Hybrid 280ZX Rear Disc Brake Conversion for 240/260/280Z

Last revised:  8 November 2001

Parts List:

    Early (79-8/81) 280ZX Rear Brake Calipers.
    Late (9/81-83)  280ZX Rear Brake Discs (get the caliper mounting bolts in the yard when you get the cores)
    Flat Plate (1/4" steel) for Caliper Brackets
    8 grade 8.8 or higher bolts (a bit longer than the stock backing plate bolts) and washers.
    Brake Pads (I sourced Carbon Kevlar ones from KVR)
    Hard Lines (2- 12" long double inverted flare lines with 10mm X 1mm fittings)
    Russell Performance Speed Bleeder screws (P/N 3956) (optional)

    I learned of this mix of caliper and rotor from Steve Golik, who graciously led me along the conversion path.
Almost everything you see below is information from Steve, with a few details specific to my car added by myself.

( I had this conversion on my car for a short time, but never used it.  The car didn't get on the road while this conversion was in place, so I don't know how well it worked.  I happened upon a complete Arizona Z Car front and rear disc brakes, slightly used, for half price, and installed that on the car.  The conversion you see was sold to a friend. )

    The caliper has two pistons, both inboard of the disc.  The outer piston pushes against the inboard side of the disc, as usual, and the inboard piston pushes toward the center of the car on a large steel yoke that slides on the body of the caliper and reaches over the disc to the outboard side.  The yoke pushes the outboard pad against the disc.  This makes for a heavy setup.

    Steve chose the late disc so that a flat steel caliper bracket could be used.  It connects to the backing plate mounting surface of the strut housing with the stock 4 bolt locations.

Left rear disc caliper bracket for early 280ZX caliper

The caliper mounts against the back of the bracket (same plane as the backing plate mounting surface).   This places the outboard part of the caliper yoke quite outboard of the wheel mounting surface, and some wheels may interfere.  I ground about 1/2" of the outer part of the yoke off to clear my Western Cyclone wheels.  The alternative is spacers (don't like 'em).  Other wheels need less or no machining of this yoke.

Comparison of machined yoke versus stockEarly 280ZX caliper yoke against back of Western Cyclone wheel

    You must mount the 280ZX calipers forward of the centerline of the stub axle, because the strut tube is in the way of mounting them aft.  Therefore, you must put the left 280ZX caliper on the right side and the right caliper on the left side, to get the bleeder screws at the top for air removal.

    I used the 240Z parking brake cable and attachment pins, but had to space the sheathing of the cable back from the opening in the 280ZX yoke using washers (about 3/8" thick total) to get the adjustment needed.  Otherwise, the cable would bottom out the spring before the brakes were tight.  The parking brake cable need to be tied up out of the way, or they will rub of the halfshafts.  Use an extra set of springs like are already on the cable sheathing.

    I did not use any splash shields.

    To run the brake fluid to the calipers, I used the stock type (SS version) brake hoses for the 240/260/280Z to the stock location, and custom bent hard lines to go from the strut end of the hose to the caliper inlet.  I had Classic Tube send me two 12" long hard lines with 10mmx1mm fittings, pre-flared.  I bent these around to connect the hose and caliper.