Upgrading my brakes - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by McClintoc, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I have a 2001 Silverado 1500 2WD with all-4 disc brakes. A couple of years ago I replaced the brake pads but all 4 rotors are still OE. In a couple of weeks I'll be replacing my hubs and bearings and while I'm down there with the whole wheel/rotor/hub/bearing assembly broken down, I'd like to go ahead and replace all my rotors and pads.

    I'm thinking about upgrading to some heavy duty or performance rotors but am curious if those are really worth it. My truck does not have a towing package so I don't really need the heavy duty rotors and my truck is by no means a race car so I don't really need the performance rotors either. I'm just thinking that if I'm going to replace them, why not upgrade them from OE incase I ever do put a towing package on there. The heavy duty ones make the most sense (if I ever install a towing package) but I also really like to look the of drilled/slotted rotors - and I do have aftermarket wheels.

    Is the extra cost worth it or should I just stick with OE-replacements? Is there a noticeable stopping power increase with performance rotors during daily driving?
  2. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have the drilled and slotted rotors on mine with the ceramic pads that came with them and I say yes, it is definitely worth it. My brakes have surprised me many times when deer have ran out on me or a dog or just some moron stops short in front of me, my brakes just stop me. I really like how in the rain or wet road you don't even notice that your brakes are wet. I got the Power stop from Summit racing and I have had them over two years. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-AR-8640XL The pads are not showing hardly any wear. I think this is a great mod for a 2x4 Silverado. :glasses:
  3. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Upgrading brakes is always worth it. There's no point in being able to motivate these trucks down the road if they can't stop. Being able to stop better is always a plus

    Drilled and/or slotted rotors means cooler braking= much less brake fade. Especially on the occasion that your towing a load. Did this with my 3/4 ton dodge and was able to stop a track hoe on a dime with a $.12 refund! 8)
  4. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    having the 2000 silverado 4wd and using to tow a 4200lb boat I just replaced all my OEM original rotors and brake pads 3 years ago with the advance auto lifetime warranty rotors and brake pads. so far I have had no issues . since I live in the rust belt the rotors were with rust issues after 10years. the advance auto lifetime rotors still look good BUT if they don't I just go down and get new ones for free under the warranty.

    just make sure you use the proper brake pads. when you change the braking rate the ABS can be a problem . 2wd truck is lighter than the 4wd so slotted rotors and ceramic pads could be too much.

    when doing this job open the bleed screw then push back the caliper. if you do not do this you can screw up the ABS valves. work one at a time start at the right rear left rear right front then lastly left[driverside ]front..
  5. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Isn't the abs activated by fluid pressure?
  6. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    the ABS is activated by the PCM. when the wheel sensors/transmission sensor all do not agree the PCM applies power to the ABS relay which then cause the brake fluid to be dropped out , then re-applied until the speed is the same on all wheels.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  7. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    [MENTION=39185]j cat[/MENTION], usually, I agree with everything you write, but I need to question your last response.

    It is my understanding, that the ABS is composed of a hydraulic control unit (HCU) and a brake control unit (EBCU), they may be in the same case. The EBCU uses the ABS speed sensors to monitor wheel speed differences. When it detects a difference in wheel/hub/driveshaft speed, it commands the HCU to operate a valve to apply a wheel brake.

    In the newer vehicles, the EBCU probably "talks" to the PCM so that the PCM can adjust the engine power to provide additional assistance with braking.
  8. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    They are not a problem as I stated above but a great improvement in safety, Mine is also a 2x4. Again, I have been running mine over two years now and no problems at all. I would never go back to stock. :glasses:
  9. buckmeister2

    buckmeister2 Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    Man, I hate to be the only dissenter, but will give my .02 worth. First, you will always notice an improvement in braking when you replace worn out pads or rotors, which I think is what many people responding are feeling. The supposed "upgrade" to drilled and/or slotted rotors results in very little, if any, improvement. Maximum braking surface with discs results from maximum contact with the pads and rotors. Reducing any contact surface, especially drilling, reduces the total surface that can be contacted, and may actually result in poorer braking. Slotting is preferable over drilling, because if not done correctly, drilling will lead to early distortion of the rotors. If you have your factory rotors properly surfaced, and use the highest quality pads you can get, you will be getting the maximum stopping power you can from original size rotors. The only way to significantly decrease the stopping distance of your truck is to increase the size of the rotor and pad, so there is more contact area. A good example of this would be installing a complete wilwood system, which runs anywhere from about $2500 to $5000, depending on what you choose. Yes, some of their systems are drilled and slotted, some are slotted, and some are flat surfaced. That is determined by application, and we are talking serious considerations, not just driving one's truck around town. Just fyi, I have used many d&s rotors, and currently run slotted rotors. After I install and break in new brakes, I take my truck to a lonely road (I try to use the same road each time) and set the cruise on 60, then, using a marker to measure from, do a max power brake at 60 mph, and measure the stopping distance. I have never seen any of my rotors make more than a few feet diff either way, but have seen the best pads make 10-15 feet diff, and that is worth it.
  10. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    ^^^ some good info there, buck!

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