The Kelsey-Hayes Disk Brake Swap Thread

Dartsun

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Im not sure of the socket size. I just type dart upper ball joint tool. Cheapest one I saw was 30$ shipped 1/2 drive
 

BillGrissom

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Insure you buy the correct ball joint socket. There is an early size (thru 1972) and a larger later size (1973+). I'd go dig for my early socket in the garage, but am sure you can quickly find it in a search now that you know. You can get it out w/ a large pipe wrench, but will scratch the paint, which is why I bought the socket for re-installation on my purtied-up UCA's.
 

mopower440

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Insure you buy the correct ball joint socket. There is an early size (thru 1972) and a larger later size (1973+). I'd go dig for my early socket in the garage, but am sure you can quickly find it in a search now that you know. You can get it out w/ a large pipe wrench, but will scratch the paint, which is why I bought the socket for re-installation on my purtied-up UCA's.

Thanks guys! so, is it hell to get that top ball joint out or does it usually screw right out?
 

BillGrissom

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With the proper square-ish socket, it should unscrew fairly easily (standard right-hand thread). As mentioned, best to do this w/ UCA in the car to hold it secure. Be very careful when re-installing to get the threads started right. You can easily strip the "threads" in the UCA since they were just self-cut as the ball joint was originally installed. Don't over-tighten or you will strip them. If you do, most people secure the new ball joint w/ a few spot welds, which you could later grind off to remove. Of course, check that wasn't already done on your car.

Other tips:

If the ball joint is still tight, I would just re-grease it and install a new boot. I use polyurethane boots (Energy Suspension), even in place of the rubber one that comes w/ a new ball joint. The upper ball joint sees minimal force so should last forever if kept dry and greased.

If replacing the bushings (most common wear item), look at Moog offset bushings to get the greater caster needed for radial tires. Don't orient them per the instructions, search here. You can use bolts, sockets and nuts to press in and out (search)

If removing the UCA, it would be pure gomer to not de-rust and paint.

When adjusting, try to get the most caster you can, while keeping the camber suitable (tire vertical). You want the lower ball joint as far forward of the upper as you can get, so the line between them strikes the road in front of the tire patch. This means rear UCA bushing as far in as you can, then adjust front for camber. Racers like negative camber (tire leaning in at top), like an Indy Car, though factory spec was slight positive camber. Straight vertical isn't bad and gives less tire wear. Search for Ehrenberg's article on alignment. For sure get toe-in correct or tires will quickly wear and/or car will wander on the highway.
 

Cuda68Scott

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anyone know where to buy the upper ball joint socket reasonably?

I have one from American Muscle that came in a kit but you can order the individual socket. On the kit they almost matched the price of some of the chinese made ones from the other outfits, so it might be worth a try for the socket since his are USA made. www.americanmuscle.biz

IMG_0570resize - Copy.jpg
 

Joatha

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Does anyone know if there is anyone selling the disk brake wheel hubs for a 65-72 A-body (NOT the 73-74 version) that would go with this conversion? I have all the parts EXCEPT the wheel hubs to do this conversion.

I am assuming that the drum brake wheel hubs will not work.

Thanks!
 

BillGrissom

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Correct. Disk hubs are totally different than drum. The rotor bolts to the backside of the hub. The lower ball joints are also different (larger bolt holes).

I have never seen any hubs sold new, either disk or drum (other than 1973+ w/ integral rotor & hub). By "everything else", we assume you have the disk spindles and dust shields. Best source for K-H parts is a member here, Hemi71x (or such). He posts regularly and lives near me. He had a complete K-H setup beautifully refurb'ed for sale a while back. He currently has K-H calipers for sale (Sacramento craigslist, ...). He regularly scours the junkyards within 100 miles to grab those rare desired parts, including control arms and 1973+ disk parts.

As an aside, hubs have never been easy. In 1986, the left hub (9" drums) in my 69 Dart spun a bearing race, ruining it, on a cross-country drive. A shop near Tupelo, MS had junk cars in the rear and pulled a new hub. I didn't know how lucky I was. Same deal w/ the right hub ~1989. A Brake-O in Atlanta put a new drum on the spun hub, said "you can fix that yourself", then charged me big money (why I avoid shops). I went to 3 junkyards and couldn't find an A-body w/ 9" drums, so drove it back 180 mi to Tullahoma, TN like that, and found a hub there. Now, I have spare hubs on hand for all my old Mopars. BTW, 10" drum spindles and hubs are different still.
 
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Joatha

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Correct. Disk hubs are totally different than drum. The rotor bolts to the backside of the hub. The lower ball joints are also different (larger bolt holes).

I do need to get new lower ball joints - forgot the mention that. But, those are easy to find. I may go ahead and change out the uppers as well. But, I didn't really want to change out the UCA's and change over to the BBP for the wheels.

I was under the impression that the way the hubs and rotors worked was for a longer wheel stud to be pressed and it would go through the rotor (with a shoulder for that part) and then through the hub (where it has fine splines)?

I've seen what you are talking about in the FSM with regard to bolting the rotor to the hub but I thought those were for Budd brakes (which I've never seen anywhere). But, I am certainly liable to be wrong on that one.
 
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BillGrissom

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There are many posts you can read about K-H hubs & rotors. I have never touched one. The wheel studs should come w/ the used hub/rotor you find. It is a bit difficult to find new K-H studs as they are very special (search posts). If you do replace them, I suggest RH thread on all. LH threads confuse tire shop monkeys. A Goodyear shop spun a stud on the left side of my 69 Dart, probably by cranking their impact wrench up and up. They re-installed the wheel w/ the spun stud without informing me (why I don't use shops anymore). I found out when I tried to remove the wheel on the highway and couldn't, then had to drive home w/ the re-capped tread flapping against the wheel well, where I hacksaw'ed off the stud.
 

Carmen Marchesani

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Anybody use a 4 wheel power disc brake conversion kit from THE RAM MAN on a 1964 barracuda? Any info would be great.

Thanks
 

64_Barracuda

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Anybody use a 4 wheel power disc brake conversion kit from THE RAM MAN on a 1964 barracuda? Any info would be great.

Thanks
I got the Front Disk Brake conversion..... So here is the deal if you are using stock 14" steel wheels that are 5.5" wide rim, I also kept the 5x4 bolt pattern which I had to have the RAM MAN make me a custom rotor. Also on the 64 it has the small upper control arms, so either you have to put the 10inch control arms in or, go to Dr. Diff or Ram Man and get hardened spacers for the upper A-arms to go into the knuckle.

This WILL NOT BOLT RIGHT ON!!!!! He sold me the 71-76 Dodge Dart Single piston. Told me it would work, does not work you need to shave off quite a bit of caliper and use spacers, now I forgot how wide the spacers are but they are the thinest ones out there. The car does stop great!!! I did also not use the rear brake residual pressure valve.

And I should have put disk brakes on a long time ago, BUT..... I SHOULD HAVE USED THE 65 KELSEY-HAYES SET UP!

I did not do enough homework and I hope this helps you. I am still some what happy with what I got, and I think a set of slotted Mags that are 7" wide should work fine, I have not tried yet. I will take this set up off my car in the winter and put on the K-H set up.

I have now amassed a lot of brake parts. the K-H Rotors are still available new. I have a complete brake set along with a spare brake booster if I never need it.

Please ask lots of questions. Bottom line if your using 14" rims you need to know the limitations.
 

Carmen Marchesani

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I'm using crager sst rims 14" x 6", 5x4 bolt pattern. Thats my biggest concern. He also has parts for the smaller ball joint that's on the car. Looks like some kind of crush sleeve. That's my best way to explain it. His salesman told me it's a complete kit spindles out. Thanks for the info.
I got the Front Disk Brake conversion..... So here is the deal if you are using stock 14" steel wheels that are 5.5" wide rim, I also kept the 5x4 bolt pattern which I had to have the RAM MAN make me a custom rotor. Also on the 64 it has the small upper control arms, so either you have to put the 10inch control arms in or, go to Dr. Diff or Ram Man and get hardened spacers for the upper A-arms to go into the knuckle.

This WILL NOT BOLT RIGHT ON!!!!! He sold me the 71-76 Dodge Dart Single piston. Told me it would work, does not work you need to shave off quite a bit of caliper and use spacers, now I forgot how wide the spacers are but they are the thinest ones out there. The car does stop great!!! I did also not use the rear brake residual pressure valve.

And I should have put disk brakes on a long time ago, BUT..... I SHOULD HAVE USED THE 65 KELSEY-HAYES SET UP!

I did not do enough homework and I hope this helps you. I am still some what happy with what I got, and I think a set of slotted Mags that are 7" wide should work fine, I have not tried yet. I will take this set up off my car in the winter and put on the K-H set up.

I have now amassed a lot of brake parts. the K-H Rotors are still available new. I have a complete brake set along with a spare brake booster if I never need it.

Please ask lots of questions. Bottom line if your using 14" rims you need to know the limitations.
 

64_Barracuda

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So I hope it fits. The smaller ball joint is a hardened nickel sleeve so you can put the bigger steering knuckle on. His "salesman"? I thought he was a one man show.

If he is sending the big calipers I dunno. Me personally I would go with a Kelsey-Hayes since your staying with the small bolt pattern. Besides the extra $225 for custom drilled rotors its a lot of money.
 

Carmen Marchesani

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The guys name is skip I believe and he told me the kit would fit no problems. I bought a kit from RIGHT STUFF and my rims wouldn't fit over the hub on the front rotors so I'm still concerned that his kit will not fit. I don't want to have to have the rotors machined to fit. So a little more homework and I thought this would be easy. Haha
So I hope it fits. The smaller ball joint is a hardened nickel sleeve so you can put the bigger steering knuckle on. His "salesman"? I thought he was a one man show.

If he is sending the big calipers I dunno. Me personally I would go with a Kelsey-Hayes since your staying with the small bolt pattern. Besides the extra $225 for custom drilled rotors its a lot of money.
 

SLOPAR72

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After reading some of this I am glad that my car got original KH parts on it.... Only an obstacle or 2 but noting a little bit of hardware wouldn't fix.

I ended up getting calipers from hemi71X and could not have been happier. He obviously knows these parts very well....

JW
 

Carmen Marchesani

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Thanks for the info.
After reading some of this I am glad that my car got original KH parts on it.... Only an obstacle or 2 but noting a little bit of hardware wouldn't fix.

I ended up getting calipers from hemi71X and could not have been happier. He obviously knows these parts very well....

JW
 

64_Barracuda

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The guys name is skip I believe and he told me the kit would fit no problems. I bought a kit from RIGHT STUFF and my rims wouldn't fit over the hub on the front rotors so I'm still concerned that his kit will not fit. I don't want to have to have the rotors machined to fit. So a little more homework and I thought this would be easy. Haha
So I am concerned then on the rotors. They didn't make SBP rotors in those years they were all 5.5 by 71 for that caliper. Or so I thought. KH the way to go.
 

64_Barracuda

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After reading some of this I am glad that my car got original KH parts on it.... Only an obstacle or 2 but noting a little bit of hardware wouldn't fix.

I ended up getting calipers from hemi71X and could not have been happier. He obviously knows these parts very well....

JW
Got mine from hemi71x as well. Even got the left hand threads. Wish I would have done this first. Do you have any pictures of the install?
 

SLOPAR72

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Got mine from hemi71x as well. Even got the left hand threads. Wish I would have done this first. Do you have any pictures of the install?

I am going to start a thread in a week or 2 in regards to the brakes and will show the pictures. I went with Hydroboost and a few members are asking for details....

JW
 

Carmen Marchesani

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I will have to do a lot of digging. these are after market rims 14" x 6".and i really don't want to buy larger rims. I'll keep looking for a 4 wheel kit by KH. Thanks again.
So I am concerned then on the rotors. They didn't make SBP rotors in those years they were all 5.5 by 71 for that caliper. Or so I thought. KH the way to go.
 

64_Barracuda

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Has any one used the rammam inc disc brake kit? All mopar factory kits look pretty nice
Yep I did one. So here is my story.......
I have a 1964 Barracuda Power Brake Car. 9x2 drum brakes.

So I asked Ram Man what he had, I was going to get the Kelsey-Hayes but he talked me out of it. (will get back to Kelsey-Hayes)
Ram Man, set me up with the big single piston off of the 72 and up Dart.
The only problem is they are all big bolt pattern, and either rally 14 rims or steel 15 rims.
So I had him make me a custom drilled small bolt pattern hub and rotor.
Upper control arms, so the 64 has the small control arms, I got the Hardened Nickel bushings from doctor diff to fit the bigger knuckle.
Now the stock 14" steel wheel needs an 1/8 spacer and you have to ground down some meat on the piston, its really thick so not a big deal.

So that all is how it can work on a small car, Master Cylinder has to be modified by removing the restrictor valve, that is the only difference on making it work. Also you can get the Formula S extra volume adapter to extend the master.

I did not go with a rear pressure (10lb) line holder, theory is your rear brakes will lock up, but I have not had that problem.

The system works great, However, would I do it again. Probably not on this car since it is all stock, I didn't realize how much Kelsey-Hayes stuff is out there, I now have about 3 total kits for Kelsey-Hayes, so I will put that on the car over the winter. I don't like the spacers but besides that I think its great.

More goodness, I do have the Ram-Man system on my 65 Valiant, it's a modified car, big bolt pattern with 15" steel rims, dual master cylinder, just like a 72 Duster Parts with the big upper control arms and the big torsion bars, system is awesome! Wish I put a sway bar on when I did it.

Anyway that's my story, I have had both systems for about 5 years now.
 
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