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2003 durango rear disk brake swap?

3292 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tboneduggins
Hi guys. I have a 2000 durango with rear drum brakes and I wanted to know what would be the process of swapping the brakes from a 2003 with rear disk brakes. I have 15" wheels with mud tires that I rather not change so my first question is if that would be an issue? The reason I want the better brakes is cause right now I feel like my rear brakes do not do anything. When I back my boat into the water I feel like I have to slam on the brake or it will end up in the water. I want a more even braking system. Let me know if any of you guys have done this swap and what is involved.
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9.25 disc with 8.25 parts

This was done with an axle that was laying around with parts I saved for no reason.
first, block the wheels and jack up rear of vehicle. place jack stands either under frame or rear axle assy.
remove wheels
remove axle cover leaving two loose bolts at the 2oclock and 10oclock positions and drain gear oil
rotate carrier with vehicle in neutral to get to the 8mm retainer bolt
remove the 8mm bolt and slide the cross pin out
remove rear drums
push axles inward to release the c-clips.
retrieve c-clips and then pull the axle shafts out carefully as not to damage the seals.
remove ALL brake hardware. brake lines at wheel cylinder, parking brake cables and brake shoes, springs.
remove 4 14mm nuts from backing plate (save these)
remove backing plate.
carefully remove the 4 studs and set aside (new longer studs are recommended)
now the fun....
I used 8.25 disc brakes off my Dakota that I saved after a 9.25 swap with a posi (trac-lok)

remove all hardware from 8.25 backing plates

notice two steel rivets that connect the two backing plate pieces. remove these and separate them.

I have marked this one with a sawzall to show where to cut.

now that its cut you will need to test fit on the back side of the flange and by grinding a 45 degree edge on the insideof the backing plate and smoothing out the weld on the flange you can get it to sit flush on the back side of the flange.

now remember that other piece of the backing plate you removed... go get it, were gonna cut that too.
pay close attention to where I cut this piece as the cut will be hidden and reinforced.

now to install the studs facing the opposite direction

install the first piece like the picture shown

now the first piece we cut a chunk out of goes behind this and is bolted in using the 4 studs and nuts.

from here you can start re assembly. finished product should look like this..

now you will need 8.25 parking brake cables and the rubber brake hoses. you could use a 3/16 compression fitting to tie the rubber and steel lines together.

this is just something I tried and it works. the spacing is correct and there's no need to ask for jeep rotors and drill them or get old Chevy calipers and weld on brackets. this is by far the easiest swap. a little cutting and some grinding leaves you with a disc brake 9.25.

note: not sure if this will accommodate 15" wheels

Hey guys, I've pretty much read all of this thread whew... Anyway but i'm most curious about coming from an 8.25 3.55 97 Dakota RWD rear drums: is it possible to just pull out axle shafts from any of the donor vehicles mentioned here?

Donor options: 90's GC, 03+ Dakota with the same gearing ratio etc to get discs in the rear?

I eventually want to convert to 5 lug bolt pattern but don't have compatible wheels for that right now. Could I get adapters for my 17" RT's just to get by for now?

Until I find the rims that I want?

I'm not sure about best method to convert the front to 5 lug at this time though.

I mostly concerned with the easiest option to get discs in the rear. I don't really want to go the cutting flange off and making a custom flange.

I have seen other forums and threads stating that you just need to pull out the axles with the same gearing ratio and pop them in.
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So I need a 98 Jeep GC backing plate/axle flange, then I can use the pads, calipers, rotors (drilled to 6 lug) from GC or I can completely swap out my axle for one from an 03-04 Dakota that has disc brakes into my 97?
I need to make sure the Dak axle has the same spline count correct?

I tried to look up axle flange for the GC on car-part.com I'm not sure if they just have it listed as something else but I can't find anything
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