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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, what can i do to improve the stock brakes. Truck is not used much but I had a full load and stopping or lack there of surprised me.

thanks
 

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If you have 17" wheels you can always go gen 3 conversion. All you need is 17" wheel for clearance. Gen 3 brake bracket pads and rotor. As stated above if you have drum disk conversion in the back would help a lot.


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Does your truck have the same front axle as the '00+ trucks or the 98-early 99? If you've got the later front end, you can upgrade to 3rd gen brakes. http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/98-5-02-non-powertrain/144348-3rd-gen-front-brakes-2nd-gen.html. This is my plan for my truck when the time comes.

If you've got the older front end, you're pretty much stuck with doing pad, rotor, and fluid upgrades. Stay away from drilled rotors as they can crack, and many aggressive pads require warm-up time before they'll grab properly.

And like BlackedOut mentioned, if the rest of the truck "isn't there", it's not gonna perform like normal. Make sure the rest of your truck is in good shape (tires & suspension) or else more braking force isn't gonna help... but I can definitely relate with feeling like this truck will take days to stop, especially after I've been driving my track car with damn boat anchors at each wheel.
 
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Making sure everything is working properly is important. That being the hydro-boost system is OK (change the fluid to synthetic is helpful), make sure the rear brake proportioning valve is OK, make sure you dont have any leaking rear drum seals or cylinders, and make sure the brake fluid isn't black or showing signs of condensation buildup. Also, not knowing what size tires you have, bigger than stock tires will always reduce braking ability.

The only reasonably cheap upgrade for the rear drum brakes is, as country_hick already mentioned, upgrading to the GM 1 ton brake drum cylinder. I understand that it makes a significant difference and is well worth the investment.

In saying all that, I've never felt that my trucks brakes are inadequate. I'm not hard on them and also I do have an exhaust brake which keeps the mechanical brakes stress and heat down to a minimum while towing. And.....I still have about 1/2 the material left on my front stock brakes with just over 100k miles. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks everyone, i'll go with the larger rear cylinder. Am i mistaken but i thought i read somewhere that drum brakes are better then disc' s for pure stopping ability?
 

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thanks everyone, i'll go with the larger rear cylinder. Am i mistaken but i thought i read somewhere that drum brakes are better then disc' s for pure stopping ability?
I'm not sure how true that is.....but there is something to say about drum brakes holding up to wear and tear better than discs. People generally feel that discs are all around better than drums but I think they both have their optimal applications over the other. The arguments for drums always refer to semi trucks still using drums. Actually there are some semi truck disc brakes but they're not very popular. And if anyone thinks brakes on semi's are weak then they are very mistaken. A fully loaded semi can stop surprising fast because of not only the mass of weight holding it to the ground but the air brakes ability to stop those tires.

I like my rear drums. They seem to be doing a very good job in stopping power, and are lasting forever. At their current rate of wear, I'll possibly never have to mess with them, besides every now and then making sure they stay adjusted. Maybe some day when I have no other pending projects, I'll think about getting those 1 ton brake cylinders. :thumbsup:
 

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there is a huge gain in the rear if they are adjusted properly, you can tell if they are by pumping the brake pedal, if you notice while pumping the brakes that the pedal appears to climb higher, then the rears are not adjusted properly, or if driving down the road you pump the pedal a couple of times just before applying them to stop and your pedal/bite is much improved, that means they (brakes) are not adjusted properly.
you would be surprised how many mechanics cant adjust rear brakes properly.

if the rears are not adjusted properly, the fronts do more work than they are designed to do, and then they fade and you have no brakes.

I found the bendix commercial pad was the best for stopping, but they squeel under light braking...

I tested alot of pads, the 3rd gen is the best upgrade but only works on 00-02 trucks

here is a link I posted in 09, back when I was burning thru pads every 3 months as a courior

Need New Front Brake Pads - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks again. with my use, I should leave as is but I love cheap upgrades so the 1 ton cylinder is on the agenda and since I do have 17' rims, maybe the 3rd gen front pads and discs.
 

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thanks again. with my use, I should leave as is but I love cheap upgrades so the 1 ton cylinder is on the agenda and since I do have 17' rims, maybe the 3rd gen front pads and discs.
Read nickg's post above. You can't make the 3rd Gen swap on a '99 and earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am toldome late 99's have the correct front axle for the swap. What do i need to look for to be sure axle is correct?

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I am toldome late 99's have the correct front axle for the swap. What do i need to look for to be sure axle is correct?

thanks
to do the 3rd gen conversion you will need an axel that has the"slip on" rotors, on the pre 2000 trucks to change a rotor you need to unbolt the hub bearing assy, with the later than 2000 trucks you just remove the caliper and bracket, then slide the rotor off (just like on a front wheel drive car)

if you do have the proper axel, the 3rd gen swap is absolutely the best brakes you will get on a 2nd gen truck.

my truck was an 01 and it had drums on the rear
 

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My '99 went thru 3 sets of front pads in 45K. Ate the rotors also. So I got some Brembo rotors, some calibrated calipers, and put Hawk green pads on. The front stops, works fine and just replaced the Hawk pads at 110K. I also did the rear 1-ton wheel cylinder trick and I have absolutely no complaaints with the brakes.

I run 90% of the time at around 10,500 lbs with the camper and boat.
 

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My '99 went thru 3 sets of front pads in 45K. Ate the rotors also. So I got some Brembo rotors, some calibrated calipers, and put Hawk green pads on. The front stops, works fine and just replaced the Hawk pads at 110K. I also did the rear 1-ton wheel cylinder trick and I have absolutely no complaaints with the brakes.

I run 90% of the time at around 10,500 lbs with the camper and boat.
I hate to dredge up an old thread, but where did you get your Brembo rotors? I just went through a set of O'Reilly pads in about 10k and I'm worried it damaged my Wagners. I found Brembo rotors for $80 each but that just seems way too low. I'll be upgrading to Hawk pads and stainless steel lines so I figured I'll at least have rotors picked out in case mine are shot.

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