Options for Brake Upgrades

Discussion in 'Brakes' started by OkieFishMan, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
    1984
    Truck Model:
    GMC C2500
    Engine Size:
    454/SM465
    Since I have the 14BFF all I would have to do is swap in the parts right? Shouldn't it bolt right up?
     
  2. Craig 85

    Craig 85 Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
    1985
    Truck Model:
    K30 SRW
    Engine Size:
    454/TH-400/NP205
    I've never done this swap, but I would assume yes. I just re-did the brakes on my K30 and was able to purchase all new brake hardware. The only thing I that looked different than my old '80 C20 3+3 is the backing plates. I believe the 3.5" brakes have a deeper dish to the backing plate.
     
  3. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    I'm glad you're considering hydro-boost. It is so worth it. All the time and $ you can throw at your vacuum brakes and they will never even come close to hydro boost.
     
  4. OkieFishMan

    OkieFishMan Full Access Member

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    Sounds like hydroboost is the way to go. That will give me a good winter time project. Thanks for all the input guys!!
     
  5. NastyBuzzard

    NastyBuzzard Junior Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Engine Size:
    350TBI
    I have designed an adapter bracket to put newer style 14bolt disc brakes on the older style 14BFF. It has integral parking brake and slip on rotor. Hubs will need to be turned down a bit but other than that it is bolt on.

    Brake Swap.JPG

    Brake Swap2.JPG

    Brake Swap3.JPG

    Brake Swap4.JPG
     
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Full Access Member

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    Given my experience over the years with aftermarket brake parts in older vehicles, I'd focus on sticking close to GM parts. Your truck already has some serious rear brakes, and I'm not sure you'd see a heck of a lot of improvement even with a $700 aftermarket disc setup. Same goes for the front rotors and calipers.

    I'd start with new name-brand calipers and drums, and consider high quality pads and shoes like Wagner Severe Duty. If you try to get by with turning the rear drums, their inner diameters will not fit flush to a new set of shoes, so you'll need to go with new drums (or find a shop that can still "arc in" shoes). it's very common for someone to get their drums turned and install new shoes, only to discover the brakes are worse than they were before, because only the center 1/3 of the new shoes are actually contacting the turned drums.

    As an option for the front, Wilwood makes a D52 replacement caliper kit for 84 C20 that works with stock rotors, but they don't show anything for a C2500. I don't know if those models used the same calipers & pads or not. Anyway, their 2-piston calipers put a more evenly distributed clamping force on the pads, and their BP-10 pads work pretty well, or at least they did on my manual brake 55 Chevy sedan.

    And don't forget to flush the system with fresh DOT 3 fluid.

    Edit: According to the spec sheet below, front brakes are, in fact, the same for C20, C2500, and C2500 Crew Cab. However, rear drum brakes are larger at 13" x 2.5" on C2500 and C2500 Crew Cab.
    https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/do...its/Chevrolet-Trucks/1984-Chevrolet-Truck.pdf

    On a final note (finally). Whether you use a vacuum booster or hydroboost, it all starts with the quality and condition of the friction components. Otherwise, adding boost will be like putting lipstick on a pig.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017 at 3:31 PM
  7. rhedelius

    rhedelius Junior Member

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    Engine Size:
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    NastyBuzzard,

    That setup looks awesome and is what I have been looking for! Do you have a write up with more information including the parts needed and steps that need to be done? Will 17" wheels work (specifically H2 wheels)? I might be interested in this for my 85 K30 (trying to get it roadworthy at the moment).

    Thanks,
    Rick
     
  8. NastyBuzzard

    NastyBuzzard Junior Member

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    Rick,

    I do have installation instructions with pictures and part numbers for all the brake parts. These will clear 16" but 17" work perfectly, I am running 17"s off a 2500 dodge. I don't want to try and sell it on here as I am not a vendor or anything but you can contact me for me information through messaging.

    Thanks,
    NB
     
  9. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    NastyBuzzard likes this.
  10. ndfrspd

    ndfrspd Junior Member

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    Engine Size:
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    My experience with the Caddy rear calipers has left Me with a desire to go a different route for 4 wheel disc setups. On My 74 Blazer I converted to K30 I opted for the Hydrovac system and used front 1/2 - 3/4 ton Calipers on the rear with an adjustable proportioning valve that I use to dial in pressure to the rear. I use a TFC mounted rotor with a mechanical caliper adapted to the stock parking brake cable for My parking brake. This system works extremely well on My Blazer which runs a 496 BB stroker mated to a T-400 and 205-203 TFC set up, Dana 60 up front and 14 bolt out back. It stops as good as it runs, and the cost wasn't crazy.
     
  11. ali_c20

    ali_c20 Junior Member

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    I have the stock brakes on my c20 and just maintain them and they put me trough the windshield when I slam the brakes. I use quality brake pads and shoes, no cheap stuff.
     
  12. MikeB

    MikeB Full Access Member

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    There you go! My point exactly. Those are some serious brakes.
     
  13. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    Welcome Vince and thanks for the comment. Can you say more about your TFC brake system please? Pics would be awesome!

    I don't want to highjack this thread but I'm also very curious about your 496 build. Man that must be a handful to drive
    your short wheelbase. I live for torque.
     
  14. skysurfer

    skysurfer Full Access Member

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    For a stock setup they work ok, but for the many squares that have larger wheel & tire combos the factory brakes can't handle the extra rotational mass.
     
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  15. MikeB

    MikeB Full Access Member

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    I admit I didn't consider that. But still he should begin by ensuring his current components are in good shape, from calipers to pads to shoes to wheel cylinders. And if the pedal isn't firm, then take a look at the M/C. It's sort of like t-shooting an engine that's running poorly --- Start by looking for vacuum leaks, and then check timing and spark advance before you buy a new carb or distributor.

    I fought a brake system for years before finding a crimp in a rear hard line bend. In another vehicle I found a banjo bolt that was 75% clogged. Sure, you can still build pressure through the reduced ID, but it takes a while for that pressure & volume to move the pistons.

    Has he even inspected his brakes for seal leaks and friction material wear?
     

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