Braking it down

ICE, Hearts and Parts
November 23, 2015
The Yellow Brick Road
March 5, 2016
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In the first ‘How To’ post on Ziptie, I gave a quick run down on how to shim an R200 diff centre that is going to be used in this car. When I did so, I swapped the centre itself with the old one from my r32 Skyline in order to keep the ABS front housing from the 180sx, and run the r32 5-bolt half shafts. This, coupled with my r32 5-stud hubs, drum hand brake and 2 pot rear calipers would serve to beef up the back end of the 180, while keeping the non-hicas subframe and standard knuckles/lca’s give me the best bang-for-buck direct bolt in parts.

While the back end of the 180 is still apart, I decided to have my calipers powder coated. This meant dis-assembling the calipers, and shipping them off to NQ Custom Wheels and Powder Coating in Cairns. Note to self: Don’t work on MDF with brake fluid…


Most of the bolts are in good condition, but I’m going to take this opportunity to replace the pins and the few bolts that are sub-par. All of the pistons have been changed out recently, so I will keep those and just re-seal them when they get back. I’m also keeping the pin and pad retaining clips and will give them a light clean before installing.

As I’ve removed the ABS module and hardline, it is the best time to start cleaning up a few bits and pieces.

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You can’t really see the rusty bits with the master cylinder attached, but they annoyed me sufficiently to want to clean it up. Did so with a wire wheel. Still a bit of corrosion evident, but after the first coat of primer, the rough patches were mostly filled. Honestly, you won’t be able to see it anyway, but when/if it starts to seep through the new paint, I’ll replace the booster.

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I also cut off a bracket that held one of the lines running to the ABS module. It doesn’t look perfect, but for the time being, it’s close enough.




Painted. I took these when it was still wet. The paint is actually flat black and it came up a treat. Will post a few pics of those when the brake calipers are back/rebuilt.

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The black socket in the above picture was used to protect the seal from paint. 21mm from memory? It fit just snug in the opening. Paint and seals do not mix.

While I haven’t taken a photo of it yet, after dummy fitting all of the back end to make sure it would work, I decided against keeping the dust shields for the rotors. I’ve since drilled out the spot welds, and repainted the handbrake mounting bracket in gloss black to match the reinforced subframe.

In case you missed it in an earlier post, Proximity Motorsport hooked me up with some Project Mu Pads for the handbrake.


Most of the ‘rust’ you can see on the hub above is actually old bronze coloured anti-seize and after a bit of brake cleaner and some elbow grease, they ended up looking good enough for now. If one of the bearings starts to go, I’ll replace both.

I really wanted to order some spherical bushes for the rear knuckles to go with the adjustable arms that I have bought, but the only set available to suit (as far as I can find) are SPL out of America. For the dollar value (plus shipping), it will cost close enough to the same amount to buy some GKTech rear drop knuckles. Not only will this be a replacement knuckle, but it will correct some of the suspension geometry from being so low. Rear control arms are then the only ‘hurdle’ left, and again, GKTech do a rather nice (read: looks strong) bit of gear to suit…

Back to eating noodles and porridge.

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