Brake problems - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Brake problems

I'm replacing the front pads every 9 to 12 months. Rotors every other brake job. Been doing this for years, there has got to be another way. I heard from a performance guy that there was someone offering a brake upgrade for these trucks but I can't find anything about it and he couldn't remember who. I'm hoping someone here knows. It's a '96 2wd. If not, can the knuckle be swapped with a later model to allow larger brakes? Would the later 2nd gen knuckle fit on my truck and allow the 3rd gen brake upgrade to be applied?

I already put the chevy 1 ton wheel cylinders on the back. Rears have to be changed every few years too. If not because they are worn out, then because the shoes are cracked up like a dry lake bed.

Everyone else says they get 60k out of their fronts, why am I only getting 10-14k? I do service calls in town every day, so I expect less brake life but this is just a joke. An expensive one as even cheap chinese no-name rotors are $100 apiece. I tried EBC green stuff, same result. Different grades of pads, tried to get OEM from the dealer but they are obsolete they say. Something has to give.


96 12 valve club cab lwb 2500 2wd 250k 3.55 gears, 265/75-r16, OFV at 30, no plate, AFC full fwd, HX35 at 35 psi boost, Timing~16.5, 5x11s, 2790 BHAF, Banks hi-flo muffler, 3.5" exhaust, Deleted prefilter & heater, mildly built 47re, billet single TC. KDPF
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:15 AM
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Have you checked to see if the calipers are sticking? That has been the only wear problem with the brakes on my 95 2wd 3500.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:16 AM
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Also do they float easily so as not to bind
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 02:27 PM
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Possibly a failed proportioning valve? If your rears aren't being used at _all_, that might explain both service life on the fronts and the rears looking like they just sat in a pile for a couple years?

1997 2500 CCLB, NV4500, 4.10s.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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I've replaced the calipers and liberally lubricated the pins they slide on. I don't think they are dragging. The rears are getting used, so much to the point that they are cracking badly from heat. They definitely have wear on them but before they've worn out, they often are cracked up really badly.

96 12 valve club cab lwb 2500 2wd 250k 3.55 gears, 265/75-r16, OFV at 30, no plate, AFC full fwd, HX35 at 35 psi boost, Timing~16.5, 5x11s, 2790 BHAF, Banks hi-flo muffler, 3.5" exhaust, Deleted prefilter & heater, mildly built 47re, billet single TC. KDPF
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 03:03 PM
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The rears are getting used, so much to the point that they are cracking badly from heat. They definitely have wear on them but before they've worn out, they often are cracked up really badly.
Ah, I had a different mental picture when you mentioned they were cracked. If you jack the truck up, all the wheels spin freely with the truck running? I'm assuming you've checked this with the truck off. My thought is perhaps there's some failure in the hydroboost that's causing it to apply some small brake pressure all the time (which wouldn't show unless the truck was running)?

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:01 PM
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Could be bad front brake lines, the flexible/rubber ones.. they go bad or the metal brackets that hold them will rust and cause extra pressure in the line that will not release the brake fluid unless you crack the bleeder valve on the caliper

If the lines are causing the calipers to stick, you should be able to notice the front brakes being pretty hot/smelly after a decent drive.

I've had this happen on multiple Rams, normally its only one side and it causes the brakes to pull to one side or the other, so this might not be your issue but it's worth looking into. The rubber lines are cheap


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 04:44 PM
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I used to do the same thing with my 99 4x4. Somethings that will help:
Slow down more prior to braking for stop signs and turns. Lay off the throttle a bit. They are a heavy truck and a lot harder to stop than lighter half ton trucks..
Try ceramic pads, even cheap ones. They are smoother and last longer and quieter.
Keep rear shoes adjusted by hand, Automatic adjusters do not work.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by b.lee View Post
Could be bad front brake lines, the flexible/rubber ones.. they go bad or the metal brackets that hold them will rust and cause extra pressure in the line that will not release the brake fluid unless you crack the bleeder valve on the caliper

If the lines are causing the calipers to stick, you should be able to notice the front brakes being pretty hot/smelly after a decent drive.

I've had this happen on multiple Rams, normally its only one side and it causes the brakes to pull to one side or the other, so this might not be your issue but it's worth looking into. The rubber lines are cheap
the soft lines on the front are a known weak point. Typically you will see uneven wear on inside to outside pads...in my case it was the driver side.

98-4x4 5spd
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jimduchek View Post
Possibly a failed proportioning valve? If your rears aren't being used at _all_, that might explain both service life on the fronts and the rears looking like they just sat in a pile for a couple years?

Good point. the rears HAVE to contribute .

Would not be the fisrt time one pops the rears apart and everything is brand new looking because a wheel cylnd has seized and the rear brakes are not functioning one bit .

Def worth a look.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 11:32 AM
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for the rear to auto adjust you have to jam the brake while the truck is rolling in reverse.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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It's got new brake hoses up front, I keep the rears fairly well adjusted and they are doing their share of the work. I can tell when they need adjusting by the feel of the truck. I get fairly even brake wear unless the caliper slides have stuck and aren't moving freely. The wheels turn freely and no smell of hot brakes unless I've been doing a lot of in town driving, then I can smell them.

I will admit to being hard on the brakes. I have a schedule to keep and I often have to run back into town for parts, back out to the customer's house, on to the next, to the convenience store for a drink, all in a hurry. I try to slow down and go easy but I find myself in a hurry again every time. It's a long bed behind the club cab an then I have a compressor in the bed and several tool boxes and parts. I'd guess I'm around 8k.

I have slightly oversized tires on it (265/75r-16 instead of 245) and I'm about to switch back. That should help just a little but the prob;em existed long before I went to the bigger tires.

I tried ceramic brakes once and had the same results but I think my rotors ended up full of little cracks too when I used those.

I want to do an upgrade and was hoping someone knew if the later 2nd gen front knuckles will fit the early 2nd gen front end.

96 12 valve club cab lwb 2500 2wd 250k 3.55 gears, 265/75-r16, OFV at 30, no plate, AFC full fwd, HX35 at 35 psi boost, Timing~16.5, 5x11s, 2790 BHAF, Banks hi-flo muffler, 3.5" exhaust, Deleted prefilter & heater, mildly built 47re, billet single TC. KDPF
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