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Braking improvements

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mouse, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    With all of the discussions about various braking components, I would like to know the best way to upgrade the brakes in a K5. My current setup works OK, but there is definitely room for improvement. I have read that the rear disk conversion saves wieght, but does not do much for improving the brakes. My current setup is a 3/4 ton MC, stock replacement pads up front (D44), stock replacement brakes in the rear (14BFF) and braided lines at all ends.

    comments, ideas, suggestions?
     
  2. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I dont know who told you that rear discs dont help with braking... When I did mine, the difference was amazing. There is nothing like it. I can lock all 4 wheels now on dry pavement if I stand on them hard, where I never could before. In my opinion, it is the best braking improvement you can ever do!

    Mike
     
  3. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    The weight difference isn't THAT significant between the disc and drum brakes on a 14 bolt 'cos you still use the heavy ass hub assembly. The drum by itself is about the same weight as the 8 lug rotor. But there is better contact for braking I think. Brakes shoes are sloppy. Springs wear out, the shoes pivot on the pins, they're full of dust and dirt. Disc brakes feel solid. My blazer stops like a champ and try as I may, I CAN'T lock them up. It just plain stops. And don't use the $10 pads either. I bought the premium auto zone pads.
     
  4. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [hyjack]
    I can lock up my rear 2.5" 14FF drums no problem and infact they lock up faster than my front disks. I would also like to go disks in the rear but I am afraid I will have probs with the rear braking way to hard and locking up easy if you guys couldn't get your drums to lock up and now its perfect with the disks. Has anyone converted when the brakes did work good in the rear? It seems people get different results with the disk conversion. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    [hyjack/]

    I have heard good things about sloted rotors and ceramic pads. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I think the biggest reasons for going disc are ease of service, self-cleaning, self adjusting, and less brake fade.

    Weight savings is only ~30lbs for a 3/4-ton 14FF. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    (http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=173349)

    I run 1-ton discs & drums (13x3.5") on both trucks. Four wheel lockups in 6000-8000lb trucks is enough brakes for me. I'll go to discs when I have to buy new parts anyways. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. GMCLegacy

    GMCLegacy 1/2 ton status

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    id recomend ditching the vacumn assist and finding a hydro boost setup. disk are also a good idea also IMO.
     
  7. chebywanna

    chebywanna 1/2 ton status

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    rjf, you can install a proportioning valve between your rear and front and adjust power front vs. rear. haven't done it yeat but i believe its a must when switching to disks in rear.
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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  9. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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  10. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    rjf, you can install a proportioning valve between your rear and front and adjust power front vs. rear. haven't done it yeat but i believe its a must when switching to disks in rear.

    [/ QUOTE ] A lot of people don't use the proportioning valve and have mixed results, I am wondering what the characteristics were of someones drums before they had a succesfull disk swap and didn't need the prop valve. Basically..."OK your disks work great...how did your drums work before?" I am curious because I don't want to do it unless I am confident that it will work well with the stock prop valve because the less I have to mess with the better.
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I run 1-ton discs & drums (13x3.5") on both trucks. Four wheel lockups in 6000-8000lb trucks is enough brakes for me. I'll go to discs when I have to buy new parts anyways. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    YEP! My C30 STOPS!! Locking up all four until they smoke is unbelievable.

    I love my rear discs on my trail rig though. As said above, good braking power, self cleaning, and self adjusting.
     
  12. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the added opinions on the rear disks. I was under the impression that the improvement was minimal. I guess I'll give that a shot and see how it turns out..


    /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  13. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I run 1-ton discs & drums (13x3.5") on both trucks. Four wheel lockups in 6000-8000lb trucks is enough brakes for me. I'll go to discs when I have to buy new parts anyways. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    YEP! My C30 STOPS!! Locking up all four until they smoke is unbelievable.

    I love my rear discs on my trail rig though. As said above, good braking power, self cleaning, and self adjusting.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    and easier brake jobs!!! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  14. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I guess nobody looks at them tech write ups so many of us put time and effort into in the tech section.
    http://coloradok5.com/atrondiskbrakes.shtml

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Thats for a 10/12 bolt.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yep it sure is and guess what...A 3/4 ton uses the same calipers front and the disc brake conversion uses the same calipers rear and has the same bias problems so my post and information is valid and has merit. I also went into depth with front rear bias issues and how to deal with them. That information is still correct even if the person used drum brakes on the 14.

    The company that supplied the product also sell it for a 14 bolt and other then the acual bracket mounting this is the information they provide their customers.

    So tell me.... why does it matters that it was on a 10 front and 12 rear that you needed to point that out as if the information was worthless?
     
  15. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Yep it sure is and guess what...A 3/4 ton uses the same calipers front and the disc brake conversion uses the same calipers rear and has the same bias problems so my post and information is valid and has merit. I also went into depth with front rear bias issues and how to deal with them. That information is still correct even if the person used drum brakes on the 14.

    The company that supplied the product also sell it for a 14 bolt and other then the acual bracket mounting this is the information they provide their customers.

    So tell me.... why does it matters that it was on a 10 front and 12 rear that you needed to point that out as if the information was worthless?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is correct. I used it when I did my 14FF rear disk swap and in my reading and my install, the only thing I found to be different was the actual bracket and how it mounted. Everything else was the same. Was a very excellent and informative write-up for me IMO /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I run 1-ton discs & drums (13x3.5") on both trucks. Four wheel lockups in 6000-8000lb trucks is enough brakes for me. I'll go to discs when I have to buy new parts anyways. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    YEP! My C30 STOPS!! Locking up all four until they smoke is unbelievable.

    I love my rear discs on my trail rig though. As said above, good braking power, self cleaning, and self adjusting.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    and easier brake jobs!!! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well ya don't have to replace pads too often on a trailer queen. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  17. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    Grim, I found your article very helpful despite the fact that I'm using a different axle and setup (3/4 front, 3/4 D60 rear, disk/disk prop valve). In my experience, on the street it appears the disk brake swap negated the loss of braking power associated with stepping up to bigger tires. I noticed the biggest difference on the trails in Moab: in the same places where I could only slow down to a creep with the 1/2-ton setup (e.g. on Hell's Revenge), I can now stop dead on, whenever I want, and no fade on a long day.
     
  18. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Grim, I found your article very helpful despite the fact that I'm using a different axle and setup (3/4 front, 3/4 D60 rear, disk/disk prop valve). In my experience, on the street it appears the disk brake swap negated the loss of braking power associated with stepping up to bigger tires. I noticed the biggest difference on the trails in Moab: in the same places where I could only slow down to a creep with the 1/2-ton setup (e.g. on Hell's Revenge), I can now stop dead on, whenever I want, and no fade on a long day.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Robzilla is also running an identical set up to me including 12 bolt rear. He's running a doubler and had the same problems as you. The doubler could over come the brakes at about 700 RPM. The Discs were a huge improvement for him.

    My biggest gain was the fact that every time I when wheeling the dirt that got in the drums ground the shoes down. I had to manually adjust the brakes to get any peddle back after almost every wheel trip that I had any deep mud or water I ran through. Now my peddle allways stays firm and high.

    Rob is the person who managed to shear a set of grade 8's on the adaptors. As a result AZ Kickin made a weld on peice to put the adaptor in double sheer. Big improvement. That pretty well doubled the strength to the adaptor even with the same grade 8 bolts.

    Got to give it to AZ Kickin. They had a single cutomer have the problem and they found a good way to correct it. As far as I know they are about the only company offering this.
     
  19. Mudbug1979

    Mudbug1979 1/2 ton status

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    I got my brackets from Sky Manufacturing and they are bent in the correct position, so you don't need to use the spacers. Plus they supply you with new mounting grade 8 bolts so you don't have to reuse anything. They bolted up great with no probs. I got my Brake lines from AZ Kickin and they are another great setup that worked flawlessly. /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif
     

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