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Sorry, I don't know if I have much in the way of suggestions on improving the brakes, but 'burbs are known to not have the most efficient brakes.

Do you know if this '02 burb was four wheel disc? or drums in the back?
The drums may just be out of adjustment.

On the older burbs the proportioning valve in most cases needed to be either upgraded, or replaced to get more psi to the rear brakes. I thought GM had addressed this issue already. So I don't know that would be the case for an '02.

On the other hand, it could be like you said, that his wife is a hard stopper, or rides the brakes, and has glazed the pads over.
 

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My 93 burb stops on a dime and gives 9 cents change! I've had a couple of close calls and clamped on the binders and I am amazed at the stopping power. It stops straight with no fuss. I do have to say that I love the abs on conventional roads, but off road I've had a few scary moments. Nothing like working your way down a steep grade covered with scattered rocks or loose soil, then stomping on the pedal and instead of stopping the abs releases the brakes and zip.........you shoot forward 15feet!:eek:
You might consider putting a toggle switch on the ABS positive lead to shut off the ABS when off roading.

My brakes have always needed a little extra push to get them to slow/stop the burb. But I suspect that I need to do some brake work(flush, replace lines), and that it's not so much a design problem.
 
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