I'll be referring to this tool many times throughout the build.

    [​IMG]

    I'm lucky enough to have a dealership owned by a customer of mine and they let me borrow the kit to do the work at home. Any dealership should have it and may do the work for you if you ask.

    The second tool is a shop press. In order to reassemble everything takes 4 tons of force according to the FSM.

    Other than that, its just hand tools and basic know how.

    As far as parts, here's what you need...

    Hit the junk yard and find a 4x4 SE Pathfinder. Like this one.

    [​IMG]

    Being that this is a "pull it your damn self" yard, I chose to take the entire axle shaft assembly including calipers and lines. If you find a yard that will press the backing plates off for you, you don't need the special tool. Yet. Plus, the calipers cost me $18 from the yard and the core on remanufactured calipers from autozone is $22. So I'll use these scrap calipers as the core and save a few bucks.

    4 17mm nuts hold the axle assembly in the tube. I cut the hard line on the axle side, cut the stock parking brake cables, removed the 4 nuts and the whole thing just slides out of the axle housing. I took the caliper off in order to leave the rotors since there is no core on them and I want slotted rotors anyway.

    Here's what you get off the truck. Cost me $139 out the door.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a list of what I'm buying to make this job easier. I'll update with prices as I make the purchases.

    Complete Xterra axle shafts without the actual drums
    - These must come from a 4x4. The 2WD truck uses a different setup

    New Xterra parking brake cables
    - $41 from the dealership

    New Xterra ABS rings
    - As recommended by the FSM. Any time you remove one, replace with new.
    - $43 each from the dealership, 2 required

    2nd gen C200 rear axle mounting studs
    - You need 4 of these.
    - Nissan P/N: 43083-EB000
    - $6 each
    - These are longer studs required for mounting the disc brake backing plate to the axle tube.

    New axle bearings and seals
    - Required. The old bearings do not come out in one piece.
    - $80 each for the outer bearing from the dealership
    - $6 each for the outer and inner grease seals
    - $9 each for new lock washers (as recommended by the FSM)
    - $6 each for the inner axle seals

    Reman Pathfinder calipers (using junk yard calipers for core)
    - Source: AutoZone
    - P/N: Duralast C8156 & C8157
    - Cost: $43.99 w/ $22 Core Each

    Parking brake hardware kit for 95 300ZX
    - Replaces all of the springs, pins, and adjusters for the drum parking brake
    - Source: RockAuto
    - P/N: CARLSON 17418
    - Cost: $16

    Parking brake shoes
    - Source: RockAuto
    - P/N: CENTRIC 11106350
    - Cost: $16

    I was going to do slotted rotors, but they weren't available when it came time to order them. So I got standard ones. BUT they are vented, which was unexpected and welcome.
    New Pathfinder rotors. Two parts.
    - Source: Rock Auto
    - P/N: PRONTO BR31071
    - Cost: $15.61 Each

    Rear Pads. Autozone Duralast Gold for 95 Pathfinder
    - Source: Autozone
    - P/N: DG401
    - Cost: $35.99
    - Link: Click here

    Rear Pathfinder stainless soft lines
    - Source: 4x4Parts
    - P/N: BPACPF2LINES
    - Cost: $50
    - http://www.4x4parts.com/i-18980284-pathfinder-rear-caliper-brake-lines.html
    - Credit to SRStaff for the link


    Once you have your Pathy axle shafts, this is where the tool comes in.

    It bolts on to those same 4 studs that held the axle to the truck and using the factory nuts pushes the axle shaft off of the backing plate.

    In order to do this, you need to remove the axle nut that is holding the entire assembly together.

    First, use a flat head screwdriver and hammer to gently flatten out all of the tabs on the lock washer that is under the nut.

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    These flat tabs are all the way around. Once they're flattened out the special socket for the nut goes down over the axle shaft.

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    Insert the entire axle shaft in a vise to hold it still, put a breaker bar on the socket and turn. It should just kind of POP and then thread off REALLY easily.

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    With the nut removed, also remove the lock washer and retaining washer from the axle shaft. Throw these away. They will not be needed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now we're ready for the puller.


    The outer shaft slides all the way down the axle shaft, with the locking collar over it. The 4-hole puller collar gets bolted down on the 4 studs on the axle.

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    From here the threaded rod gets inserted in the top and tightened down. Using the metal handle in the tab on the sleeve for counter pressure.

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    Once you get enough pressure the axle shaft will pop off the plate and allow removal.

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    Repeat for side two.

    [​IMG]

    Now, the only part of these that you actually need is the plate that the parking brake and calipers mount to. Which means that the bearing cups are next to go.

    In order to remove them from the backing plate, you have to drive out the studs. Do this however you deem necessary, and thrown them in the trash. They are too short for the axle flange on the Xterra.

    [​IMG]

    Once you knock all 4 studs out the bearing cups need to be removed from the plate. This may require a press on 50% of the ones out there. I say this because I was able to knock one out fairly easily with a cheap hammer. The other won't budge w/ a 3lb sledge.

    [​IMG]

    With the bearing cups removed it's time for some cleanup. I'm going to completely degrease and paint the backing plates as well as cut off the old rusted dust shield. I'm also going to pick up a press this week and some Xterra axles so I can continue with this project.

    I was finally able to beat the other bearing cup out tonight. It took some doing, but a big enough hammer can fix a lot. So that's all in the trash.

    Also got the old, busted, and rusted dust shields off the plates. They're welded on. So it wasn't easy. There was a lot of prying and metal twisting. But they were so rotten, it didn't require power tools.

    [​IMG]

    Once I beat off all the old dust with a steel brush and drill brush. It was all ready for a fresh coat of paint.

    [​IMG]

    Painted both sides and all the crevasses.

    [​IMG]

    Next is to modify the plates to accept the Xterra parking brake cables. The Xterra cables are side specific. The short one is the drivers side and the long one is the passenger side.

    When you insert the cable into the backing plate, you'll notice that the aluminum goes into the hole correctly, but the bolt holes do not line up with the pretapped ones for the pathfinder cables.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One 13/64 drill bit and 6mmx1.0 tap later, we now have the correct holes for the cables.

    [​IMG]

    Once the holes are drilled and tapped, carefully insert the bolts that were removed from the Pathfinder cables and tighten. Be careful with the outside holes as there isn't a lot of metal there, but plenty to hold them in place. Just don't over tighten them. The process is exactly the same on the other side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This concludes the first post regarding prep and disassembly of the Pathfinder disc brake plates. Next well move on to preparation and assembly of the Xterra axle shafts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  2. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    First of the Xterra shafts came today.

    [​IMG]

    Disassembly is the same as the pathfinder shafts except for one difference. The ABS ring has to come off first.

    Luckily, this handy tool:
    [​IMG]

    Has a collet for pulling the ring off. Very similar to the bolt down version, it slides over the ABS ring, gets locked in place by the locking collar, and gets pulled off the shaft. Toss it in the trash as we're going to be installing new ones.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, it's just the same as before. Flatten the lock washer...

    [​IMG]

    Remove the nut, and washers, and bolt the puller to the 4 studs. SAVE THE RETAINING WASHER AND NUT! You will need these for reassembly. The lock washer is trash.

    This setup has the drums rusted to the shoes. So I cut the shoe nails on the back so that when I pulled the axle out the shoes would just collapse and let go of the drum. I'm not using any of this except the axle shaft and the bearing cup, so if the brakes get damaged, I don't care.

    [​IMG]

    Since I'm using the shaft, I put a few lug nuts on the threads before putting it in the vise.

    [​IMG]

    The outer axle bearing is a double roller. It has two bearings with one outer race and two inner races. The inside half of the bearing always pulls off with the axle when pulled from the bearing cup. On all three of these that I've taken apart, the outer half of the bearing has remained on the axle shaft with the oil seal behind it.

    I couldn't make the puller grab the bearing race at all. So I ended up having to cut that race off of the axle shaft.

    In the process of doing so, I ended up with a small groove on the axle from the cutting wheel. Due to the amount of force that is required to seat the axle into the new bearing (about 4 tons), I don't think this will be an issue.

    [​IMG]

    Once all that is apart, hammer the studs out of the backing plate carefully as well be needing two of these for installation on the X. Beat the backing plate off of the bearing cup, and clean up. Be careful not to damage the bearing cup. Need this.

    We can proceed installing the Xterra studs into the Pathy backing plate.

    The biggest problem here is stud length. Because of the drum parking brake, two of the studs are not long enough to make it all the way through the axle housing and into the crush nut on the other side.

    Enter some 2nd gen C200 axle studs.

    [​IMG]

    These are the perfect length to be used in the backing plate and are the same diameter and thread pitch of the Xterra studs.

    Using a stack of washers and a nut is the easiest way to pull the studs into place. Be sure to use enough washers as the studs are shouldered and you need to tighten it all the way in.

    Once the studs are set, we can go ahead and install the parking brake assembly on to the backing plate.

    Some notes here, the 300xz brake kit is almost 100% what you need. Almost. The big difference is the top return springs. The Z springs are MUCH shorter than the Pathy springs. So you'll need the original Pathy springs or suitable replacements.

    This picture below shows what I mean.

    [​IMG]

    The green spring is the 300zx and the blue spring is from the Pathfinder. Luckily, I was able to salvage all of the existing return springs from the junk yard parking brakes. The rest of the Z parts kit is on point. So all of those parts are new, and the new shoes are assembled.

    [​IMG]

    The last thing of note is that the original Pathfinder parking brake had a return spring on the cable to help return the arm to the neutral position. I noticed that the Xterra parking brake assembly had this as well. So I used the Xterra spring, cut it in half, slipped it over the cable, and wedged the cable on to the puller arm. Just for some extra release force for the parking brake.

    [​IMG]

    With this parking brake sorted, now we can move on to removing the old bearing race from the cup and installing the new outer wheel bearing. Shop press time.

    Using one of the inner bearings that popped off earlier, inset it into the cup on the outside and put it in the press. This gives you a surface to press on that is smaller than the race.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That sucker is in there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Save the race as it will come in handy for pressing the new bearing in. Which must be done before assembly into the backing plate.

    [​IMG]

    Picked up the bearing for this side this afternoon. As well as the new lock washer and grease seal.

    [​IMG]

    To install the bearing in the cup, first remove new bearings from the race and press the race into the cup. I put some anti seize on the outer side of the race to help ease it in.

    [​IMG]

    I started by using some flat steel and just pushing the race flat on to the cup.

    [​IMG]

    Once it's down as far as it will go, take the old race and stack it on the new one and press until it's firmly seated in the cup.

    [​IMG]

    Once the race is seated all the way, it's time to pack the bearings.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure and get as much of the assembly grease out of the bearing as possible and replace it with actual bearing grease. God this is a messy job.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to install the Xterra bearing cup in the Pathfinder plate. The following pictures were taken out of order. But I'm listing them in the correct order for the build.

    I slid the bearing cup down backwards to check clearance on the parking brake cable. Found a problem.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing a grinder can't fix.
    [​IMG]

    With the parking brake cable clearanced, flip the cup around so that the long side is protruding through the parking assembly. Snug down the nuts with a washer stack to pull the bearing cup into place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once the bearing cup is seated completely in the backing plate it's time to press new seal into the cup and then press the axle into the bearing.

    To properly seat the seal, I used the old bearing race again. It's the perfect size to push against the metal of the seal. Make sure and install the outer half of the roller bearing into the race before installing the seal.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to press the axle shaft into the bearing. I used the collet for the ABS ring from the puller as a press tool. I zip tied the two halves together and it was the perfect size to hold the inner side of the wheel bearing in place while the axle was pressed in.

    [​IMG]

    Continued... Because pictures.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  3. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Insert it into the press the other way around and support the assembly with some flat steel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Press until everything stops moving. 4 tons according to the FSM.

    Once it's all pressed in its time to install the flat washer, lock washer, and lock nut on the inner bearing. In that order. New lock washer as specified.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The nut goes curvy side down. Torque the lock nut to 90lb/ft using the special socket.

    Once the nut is tight, bend the lock tabs up on the nut. One of the tabs should be completely inside one of the nut tabs.

    [​IMG]

    I applied some extra grease to the back side to help seal things up as there isn't a grease seal here. It's on the axle tube.

    [​IMG]

    That's one axle assembly.

    [​IMG]

    You can see why I wanted the parking brake finished before I installed the axle. There's really no room to work here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Using the same zip-tied collet, put the ABS ring on the shaft thin side toward the lock nut and press until the ring touches the lock nut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's one side completely ready for a rotor and caliper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  4. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Final assembly.

    The rotor simply drops on to the lugs I used a few nuts to hold it tight to the axle.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next the caliper bracket gets bolted to the backing plate using the original bolts taken from the pathfinder.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now install the anti-moan clips in the caliper bracket and slide the pads into place. Apply some grease to the pads to prevent noise.

    [​IMG]

    Next the caliper slides onto the shaft on one side of the bracket and swings down over the pads.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Insert the lock bolt and tighten.

    Finally install new softlines into the caliper using the new brass crush washers.

    [​IMG]

    And secure to the bracket with the old C clip.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's one side done. And ready to be installed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    That concludes the build of this setup. Hopefully, whoever gets these from me will provide pictures and a write up on the install to this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  5. Cruecible

    Cruecible Titan Swapped / SAS'd

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    Much excite! Can't wait to see the finale!
     
  6. StupidFish

    StupidFish Need Bigger Tires

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    Very thorough. Nice write up so far.
     
  7. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Some evening OP updates.
     
  8. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Updated OP with additional parts information.
     
  9. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

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    Definitely following this! Do you know how many other people have tried this?
     
  10. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    I know of three. So there is precedence.
     
  11. SRStaff

    SRStaff Bought an X

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    Prime's will #6 that I know of off hand. The other 5 work as advertised. Prime, that is nice that you were able to get the tool to use. Makes life so much easier with this process.
     
  12. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Yeah, it was a life saver.

    The shop manager at the dealership says he wants to do his Frontier after I'm done with mine. So that'll make 7.
     
  13. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

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    Still a path very seldom traveled. Bravo!
     
  14. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    OP updated with tonight's progress.
     
  15. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Was able to return the Pathy axle shafts to the junk yard for $67 credit. Now I need them to have an X so I can pull those shafts.
     
  16. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Rebuilding the parking brake is turning into a huge pain. No one has a spring kit. Since the disc brake Pathy is kind of unique, all I can find are the shoes. Which I ordered. I started racking my brain. What else in 95 did Nissan make with rear discs and a drum parking brake.

    How about the 300zx?

    Looked it up on Rock Auto, picture of the kit looks spot on. $16. Done.

    CARLSON P/N 17418
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  17. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Finished the first post. The plates are now completely prepped including new parking brake cables and ready to start assembly of the Xterra components. Which will commence once I get my hands on them.
     
  18. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Updated second post with build out for the Xterra shafts.
     
  19. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

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    Awesome progress, sir!

    Sidenote.. kinda upset nobody noticed my joke... path seldom traveled... finding paths....... pathfinder........... nevermind ;)

     
  20. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    You said nothing about finding a path.... Just traveling one....
     
  21. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

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    But if it's seldom traveled you may have a little trouble finding it...... I'm done!

    Back to disc brake madness!
     
  22. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    The outer axle bearing is a double roller. It has two bearings with one outer race and two inner races. The inside half of the bearing always pulls off with the axle when pulled from the bearing cup. On all three of these that I've taken apart, the outer half of the bearing has remained on the axle shaft with the oil seal behind it.

    I couldn't make the puller grab the bearing race at all. So I ended up having to cut that race off of the axle shaft.

    [​IMG]

    In the process of doing so, I ended up with a small groove on the axle from the cutting wheel. Due to the amount of force that is required to seat the axle into the new bearing (about 9 tons), I don't think this will be an issue, but I wanted to ask if anyone could confirm.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Silver dude

    Silver dude Sliders Founding Member

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    I'm no engineer, but it looks pretty cosmetic as the machined groove forward of it is wider and deeper in depth. Don't let it bother you looks like it will work great.
     
  24. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    That's what I'm thinking. The part of the race that actually gets pressed on to that part of the shaft means that the groove will only sit less than 1/4 of the way through the race.
     
  25. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

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    I've seen a pro on yt do the same thing. He even pointed out out and said meh
     
  26. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    I love it.
     
  27. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Looking at things today. Mainly this:

    [​IMG]

    So these are the longer Xterra studs that came off of the backing plate for the drum brakes. I crawled underneath my truck, and found that I need 1-1/4" (approx 30mm) to get all the way through the mounting plate on the axle tube. If I use these studs in this configuration, I've got a problem. The two top studs are too short because the disc brake backing plate is thicker for those two holes. This is reflected in the original shorter disc brake studs where two of them were longer.

    So if I use these studs, the top half will not make it all the way through the lock nut on the other side. I'm thinking what I'm going to have to do is get longer 60mm bolts, run them through, and tack weld them to the backing plate. That will give me the extended length I need. That is, unless I can find replacement studs that are 10mm longer.
     
  28. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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  29. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Picked this up today.

    [​IMG]

    $150 craigslist find.

    Got this pressed out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I realize I need to rewrite a lot of post 2. Because you can't press the bearing race out with the cup in the backing plate.
     
  30. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Partial update to post 2. Gotta go by the dealership today so I'll order the bearing and a few other parts.
     
  31. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    One parking brake assembly.

    [​IMG]

    The 300zx parts kit was right on the money. With one exception.

    The top return springs. You can see one green spring and one blue. The blue is the longer Pathy spring. The green is the one from the Z parts kit turns out I need all 4 of the longer blue springs. And I, of course, cleaned up the work bench and couldn't find two of them.

    So I modified the green spring to work. It's not perfect, but it'll function.

    This parking brake also had a helper spring on the cable when I took it apart. So I reused that on the new cable. It helps return the lever to the neutral position releasing the brake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  32. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Should have the new bearing in a day or two. Once that is pressed into the cup, I can reinstall the cup in this plate, press the axle shaft in, and be ready to buy a rotor and caliper.
     
  33. Jbat

    Jbat First Fill-Up (of many)

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    Looking good man, nice work!
     
  34. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Thanks. It's been an interesting learning process thusfar.

    Having to do things multiple times because I'm doing them out of order is getting old. But the other side should be stupid easy.
     
  35. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Updated. I did a thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  36. caseycamby

    caseycamby Suspension Lift

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    Progress!
     
  37. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Ordered one rotor today. Need some more cash and I'll get the soft lines and caliper.
     
  38. SRStaff

    SRStaff Bought an X

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    My buddy I helped with his took the simple way and just bought four longer regular bolts to use for the axle to axle tube. Torqued just fine.
     
  39. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Managed to find some OE Nissan studs that are exactly what are needed. As soon as I fit them tonight I will update with pictures and part numbers.
     
  40. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

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    Denver-ish
    I was working at the dealership last week and they had a busted C200 (surprise!) laying on the ground in the shop. Looking at it really showed that while the 2nd gen axle is Dana derived, it is a very unique axle.

    Surprise of surprises....it has the same basic setup that I'm putting together. Including the bearing cup and stud assembly. Because the axle is wider than the 1st Gen's H233b, I started looking at the bearing assembly.

    They studs looked a lot longer than the ones that the 1st Gen comes with.

    So I had the parts guy bring a few in so I could check them out.

    Jackpot!

    Below is the Polaris studs I ordered vs the 2nd gen c200 studs. That extra length is butter.

    [​IMG]

    So I swapped them out in the axle I finished. Which I wasn't happy about. But, it was worth it for the knowledge that what I put in will be strong enough.
     

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