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This is a basic how-to on converting to rear disc brakes using mk3 cav or astra hubs. This is a very simple swap and is very worthwhile since the disc setup brings both better braking and easier maintenance. Now if your thinking of doing this I assume you can remove the beam yourself so im not going through that. The rear brakes will need to be bled afterward and there is a small bit of welding needed on the handbrake adjuster. The easiest way to do it it to get your hands on a complete mk3 cav rear beam complete. This just bolts straight on without any modification leaving you with only the handbrake cable to sort. If however you can't get one of those but can get the disc hubs all is not lost, you can use your mk2 beam. If for have early NON ABS hubs they will fit straight onto the mk2 beam. If you have ABS hubs it goes as follows Horrible drums and off Now when you compare the ABS hub with what you have taken off the problem becomes obvious Old one New one with stupid massive abs sensor The hole in the beam is too small so to get the hub to fit it has to be opened up to 61mm. There are a few ways to do this I used one of these with a carbide tip Hole marked up to be widened And done Then it all fits together Brake line If you have mk3 disc setup ones they fit straight on but if you dont you basically have two options. 1- replace the line with some copper or nickel brake line. If you dont have the tools to do this yourself most motor factors will make it up if you give them a length (bending a bit of thick wire into the right shape is a good way to get the right length) 2- bend the old drum pipe to reach the caliper. This works OK but IMO a new pipe is the way to go. Ill be making up a new pipe for mine but just to prove that the drum one will fit Handbrake This has to be done no matter what beam your fitting. You will need to get a pair of mk3 cav disc handbrake cables which fit directly onto either beam. The problem is that mk3 cav cables are longer so you need to loose the slack. The easiest way to do this is to get this little bugger (the adjuster used on both 84-88 mk2s and ALL mk3 cavs) The adjuster is 140mm long overall and by making it shorter you loose the extra slack on the cable. You need to cut a bit out of it (about 25mm) so you end up with it being 115mm long. Take the width of your grinding disc into account, it needs to end up being 115mm long or you wont get the ends of the cable into it. And weld it back together This is fitted as it would normally be and the mk3 disc brake cable will now fit the car perfectly. Once its all bolted back up and the system is bled your good to go. You can also use larger Vectra or Saab 9-3 rear disc brakes if you want. Its a cheap 5 stud conversion too. Backplate needs redrilling though.. Edited 7 Aug 2014 by Frisco
This is a basic how-to on removing the internals from an F16/F20 so you can swap the housings over to allow you to keep your F16 housing. 1 Remove the gear selector turret by removing the four 11mm bolts at the base and giving it a tug and a wiggle. Disconnecting the gear linkage can make this easier, if you do this make sure you split as in the pic below not by undoing the bolt on the shaft to save you having to reset the selector. 2 Next remove the reverse light switch. This isnt strictly necessary but can make life easier and it just screws out. 3 Undo the ring of 13mm bolts on the end casing of the box. There are two rings of bolts, the inner one is for the 5th gear cover plate and the outer is for the gear cluster. Its the outer one you want. (that blue thing at the bottom is my finger) Once thats done the gear cluster will simply pull out. 4 Remove both drive shafts. (if your attempting this i take it you know how to remove drive shafts ;D) 5 Now the difficult bit. You need to remove the big diff preload nut (castle nut) These are set by weight at the factory so you need to mark its position and count the number of turns it takes to remove as it needs to be put back in the same place. Remove the locator which is a 10mm bolt. Then you need to spin the nut out. Some people use a hammer and chisel but i am not that way inclined so i made this. Which fits like this and allowed the use of a 30mm spanner. Castle nut out. These are bugger tight so have your breakfast before you start. 6 Remove the drivers side diff bearing by removing the 5 bolts and prying it out. This takes a lot of prying and some swearing. 7 Once you have that off you remove the bottom diff plate (gearbox sump) Have a bucket as there will be oil in it. The diff should fall out now so if the box is still in the car don't have your head under the hole. Thats all of it apart. Both F16 and F20 are the same to dismantle. Reassembly is just the reverse except for the diff which is covered below 8 The F20 diff is slightly too wide to fit into the F16 housing and catches on the ends So it get it in the edges of the housing need to be relieved slightly on both sides. This is done with a sanding disc covered in wax so to stop the dust getting into your gearbox. Give the inside of the box a good clean afterwards, needless to say filings on the inside of the gearbox isn't a good idea. Pay attention to the setting of the diff preload nut, it doesn't have to be 100% perfect but as close as you can get. Replace all seals and gaskets. Refill with good quality 75-80W oil. Job done Edited 7 Aug 2014 by Frisco