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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Dana 44 Postal Brakes

Just bought a 3.07 postal Jeep axle for my '72 and was wondering if anyone has advice on the brakes. I don't have a desire for discs although I know there are kits available. Can the Jeep brakes be used? Is it feasible to adapt MG brakes?

Is the postie jeep axle the right width and bolt pattern?
Backing plate adaptors to keep your stock brakes would be the easiest way to go. That way the brake bias would remain as designed.
M Mallaby

I don't have any personal knowledge on this, but a few words and photos on the subject are included here:


The brake problem is just one item associated with changing the rear axle, maintaining the correct hubs for wire wheels is another. I have done a bit of measuring and it appears possible to graft the MG housing ends onto the tubes of later Dana 44, Chevy 10 bolt, or Ford 8.8 type axles. Have the original Dana axles machined to match the outer ends of the B items and you can keep your brakes or wires. This opens up the range of axles a bit also as you can use wider axles and narrow them to fit during the grafting process or off set the pinions a bit to better clear the prop shaft tunnel.
Bill Young

Hi Dave , my "B" had a p.o. dana 44 when I bought it & still does , a very good rear end , almost {so they say} indestructable , but[very heavy] the brakes were a riggin , ie: worn out wheel cyl.'s / brake pads from ? i dont know ,there were 3 different kinds? that only had wear on , maybe 1/3 of them & drums that looked like swiss cheese [they just kept drillin till it fit, the pattern .. A real mess ,[everything ! off center BAD!] so I opted for tossin it all out & starting over. I seen a kit from www.,, a disk brake kit for "A" orig. MGB . I called them , they e/mailed me the measurements and I bought it. They left the main bracket [just tacked up] as was my request , & then we set off to fit it , a small amount of side fat has to be removed from the Dana44 casting , the tacks [on the scarebird brackets] have to be ground out & everything moved ie: offset & all this depends on what wheels your using . I have 14" American racing ? wheels , that have orig. B pattern . The kit uses Hyundai Sonata rear rotors , ford Festiva calipers & e-brake pads [clampers] from the triumph spitfire. I bought all this new ,OUCH, .. I had a local fabricator / friend do it & I helped & in the end it cost me around $ 1000... far cheaper than the Willwood kit discussed by D&D fab. [I think the world of D&D ] great help, no crap , & their OK by me. as I was told by them , they abandoned the ford/willwood/ p.o.dana 44, rear & brakes , for the "much" more available s-10 rear & brakes . Anyway much to long winded here , in the end. I do have great brakes & e- brakes , it all works fine . But if I were to do it over , it could be done cheaper . IF your a fabricater/welder , the brackets are easy , the disks & calipers are fairly cheap [the core deposit will kill ya] go to a scrapper & take back anything , they dont look or care , Thank God for pimple faced kids who know only the computer buttons . [autozone/ advance/ even napa.]I took back disks off a 77 chevy truck & calipers off a ? datsun ? yugo ? whatever it worked. Good Luck thats all I have to offer , hoped it helped , sorry if it didnt . Get er runnin , Blue Meanie , wants TO go .

Thanks for the replies. Curtis, thanks for the link. You're doing a great job with the newsletter. Glad to see you still have the GT. We met at MG's on the Green in Davidson, NC many years ago.

Bill, I don't care to cut and splice the axle tubes but thanks for the reply. I'd like to adapt the MG backing plates, drums etc directly to the Dana if I could. I'll do some measuring to see if it will work. I have access to some really sophisticated CNC machine tools so adapters are no problem.

Denny. Your approach really intrigues me and I'd like some more info. Did you machine the Dana flanges? Do you need a brake bias adjuster? Am I to understand that you used an MGB kit shipped tack welded only? I can get the parts really cheap locally, too so this may be the best bet. Do you have any pics?

Thanks again to all. I hope I'm not a pest, but I'm FINALLY doing this after 15 years of reading, dreaming and a false start and I have a lot of questions.

Dave , you think you have dumb questions , you havent seen some of mine , they keep answering them & only once in awhile do they poke fun. Anyway I'm no car mechanic or fabricator , but I'll try my best , yes there was & still is a bias adjuster on my car ,prev. owner had put it on . The scarebird kit mentioned [this scarebird outfit] makes hardware & instuctions for many rear disk conversions , using easy to obtain parts from other autos. the kit I used was for a "stock" B , we knew the offsets would be wrong and that we would have to modify these brackets , so I requested that the brackets be tacked up [only] --- much easier to grind a couple of tacks out , than a complete weld. After all was fitted in place & got working , these brackets were taken back off , fully welded & painted-- [ they had been tacked & retacked 2 or 3 times while fabricating , we worked only on one side & when it was correct , then we did the other side.] You {WILL} need to modify these backets, & offset depends on what wheels ie; offset / depth / & 14" / 15" /16" & ? lug pattern ? wheels you are using , the wheels on my car are stock B lug pattern , 14" , but offset is different. The disks / calipers / pads / hoses are NOT provided with the kit , but Hyundia Sonata rear rotors [94 thru 98]are the same lug pattern as stock B and are recommended with the kit , as are the ford fiesta calipers ? why ? I dont know ? I assume different calipers because of clearance issues. Now to the Dana flanges question , as stated the prev. owner had rigged rear brakes BAD! & every thing else , I assume the flanges your speaking of are the ones holding the axles back in place , they appeared to be UNMOLESTED by him , & no they didnt need any modifing as I remember , however the round casting [of the rear its self] [where the brake backing plate bolts on ] had to be ground off on the sides , to clear the scarebird brackets , this wasent a problem , plenty of meat on the edges & only a little had to be removed. Scarebird sent me all measurements & answered questions , but warned of NO warrenty for my use [because I was modifing them & that was ok ] You need to check their site & look at the pictures that'll explain alot . I opted for this kit because I wanted E-brakes , was sticking with orig. lug pattern & 14" wheels , & again Im no great mechanic/fabricator. and scarebird had figured alot out [parts/info.] as I stated if you are a welder/fabricator , this job could be done much cheaper , my friend cut me a big break & he has to eat to , Im sure had I took it somewhere else , I'd a spent much more than I did. The rotors / calipers / hoses /pads were fairly cheap & easily gotten at any auto parts , but the core deposits were rediculous! 3 times or more than the cost of the parts , but you can take anything back , they didnt even look ! Sorry I have no pic's. Good Luck ,, Get er done , Blue Meanie awaits ya.

David wrote: "We met at MG's on the Green in Davidson, NC many years ago."

David, I remember it like it was yesterday - WELCOME BACK!

So, will you be using a Honda fuel pump on this puppy? I think I remember a few very helpful suggestions you've made on this board in the past. You don't need to worry about being a pest!

David, I have the Dana 44 rearend in my '67 Buick 215 powered conversion and am happy with the results thus far. I knew early on that I would need to ditch the banjo axle, and after reading an article in the V8 Newsletter about a Dana 44 prepared by D&D Fab., I decided to go for it. After some searching, I found a bunch of postal Jeeps (actually AM General) in
Austin,TX. Most had a 3.73 ratio and Traction Lock. On ebay, I found a Wilwood rear brake kit for what appeared to be a early Mustang. This was the same kit, that was used in the D&D build. I needed to fabricate spring perches and brake brackets before I sent the axle to the shop to have it rebuilt and a 3.31 ring and pinion installed. The axle shop balked at the work need to modify the flanges to fit the wilwood kit, but I found a machine shop that would do the work. The job involved plugging one of the bolt holes and redrilling to MG specs., turning down the flange to fit inside the Wilwood kit, re-drilling the wilwood back plate to fit the Dana axle, and modifying the caliper mounting braket to align with the rotors. (I found the the thing to do here is to turn the axle bearing stop surface to allow the bearing to press further onto the axle shaft, thus allowing the rotor to line up.) I made new parking brake actuating levers out of hardened steel for the Wilwood kit to allow for the use of the stock MGB parking brake cables, and fabricated a new pivot point bracket that mounts on the top of the axle pumpkin.

Good points: (1)Very strong, (this axle is used on the Dodge Viper),(2) Any axle ratio is available, with used ring and pinions going for $20.00 or so on ebay,(3)Wilwood brake is very powerful and very cool looking. (4) Width is just right, I'm able to run 215x50's with stock wheel wells (I did need to reshape the bump stops). (5) The 7/16ths inch pinion offset to the left allows just a bit more clearance in the tunnel for parking brake cable. (6) The "Traction Lock" posi really hooks up. I've not done a drop clutch start yet, but a floored foot start in first results in just a little controlled wheelspin with the Goodyear Eagle F1's and a powershift to second results in a nice little fishtail.

Down side: (1) This is not a cheap way to go. You're on your own for machine shop services, and the Wilwood kit is expensive unless you find one the way I did. (2) This axle is strong and HEAVY, It would easily take all the torque we could throw at it, even with a highly tuned Ford small block. (3) the Wilwood kit is not really meant to fit this axle, It sure would be nice if someone at Wilwood would jump on this! I know lots of off-road boys would like to use this kit. (4) The project creates lots of opportunity for creative thought, (read: you need to figure a lot out for yourself!)

I'm still am working out the brake bias issue. My front brakes are also huge Wilwood discs (vented) from Guzman. Wheels are 16" Superlites. The car will stop scary fast. I am using a 1" master cylinder, but will probably go with a 15/16" or 7/8" down the road, as I feel the pedal pressure is a little high and the pedal travel is short and firm. I have a Wilwood proportioning valve installed in the rear brake line, and will work on tweeking when the snow stops falling here in Utah.

Good luck on your project, let me know if you would like some pictures sentvia email. cj
C. Jones

Thanks for the encouragement from all of you. Wow, it's good to be working on my MG's again. Here's the latest...

Scored a brand new Edelbrock 1404 on E-bay for $199 shipped. I'm looking for info on what needs to be changed in it so it will run right on my 3.9. I'll pull the pan off of the engine tomorrow to check things out and probably install a set of ARP studs in the mains while I'm there. After that, snatch the FI off and install my 4bbl intake. The front cover is still an unknown. I've seen some 3.9's with the original cover and water pump that seem to fit. (comments anyone?) I'm using a steel MGC bonnet so I may get away with the original. If not, I have several SD1/TR8 and 215 covers lying around.

I'll post more as I proceed. Thanks again.

This thread was discussed between 02/12/2006 and 10/12/2006

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