Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Brakes

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by toocalm, May 29, 2005.

  1. toocalm

    toocalm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Posts:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Ok, let me put it out to you experts. I am in the slow process of restoring an 87 k5 in ok shape, 70, 000 miles, 350 TBI, silverado package, 3" exhaust with a Flowmaster 40 series on it. I love the friggin truck. Problem. . .I took advice from someone I know and put nice expensive cross drilled rotors on the front with Hawk racing pads, and I put rebuilt calipers also. I shot thru those pads extremely fast, and any other pads I have put on it also. I always thought the brake pedal was low to the floor, so we changed the master cylinder and flushed out all of the fluid, brakes still feel the same.Changed the rear drums without any changes. I couldn't lock the suckers up if my life depended on it! The first time I realized that that I was having problems with them was when I actually rear ended someone. A trusted Mechanic friend told me I should go back to stock rotors in the front, but while checking out the brake system, he noticed that the rear brakes has no access hole to adjust the rear cylinder. He thinks we have to cut a hole in the rear dust shield to get to them. Without taking a loan just to fix the brakes, maybe you K5 vets can give me a little insight/guidence/direction as to what we should do. Thanks in advance and I'll try to answer any questions and post updates as we get going on it, going to try to start the weekend after Memorial day. SALUTE TO THE VETS!!! :usaflag:
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,188
    Likes Received:
    1,396
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    I'd go back to stock front rotors, calipers and pads. They work great so why mess with them? As for the rear, there should be a plastic oval cover over the adjuster hole. Your rears should self adjust with every brake application while travelling in reverse.

    I would guess your adjusters on the rear are seized, it's pretty common. I'd remove the drums, throw some new shoes on and fix the adjusters. The drums may need turning as well. Probably a good diea to replace wheel cylinders while you're busy with it. They're cheap, and it would suck to have an 'old' one start leaking right after you put new shoes on (murphy's law)

    You'll find a large number of guys here swap to rear disc's, mostly because it's easy, and usually a lot cheaper than replacing rear drum brakes. The only thing is you kind of need the 14 bolt rear to do this easily and somewhat cheaply. I have disc's front and rear and can lock up all four 39.5's in a panic stop. The rears lock up a hair before the fronts do...which makes it very easy to threshold brake.

    Rene
     
  3. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Posts:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Great Falls Mt
    You'll have to look at those drums, there has to be some way to access the adjusters. It could be from either side (wheel side too). As a last resort you can buy small plastic plugs for drum adjusters and just cut out some windows that the plugs will fit. That way you can adjust them and still seal the brakes from mud, etc.
     
  4. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Posts:
    792
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sounds like the rears are not adjusted, working properly. The best way to check is to put the rear on stands and have someone step on the brake. See if you can turn the rear wheels. You have to be in Neutral to do this. Make sure your wheel cylinders are good, easy to replace, turn the drums or replace, and lube the adjusters. Then put just the drum on and turn. I usually just pull the drum off and tighten the brakes a little and put the drum back on and check for drag. Keep repeating until the rears are adjusted properly. This is time consuming, but works well. You need to have the drums turned for this to work because the outer lip will prevent you from removing the drum when the pads are close to adjustment.

    Where on Long Island are you?
     
  5. toocalm

    toocalm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Posts:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks Guys, had to put the brakes on hold until next week cause I totally lost reverse. Got it in a tranny shop now for a total rebuild and a B&M shift kit. Total cost $800, but I supplied the kit(had it laying around). Brakes are next so I can get it out on the beach..
    88Sub I'm from Franklin Square in western Nassau.
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,982
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Just pull the drums off to inspect stuff that needs looked at anyways, and while your in there, adjust them.

    If the drums come off easily, and DON'T have a huge lip worn into them, (a small one is fairly normal IMO) "tighten" (expand) the shoes out until you have to put some real effort into getting the drums on.

    Nothing wrong with cleaning up the insides, but if the wheel cylinders aren't evidencing leakage, I'd be inclined to leave them alone...last 4 brake lines I tried to remove from the wheel cylinders broke from corrosion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2005
  7. kd7kmp

    kd7kmp Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Posts:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springivlle, Utah
    I had very weak breaks on my 1990 Burb when I got it. I ended up replacing nearly every braking component trying to get the darn thing to stop properly. The items that made the most difference were the front rotors. These were also the last items I replaced. Now I can finally let my wife drive it and not feel that I am putting her life on the line.

    To adjust the drums there is a knock out in the face of the drum itself. It's near the edge. It can be difficult to see sometimes but if you look closely you will see where the drum has been scored. It is oval and will come out with two or three whacks from a BFG and punch. The resulting hole will allow to access the star adjusters and get the rear brakes to work correctly. This adjustment has a huge effect on brake pedal travel.

    Kevin

    P.S. When you chanced the master cylinder did you bench bleed it first? I have found that these trucks' brakes are best bled with a pressure bleeder.
     
  8. toocalm

    toocalm Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Posts:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    When you chanced the master cylinder did you bench bleed it first? I have found that these trucks' brakes are best bled with a pressure bleeder


    Yes, bench bled with a pressure bleeder...They, the rotors, are going to be replaced next week. I'm still recovering from having my transmission rebuilt last week, totally lost reverse at 74,000 miles. Will keep y'all posted, thanks
     
  9. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2001
    Posts:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Escondido, CA
    take the drum off and adjust the justers. take it to far and test fit the drums untill they can go back on. once they can go back on adjust it IN one tooth.

    also, go back to stock rotors, pads and calipers up front. replace rear stuff as needed. i have never needed or used the adjuster holes in the back side. it takes less time to do it with the drum off and it sounds like you need to inspect the internals anyway.
    Grant
     
  10. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Posts:
    4,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA

    I converted my 12B to rear disc because it was approx $25 more than rebuilding the drum brakes. I love 'em! :cool1: The truck stops on a dime and will give you a nickle change! :cool1:
     

Share This Page