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2004 Honda Rubicon 500 Brake Mod Issues


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hey so never ran into this before but i recently got a 04 honda rubicon 500.  bought it from my doctor not running and the front brakes were locked up.   cleaned the carb and it fired right up and runs great.  these model atvs have drum brakes front and rear.  not a fan.  lost all brakes on this one when i hit some water and it got inside the rear drum case.  so i ordered new shoes for the rear end no biggie.  front is more complicated.  has hydraulic drum brakes not sure who thought that was a good idea but the pistons in the drums rusted and locked up from it sitting with moisture in the drums.

so i had a choice to make- 1. buy new brake pistons ($120 for a set of 4) or 2. order super atv's disc brake conversion kit for $250.  i HATE drum brakes so i went with the conversion kit.  it said it was easy to install with no specialty tools.  so i order it and turns out i have to press the studs out of my hubs to get the disc on.

anyone ever done this and if so how?

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just buy new studs, they aren't but a buck a piece or so.  Worst case, put the lug nut on the stud backwards and smack it with a hammer, it'll pop out.

good call on the SATV disc conversion.  Drums are stupid.

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so great idea@MarkinAR , heat worked great and the studs popped out with just minor beating.  held the soldering torch on the stud for a minute or so until the backside of the stud started smoking then cut off the torch and gave it a good pop with the 4 pound sledge and most popped out 2nd or 3rd hit.

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  • Ajmboy changed the title to 2004 Honda Rubicon 500 Brake Mod Issues
  • 1 month later...


Thanks for the update @JacobSlabach.  Front discs really are a massive upgrade.  Funny they would be on the 420 OEM but not the Rubicon.  I have a little 300FW I've put together and took it submarining this last weekend.  Great little bike, but no brakes as is normal for a 300.  It's going to get front discs at some point though whether I buy the SATV kit or fab up some off another bike. 

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yea drums arnt for mud thats for sure- i took the Rubicon thru a pond and lost the rear brake pads- about a quart of water got in the drum and the glue that holds the pads to the shoes let go. 

Found out i had no brakes when i was cruising down a hill with a sharp curve at the bottom into the woods.  so thanks honda lol i almost flipped it.  ended up missing the turn and careening into the woods on two wheels lol

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