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Rear Disc Brake Conversion


Senior Member
Has anyone had any success converting the rear drums on a BJ7 or BJ8 without too much fabrication? Any kits out there?

John Turney

Country flag
I have the Denis Welch ones with a Nissan B210 master cylinder. Since I have a BN4, I also replaced the front drums with DW's discs. The setup works great for driving, but I still am working on the parking brake.


Country flag
Thinking outside the box a bit, I wonder if a Ford 8.8 from an Explorer would work under a Healey? https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/Explorer8_8.html They come with disc rears, traction lock diff and 3.55 gears. If it wasn't too heavy, I bet narrowing one, getting new axles and redrilling wire wheel hubs would be cheaper than trying to put new gears and disc brakes onto a Healey rear. And it's not like anyone is going to see it.


Darth Vader
I have often thought of converting to rear disks but the expenditure is out of range for the amount of practical use. With the many versions of disk brake components installed on LCBs, I thought that someone would come up with the combination of commonly available elements that would fit and function on a Healey and be extremely inexpensive. But I guess, from a practical point of view, drums are perfectly acceptable after being balanced. Still, I like Rick’s initiative and wonder if there aren’t others that have found the Grail.

Ray (64BJ8P1)


Country flag

Looking at some online figures, the standard Healey rear end weighs 165 lbs (not sure whether that's with brakes). The Explorer 8.8 with brakes weighs 175 lbs. Sounds doable if someone was considering a 3.55 and disc brake swap for their Healey. I guess it would depend on how much the extra work to adapt wire wheel hubs and throw in the cost of a new driveshaft as well. One advantage to the Explorer is the parking brake issue would already have been worked out. Obviously, it's not for everyone, but if you're the type not offended by a Smitty's 5 spd, this wouldn't bother you too much.
I'd think that a 7.5" Diff from a mustang would be adequate. Again, plenty of gear ratios and LSD available with disc brakes.


Jedi Warrior
I have the DW kit and it did require a good bit of fabrication. I do like the stopping power though. The parking brake is an issue as it does not work well or at all. The Jag guys say about the same thing on the XJ6's where the calipers come from. In retrospect I think I would investigate the cost to narrow a Ford rear end.


Senior Member
Country flag
The standard set up in if properly maintained is really very good. For a car that weighs just over a ton 11.25" discs and 11" drums is a lot of braking power. Add improved pads and linings then what needs inproving? In addition the hand brake is really effective.
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