Rear disc brakes - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 12-26-2004
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Rear disc brakes

Has anyone tried installing the rear disc brakes from a Crown Vic on the Ranger?? Unlike the Explorer, the Vic has the 8.8 with 28 spline axles which is the same as what's in my Ranger. I'm thinking it might bolt on and I'm picking up the parts this week to try it.

Dave and Julie,

I know you probably won't want to help me (since you've said it in the past) but perhaps you can put you connections to good use and find out for me if the bolt pattern for the brake mounting flange is the same on the '96 Vic as it is for the Ranger??
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Old 12-26-2004
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Fullsize car with ABS -

Length - 31.5
L/R are the same length.
28 Spline
8.8 Ring Gear

92-97 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury without ABS-

Length - 31.75
L/R are the same length.
28 Spline
8.8 Ring Gear

1999-2001 Ranger-

Length - 27.25 - Right Axle.
28 Spline
8.8/7.5 Ring Gear

Length - 30.25 - Left Axle.
28 Spline
8.8/7.5 Ring Gear

That was just a quick search and I remember when Carl smoked his truck in Centralia, he had different sized Axle Shafts? Don't you as well? According to what I thought and what I found above, the Vic has same-length axles?

I really don't know on this one, I used the same site to get this info as I did to order my replacement axles for my Mustang while doing the 5-lug swap with the 4-wheel disc conversion from a '95 GT, so I felt your pains!
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Old 12-26-2004
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He's less concerned with the axle shafts than with the caliper bolting on. The rotors from an explorer will fit since they have the same bolt pattern. However, getting the calipers onto the axle is another matter.

Good information, though, Adam! :)
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Old 12-26-2004
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Well, I know that they make a bracket from North Cobra Race Cars that adapt to the actual axle carrier [housing?] that will allow the caliper to be further in or out depending on the axle length. I thought I had to use one from the Mustang, but I didn't. That might work?

EDIT: The only reason I keep mentioning kits and parts from the Mustang is that so many of the rear-end parts from a Mustang/Ranger are swappable. I am sure some people of your intelligence and fabrivation, John and Tom, are able to make just about anyhting work with anything.

Last edited by Swoop1156; 12-26-2004 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 12-26-2004
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True enough -- but we're lazy and looking to minimize how much we have to do! Well, I speak for myself -- I'm lazy, lol!
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Old 12-26-2004
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I've found tons of brackets to mount brakes from all other cars to the 8.8 but havn't seen anything regarding the Crown Vic brakes. I've got a set still attached to an old Police cruiser waiting at a local junkyard for me to pick them up. I'll take tons of measurements when I remove the brakes from the cruiser and hopefully it'll work.

We'll see.
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Old 12-27-2004
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good luck with it, let us know how it all works!!
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Old 12-27-2004
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Why not just go to an auto parts store, and ask about the calipers, and rotors, and see if they match up...
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Old 12-27-2004
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Most junkyards dont know cutoms stuff like we Ranger fans like to do :D
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Old 12-28-2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swoop1156
Most junkyards dont know cutoms stuff like we Ranger fans like to do :D
I know right
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Old 12-28-2004
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The bolt pattern is not the same. I had figured that since they were both 8.8s with 28 spline axles that the flange would be the same but it's not. Back to the drawing board....
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Old 12-29-2004
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I HAVE FOUND AN ALTERNATIVE!! Initial investigation seems to show that the rear disc brakes from an 83-88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe are a direct bolt-on to replace the Ranger rear drums. The bolt pattern of the axle flange is identical and it is an 8.8" rear so it looks like it should be a direct bolt-on but I won't know for sure until Thursday when I get the rest of the parts from the TBird. Also, I found that the Lincoln Towncar with FWD and rear discs use the same caliper as the turbo coupe but I have not been able to verify if the caliper bracket is the same. I hope to check on that on Thursday as well. You cannot use the rotors from the TBird however because they are 4-lug but the Towncar rotors are 5 lug and are the same size and shape as the TBird except for the extra hole.

I will have more information on Thursday when I finish removing the parts from the two cars.

John, it looks like I'm not going to make Centralia because I really have to get the rear brakes fixed and considering the cost of the disc conversion (under $100) I can't pass this opportunity up.
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Old 01-01-2005
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so whats the deal with this swap tom!!! im so curious because ive been craving a disc brake rear end.

wont you also need a bigger master cylinder to put more braking power to the rear as well?
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Old 01-01-2005
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tom thats really exciting news, i hope the lincoln parts work out, Tcoupe parts are hard to come by. if they tcoupe and the lincoln uses the same calipers, and they are both on 8.8s the brackets should be the same!! let us know how this works!!
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Old 01-01-2005
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also tom, what year town cars are you looking at? i can call a few junkyards around here, id love to do discs on my wifes truck
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Old 01-02-2005
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wont explorer parts work as well?
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2005
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something i just thought of tom, most of the rear discs on the 8.8s had the parking brake built in as a small drum brake, inside the rotor. make sure you get all the harware for that off of whatever car you use, you should be able to rig it up with your existing brake cables
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Old 01-02-2005
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The crown vic rears won't work as the pumpkin is directly in the middle and would not line up with the drive shaft as the Rangers and explorers are offset jsut a tad.

Your best bet is to fo with an explorer Tom. This being you get a better spline (31 like the FX4 LII) most of the time L/S comes on them as well as a 3.73 or 4.10.

Can also be picked up pretty cheap as there are alot of explorers flaoting around more so than a certain model and year Tbird. Doesn't Trixie has an explorer? LOL JK man.
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  #19  
Old 01-02-2005
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i dont think tom is doing the whole axle guys, he just wants the disc brake setups off of them.. i could be wrong though
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Old 01-02-2005
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That is what he's trying for: keep his axle and add disc brakes as a bolt on.
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Old 01-02-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz
That is what he's trying for: keep his axle and add disc brakes as a bolt on.
but if an entire rear is cheaper and strong and beter already I don't understand the reason NOT todo a swap
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Old 01-02-2005
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i dont think explorers came with 4.10s, the highest they had were 3.73s, plus the spring perch flip. also, just the brakes should be much cheaper than the whole axle
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Old 01-02-2005
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That's what he's trying for: not having to cut/reweld the spring perches with all the work to maintain pinion angle, etc. Since X's mount the spring UNDER the axle, rather than over the axle, there's extra work involved. Basically, he's looking for the cheapest, EASIEST way to get discs -- and if it turns out to be a lot of work, that's just Murphy!

Ever notice how sometimes you can spend so much time and effort finding a "cheaper" way to do something, it ends up costing you MORE in time and money before you're done? :p Happens to me all the time!
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2005
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some has to do it first though, so everyone else can know. griggs here knows what im talking about
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Old 01-03-2005
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I'll try to answer all questions in one post so it may be long....

First, I am trying to avoid the Explorer rear because as John stated, I do not want to have to deal with fabricating spring perches and shock mounts. Calculating pinion angles and making sure the springs are in exactly the right location is something I've not had good luck with in the past. I had to make Carl's sliders three times before getting them to bolt up correctly. Even with all of that work, it would be easier than my current project turned out to be, but installing an Explorer rear in my truck won't help anyone else.

The Turbo coupe brackets DO bolt directly to the Ranger rear however since the TC has 4 lug axles, the rotors are turning out to be quite the challenge. Even drilling the TC axles to a 5 lug pattern, doesn't resolve the issue because they are .25" too deep to line up right with the caliper. I can have custom rotors made at the cost of $130 but I'm not ready to do that just yet.

I'm not sure of the year of the towncar I got calipers from but I am sure that it is FWD and therefore has the smaller bolt pattern for the wheels (5x4.25 I think) and the center hole is too small to fit the Ranger axle. The parking brake is actually built into the caliper and NOT a drum in hat like the Crown Vic. The calipers on both the TC and the Towncar appear to be the same as far as I can tell.

I've heard many different things regarding the master cylinder. Some say that you can adjust the OEM to balance the system, others block off the OE valve and install an aftermarket and still others use the Explorer m/c. I'm not sure what I'm going to do just yet. Since I'm looking for a bolt-in solution, I'm probably just going to adjust the OE valve and see how it goes from there.

Since the rotors are making it nearly impossible to complete the swap with what I have now, I have decided to use the existing brackets to make a template for adjustable caliper brackets. They'll be two piece brackets made of (hopefully) 3/8" steel and spacers for adjustability. The benefits are that any 5-lug rotor with a 6" hat diameter and 2.75" center hole can be used and the calipers positioned by changing the spacers. The other advantage is that the brackets will allow the use of 11" rotors (or larger) instead of the 10" rotors found on the TBird. My favorite part is that hopefully I'll be able to get someone to cut them for me cheap enough to make it worthwhile for others to want to do this swap.

So far, I'm $40 into parts and will make prototype brackets with steel I have at the house. The most expensive part I believe will be the brake hoses as I expect them to be about $18 each. Since the weekend came to an end before I got a different set of rotors and brackets fabricated, I had to reinstall the drums for now. I'm hoping to revisit this before the end of the month.

If anyone knows of a cross reference for brake rotors, please let me know. I've searched all over for a listing of the rotors and all of the dimensions but cannot find anything. Specifically I need the overall diameter, hat diameter, hat depth, lug pattern, and center hole diameter.
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