My 1998 Jeep Wrangler's rear brakes are in need of replacement. I was thinking of just upgrading to disc brakes while I am doing this. Is this a safe and good idea? Any negatives? Has it been done? Will the ebrake still work?

  • If you cannot recognise between drum and disc brakes, then it may be besr if you get a professional mechanic to do the work ... see mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/64061/10976
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 3:23
  • I did not say I planned to do it myself, but yes -- that is a good idea. Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 4:03

3 Answers 3


You will have a shorter braking distance with the upgrade. On older cars, before electronic brake distribution, 70% of the braking is in the front while 30% of the work done is in the back. So not too much of a difference, but an upgrade is an upgrade.

  • I am told that drum brake replacement is about 600-700 CAD while the conversion of the rear brakes to disc is about 1800 CAD. Thoughts? I am wondering also... does the ebrake get changed here if the drum brakes are replaced? Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 1:21
  • Yes, it is cheaper to manufacture drums and shoes than rotors and pads, so they will be cheaper. The e-brake is a drum/shoe system on most cars. (even cars with rotor/brake pad setups. It will push on the inner walls of the inside hub of the rotor when you pull the e-brake handle/floor petal.) So it is possible to use the existing e-brake cable with your drum/shoe setup with a rotor/ brake pad setup. You need to verify this for your car to be sure. Look up the schematics of the brake system if you are not sure. Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 17:36

The conversion is a do-able DIY project. The easiest method is a donor vehicle or purchasing a kit. Most of the off road on-line suppliers offer kits. You will need to read some user reviews to determine which kit best fits your needs. The price range is from $300 to $700. Some kits are more complete than others. The Parking brake will work in the same manner as the Jeeps with factory rear discs. A small set of brake shoes fit under the disc rotor and use the hub flange of the rotor as a brake drum. Only you can decide it is worth the cost and effort. If this is a vehicle that you plan to keep for a long time and possibly do some power modifications the discs may be worth it.


Take your car to the shop and have'm replace the brake shoes, adjusted them, check the parking brake. Done. Much better than conversion.

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