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Hi,
I have a 99 Dakota SLT 5.2 4x4 and want to do the dual piston front caliper upgrade. My knuckles are severely worn on the caliper slides and I see this as the only way to eliminate the issue since decent original knuckles are about non existent. Am I correct if I get 03 Durango or Dakota knuckles, 03 Dakota or 03 Durango rotors & loaded calipers with brackets (as long as I get rotors & calipers from the same vehicle ie. not mixing durango rotors with dakota calipers), new banjo bolts M10x1 for the newer calipers and new brake hoses for the 03 Dakota. I'm also wondering if anyone has a copy of the original Beer Budget Big Brake swap article? I can find lots of reference to it, but can't locate the complete article anywhere.
TIA for any help!!
Bruce
 

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I found this relevant thread and wanted to provide some info, although I may make a thread on this project once it is complete and operational. I'm in the process of doing this now on my 1998 4WD Durango. There is a lack of detailed info for the 98-99 models, nearly every posting I have read deals with a newer model (00-02) being converted. The swap article you mentioned is not available via the Internet archive, so it remains unobtanium material. The best reference I found was here:
http://www.dodgedakota.net/boards/v6/15174.html

Apparently the author "Beerhat" last replied in that thread circa 2012. His latest link also does not work. It costs $30 to join that site, so I'm not going to do that. They do allow guest posts, so I placed one in that thread to see if there is any new material or a good link.

So far, I swapped the knuckles OK and am waiting on some rotors. I found that the Rockauto reman calipers I bought had the brackets, they did not have the 4x 14mm-2.0 pitch x 35mm flange bolts to install them. The cost for those bolts varies widely. The best deal I found was at Bolt Depot, since they only charge like $7 to ship a small order. I'll note they sell zinc plated 40mm long bolts and plain steel 35mm bolts for about the same price. I opted for the plated ones and figured I'd cut them to length.

Where I'm hung up now are the tie rod ends. The diameter of the 98 end won't allow it to seat on the 03 knuckle- it hits the dust shield. The 2000-03 models used a rack & pinion setup while the 98-99 used a gear box. Since the R&P looks smaller, I'm inclined to adapt it, especially since it can be had for $45 at a local junkyard. This would require fabbing two mounting brackets. A less costly alternative may be to use the 00-03 tie rod ends, but short of buying a set I'm not sure if the length and thread size would work.

Here is what I have used so far and the cost along with parts sources:
Used 2003 knuckles: $70/pair, local JY (used car-part.com to find them, mine came w/ dust shields)
Cardone reman calipers (Rockauto, $70/pair + shipping, no core, better price than most JY calipers, and they came w/ hardware and the mount brackets)
Raybestos "Element 3" pads EHT966H ($30 Rockauto same time as calipers)
ATE CW28732 rotors ($70/pair on eBay)
Motul 5.1 brake fluid, 2x 500ml bottles ($22 on eBay, buying a 2-pack costs less than 2x 1 bottles)
Caliper flange bolts (4), 14mm-2.0 x 35mm long ($14 shipped at Boltdepot.com)
Total to date w/o tax or shipping is $276. Tax/shipping added in around $20.

Optional stuff:
I bought new hubs w/ bearings on eBay for about $62.
I am building my own braided stainless steel brake hoses since the only ones I saw were a complete set for over $100. I found the Dodge line is a standard 3/8-24 brake flare. I used a couple of brake flare to AN3 adapters ($12 on eBay) and then on the other end a 10mm banjo AN3 hose end fitting, with a pair of AN3 hose ends and 6 feet of PTFE hose (totaled about $26 from China). The calipers came with crush washers. It looks like the flare to AN adapters will need some type of smaller clip to hold them in place on the frame rail. I'm thinking a snap ring with a washer may work.

I'll either update here or link if I post a new thread.

EDIT
My build thread- lots o' mods:
http://www.dakota-durango.com/forum/showthread.php?p=4119977
 

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I found this relevant thread and wanted to provide some info, although I may make a thread on this project once it is complete and operational. I'm in the process of doing this now on my 1998 4WD Durango. There is a lack of detailed info for the 98-99 models, nearly every posting I have read deals with a newer model (00-02) being converted. The swap article you mentioned is not available via the Internet archive, so it remains unobtanium material. The best reference I found was here:
http://www.dodgedakota.net/boards/v6/15174.html

Apparently the author "Beerhat" last replied in that thread circa 2012. His latest link also does not work. It costs $30 to join that site, so I'm not going to do that. They do allow guest posts, so I placed one in that thread to see if there is any new material or a good link.

So far, I swapped the knuckles OK and am waiting on some rotors. I found that the Rockauto reman calipers I bought had the brackets, they did not have the 4x 14mm-2.0 pitch x 35mm flange bolts to install them. The cost for those bolts varies widely. The best deal I found was at Bolt Depot, since they only charge like $7 to ship a small order. I'll note they sell zinc plated 40mm long bolts and plain steel 35mm bolts for about the same price. I opted for the plated ones and figured I'd cut them to length.

Where I'm hung up now are the tie rod ends. The diameter of the 98 end won't allow it to seat on the 03 knuckle- it hits the dust shield. The 2000-03 models used a rack & pinion setup while the 98-99 used a gear box. Since the R&P looks smaller, I'm inclined to adapt it, especially since it can be had for $45 at a local junkyard. This would require fabbing two mounting brackets. A less costly alternative may be to use the 00-03 tie rod ends, but short of buying a set I'm not sure if the length and thread size would work.

Here is what I have used so far and the cost along with parts sources:
Used 2003 knuckles: $70/pair, local JY (used car-part.com to find them, mine came w/ dust shields)
Cardone reman calipers (Rockauto, $70/pair + shipping, no core, better price than most JY calipers, and they came w/ hardware and the mount brackets)
Raybestos "Element 3" pads EHT966H ($30 Rockauto same time as calipers)
ATE CW28732 rotors ($70/pair on eBay)
Motul 5.1 brake fluid, 2x 500ml bottles ($22 on eBay, buying a 2-pack costs less than 2x 1 bottles)
Caliper flange bolts (4), 14mm-2.0 x 35mm long ($14 shipped at Boltdepot.com)
Total to date w/o tax or shipping is $276. Tax/shipping added in around $20.

Optional stuff:
I bought new hubs w/ bearings on eBay for about $62.
I am building my own braided stainless steel brake hoses since the only ones I saw were a complete set for over $100. I found the Dodge line is a standard 3/8-24 brake flare. I used a couple of brake flare to AN3 adapters ($12 on eBay) and then on the other end a 10mm banjo AN3 hose end fitting, with a pair of AN3 hose ends and 6 feet of PTFE hose (totaled about $26 from China). The calipers came with crush washers. It looks like the flare to AN adapters will need some type of smaller clip to hold them in place on the frame rail. I'm thinking a snap ring with a washer may work.

I'll either update here or link if I post a new thread.
Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience.

I have a 98 dak on 35s and as you can imagine braking is a challenge with the original brakes.

My tires will be going south in the next months and I will be replacing them and also going with some 17 wheels to allow me to fit the 03 style brakes.

I read many posts and was confident I could do it but you got me worried with the tie rods.

Do you think there is a way to mod the 98 tie rods to fit? Or use 03 tie rods? If using 03 tie rods would it be the outer or would I need inner and outer?

Going wit a rack and pinion swap is not an option for me as I have just replaced my steering box two weeks ago....
 

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Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience.

I have a 98 dak on 35s and as you can imagine braking is a challenge with the original brakes.
Do you think there is a way to mod the 98 tie rods to fit? Or use 03 tie rods? If using 03 tie rods would it be the outer or would I need inner and outer?

Going wit a rack and pinion swap is not an option for me as I have just replaced my steering box two weeks ago....
Well the 2003 is rack and pinion, so probably not on using 2003 tie rod ends.

Might have to have someone dive the parts book to find a matching set.

RwP
 

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Great post! Thanks for sharing your experience.

I have a 98 dak on 35s and as you can imagine braking is a challenge with the original brakes.

My tires will be going south in the next months and I will be replacing them and also going with some 17 wheels to allow me to fit the 03 style brakes.

I read many posts and was confident I could do it but you got me worried with the tie rods.

Do you think there is a way to mod the 98 tie rods to fit? Or use 03 tie rods? If using 03 tie rods would it be the outer or would I need inner and outer?

Going wit a rack and pinion swap is not an option for me as I have just replaced my steering box two weeks ago....
Sorry for the delay. This was a dumb mistake on my part- I tried to install them upside down (threaded part from the top vs from the bottom. There is not much difference in the OD of the two, so I think the 98 ends would work OK.
 

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For anyone else coming across this, the 98-99 (with the Durango at least) lower balljoint taper is smaller than the 00-03 one and will not work with any of the 00-03 knuckles. The 00-03 balljoints don't appear to be compatible with the 98-99 control arms either, but the later control arms should fit on the 98-99 trucks. (Nope, they don't fit.) I'm waiting for new lower control arms now to finish fitting 03 brakes.
 

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For anyone else coming across this, the 98-99 (with the Durango at least) lower balljoint taper is smaller than the 00-03 one and will not work with any of the 00-03 knuckles. The 00-03 balljoints don't appear to be compatible with the 98-99 control arms either, but the later control arms should fit on the 98-99 trucks. I'm waiting for new lower control arms now to finish fitting 03 brakes.
While working on my project, I had bought a set of upper & lower arms for a 2003 only to find the attaching points to the truck were significantly different. I checked Rock Auto now and they show the lowers for the 1998 Durango as being unique to the 97-99 Dakota and 98-99 Durango. Same with the lower ball joints, 98-99 and 00-03 are different numbers. I suspect this was due to the changeover to rack & pinion.

The taper difference must not be that significant if others are using these.
 

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So both the upper and lowers were different? I couldn't tell from pictures, but was hoping the lowers matched up with the frame.

The taper and diameter of the upper balljoint is the same, but the lower is different. Angle is about the same, but the diameter is larger on the newer style. The max diameter of the taper of my balljoint is 19.7mm and the opening on the top side of the original knuckle is 19.0mm. The opening on the top of the 03 knuckle is 21.7mm This leads to the balljoint taper going far enough down into the 03 knuckle that the top of the knuckle bottoms out on the body of the balljoint, which of course is no good.
 

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It's been so long that I don't remember. I know the mounting holes were completely different, but I may only have tried the top and returned them at that point. Looking at the pics of the 03 LCAs, I'm 99% positive they also did not align.

The only path I see it if the lower ball joint (4WD) from the 2003 will press into the LCA of the 98-99. The parts look very similar on Rock Auto, so maybe the only difference is the shaft diameter/taper. I am currently frying other fish on my drivetrain swap, so let me know if that works out. I checked my email to see what ball joints I bought for my truck but don't see any receipts- I may have sourced them locally. As I recall, the ones I installed looked like the 98-99 versions that have a wide groove in the middle.

Using a name brand part for both years, the 1998 (all 4WD) uses ACDELCO 46D2270A
The 2003 (4WD) uses 46D2278A. I couldn't find part data for either.

EDIT
I got more info on Rock Auto using Moog parts. The 98-99 LBJ is K7267 and shows a maximum OD of 2.160". The 00-03 LBJ is K7395 and shows a maximum OD of 1.940", which is a difference of .22". Presuming these diameters are the part where it presses in, then in theory a .11" ring could be welded in to the 98-99 LCA and the 00-03 LBJ pressed in.

I also checked the video I used, and it involved a 2002 Dakota getting the 2003 Durango brakes, so it already had a compatible LCA.

I'll try to take the ball joints off my truck this weekend and pick up a pair of the 00-03 versions to compare them unless you can post first.
 

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I also saw the same dimensions listed on the balljoints. I'm going to order one of each, 99 and 03 and compare. Maybe there's a slim chance it's referring to the max diameter which would be the collar at the top rather than the part that presses in.

As far as welding goes, I think they're cast iron knuckles and lower control arms, and according to a good buddy of mine that's a machinist (my first thought was weld up the knuckle and ream out the correct taper) you really shouldn't weld to cast iron.


So if the balljoints can't be swapped, I think I'm gonna try finding something like this that'll work. Apparently there are such thing as balljoint taper bushings/sleeves/spacers/adapters. I'm hoping that there's got to be one out there that'll match the taper of both balljoints and work here.

Mopar A-Body Upper Ball Joint Tapered Adapter

109758
 

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Good find, please keep us posted.

EDIT
I found these press-in adapters, size is close but the ID is too large:

OD is 2.185 vs 2.16
ID is 1.98 vs 1.94
 

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I got a reply from a Moog reseller and they provided some tech specs on their lower ball joints K7267 (98-99) and K7395 (00-03). These are images so I couldn't copy & paste the text.
K7267 98-99 LBJ Specs
K7395 00-03 LBJ Specs

Here are the dimensions for each:
K7267 is 4.330" high, 2.160 OD, 1.960 ID, with a stud taper of .046 per foot. Stud thread is .562-18 (9/16-18).
K7395 is 4.250" high, 1.940 OD, 1.970 ID (possibly transposed with OD), with the same stud taper. Stud thread is M16x1.5.

The 98-99 stud is slightly smaller (9/16 or 14mm) than the 00-03 one (16mm).

Hopefully you'll have more luck with the taper bushings.
 

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So the 99, 03, and 09 Durango balljoints I ordered came today. The good news is it looks like the 00-03 balljoint should work in the 98-99 lower control arm.


Here are some measurements I took.



First number (two have a top and bottom due to the grease groove) is the od (inches) of the section that presses into the control arm. The 03 joint is just a hair larger than the 99. I think putting it in the freezer overnight before installing might get it to press in ok, but if not some sanding or knocking a couple thousandths off in the lathe ought to work.

The second set of numbers is the od (in mm) of the taper at the top and bottom of it. The 03 taper is larger both top and bottom (which is expected from the larger hole in the knuckles). The 3rd number is a rough measurement of the hypotenuse if you picture half of the taper as a right triangle. I was going to compute the angle of the taper, but if moog says they're the same I'll spare the math there.

3rd set is the height of the part that presses in. Again close enough to be within margin of error.

I ordered a good set of 03 balljoints (I just ordered the cheapest one of each on rock auto to measure), so hopefully they'll press into my lower control arms.
 

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So the 99, 03, and 09 Durango balljoints I ordered came today. The good news is it looks like the 00-03 balljoint should work in the 98-99 lower control arm.


Here are some measurements I took.



First number (two have a top and bottom due to the grease groove) is the od (inches) of the section that presses into the control arm. The 03 joint is just a hair larger than the 99. I think putting it in the freezer overnight before installing might get it to press in ok, but if not some sanding or knocking a couple thousandths off in the lathe ought to work.

The second set of numbers is the od (in mm) of the taper at the top and bottom of it. The 03 taper is larger both top and bottom (which is expected from the larger hole in the knuckles). The 3rd number is a rough measurement of the hypotenuse if you picture half of the taper as a right triangle. I was going to compute the angle of the taper, but if moog says they're the same I'll spare the math there.

3rd set is the height of the part that presses in. Again close enough to be within margin of error.

I ordered a good set of 03 balljoints (I just ordered the cheapest one of each on rock auto to measure), so hopefully they'll press into my lower control arms.
Thanks for posting this! I'll order a set of the 00-03 LBJs & see if I can update my post on the other thread.
 

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I haven't had great luck with Moog stuff the least couple years so I wound up ordering a set of mevotech's terrain tough ball joints. I saw some mixed reviews for their oe and supreme series, but all good for their terrain tough. Napa is also selling them as their top end, so I'm hoping they're good. I'm guessing they'll arrive next week.
 

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I'm going to try a pair of "quick steers" for $40 shipped. I just redid the rear suspension on my 4th gen Trans Am and used Mevotech OEM quality control arm bushings, they seemed OK to me.
 

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I got my first one pressed in yesterday. I think it may be easier to heat the control arm and then press it in. The last bit took a lot of effort to get it in far enough to install the snap ring. I put the grease fitting in line with where the control arm had one. It points to the front. I think it may be easier to access if it points to the rear, so I'll try it that way on the other arm.
 
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