Upgrading my brakes - is it worth it?

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

  1. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    now this is what I like ! this is all very good info for those that don't understand. when I was in the transportation business we would test the braking rates also change the brake pad material and tweak brake pressures for better brake control . the reason for this is if you start to slip/slip then the ABS gets activated by the computer/PCM and you loose in you braking distance which is not good.

    ever see what those BMW brake rotors look like ? pure brake control. the bigger the rotors/calipers the greater the brake effort and control.

    - - - Updated - - -

    the ECBM electronic control brake module gets tested by the programed control module PCM at every start. on many of our vehicles the relay contacts get burned up and then you get the ABS light to come on with just starting the vehicle and never even braking or moving the shift lever from park.

    the PCM receives the speed signals from the tranny and the front axles. then with the programing decides how it is going to act/control the vehicles failure indicators/brake components.

    when you get a slide condition the pulsing is from the ABS pump and valve dump/apply of brake pressure as you keep your foot pushing down on the brake. when the speed frequencies all agree then the power to the ECBM from the PCM is shutdown to condition normal.

    what I seen happen is these ABS valves can get stuck in the open no pressure position then you cannot stop. very scary . this can occur if you push back the back caliper pistons with the bleed screw closed . then all the dirty brake fluid fouls up the ABS valves in the control unit.

    GM last I checked does not have a brake fluid replacement cycle . this is not good . most manufacturers of high priced quality performance vehicles do have a replacement period for these fluids.I have replaced my fluid 3X since 2000. this may be why my brakes still work very good even when towing.
  2. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    When I replaced and upgraded the brakes on my truck. They were already brand new with ceramic pads. I got improved braking performance out of my upgrade

    98% of big brake kits come with drilled and/or slotted rotors. I certainly don't disagree with your points. In fact they make good sense.
    Another thing to consider is weak shocks a springs. Worn shocks will increase your stopping distance by an average of 10-15 feet on their own. Now, being that your truck is fairly new, I'm sure your springs are in good shape or at least I hope they are

    As for the above brake fluid interval comment, my brake fluid gets changed with every brake pad change. Old brake fluid becomes acidic therefor eating away at runner seals and hoses. So, changing the fluid frequently is a VERY good idea
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Gm does recommend brake system inspection every 12 months, part of that inspection is to check the fluid, some shops will use test strips to check the fluids water content and acidity but most just look at the fluid for color, by time it looks dirty the damage inside has already begun, thats whats making it look dirty.
    I normally change fluid every 24 mos. On resale vehicles I change the fluid as part of sales prep since its a good bet many of them have never had a fluid change.
  4. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    you are right on the fluid color . when it looks off color it is too late.

    keeping my vehicles as long as 17 years I only once had caliper issues . that vehicle the 2000 silverado had defective rear calipers. the caliper pistons were bell shaped. as the pads worn down the piston would stick.

    failure mileage 20,000 1.5 yrs old.

    my 1983 original calipers and brake cylinders no brake failures . replacing brake fluid is most always not done. when you work in a repair shop this is all revealed everyday with how some owners will run down there brakes to metal on metal.
  5. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Rockstar 3 Years 500 Posts

    Unfortunately that's a problem with my wife's Tahoe. We bought it and the fluid is brown.
  6. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    do the brake fluid replacement. I would go to a shop with the proper ABS activating machine and do the GM brake fluid replacement bleed procedure .

    with that done you should notice better braking .
  7. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I'll be replacing the fluid as well so pretty muchan entirely new brake system (fluids, rotors and pads) so I should notice a big difference. Not that I'm having any problems right now, I just want to upgrade.
  8. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    after you do all this brake work you will feel the difference. with brakes slowly loosing the brake effort it does so over a long time and you get used to how hard you push down on the brake pedal.
  9. Kapelusprime

    Kapelusprime Member

    Buck is very dead on IMO, what looks cool or is used on a track for a very focused purpose or application is not always the best choice for a truck that tows or is just going stop light to stop light. Track cars/trucks do torture the parts on them but longevity is not always the prime concern. X number of laps are put on them and worn parts are replaced after the race is over, It's why they have sponsors. Fleet parts are usually beefier for a reason.
  10. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I ordered my parts. I basically went with premium OE replacements instead of performance rotors.

    @Kapelusprime Those are my thoughts exactly. My truck is no where near a race truck and it doesn't do any towing so I don't really need any super awesome brake system. OEs are plenty so I decided to save the money.

    Thanks to everyone for all the input!

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