Journey front brakes on 300m Special (or other LH 2nd gen with big wheels?) - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Journey front brakes on 300m Special (or other LH 2nd gen with big wheels?)

I've posted this in here rather than the 300m subforum because it seems that this would also apply to any second-gen LH car.

I just had a fairly silly idea, but maybe there's something to it. I recently checked out the brakes on my parents' 2012 Journey SXT, and they're monstrous! Big ol' disks, front and rear, probably 30% wider diameter than the fronts on my 300. Probably why that big beast stops so well.

So, I look at those brakes and think "I want a piece of that action." At least on my car's fronts, anyway, because honestly, I'm not wholly satisfied with its braking. Provided I could find a wrecked Journey at the local pull-a-part, it might not cost all that much for recovered calipers and rotors. I've got 18" wheels on the 300m, compared to the Journey's 17's, so they should have more than enough clearance inside the wheel.

But, of course there's more to it than that. Those bigger calipers have to mount to something, and it's pretty obvious they won't bolt onto the 300's mounting plates. So, my question to you guys is whether the caliper mounting plates on the front end of our cars are removable and could be swapped, with or without modification, for those of the Journey, such that I could mount the larger calipers?

Also, are there any other Chrysler vehicles, perhaps the LX cars, which employ similarly monstrous brakes? Indeed, have brake swaps of this nature ever been performed between LX and LH cars (or other Chrysler vehicles like the Journey?) Is there any way to know if the brake line fittings are standard between generations, or any way to adapt those fittings? Additionally, do ABS and traction control complicate matters?

Lastly, is this a completely stupid idea? I could accept that if it were. I realize that the proper way to do this is to buy new performance brake packages manufactured specifically for our cars, but that's god-awful expensive and I'm not willing to pony up. If this is doable with a little DIY nouse, I'd rather give this a shot.

Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated, even if your feedback is to leave it alone.

Last edited by Superhands; 02-03-2014 at 07:19 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 07:34 PM
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The bosses that the calipers bolt to are part of the steering knuckle. The knuckle attaches to the strut, the control arm ball joint, and the sway bar end links. Chances of it adapting easily is slim, but it wouldn't cost much to get one out of a salvage yard and see what the problems might be.

The simplest way (if there is clearance for everything) may be to make some accurate measurements and draw up (in CAD) an adapter that would bolt to the caliper mount holes on your existing knuckle and present threaded holes to accept the caliper you want to use. Often big brake kits are exactly that kind of thing. I saw discussions some years ago here of the Wilwood kits, but they never went too far at the cost of several thousand dollars. Designing and having a machine shop make an adapter of your own design might be a fun project, and shouldn't cost too much. Again - assuming there's room for the caliper you have in mind.

Another complication may be finding rotors to work with your scheme with the same hub lug pattern - more machining may be needed.

Those are the 2 keys: (1) Adapting the desired calipers to the knuckle and (2) Getting the right-size rotors that also fit the hubs/lugs (or modifying to fit).


I can't answer your questions about other platforms, and possible complications of ABS and traction control.

Some years ago, there was a thread on the 300M Enthusiasts Club by some guy who adapted some Porsche brakes to his M. IIRC, he didn't give a lot of details and didn't hang around too long. I will try to find that thread. But even if I find it, the thread may be difficult to read due to incompatibilities of different forum software when they transitioned from one to another - and the photo links may now go nowhere.


EDIT: OK - found the thread I was thinking of: http://300mclub.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=6470
It was like I remembered: Photos gone, formatting messed up due to changing forum software, dude didn't stay around very long, and details sketchy. But maybe some of the information he gave will be useful. Most information in third post from the last.


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Last edited by peva; 02-03-2014 at 08:04 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 08:45 PM
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Well... Any brake kits and parts for the LX platform should be decent sources for any loose ends. Rotors being a big item, as it's the same bolt pattern. In fact, perhaps the Brembo brake options could be adapted easily.

I know the LX platform is based off an old Mercedes E class, but they share a lot in common with the LH platform as well.

Guaranteed, there are kits around. Worst case, it's an adapter plate to be made. Now and day's, machines are very accessible, and much more inexpensive than way back when.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, right! Bolt pattern, that's what I was forgetting. Yes, the LX cars do share the bolt pattern, and the Charger SE and SXT RWD come with 12.6" vented rotors, compared to the ~11.6" rotors on the 300m. That would be a good upgrade in terms of overall surface area. The R/T and SXT AWD come with 13.6" front rotors, but I don't think those would fit, as those cars (I think) employ 19" and 20" rims.

Okay, assuming clearance for the 12.6" rotors and their calipers under my 18" rims, all I need do now is devise some means of, again, fitting those calipers to the steering knuckle via either adapting a Charger bracket to fit onto the 300m's knuckle, or adapting the 300m's bracket to accept the Charger calipers, as suggested by Peva.

I need to step away from this for a bit because I'm a little behind in my coursework, but I'm going to start looking up brake assembly diagrams for the LH and LX cars to see what the differences in hole spacing are on the knuckles and calipers. I'm leaning toward adapting the Charger bracket to the 300m's knuckle, as it seems it would be a smaller part and easier to design.

Shit. I have no idea how to use CAD. Time for a crash course. It would sure be nice if the LX bracket would just bolt right up to the LH knuckle, but I'm 90% confident that won't be the case.

Thanks for posting that thread, Peva. Looks like he had to have an adapter plate made (no surprise there) but he didn't report any consequent problems with his ABS or traction control, so that's reassuring. I only wish he'd gone into more detail about the specifics of his adapter.

Last edited by Superhands; 02-04-2014 at 03:20 AM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Just had a thought - did the police Intrepids have larger front rotors and calipers than standard? Does anyone know what size those rotors were? Could be a possible source for a properly sized caliper mounting bracket for the Charger brakes. This is, of course, assuming that rotor diameter determines the caliper offset, which may not be the case. Still, worth looking in to.

Last edited by Superhands; 02-04-2014 at 05:56 AM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:26 AM
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Not an expert on the Po Po, but I'm fairly sure the brakes are the same size as "regular" LH cars.

You talk about the "LX bracket" as if it's a piece that bolts onto the LX knuckle. It is likely just features (two tapped bosses) that are part of the knuckle and not a separate piece. Pretty sure you will simply have to have a part made.

You don't have to have CAD, but it helps. You could sketch it by hand and draw in the dimensions from measurements you make. One way CAD helps is that you would first draw the important areas of the parts of both vehicles (the important area and details of the LH knuckle, the new rotor and caliper, and the area of the wheel that has to clear the caliper, all in the correct spatial relationship based on accurate measurements that you would make). You'd need that in two orthogonal views unless you do 3-D (difficult for a CAD beginner). That cuts a lot of risk and trial and error out of the process (compared to just drawing the part by itself by hand).


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 12:22 PM
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If you come across a 2012 Journey, you may be able to make it work.



That is what our front knuckles look like. 2 Bolts thru for the strut, 3 bolts on the rear for the hub and bolt on the bottom for the Ball Joint.

Provided everything were to line up, you may be able to get away with swapping front knuckles and brakes. Would just require a bit more double checking. Hub may not work as a cross over part, but the LH axle may work in a Journey Hub if you get what I mean.

I would be most worried about the ball joint and strut bolts lining up because that would avoid a lot of fabrication hassle.

Just a thought.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 02:27 AM
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PoPo's were nothing exotic... But offered some neat goodies.

- Break cooling ducts in the front bumper to cool front breaks.
- Engine oil cooling system which pumped engine oil into the rad, was standard option until 2004.
- Heavy duty front and rear sway bars which was offered on the 300M Special.
- Struts/Springs were much more firm for more performance.
- Alternator offered higher output.
- Bunch of cosmetic things like rubber floors and rear seats, disconnected rear door handles, trunk mat, etc.
- Special EL cluster
- Possibly higher tuned PCM speed governor - not sure on this one.


The Journey's knuckle is different on the bottom, doesn't seem to have a tension rod/strut/bar. Otherwise top portion is identical. The knuckle doesn't have the pad bars either. Not an issue when using different calipers though.

LX platform knuckles are completely bizarre as far as LH similarities are concerned as well.

It's all going to come down to this, no matter what breaks we choose to use, either it be OEM standard or Brembo options or aftermarket Willwood and other premium brands, we need the adapter bracket.

Which isn't hard though. Get a chunk of steel, measure out the caliper mount positions and the LH knuckle bolt locations. Mill one out and bolt it up to see where it all plays out.

I'd pay $$ for a set of brackets. Look at these brackets for a Willwood set for the LX platform. Options are limited as far as the bolt pattern of the rotors.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2014, 02:33 AM
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Dodge LH bolt pattern: 5 lug 4.5 inch or 114.3mm High Positive Offset

Same as a 99-04 Mustang. FYI... lol

Dodge Journey pattern: 5 lug 5 inch or 127mm High Positive Offset

But...

Dodge Nitro/Pacifica pattern: 5 lug 4.5 inch or 114.3mm High Positive Offset

Dodge LX platform pattern: 5 lug 4.53 inch or 115 mm Medium Offset

Obviously different, but we run LX rims on our cars all the time with no issues.

In short, it would likely be easier to adapt higher optioned LX brakes to our cars, or Nitro/Pacifica brakes. After all the Pacifica/Nitro borrows A LOT from the LH platform... Cough, engine, Cough...

Nitro has 12.44"/11.89" sized rotors...

Foot for thought: http://www.factorychryslerparts.com/...category=20302

Last edited by SRT6INTREPID; 02-06-2014 at 02:47 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
The Journey's knuckle is different on the bottom, doesn't seem to have a tension rod/strut/bar
just wondering how that makes a difference when the strut rod connects to the control arm. not the knuckle.
it's still a ball joint at the bottom.
although there are probably differences in ball joint bore and the angle of offset of the strut connecting bores.
but then again, maybe not.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrmwrm View Post
just wondering how that makes a difference when the strut rod connects to the control arm. not the knuckle.
it's still a ball joint at the bottom.
although there are probably differences in ball joint bore and the angle of offset of the strut connecting bores.
but then again, maybe not.
You'll have to excuse me on that one, it was 4am and was not thinking. Recalled the tension strut securing to the freaking knuckle. It secures to the control arm.

My bad on that one. Threw myself off after looking at ten different Chrysler suspensions.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Lots of great input, guys - why I love this community. The pictures, diagrams, and brake specs are all very, very helpful.

I think if I am ever to do this, I would go the route of having an adapter fabricated to match the caliper mounting on the knuckle to the required offset for the new calipers.

I'm going to look into the various brake packages offered on the Nitro/Pacifica's to see if there are any setups with significantly greater rotor diameter than the LX cars. Going by SRT6's specs, the rotors should bolt up to the lugs perfectly.

However, there is one condition under which I would swap knuckles rather than have an adapter made, and that is if the Nitro/Pacifica's knuckles were exactly the same in terms of how they bolt up to the suspension elements and the two platforms shared ball joints. Given how much that platform borrows from LH, it may actually be the case, but I'll have to pop over to the appropriate forums to see if anyone knows. If they were a direct swap in the way I've outlined, I would far sooner do that than have a bracket fabricated and risk getting something wrong in its design.

Regrettably, it will be a while before I can attempt what is turning into a pretty involved project. Probably no sooner than this spring break because, as you might have guessed, this is my daily driver. Even so, your continued input is very much appreciated, and I am definitely excited about the idea of taking this project on. Intimidated, for sure, as this will be my first real experience modding a car beyond fitting an intake, but I will doubtless learn a lot and gain serious competence and self-efficacy in the process.

Last edited by Superhands; 02-11-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superhands View Post
Just had a thought - did the police Intrepids have larger front rotors and calipers than standard?
Exact same size as regular PHP rotors. They claim the master cylinder has been revised, but I can't tell a difference. They did put some hella aggressive pads on the Police Pkg, similar to Special pads.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRT6INTREPID View Post
Dodge LH bolt pattern: 5 lug 4.5 inch or 114.3mm High Positive Offset

Same as a 99-04 Mustang. FYI... lol

Dodge Journey pattern: 5 lug 5 inch or 127mm High Positive Offset

But...

Dodge Nitro/Pacifica pattern: 5 lug 4.5 inch or 114.3mm High Positive Offset

Dodge LX platform pattern: 5 lug 4.53 inch or 115 mm Medium Offset

Obviously different, but we run LX rims on our cars all the time with no issues.

In short, it would likely be easier to adapt higher optioned LX brakes to our cars, or Nitro/Pacifica brakes. After all the Pacifica/Nitro borrows A LOT from the LH platform... Cough, engine, Cough...

Nitro has 12.44"/11.89" sized rotors...

Foot for thought: http://www.factorychryslerparts.com/...category=20302

Just an fyi, I had looked at our Pacifica's lugs recently and I can tell you they are not 5x114.3. More like 5x5

But I will verify the nitro uses 5x114.3. Mmmm 20" chrome wheels would look nice...
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