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02 Durango SLT+
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195 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, so please forgive me if it isn't.

My new-to-me Durango is a 2002 SLT+ with rear drum brakes. Now there is a 2003 Durango in a junk yard near me & I have a hankering for the rear axle due to the disk brakes. But I have questions:

I can't tell if the donor D has ABS ... do they typically have ABS with the disk brakes?

How hard would it be to swap my rear for the 03? Meaning: what modifications (if any) are to be expected especially if the '03 does not have ABS? If they both are ABS equipped, would it be just plug-n-play?

Any advice, information, warnings or well-wishes welcome. Thx.
 

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02 Durango SLT+
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195 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Cool - thanks for the suggestions. I got the VIN from the donor. The build sheetshould get me the exact info. Anyone else have any pearls of wisdom?
 

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370 Posts
Are the gears the same

Sent from my LG-MS910 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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Home School Valedictorian
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4,225 Posts
I am in the process of putting a 03 disc brake rear from a Dakota into my 99 Dakota. In my case the install of the rear axle is straight forward nothing different, the parking brake connection/cables are different though, it looks like I need a shorter intermediate parking brake cable. Be sure to get the parking brake cables with the 03 rear. I also had to swap the pinion yokes, my 99 uses a strap type connection with the u-joint, the 03 uses a two piece flange assembly, the two piece is approx. 3/4" longer than the strap type. I didn't want to shorten the drive shaft and I wasn't about to slide the output shaft into the trans housing an extra 3/4" so I swapped them.
I believe your 02 and the 03 will both have the two piece pinion flange, so it wouldn't be a concern.
Be prepared, the rear assembly is a heavy bitch.


After some online searching, I have found the intermediate cables are the same, I am not sure what I need to do to connect the parking brake cables.
 

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02 Durango SLT+
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195 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I wouldn't be doing any of the physical work myself. Ain't got the space, know-how or tools. But I'm sure I can find some guys willing to make a buck. Just hope I can get all my info to pull the trigger before someone else snags the rear.

Thanks for chiming in!
 

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368 Posts
If the price is right on a rear disc conversion kit (I'm certain there are still a few around in the aftermarket) it might be better price wise to get that and install, rather than spending the time to swap axles. As mentioned, if the gear ratio doesn't match the front axle, you will have much more work on your hands! I don't have the room to do an axle swap, but I can imagine the work load it requires. Doesn't seem worth while just to get rear disc brakes.

Durango stopping distances 60-0mph:
Front disc, rear drum - 142ft source - Motor Trend

There's nothing published that I can find stating that the disc brakes lowered the braking distance. With good summer biased tires you could shave 12-15 feet off the above braking distance easily as the test measured was using GoodYear Wrangler RTS tires, which aren't the greatest in any situation (my opinion as I owned a set).

My rear brakes have only cost me a set of shoes, and a spring (photo below). I take the drums off twice a year and knock the dust out, and I use compressed air to clean the components and around the shoes. I replaced the shoes at 115K miles and the spring at 135K miles when I noticed it broke. Good aftermarket brake parts and better summer (on road based tires) will shorten the braking distance better than changing the drums for discs. If it's purely an appearance thing, then by all means go for it. The Durango drum brakes have cost me less than my Ford Taurus which has ate through two sets of shoes, and a brake cylinder in each drum.

 

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02 Durango SLT+
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195 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I love that you give me personal experience, pics & examples. Thanks. I appreciate your input a lot, but I have to disagree as to the efficiency. I could be wrong - I'm no expert - but I know what has worked best for me over the years.

I have a Jeep Cherokee originally with factory disk/drum combination. It's now lifted & I run 33" tires. I have owned it since 2001 stock. In the rear I run a Ford 8.8 rear with disk brakes, swapped instead of a Chrysler 8.25 which replaced the factory Dana 35 - yes, I have had 2 axle swaps. My Jeep weighs 4800+ pounds (stock is about 3200) from all the metal added to it (bumpers, armor etc. etc), so it's a lot harder to stop than stock. I can personally tell you that my pig of a Cherokee stops now with 4 disks all round, better than it ever did with drum brakes. Almost on a dime.

I like that kind of efficiency & I would love to have it on my Durango. It goes more places & a lot faster than the XJ!
 
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