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Big 1/2 ton brake upgrades.

Discussion in 'Center Of Gravity' started by zcarczar, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    In the effort to build the ultimate 1/2 ton, dezert capable K5 I want to upgrade my brakes. Ive done a little research and found nothing that can help me really. No one makes a bolt on kit for bigger front rotors and calipers for my blazer. I would like to run something similar to this, but I dont think I need a caliper that large, but it would be nice. I would like to go with a 13" or larger rotor, but need the overall package to fit in a 17" wheel. I figure either way I go it I will need to have some custom parts made, and it wont be very cost effective, but it will do what I want it to do.
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Give some of the desert racing people a call.... I think Camo had some larger rotors on his Camo 60 that are 6 lug. And I believe he got them from Sandy Cone. They were custom rotor hats, hubs, etc... I think they were around $1000 for the rear... Worth a try!

    http://www.coneindustries.com/
     
  3. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    The funny thing is that those BSL6's do not have as much piston area as your stock calipers do.
    You have six varibles to play with: Rotor diameter, Caliper Piston Area, Caliper Rigidity, Pad Compound, Pad Thickness, and Rotor Width.

    Of those, the greatest rewards will be found in increasing the Rotor Diameter. More braking torque, think of this as going to a longer stroke crankshaft. As a general rule your maximum rotor diameter will be 2" smaller than your wheel size. Contour of the wheel around the outer edge of the rotor and the caliper selected play a role in this.

    Changing the Caliper Piston Area opens up a potential can of worms if you stray too far from the piston area you have now. This is the cause of at least 90% of disc brake swap complaints.

    The GM calipers are not especially rigid (no sliding caliper I've seen is) so do NOT buy those made from aluminum unless you're putting them on the front of a roundy car. BSL6's are pretty stiff.

    The point of second greatest rewards is in Pad Compound. Suggest that you try some wilwood "D", "E", or "J" compound pads b4 you do anything else.

    Pad Thickness is a wear life item only. Thicker pads last longer. Cup cars at Martinsville finish on metal to metal when they started with 1.1" thick pads.

    Rotor Width is a heat rejection determiner. The wider the vents btwn the friction surfaces the more heat the rotors can dump into the atmosphere. In the dirt it's hard to get much pad temp anyway so wider rotors won't gain you much.
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Nice info!

    My first thought was to move this to "gen tech" (2nd Gen), but this has become a prime example of why I sometimes leave things to "cook" for a while before making a decision.
     
  5. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Did I fail to mention that I used to work as an R&D Engineer for wilwood? :D
     
  6. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks, Tom, I knew you would be a big help. I figured that instead of PMing you I would post up for everybody to see for future reference.
     
  7. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    I assume you are referring to swaps where the original master cylinder is retained, but calipers of different piston area are installed, correct?
     
  8. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Correct. Once you get too far away from the the stock ratio of m/c bore area to caliper bore area things go downhill. Can be hard to get it back using stock parts.

    My usual recomendation is that if you want to run aftermarket calipers that you also run aftermarket m/c(s). You can use a stock m/c with aftermarket calipers, but it is usually painfull figuring it out. Especially if you insist on keeping the booster, and given the weight of most trucks here, running w/o a booster is a dicey game.
     

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