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Old 10-24-2017, 07:09 PM   #1
iriereggaeman
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any suggestions for brake upgrades?

My '72 Suburban has stock brakes near as I can tell, and it can be scary slowing quickly from highway speeds. I'm looking for an improved braking experience.

Anyone have opinions on a reasonably priced upgrade? Suggestions for manufacturers or components? Thanks!
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:05 PM   #2
Burbor
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Is your Burb 4x4 or RWD? That changes the answer dramatically, I believe. 4x4 options are apparently slim to none, at least I couldn't find much. Either way though, the only thing that might be classified as a reasonable price upgrade is brake pads/shoes with a higher friction coefficient. I guess it is relative to your budget.
Check out this info: http://faculty.ccbcmd.edu/~smacadof/DOTPadCodes.htm

I had Wagner Thermoquiet Ceramic pads, which were labeled "EE". I swapped to some "FF" pads, and it seemed to help a little bit. Next time I need pads I'll probably get the Raybestos "EHT" pads (EHT52 for a stock caliper). These are apparently rated "GG". In addition, you could look at high performance pads from companies like Hawk, EBC, Wilwood, etc.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:10 PM   #3
kwmech
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Yes---Description and pics of what you have right now. 2wd/4wd? 4wd lift kit? tire size?
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Brakes are also different between half and three quarter ton.

For improved braking I am switching to hydroboost power assist
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:47 PM   #5
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Thanks Burbor, Bigdav160 and kwmech! This forum never disappoints.

Some additional information, as requested:
"Big Yeller" is a 4x4. Tires are 33 x 12.5. I'm not sure if there's a lift kit...seems like it based solely on the height of the vehicle. (I have a '83 Jeep Scrambler with a 4" suspension lift and 33" tires that sits about the same height) A few pics, without removing the wheels:

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I'd guess my budget for some upgrades would be around $2000. Does that help?

I'll see what Hawk, EBC, and Wilwood have to offer.

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:44 AM   #6
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Look like stock half ton brakes. IMO, they are underwhelming and the sad thing is GM really didn't do anything to improve them over the decades.

Wheel diameter will limit how large a brake package can fit. Moving up to 3/4 ton sized front axle brakes, only gives you a 1/2" larger front rotor. And while the rear drums are substantially larger in the 3/4 ton and the power booster is dual diaphragm instead of single, I don't think the brakes are anything to write home about.

That's why I am going hydroboost for the power assist. It can apply a lot more pressure than vacuum assist. It works great in my daily drivers.

Oh yea, you have blocks in the rear so there is a small lift.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:46 PM   #7
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

My thought would be hydroboost as well...
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Old 10-29-2017, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Is it just me or do those rotors look heated and glazed? That could be part of your issue. Look for small cracks in them. Does it shake any when coming to a stop?
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Perhaps a member here?

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Old 10-29-2017, 02:35 PM   #10
iriereggaeman
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

good info Bigdav160 ! I'm learning more and more about my rig - only had her for about a year. (The video isn't my girl, I don't believe. Rear doors aren't barn.)

I'll look into the Hydroboost option. Thanks richard2717 - I'll have a look at the rotors. No shaking when I stop - just not a very effective stop.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

I am now happy with the brakes on my Burb. It took me a bunch of trials to get where its at now. Truck is a 1969 K10 4x4, I swapped in a 1986 GM 10-bolt front axle to get discs on the front. New stock rotors and hubs. Tires are 265/75/16 Geolanders.

Problems I had:
-Pedal was hard(er) to press, not spongy at all. It was like there was not enough assist from the booster, but there was some assist. In stop and go traffic, my leg would fatigue. Multiple different boosters tested, no help.
-Rear brakes would lock up well before the fronts. Stock 11" rear drums, in good shape.

I'll outline what I have done:
1) Modified the stock brake linkage system (between the firewall and the booster). I moved the pedal rod pivot point closer to the booster rod pivot point. This means your foot is at less of a disadvantage, making it easier to push the brake pedal, at the expense of a little bit more pedal travel. This helped a little bit.
2) Installed a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve. Once adjusted, this eliminated the rear locking up. This didn't help with pedal effort (of course).
3) Installed the "FF" friction coefficient pads mentioned earlier. This helped a little bit more.
4) Installed 3/4 Ton front calipers. Piston diameter is greater: 3-5/32" vs. 2 15/16". The pads are the same for 1/2 T or 3/4 T. The caliper mounting is the same. The axle I used actually came with one of each caliper on it when I bought it. I had to massage the flex hoses a bit, nothing major though. A little grinding and a slight bend.
5) New master cylinder. Stock disc brake, cast iron reservoir.

Brakes are now on par with other newer trucks I have driven. Not a sports car by any stretch, but what I'd call great for a truck.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:15 PM   #12
iriereggaeman
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Hey richard2717 - I looked closer at my rotors, and didn't see any cracks or signs of glazing.

Nice summary of all your efforts Burbor. Sounds like a complete overhaul of what GM gave us.

Looking at some picture of Hydroboost installations, I'm guessing I don't have hydroboost: (can you confirm?)

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Old 11-04-2017, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iriereggaeman View Post

Looking at some picture of Hydroboost installations, I'm guessing I don't have hydroboost: (can you confirm?)

Attachment 1704675
Correct you have vacuum boost. Hydroboost would have extra lines coming off of your power steering pump to feed the booster behind the master cylinder

Here is a decent thread to take a look at.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=523502

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Old 11-07-2017, 11:54 AM   #14
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Re: any suggestions for brake upgrades?

My '91 burb has pretty much the same issue being a 1/2 ton with pass car size brakes. Like my last suburban I will be upgrading to 3/4 ton axles with 13'' drums on the back, swapping out the front rotors to 8 lug and putting in a 3/4 ton master cylinder. Makes a huge difference
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