This post is about my personal experience with fitting the D&D brake and master cylinder conversion kits on an early ford Econoline, it is not a guide and I take no responsibility for anything you learn here. I fitted this with a mate and couldn’t have done it alone.
Overall I am very pleased with the kits, my van now stops straight and perfectly everytime I feel so much safer driving it however the instructions are somewhat lacking and miss a few key points.
I chose to powder coat my brackets, they are well made items but unpainted and personally I don’t want mine rusting away under the van.
DO NOT USE A PRESS for any of the installation, it isn’t needed and will do more damage than good.
Disk conversion kit:
1. If you press the studs out of the drums you risk destroying the hubs, so remove the drums you will need to cut the “Swage” from around the studs, to do this I used a bench drill with a 5/8″ hole cutter and the pilot drill removed, I ran the stud inside the hole saw and it cut the studs out perfectly. But make sure you don’t go too far as you will either damage the hubs or shatter the hole saw.
Once these are drilled out tap the hub from the drum with a hammer.
2. It is imperative that the holes in the Jeep disks are 5/8″ unfortunately due to manufacturing tollerances this cannot be assumed so ream or drill out these holes to 5/8″ (16mm) mine were close but not all uniformed. The kit would not assemble correctly without drilling these out.
3. Do not press the new studs in, tap them in with a hammer, in fact you don’t need a press for this kit at all! If you press them in you risk damaging the hubs and shattering the new disks.
I would suggest laying a wheel on the bench, assembling the components (studs, disks and hubs) tapping the studs through and tightening them up with wheel nuts, this will make sure that the whole lot goes together true.
4. While you have your van in the air and in pieces clean your suspension components and grease your kingpins, it will significantly improve the ride.
5. The recommended brake hoses do not fit they are too short, we simply relocated the the brackets to the chassis and welded them in however I am told that the 4WD S10 Blazer flexi’s are longer and may work.
The completed disk conversion with relocated flexi hose bracket:
Master cylinder kit:
1. With the supplied cylinder the larger port goes to the rear brakes this at the rear of the vehicle when fitted and the smaller to the front (the one at the pushrod end).
D&D supply a short adapter hose for the rear brakes which we put a proportioning valve on and ran straight to the rears but in theory you don’t need this and could just use a straight coupler.
If I were to do this again though I’d use a T-piece sending one line to the rears and one to a brake pressure switch binning the mechanical switch supplied.
The front outlet comes with an adapter to make it work with a standard inverted flare 3/8 fitting which I ran to a T-piece sending one line left and one right.
2. The aluminium turned caps just need pushing into the master cylinder gently until you feel resistance, they don’t need to be pushed all the way in as it’s a low pressure feed, try to source angled hose barbs for these. I cut down straight ones.
3. I fitted my resorvoir in the cab, I drilled a couple of holes in the cab floor and ran the hoses up to a resorvoir behind the front panel.
You need brake feeder pipe between the reservoir and the master cylinder, do not use fuel hose or anything else it will perish. I bought aircooled vw beetle hoses as they are readily available but summit do sell it.
Make sure there are no kinks or tight bends in the hose so the fluid can fall down to the master cylinder.
4. My pedal free play was massive, I understand there should be around 1mm free play at the master cylinder but even with the eccentric nut this was too much giving a very floppy pedal, We added 5mm to the pushrod by welding a section of M8 bolt shaft in which solved it. Obviously you may not have this issue and if you do you’d need to calculate the correct length yourself.
5. Bleeding, bleeding bloody bleeding! when fitting these kits I replaced everything front and back, shoes, pipes, cylinders, flexi’s the lot which meant lots of air and bleeding was an absolute ass, we ended up backfeeding fluid with a syring into the front lines to get it to start bleeding so I’d suggest following the advice and bench bleeding the MC beforehand.
Completed master cylinder kit:
I hope this post helps someone as this is a great way to add some stopping power to your 1961-67 Econoline.