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Brake conversion

203695 Views 514 Replies 68 Participants Last post by  Restomod
Brake conversion ***Now complete***

Swap #1 with wheel spoke clearance issues.

Hub:1990 to 1992 Infiniti M30 uses a floating disc and is 4x114.3. Must change studs to 12x1.5mm and center bore is 66.1mm, machine down to 60.1mm. Hub reg is 68mm. Will clear MPV disc.

Caliper:1990 to 1996 Infiniti Q45 2 piston.

Disc:1992 to 1995 4WD MPV redrilled to 4x114.3.

Napa Online

"# of Bolt Holes : 5
Bolt Circle Diameter : 4.5"
Brake Rotor Diameter : 10.86"
Brake Rotor Discard Thickness : 1.02"
Brake Rotor Thickness New : 1.1"
Brake Rotor Type : Disc Brake Rotor Only
Center Hole Diameter : 2.84"
Height : 2.52"
Maximum Lateral Runout : .004"
Vented / Solid : Vented

Rock Auto

Swap #2

Hub:1990 to 1992 Infiniti M30 uses a floating disc and is 4x114.3. Must change studs to 12x1.5mm and center bore is 66.1mm, machine down to 60.1mm. Hub reg is 68mm. Will clear MPV disc.

Caliper:1990 to 1996 Z32 Nissan 300ZX Turbo or 1991 to 1996 300ZX NA 4 piston.

Disc:1992 to 1995 4WD MPV redrilled to 4x114.3.

Napa Online

"# of Bolt Holes : 5
Bolt Circle Diameter : 4.5"
Brake Rotor Diameter : 10.86"
Brake Rotor Discard Thickness : 1.02"
Brake Rotor Thickness New : 1.1"
Brake Rotor Type : Disc Brake Rotor Only
Center Hole Diameter : 2.84"
Height : 2.52"
Maximum Lateral Runout : .004"
Vented / Solid : Vented

Rock Auto

Will add more later.


Guys working on a front brake conversion for the MK2 that will be more affordable. Almost there. Will fit 15" and bigger wheels. There may be some limitations though.

Here is a sneak peek at it. The cardboard is temporary and is there for a reason, I'll explain later.

I should have everything worked out by the new year. Just waiting for parts, holidays to start and exams to finish.

Once completed I will post the conversion on the web so anyone can do it themselves.
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The disc diameter will be slightly larger, as will be the width from stock. By increasing both slightly I'm hoping to get the same effect as just increasing the diameter.

The whole idea behind this conversion was to do something that would be less expensive, that almost anyone could do with a little work themselves.

If this works out well I'll try something with the rears.

There will be limitations though.
I have both front and rear BBKs, though not installed on my MK2 yet. Really nice job.

With this conversion I'm trying to use as few parts as possible and many off them will be off the shelf. The parts that can't be readily bought are designed to be easily built at very low cost and are reusable. I just made four of the custom parts for free. The two remaining custom parts to complete the project should not be too costly. If things are going to be expensive then the jdk kit would be a better solution.

There is a lot of variations in the design and the person wanting to complete it themselves will choose for themselves which direction to go.

This project really goes hand in hand with another one I have already completed.

Some 14" wheels may fit, but again limitations exist. You can't get anything for free. It won't be for everyone, but a good alternative.

I will try ordering my discs tomorrow and once they arrive a major part of the puzzle should fall into place.
Toyota Pickup, 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra, Land Cruiser and MK4 all have 4 piston calipers on the front, a lot of cars do. Even old late 60s american iron like Imperials.

Now more importantly I have to do a lab exam. Configure some routers... access lists, EIGRP, PPP, DHCP, NAT/PAT.....

I'm getting tired of Cisco class. Last one thankfully. Finished Netware yesterday. No more networking classes after this, just straight programming for a while then some hardware.
Easier to do this....

1, Mount the Z32 caliper on the MK2 strut. It fits so perfect it's scary. Even the stock MK2 mounting bolts have the exact same thread pattern and length needed.
2. Buy discs in 11" diamter from AP Racing (280x25), Coleman (11X1) or Wilwood (11X.81). Again a perfect diameter fit for the stock Z32 caliper and pads fitted to the MK2.
3. Fabricate two hats that are flat with a large center hole for the hub center, four holes (100x4) for mounting it to the hub and finally the outer holes to mount the disc. Yes there are VW discs, but the hat is just a little too tall and you will need to machine the inside of the hub and VW disc.
4. Fabricate four shims shaped like the pads because you are using a narrower discs than the stock Z32. The thickness of the shims depends on the disc width used.
5. Use a 1" adapter and mount wheels that are the appropriate offset, because the caliper is incredibly wide. Or find wheels with a thick hub center (like these ) . Notice on the Japanese web site they used adapters as well.

I posted a picture of the shims I made.

My 16" to 17" wheel conversion is the reason I said it goes hand in hand with another project I did. I already have the adapters. Easy to find wheels if you use the right adapter.

I wanted to do the least amount of machining possible. The shims are easy to make, the hats are the only thing that may cost you money at a machine shop. These parts never wear, so you never have to replace them. Every other part (pads and discs) is easy to buy and replace. The less we take off (machine) the less strength we give up in the stock parts.

That's why I didn't go the route of using the stock Z32 rotors. Remember the stock hubs have no races so if they wear early you will have to resurface the new ones before installing them. An adapter is needed to hold the caliper and still an adapter for mounting the wheel. The discs need to be redrilled (with both bolt patterns on the discs there may be balancing issues).

I will post everything I do once I complete the project.

I will be trying the stock MK2 wheel and tyre setup with a 1" adapter on a MK2 to see just how it fits. If remember correctly the wheel did go around the big caliper... just.

There are so many variations on completing this project. That's why I didn't want to say anything till it was figured out.
FYI I just learned that R33/R34 Skyline calipers are a similar size to the R32 items but they're constructed from alloy as opposed to cast iron, so obviously they're much lighter and also disapate heat better.
There are actually three types of calipers that came on the '89 to '96 300zx. One is iron and the other two are aluminum.

I have one of the aluminum styles. Here is a great link for more on 300zx calipers.

These calipers are identical fitment as some Infinities and other Nissans such as the Skyline R32.

The reason I chose to work with these calipers over any Toyota 4 pistons was the mount pattern. As I stated before the mount hole placement is exactly the same as the MK2s. The bolt size, length and thread pattern is exactly the same also. This makes mounting them easy, no adapter. The bonus is the caliper mount hieght is perfect for 280mm (11") discs, right down to the 2" pad to disc surface.

Make sure the R33/34 calipers have the same measurements as the ones I used. Do you need more measurements?

I just went out and tried the stock 14" Ptype wheels with a 1" adapter and the caliper, no way. 15" and bigger, try the wheels first.

I still prefer to fabricate a custom hat over machining the face of the hub. Better to leave what's there if possible to try and keep the strength up.

Once I get the discs I will fabricate some hats and post the dimensions.
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I like the AP Racing discs as well, they are just hard to get over here on this side of the pond. The fact that they are 5mm thicker than the stock MK2 discs will greatly help dissipate heat. Instead of just making the diameter larger why not do a bit of both?

I guess then I will stick to the Wilwoods. I can get those pretty easily from a place in Niagara Falls NY.

My idea for mounting the discs is not the best, but will work. As I stated a few times before I was trying to do this conversion at the lowest cost possible. Less fabrication means less cost.

BTW...about the wheel adapter... I read on the japanese website that the 1" adapter was temporary. It was only for the +24mm BBS RS's that he had until he got those -5mm works' that you see there on the home page.
I wonder if the calipers they used had a much narrower width than the ones from the Z32? It is almost impossible to relocate the mounting position of the caliper in order to get it away from the hub face. I said there would be limitations.

Wait a minute the caliper from the Z32 look the same as the ones in the images on the site. You will notice that the outside face lines up to the edge of the studs also. Any wheel mounted without an adapter will need a thick center pad for them also.

He's using tokico HTS struts for an AE86 with a 25mm strut tube spacer, and some 9kg 230mm springs with an inner diameter of 75mm.
Not a bad idea using the 25mm spacer. The only problem I see is strut travel. The travel might be too great, hit a big bump and bottom out against the flares and fender. Could cause a lot of damage.
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We all know that the enegy that is built up by the car moving forward is converted to heat by using friction in order for the brakes to work. If the heat is kept down on the disc the car will stop better. What about those dust sheilds mounted behind the discs?

I really don't know anything about the air flow around the wheel and disc, but wouldn't it be better to run the car without the sheilds? Let more free air flow to the rear of the disc as well as the front. This would help in better braking performance with a slightly smaller disc. Will more air flow to the disc?

The only downfall I can see to removing the the sheilds is brake dust on all the suspension components and the inner wheel well. Also if oil or coolant blows out of the engine it may end up on the disc. Any other problems with doing this?

If I remember correctly years ago Nissan on thier racing 300ZX had a liquid cooled braking system.

It's so much more expensive getting all these parts here in Canada. If they are readily available over most parts counters the price would not be too bad, but they are not. One Wilwood dealer here told me to buy them from the States myself because it would cost me far less.

I love the BBK, so much so I found a set and bought it. I will not sell it and use the Z32 brake swap. For many though it is just too expensive, a few of us sat around one day and did the math...

1. Buy the BBK.
2. Buy the calipers.
3. Buy the discs.
4. Buy the pads.
5. Buy the special brake lines.
6. Buy new rims.
7. Buy new rubber for the rims.

We figured $4000 in total up here in Canada. The BBK alone was $1000 after shipping, customs etc.

So the Z32 swap is for them. I don't mind doing the work on it because it's cheap and fun to play with this stuff. I did a wheel conversion, now brakes. If the brakes work out I may try a suspension mod.

Nothing in life is for free. For building a 350+hp car the BBKs are only way to go. Unless Jdk decides to come up with something better. I may be interested.
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heres an idea i have. since your using 11in rotors, 84 300zx rotors are like 10.9in and at least .81in thick.
The disc is smaller so different pads may be needed than the stock 300ZX pads. Also the mount hole circle is 4X114.3 and the center hole is too big to be made hub centric if you care about that.

Two VW discs come in 280X22 and 288X25, with both overall widths with the hat at 28mm. The 288mm diameter disc may be a little too big in diameter. In order to install them the center hole has to be machined bigger, 4X100 holes to mount the disc to the hub rear have to be drilled (these are 5X100) and the hub rear face needs to be machined down a few mm. Once the discs wear you'll have to make up new discs.

That's why I'm sticking to the 11" diameter disc and custom hat. Unless someone else comes up with another stock disc we can use. That would be cool.
The cool air needs to arrive near the center of the rotor.

Cooling air travels "out" of the rotor "fins". Hence the configuration of directional rotors.
Thanks Jim

I'll keep that in mind when mounting the discs.
what model and year did those disc's come on?
Check out and download their product catalogue. It's in .pdf format and it has a lot of good info.

According to them

94-97 Passat VR6
94-97 Golf VR6
I wouldn't put too much effort into finding a bigger brake solution that works with the stock rims.
15" or larger are needed for this swap.
Guys great response.

There are differences between what the Japanese guys did and what I want to do. I started this project not knowing anyone had tried anything like this before. Thanks Frank for the info, anything helps.

The spacers do move the caliper outwards from the center of the car. The caliper actually bolts up to the outward edge of the caliper mount. So when you add a spacer it moves the caliper outwards.
That is what they did and what I do not want to do. I want the caliper as close to the strut as possible. That way there is less interferance with the wheel. Also the caliper bolts straight up to the strut so why ruin a good thing?

i would look for a rotor that can be drilled to mount to the rear of the hub like stock so the wheels will still be the right offset and wont be sticking ou the extra 8mm up front.
That is another thing I'm looking for, mounting the disc to the rear of the hub is the best solution. I thought about using a larger hat and have disc mount on the front of the hub, but I don't like the extra material up front. I do not want to machine material from the hub either.

Also should I use the thickness dimension from the 86-92 Z car for the optimum thickness? Or just go with 1"?
The calipers come from 89-96 300zx cars (also Skyline etc.). The disc width for those cars was 30mm. The reason I have the carboard disc on the hub in the image on my site was to check a hunch. I was correct the perfect disc diameter was 280mm, just like the 300ZX. I did check this without pads, but I'm confident that that is the diameter we need.

The four shims (spacers) in the image on my site were made 4mm thick each to compensate for a thinner disc width, two used per caliper. I do not want the pistons to pop out if the pads wear too low.

For now it seems the perfect disc would be 30X280 just like the 300ZX. But I will go with any where from 22mm disc to 30mm. The stock MK2 discs are only 20mm thick and diameter is only about 256mm. So anything is an improvement over stock.

As I stated before the bolt pattern for mounting the rotors to the rear of the hub is 4X100.

I have posted more images so take a look. The 4mm shims are mounted between the pads and pistons. The red rag was used to hold the pads apart. Notice the the rear location of the hub with respect to the pads and disc spacing.

I will try to figure out the exact dimensions for the disc this weekend. I still like the idea of the custom hat. Once it's made no more machining ever.
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One reason I didn't say anything about this project earlier was finding the right combination of parts to use.

I will be looking for both once I have the dimension(s) from each of you. (overall height)

I still prefer to make a custom hat and use a AP Racing, Coleman or Wilwood discs. Then use a one inch thick adapter with any bolt pattern for wheel mounting.

If you want to mount a larger hat size disc on the front face of the hub here are some discs that may work.

Depending on the thickness of the face these three might fit.

Year Make Model Dia Hat Width

'80-'86 Porsche 928 282 60 32
'96 on VW Transport 280 54 24
'91 on Volvo 740/760 280 56 26

These will need shims, washers 3mm to 5mm thick, between the caliper and strut caliper mount. This will cause the caliper to move outwards and be closer to the wheel.

Year Make Model Dia Hat Width

'87-'94 Acura Legend 282 51 21 *
'93 on Infinity G50 280 53.5 28

* Bolt pattern is 4X114.3 and center hole is 64mm, MK2 hub center is 60.1. No machining needed to mount to the MK2 hub.

I think with this route the Acura Legend disc is the way to go. Before mounting remove the MK2 studs from the hub and replace with longer Landcruiser studs. Mount the disc and then use a one inch adapter to clear the caliper.

All this is still just guess work until they are actually tried on the hub/strut.
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if you have the stock hub diameter
It is around 165mm in diameter. That is the largest part, the actual outer face of the hub. So I guess around 170mm in diameter would be good.
I agree the machined hat/Wilwood, Coleman, AP rotor would be good, but Wilwood at least doesn't apper to make a 11"X1" rotor. All the 11" rotors they list are all .81" or 20.5mm. according to what they have on their site anyway:

Do either of the others?
Yes they do, but I will stick with the Wilwoods. I already made the shims for the pad spacing.

Did you look at the Acura Legend discs. This would be the cheapest way to go for most people. I will have to scrounge one up just to try it.

You changed your user name!

Check out the brakes link on my site (link is below). I added some pics to give everyone an idea of what we are dealing with here.

If I order the Wilwoods or Colemans I'll design the hat and get a quote on getting them fabricated. I know what material to use and the minimum material mounting specs. I will pickup the material myself to save on the cost of that as well.

For those wanting to save even more money I may try and pick up a Legend disc from a wrecker just to try it. If I did my research correctly these might be a perfect fit and best yet no machining costs. I just love the fact that it has the correct bolt pattern to go over the hub and mount on to the wheel studs. Also the center hole is not too big, 3.9mm difference. That's less than 2mm gap between the disc center and hub center.

I still don't know why the Japanese guys would want to machine the hub and disc? Then make a spacer for the caliper? They have all those cars as domestics over there and sourcing parts should be easy and cheap for them.

Like Frank says
I guess theres more than one way to skin a cat huh?
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ok, ,heres what im going to do. i can get rotor adaptors made. i will buy the coleman 11x1in rotors and make a spacer to go between the caliper and mounting point to push it as close to
the strut as i can. then i will make the rotor adaptor the appropriate thickness to mount the rotor centered with the caliper. the spacers and adaptors will be plasma cut. once i have all the dimensions sorted out ill see what the guy will charge me to make them for us if anyone is interested. i already have some 0 offset 15's and want to be able to use them.
William unless I'm missing something your idea to move the caliper inwards toward the strut will only really work one way. Take a look at the image of the caliper mounted to the strut on my site.

You will notice that the caliper is mounted on the outside face of the strut caliper mount. The caliper is threaded not the strut caliper mounts. The bolts run through the strut caliper mounts and into the caliper. If you want to mount the caliper on the rear of the mount you need to make an adapter, but there will be no room for it because the disc will be pushed closer to mount outside face. You could open up the caliper mount holes and thread the strut to solve this. Not a good idea. Cross thread and you have to change the strut not the caliper. A lot more work.

I tried to look at all the options on mounting the Z32 caliper and the default placement is the best.

Toyota makes 4 piston calipers for all their trucks, but you need an adapter or welding to mount them to the MK2 strut. Reason I chose the Z32 caliper, it bolts straight on.

I'll email the webmaster of and ask for some info. And when I have some free time Ill search around to see if I can find any other options for brakes.
Cool Frank. I think the reason for all the extra work they did was just to use the stock R32 disc. We'll see.

If you go the rotor adapter route, check pricing.

The manufacturing discount, especially with aluminum, gets much better by each qty 10.

I am getting another quote from another fabricator, as they did the V2 shifter. Nice work and timely production.
Thanks Jim, but I don't know how many people are going to do this swap. I thought once I get everything resolved I would just post all the specs with a how-to on my site and anyone wanting to do it could do it themselves.
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Here is a great link for an online 300ZX service manual.
Why do you need pad spacers if you are using a Z32 Caliper on a Z32 rotor? I dont get it!
The only way to use the Z32 discs is to do a lot of machining on the hub and to fabricate a 10mm thick bracket. Yes the Z32 disc has the perfect diameter and width dimensions, but the hat height is too high. I don't really like the idea of machining material away from parts unless there is no alternative. Why weaken anything.

I think there is a better solution than what the Japanese guys did, I thought of using the Z32 calipers before I even knew anyone had already done it. No Toyota 4 piston calipers would fit the stock MK2 strut caliper mount so my next step was to go to Nissan... then Suburu etc.

My idea unfortunately involves a disc width that is some what narrower than the stock Z32 disc, I could not find a suitable wider disc. In order to use a narrower disc it would be safer to use the shims. If the pads wear too much with out the shims the pistons may pop out. A bad thing.
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