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Guide: 5-Stud Upgrade & Brake Swap

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Most 5-stud conversion guides read like a diary, so hopefully an instruction list will help people attempting this.

 

I'll add instructions for the rear once I've installed it.

 

Time Required = Set aside a day

 

Front Options

For the front 5-stud conversion, select one of the following options:

  1. S13 uprights + S13 LCA
    Press out S13 hubs and press in the 5-stud conversion hubs
    Pros: No changes needed to alignment or shocks
    Cons: Dubious reliability of hubs, and high installation cost
     
  2. S13 uprights + S14/S15 LCA
    Press out S13 hubs and press in the 5-stud conversion hubs
    Press out S14 balljoints from the LCA and press in S13 balljoints
    Pros: No changes needed to shocks, and wider track
    Cons: Dubious reliability of hubs, and high installation cost
     
  3. S14/S15 uprights + S13 LCA
    Press out S13 balljoints from the LCA and press in S14 balljoints
    Either drill out the two holes on the suspension struts from 12mm to 14mm, or get sleeves made to reduce the two holes in the knuckles to 12mm
    Pros: Factory reliability and lowest cost
    Cons: Sleeves need to be custom machined
     
  4. S14/S15 uprights + S14/S15 LCA
    Adjustable caster rods are required
    Either drill out the two holes on the suspension struts from 12mm to 14mm, or get sleeves made to reduce the two holes in the knuckles to 12mm
    Pros: Factory reliability and wider track
    Cons: Sleeves need to be custom machined, extra cost of LCAs

Rear Options

For the rear, simply bolt S14/S15/R32/R33 rear hubs onto the existing S13 rear uprights.

 

Brake Options

  • 280x30mm rotors + calipers (S14, S15, R32GTS-T, Z32)
  • 280x30mm rotors + calipers (S14, S15, R32GTS-T, Z32)
  • 296x30mm rotors + calipers (R33 GTS-T)
  • 296x32mm rotors + calipers (R32 GTR)
  • 324x30mm rotors + calipers (Brembo R32 GTR VSpec2, R33 GTR, R34 GTR)

 

Brake Master Cylinder Numbers

When searching for Nissan BMCs, it's easy to become confused as to which one on ebay or the wreckers is the one you're looking for.

The source of confusion is the BMxx number, which is a reference to the cylinder bore diameter:

  • BM44 23.8mm
  • BM50 25.4mm
  • BM57 26.9mm

Different brake setups can use the same bore diameter, but with different cylinder length or proportioning.

For instance, the S15 uses a BM50 to compress 10 pistons total (4 Front-Left, 4 Front-Right, 2 Rear), whereas the Z32 uses a BM50 to compress 12 pistons total (4 Front-Left, 4 Front-Right, 4 Rear). Subsequently they are not the same internally, so either confirm the part number with Nissan prior to purchase, or be sure of the vehicle it came from.

 

Brake Master Cylinder Options

  • 280x30mm rotors + 4 piston front + 1 piston rear = BM50 (S14, S15)
  • 280x30mm rotors + 4 piston front + 2 piston rear = BM50 (Z32)
  • 296x30mm rotors + 4 piston front + 1 piston rear = BM44 (R33 GTS-T, R34 GTT), BM50 (S14, S15)
  • 296x30mm rotors + 4 piston front + 2 piston rear = BM44 (R33 GTS-T, R34 GTT), BM50 (Z32, R32 GTR)
  • 296x32mm rotors + 4 piston front + 1 piston rear = BM44 (R33 GTS-T, R34 GTT), BM50 (S14, S15)
  • 296x32mm rotors + 4 piston front + 2 piston rear = BM44 (R33 GTS-T, R34 GTT), BM50 (Z32, R32 GTR)
  • 324x30mm rotors + 4 piston front + 2 piston rear = BM50 (Z32, R32 GTR), BM57 (R32 GTR VS2, R33 GTR, R34 GTR)

Note:

- ABS use 2 outlet ports, whereas non-ABS use 3 outlet ports

- ABS master cylinders can be used in non-ABS cars by splitting the front line output. A line splitter purchased from a Brake & Clutch shop works (I run one with an R33 BMC).

- To maintain an appropriate brake bias, it's preferable to run the the BMC matched to the brakes

- If running a BMC designed for twin-pot rear brakes, it's preferable to install similar rear brakes due to the extra fluid flow

 

Tools

  • Quality metric spanner set (Sidchrome/Kinchrome/SnapOn/etc)
  • 1/2" impact socket set (cheap impact sockets are tough enough for this job)
  • 1/2" breaker bar (cheap bars are fine)
  • 1/2" extensions (cheap is ok)
  • 5 pound metal mallet (cheap is fine)
  • 60cm pole of thick steel (garage jack pole works fine)
  • Riggers gloves (important - skin will tear before muscles give way)
  • Work shoes with hard rubber soles (good for kicking spanners and breaker bars)
  • Car jack
  • Jack stands

Tips for Removing Seized Nuts and Bolts

  • Use a tool that suits the working space. For instance, if you can't swing a spanner, then you'll need a breaker bar with an extension.
  • When hitting a spanner or breaker bar, use only the ring end, and hex sockets where possible.
  • The goal of positioning a spanner or bar is to have the main shaft directly below the nut, or as close as possible.
  • If using an extension shaft on a socket, hold it in alignment whilst turning the lever to avoid rounding off the nut.
  • Spanners are the best for kicking and hammering. Solid deadblow hits and kicks are best. Same applies to breaker bars.
  • If using a pole on a breaker bar, either push it with your legs, or yank on it with your hands. If it's possible to kick the pole without it slipping off the nut, then by all means kick the shit out of it.
  • If trying to separate a balljoint end from its hole, wind the nut so it sits above the thread, then hit the NUT with a hammer. This will avoid damaging the thread, although the balljoint may still sustain damage from the hit.

Caster Rod Information

  • S14 oem caster rods will not fit S13 (they're 20mm longer)
  • The common style of adjustable caster rods for the S13/14/15 are identical (thread at rose-joint, thread at bolt point)
  • Other varients may be more model-specific (e.g. Tein rods), in which case use the S13 version
  • Rubber dust boots for the rose joints are a good option (e.g. MidnightMods sell them)
  • If you want strength and to buy locally, many people give good reviews about Cazman's products
  • If you want strength and to buy Japanese, there many choices (e.g. Powered By Max, Tein, Cusco, etc)

I run generic steel rods on mine, with MidnightMods rose joint boots, and have had no issues and negligible noise.

 

FRONT: Removal of 4-Stud Knuckles and Brakes

  1. Jack car and put it on stands
     
  2. Remove wheels
     
  3. Use some pliers to remove the split pins on the tie rod and LCA balljoint nuts
     
  4. Use some pliers to remove the piece of sprung metal holding the brake line to the tab on the shock
     
  5. Maneuver the brake line out of the tab on the shock
     
  6. Put a breaker bar on the:
    - Two strut bolts. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
    - LCA nut. Kick it hard to crack the seal
    - Two caster rod nuts. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
    - Swaybar linkage nut. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
    - Two caliper bolts. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
    - Tie rod nut. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
    - Ball joint nut. Smack it hard with a mallet to crack the seal
     
  7. Undo the tie rod nut so that 3mm is sitting above the thread
     
  8. Smack the tie rod nut with a hard, sharp blow using a mallet. This will crack the seal of the taper.
     
  9. Remove the tie rod from the upright
     
  10. Undo and remove the following, using a a screwdriver and mallet to hammer them out if needed:
    - Caliper (just push to the side)
    - Rotor
    - LCA nut and bolt
    - Swaybar linkage
    - Caster rod bolts/studs
     
  11. The LCA will now be loose, and held onto the upright by only the balljoint
     
  12. Undo the balljoint rod nut so that 3mm is sitting above the thread
     
  13. Hold the upright and smack the balljoint nut with a hard, sharp blow using a mallet. This will crack the seal of the taper.
     
  14. Remove the balljoint nut and LCA
     
  15. Remove the shock bolts, using a a screwdriver and mallet to hammer them out if needed

FRONT: Installation of 5-Stud Knuckels and Brakes

  1. Ensure you've sorted out the parts you need for the 5-stud conversion, as listed above
     
  2. Cut lip from the rotor dust shield using an angle grinder, leaving a flat plate
     
  3. Insert 14mm>12mm reduction sleeves into the shock mount holes on the S14/S15 uprights
     
  4. Loosely attach bolts/nuts for the following, as there's no need to tighten stuff yet:
    - LCA
    - Caster rod (adjustable caster rod must be used if installing S14/S15 LCA)
    - Swaybar linkage
    - S14/S15 upright onto S14 balljoint shaft
    - Tie rod end shaft into S14/S15 upright
    - Shock bolts
     
  5. Tighten ONLY the following to factory torque recommendations:
    - Swaybar linkage nut
    - Balljoint nut
    - Tie rod end nut
    - Shock bolts
     
  6. Install split pins for tie rod end and balljoint
     
  7. Install rotor and caliper (S14/S15/R32/R33/R34/GTR/Z32/ETC)
     
  8. Detach brake hose from S13 caliper and remove the caliper
     
  9. Cut 4mm off the end of the S13 brake hose banjo bolt using an angle grinder
     
  10. Attach brake hose to (S14/S15/R32/R33/R34/GTR/Z32/ETC) caliper
     
  11. Feed brake hose through the strut mount tab and install the sprung metal clip with some pliers
     
  12. Install wheels
     
  13. Lower car to the ground
     
  14. Measure the distance from the center of the wheel to the lip on the guard
     
  15. Jack the car back up and place on stands
     
  16. Put the jack under the tyre
     
  17. Lift the wheel until the distance from the center of the wheel to the lip on the guard is the same as it was on the ground
     
  18. Tighten the following to factoy torque recommendations:
    - LCA bolt
    - Caster rod bolts
     
  19. Lower wheel and lower car to the ground
     
  20. Install a replacement BMC (Brake Master Cylinder) if desired
     
  21. Bleed brakes

Edited by pmod

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Hi im doing a conversion on my car and im using s14/15 knuckles and lca's. What adjustable caster rods should I get, s14 or s13 ones? Can i use a factory s14 caster rod? Just wanna know what are my options regarding to the caster rod

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Information added to the original post. The abridged answer is that generic adjustable rods for the S13 will work, as will other brands of adjustable rods for the S13.

The S14 factory rods may or may not fit, however I wouldn't personally use it due to the lack of adjustment, which you will almost certainly need.

 

I run generic steel rods on mine, with MidnightMods rose joint boots, and have had no issues and negligible noise.

If you want strength, Cazman makes good rods locally, such is the feedback from NS peeps.

Edited by pmod

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can't use s14 caster rods in s13, they are over an inch longer

 

Cheers Bling. I figured as much, but didn't want to state as fact things for which I had no confirmation.

I've updated the info.

Edited by pmod

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Just changed my front to 5stud, s14 knuckles nd lca, stock s13 castor rod fitted drivers side fine but passenger is off by few mm and doesnt sit in lca holes..... Does that Mean something bent? Or should just force it in?

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Just pull the hub backwards or forwards so they line up.

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I got s14 adjustable caster rods at first because i got told that they should be used when using s14 lca's. result was they were a bit too long even after screwing them in all the way (making them as short as possible)

so then i got some s13 adjustable caster rods and they seem fine. they can also be adjusted bringing the lca closer/further to the front.

 

now the problem that im facing is with the brake line banjo bolt. apparently i shortened my one too much (about 4-5 threads) and i dont think its safe to run with that.

 

im also trying to find some 14mm>12mm sleeves for the knuckles so if you guys knowsomeone who makes/sells them please let me know

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- rods

- banjo bolt.

- sleeves

 

Results with aftermarket rods varies.

 

For the banjo bolt, easiest thing is to get a nut with the same thread pitch, then trundle around a self-serve wreckers until you find something suitable.

Alternatively, Brake and Clutch shops sell various banjo bolts, but you will pay more.

 

I can't give you a recommendation on the sleeves, however the approach I took was to ask around a few industrial tool shops (e.g. Gasweld) for referrals.

They put me in touch with a retired machinist who made me a set from mild steel for 50 bucks, to help me out.

Edited by pmod

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I know question was from victoria, but I found an engineering mob in Wollongong who did it for $50 also. Best thing is to take the bolt with 12mm shank, and take the S14 lower control arm, and say "make it snug". I'm sure a decent engineering mob will do 12-14mm easy, but if you can give them the best information to work with, you'll get the best results for your money.

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If I use S14 LCAs that have been extended 20mm (and boxed) will I need to upgrade to S14 tie rods or use a bolt in rack spacer like garage7 or ETS makes?

 

OR will stock s13 tie rid have enough adjustment to get zero toe with only 6mm rack spacers in??

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Just a quick question, if I fit R33 calipers to the front of my SR 180 and leave the rear calipers stock with just 5 stud hubs and rotors, will the standard bmc be sufficient?

Edited by Adam_Sil80

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Yes, BUT, the pedal will go all the way to the floor before brakes do what you want them to do. S14/S15 have a slightly bigger BMC to account for the 4 piston fronts, so that's what you should aim for for a "oem" feel.

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Just a quick question, if I fit R33 calipers to the front of my SR 180 and leave the rear calipers stock with just 5 stud hubs and rotors, will the standard bmc be sufficient?

 

Wizard summed it up.

 

I initially used the 180sx BMC prior to fitting an R34 BMC, and although it worked, it sucked.

Edited by pmod

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Question about rear:

Between r32 and r33 rear hubs which will be better to use? Which ones handbrake cables work out easier to use on an s13? I know about the eagle adapter, that shouldn't be a big deal at all.

 

Also, can I use r33 hubs but with an s14 rear caliper and rotor or do I need r33 read brakes too.

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Therefore s14 rotor and caliper will work fine with r33 hub and drum brake?

 

Cheers.

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need 33 rotors mic.

 

 

 

Doing all this atm, question is,

 

when running s15 uprights and lca, a adjustable s13 caster rod should fit correct? (says above it will)

But was reading on gk tech's website for s13 caster rods that if using a s15 uprights the s13 one wont fit :/

 

Anyone clear this up..?

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gk tech are on bath salts..

 

Cheers

wow, no shit!!

What is the difference between the S13/180sx castor arms and the S14/S15 version?

The S14/S15/R33/R34 version is longer than the S13/180sx/R32 version. Besides that they're the same. If you're running S14/S15 LCA's you will need to use S14/S15 castor arms.

fair fail right there

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Was waiting for you to quote it and pick out something i read wrong hahah but yea thought i was right.

Whats the gk tech guy on NS, will pm him and see whats going on.

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well he is wrong. the 2 holes on the lca are pretty much in the same spot. but where it mounts to the body is about 35mm(iirc) more forward on the S14/S15. even if they were fully adjusted to the shortest setting on a S13 you would be running less caster than stock

Edited by blingcommander

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yea thought he was wrong lol

 

are you talking about if you rana s14/15 adj caster arm?

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reply to my question

 

 

''The S13 castor rods will fit with S14/S15 LCA's however they'll be extended a fair bit in order to reach. You're better off using the castor rod thar matches the LCA not only from a safety perspective but also from an adjustability perspective''

 

:/

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if i put r33 calipers and rotors on my s13 do i have to change any other stuff like brake lines

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