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Hi everyone, just wanted to share my experiences with swapping my 4 lug rear axle to a 5 lug disc brake axle. To put it in a nutshell, it was slightly difficult but mostly pretty easy. I'll post from before an after so you can get an idea of what I had before to what's on there now. But anyway, enjoy and have a good one everyone!

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Bad ass dude! You did it and a lot of people discourage it. I have been wanting to do this to my LT sedan, and may do so later on so I can fit the nice looking larger factory aluminum wheels.

I’d say it’s only moderately difficult. But for some like me that has a shop with lifts to work with, it’s far easier than doing this on the ground.

Well your car looks great. It already has the nicer front bumper. Did you already have the bumper and fog lights on the car or have you added them? I’ve been wanting to add fog lights to my car and was going to just get the lights and fog light trim inserts since the car has the older style bumper with removable pieces.
 

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Bad ass dude! You did it and a lot of people discourage it. I have been wanting to do this to my LT sedan, and may do so later on so I can fit the nice looking larger factory aluminum wheels.

I’d say it’s only moderately difficult. But for some like me that has a shop with lifts to work with, it’s far easier than doing this on the ground.

Well your car looks great. It already has the nicer front bumper. Did you already have the bumper and fog lights on the car or have you added them? I’ve been wanting to add fog lights to my car and was going to just get the lights and fog light trim inserts since the car has the older style bumper with removable pieces.

Thank you CodyATE6!

I actually didn't have the front bumper, I got it cheap for like 20 bucks but color matched it. The fog lights are programmed to my car, but I did install all the wiring to the fuse box and bcm like factory so it's ready to go. So meanwhile I used two fuse taps and jumped the DRL fuse to the fog light fuse to power them on. So when my DRL/headlights come on, the fog lights automatically come on. And about the disc brakes, if you have like a barebones brakes like no abs at all, I can certainly confirm that it will work and if you need any help just hmu! I'm not very knowledgeable with abs though lol. I don't really like abs anyway.
 

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Mine has four wheel abs. I believe the front and rear sensors will read the same though. Although I’m not completely sure. I would assume so. But the tone rings could actually be different on drum to disk. My abs doesn’t work at the moment due to a bad pump. I need to get one and install it but it doesn’t bother me really so I’ve not made time to do this. So spent the money it’s about $80 from the junkyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mine has four wheel abs. I believe the front and rear sensors will read the same though. Although I’m not completely sure. I would assume so. But the tone rings could actually be different on drum to disk. My abs doesn’t work at the moment due to a bad pump. I need to get one and install it but it doesn’t bother me really so I’ve not made time to do this. So spent the money it’s about $80 from the junkyard.

I'm assuming that the connection for 5 lug and 4 lug abs is practical the same, it's just the stud quantity that's different. So if you just want to put the factory 5 lug abs hubs on just incase you do install the replacement abs module, it'll already be there. Also, I will say that I highly recommend that if you're doing the rear disc brake conversion, get larger calipers, rotors and brake pads for the front. Better safe than sorry, right?
 

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Well I know the hub assemblies are the same up front as far as mounting to the knuckle and whatnot. But I have wondered if the abs signal was the same as the four lug.

I’ve done disk conversions before on various vehicles. The first one I did was on my 80s Honda Accord. Mainly because I wanted the look, and didn’t like having a drum behind the wheels. I didn’t change the proportioning valve, which I was told it needed. But never really gave me much of an issue unless hammered the brakes. I could get the rear tires to skid. I can actually get them to do it on my Cobalt, like when I go into a turn or jerk the steering wheel. But I really have to be hard on the brakes to do it. Another reason why I should fix the abs.

One main reason I want the 5 lug conversion along with the rear disks is so I can put some SS or HHR wheels. I had thought about doing the HHR 5 lug drums, but I think the disks are the way to go for a few reasons. There’re easier to service, although the drums are not that hard to work on. Another is they’ll looks much cleaner and modern. Heck even my Kia Spectra has rear disk.

These are the wheels I’m interested if I’m going to do the 5 lug and disk conversion. I had an HHR at my shop with the wheels in the second pic, and I really liked them they are 17 inch.

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I know the hub assemblies are the same up front as far as mounting to the knuckle and whatnot. But I have wondered if the abs signal was the same as the four lug.

I’ve done disk conversions before on various vehicles. The first one I did was on my 80s Honda Accord. Mainly because I wanted the look, and didn’t like having a drum behind the wheels. I didn’t change the proportioning valve, which I was told it needed. But never really gave me much of an issue unless hammered the brakes. I could get the rear tires to skid. I can actually get them to do it on my Cobalt, like when I go into a turn or jerk the steering wheel. But I really have to be hard on the brakes to do it. Another reason why I should fix the abs.

One main reason I want the 5 lug conversion along with the rear disks is so I can put some SS or HHR wheels. I had thought about doing the HHR 5 lug drums, but I think the disks are the way to go for a few reasons. There’re easier to service, although the drums are not that hard to work on. Another is they’ll looks much cleaner and modern. Heck even my Kia Spectra has rear disk.

These are the wheels I’m interested if I’m going to do the 5 lug and disk conversion. I had an HHR at my shop with the wheels in the second pic, and I really liked them they are 17 inch.

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Oh yeah, definitely fixed your abs issue because that's really dangerous. I didn't know that could happen if abs went out. The very reasons you mentioned why you want the disc brakes is the same reason why I wanted them, plus after I did the swap my brakes were significantly more responsive and stop way faster than drum brakes so I think it's worth it if you have the money to get the parts. But those wheels look so good, I want them so bad lol.
 

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When the abs is disabled, the car drives normally. But if you slam the brakes, they will lock up like an older vehicle or base model car that doesn’t come with abs. It’s really only dangerous if your aren’t used to driving a car unequipped with abs. The only time I can get it to break traction with the brakes is if I make the car do it. Even in the rain I really don’t have to worry about it unless I’m just driving the car like it’s a rally car. I does also help that I have a good set of tires on the car.

Remember about 30 years ago, most cars didn’t have abs. And it was really an option for most vehicles. Only coming standard on high end European vehicles. I remember Ford trucks only having it available on the rear wheels, and in the early 2000s finally coming standard with four wheel abs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When the abs is disabled, the car drives normally. But if you slam the brakes, they will lock up like an older vehicle or base model car that doesn’t come with abs. It’s really only dangerous if your aren’t used to driving a car unequipped with abs. The only time I can get it to break traction with the brakes is if I make the car do it. Even in the rain I really don’t have to worry about it unless I’m just driving the car like it’s a rally car. I does also help that I have a good set of tires on the car.

Remember about 30 years ago, most cars didn’t have abs. And it was really an option for most vehicles. Only coming standard on high end European vehicles. I remember Ford trucks only having it available on the rear wheels, and in the early 2000s finally coming standard with four wheel abs.
To be honest I've never really experienced the rear end locking up on my car before and I have the base model with no abs. But having good tires on your car does make a huge difference
 

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Do the emergency brake cables need to be swapped out or do they hook right up?
 

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Alright no big deal just one more thing to add to my parts list haha, it will be a few months before I get the rear end back under the car anyways
 

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Thanks, my car is basically just a shell right now though, lots of rebuilding to do yet haha. Probably gonna make a build thread tomorrow
 
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