1994 Suburban 1500 brake upgrade

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Marc L, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Marc L

    Marc L New Member

    I would like to upgrade the stock brakes on my 94 Suburban.Is there a easy way ?
    Thanks Marc
  2. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hi, Marc:

    Short answer is: "No". Aftermarket brake kits usually are larger and take up so much space that you have to match some aftermarket wheel to the brake caliper. You may be able to retro-fit your truck with a later model truck brake.

    Why do you want to upgrade? You only have a half ton truck. Are you sure you need to upgrade the brakes? Usually what comes on the rig will stop just fine for the rated load capacity.
  3. Marc L

    Marc L New Member

    We are looking to upgrade because we plan on using it for towing as well as off-road.We would like to get rid of the drums in back.How hard is it to change over to disc's in the rear ? Thanks
  4. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hi, Marc:

    If you are towing something that exceeds the braking power of your OEM system, you need to put brakes on the trailer, not upgrade your truck brakes. You will have other issues from towing besides the brakes if the load is too heavy for your half ton truck. For example, and this is only a general description, there are issues with sway when you tow something that exceeds the rating of the vehicle or is at the maximum end of the towing capacity. This requires trailer modifications, not vehicle modifications, to properly and safely tow the trailer. This would include, but may not be limited to, trailer brakes (if it has dual axles it is required in most states to have brakes) and/or a load distribution bar (keeps the load from moving the vehicle essentially steering it to some extent). You also could have problems with the truck swaying just from the weight on the trailer receiver and the movement of the trailer.

    If you have a short bed truck you are at a disadvantage for towing heavier loads due to a shorter wheelbase.

    The drums you have on your truck should work fine for the rated capacity of that truck. Switching to discs will cost you, and the truck will still be limited for towing as indicated above for other reasons. Besides, your FRONT brakes provide up to 70% of your stopping power. If you really are dead set on a brake change, you should be doing it on the front, not the rear.

    I would strongly suggest you invest in brakes for the trailer instead. Try putting braided stainless brake lines on front and rear of your truck. This is a relatively inexpensive way to reduce some pedal fade. You can also look at a different composition brake shoe for the front. Again, the rears are not your issue, it is the fronts. But they should do the job, and you need in my opinion to upgrade the trailer to have electric brakes with a controller in your truck.
  5. Marc L

    Marc L New Member

    Thanks for your help.We will start with the braided lines and different pads.Thanks again..Marc
  6. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Summit Racing has brake lines for our trucks. Check them out.
  7. Kraziken

    Kraziken Rockstar 100 Posts

    SSBC brakes has upgraded brakes for our generation Burbs. I have the front dual caliper brake set. I have not upgraded the rear. It is a disc brake conversion and comes with an improved brake master cylinder.

    The upgrade kits are not cheap. My front SSBC brake kit was around $800. The rear conversion kit that comes with the improved Brake master cylinder is around $1100.

    There are even more expensive willwood brakes but I think they are approaching $3k. It's cheaper to uprade to a newer generation burb. The GMT800 series has much better brakes stock and more aftermarket options.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  8. Deelove2000

    Deelove2000 New Member

    Do you have a preference in pads for the 1500's? How about the organic pads for trucks... For or against? I haven't had any premature wear but I do feel the need for better stopping power in my 96 suburban
  9. nikkeshelton

    nikkeshelton Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Good call on the ss brake lines. I replaced ones on a auto and was pleasantly surprised at the positive change!
  10. Kraziken

    Kraziken Rockstar 100 Posts

    I have not tried organic. But the aggressive pads I had from SSBC definitely had better bite.

    The negative, they will eat your rotors. It's worth it in the name of safety in my opinion.

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