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Thread: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    What are people using for front brake hoses for the big brake conversion?

    I'm working on an '89 ES with the smaller 4-wheel disc package. I've converted everything to the larger 11" package off a '91 GTC (same as Shelby Daytona)- hubs, spindles, cast control arms, MC, everything. My (latest) issue is the front brake hoses. The hoses for a '91 car, at the end that connects to the hard line at the body, are keyed opposite of the '89. I can't just switch them around because then the strut bracket will not line up with the ears on the strut (believe me I tried).

    However, if I try to use the '89-'90 front hoses everything fits to the car, but the banjo block that goes to the caliper is wrong. It will only fit to the caliper if I orient the hose rearward, which puts the hose against the strut and the CV boot. From the factory, on both cars, the hose should route upwards from the caliper.

    Here's what I know-

    The bracket that holds the hose to the hard line on the frame rails are different between the two cars are quite different. They're welded to the '89, but bolted onto the '91. However as stated above, they are keyed oppositely so the hoses will not swap left to right.

    The '91 hoses have a large bracket to hold the hose to the strut with an extra leg to hold the ABS wires. This what actually prevents simply swapping the hoses left to right. The '89-'90 hoses do not have this extra leg on the bracket.

    The banjo blocks for the caliper end of the hoses are different sizes, and the '89 blocks do not correctly fit the '91 calipers. I have a '91 Shelby in the driveway for comparison.

    So, are custom hoses the only option?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    One other thing- Did not the '90 Shelby have the same calipers as the '91? This is what confuses me as to why the '90 hoses do not fit.

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    I believe the calipers are different between the early and late brakes. The hoses are certainly different as you've already seen. I modify the later hoses to fit the hard line by removing the keyed portion that stops you from putting it in the bracket. That's pretty much all you need to do to solve your problem. If you use the earlier hose, you need to grind it down so it fits the later caliper.

    I've modified early hoses to work with the later calipers and later hoses to work with the early brackets and hard line. I prefer to just order up the hoses that came with the brakes at this point. There's really not much difference other than personal preference.

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Cool. I had considered grinding down the blocks or the ears on the calipers so the earlier hoses will fit, but I wanted to see what everyone else was doing. Thanks a bunch!

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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    I believe the calipers are different between the early and late brakes. The hoses are certainly different as you've already seen. I modify the later hoses to fit the hard line by removing the keyed portion that stops you from putting it in the bracket. That's pretty much all you need to do to solve your problem. If you use the earlier hose, you need to grind it down so it fits the later caliper.

    I've modified early hoses to work with the later calipers and later hoses to work with the early brackets and hard line. I prefer to just order up the hoses that came with the brakes at this point. There's really not much difference other than personal preference.
    Yup, I did this as well!
    Brian convinced me to get Hawk pads from Rich....glad I did...
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    When I installed '91 big brakes (from a GTC) onto my '87 Shelby Lancer, I opted to use the SS braided hose kit from FWDPerformance. I recall the connection at the body wasn't keyed; instead it was round in shape but still fit and clipped in as normal. Just thought I'd throw that out there as a potential solution to this issue.
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
    86 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Okay, everything's together, has been for a couple weeks now, but the brakes are spongy. Today, I re-bled everything again with no improvement. So I re-bled the master cylinder again (in the car this time), then all four corners again, still no improvement. Went through nearly four quarts of fluid. I've never run into this problem before. At this point I'm thinking it has to be a bad master cylinder, but I would love to hear other suggestions before I attempt to swap it again.

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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Are you sure it was a 24mm MC? Joy's Daytona is the same way. It will still lock up the brakes near full travel, so I think I was just sent a 21mm MC rather than a 24mm MC when I replaced it.

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Maybe? It has a number 4 clearly cast in front of the reservoir. It's off the same '91 GTC as everything else- everything was swapped together. No leaks anywhere, no fluid loss, and the MC didn't leak on the initial bench bleed in the bench vice. I have one more #4 MC on the shelf from an '89 Daytona Shelby, but it's been sitting dry for many many years.

  10. #10
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    That should definitely be a 24mm MC then.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    I thought so. Basically the car is now identical to my '91 Iroc (albeit an automatic), and that car always had a nice firm pedal. Would there be any difference in the pedal leverage points? This car was a factory 4-wheel disc car, it just had the smaller setup with the non-vented rear discs. I'd almost say just try to live with it, by daughter's safety is the priority with this car.

  12. #12
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Quote Originally Posted by supercrackerbox View Post
    I thought so. Basically the car is now identical to my '91 Iroc (albeit an automatic), and that car always had a nice firm pedal. Would there be any difference in the pedal leverage points? This car was a factory 4-wheel disc car, it just had the smaller setup with the non-vented rear discs. I'd almost say just try to live with it, by daughter's safety is the priority with this car.
    Time to do some real world testing then. After Joy's Daytona easily locked up the brakes I was satisfied with the performance, if not the pedal feel. Honestly, I've always though the pedal feel in the big brake cars is too soft for my taste. The best pedal feel I've had in a car yet is my Lancer with the 91+ big brakes in front with Hawk pads, 24mm MC, and rear drums. Very firm pedal with great feedback and it stops exceptionally well.

  13. #13
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Big Brake Conversion on '89 ES

    Fair enough. True I haven't actually gotten it out on the road yet. Besides a severely loose inner tie rod that needs addressed, I've been dealing with a plethora of lighting and other issues that have kept me from getting back to the injector issue. That gets done today.

    This is a fairly nice car, but the last few owners really let it go to crap.

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