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Brakes just don't seem right, should wheels lock up?

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Brakes just don't seem right, should wheels lock up?

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  #1  
Old 03-14-2018, 01:40 PM
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Default Brakes just don't seem right, should wheels lock up?

New calipers, hoses, rotors and pads on front. New drums and shoes on back. Still the truck just doesnít seem to stop very well, just kind of a slow process. Tires never lock up, unless on ice or sand on the blacktop. The pedal is easy to push, so I figured the vac assist is working. Fluid in the reservoir is good. Donít have air in any lines, brakes donít pump up and if I hold down on pedal, it doesnít move down. Parking brake is tight and works good. Maybe the wheels arenít suppose to lock up, I donít know, but it doesnít do a quick stop. Doesnít make you feel like you are being thrown forward in seat. Someone slammed on brakes in front of me and I wasnít tailgating, but was getting worried, but didnít hit them. Any suggestions on what to look for, I driven it like this for years, but just recently tried to do something about it and nothing has made any differences.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:28 PM
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did you remember to clean the new rotors and drums off with brake clean?
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:39 PM
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I've never really liked my brakes either, despite having done the 2500LD caliper upgrade, rear 3500 cylinders, 3500 master cylinder. I've tried a couple different brake pads too (Napa heavy duty & Powerstop) but no major difference. Stops good but not great. I can count on one hand the times where I've had the pedal to the floor and needed to stop faster to avoid collision, not a good feeling.

I would wait for yours to break in if you haven't already and go from there.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:45 PM
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Yeah, pad quality, tire size, and abs will all make a difference. My 96 2500 stops MUCH better than my 98 2500. In the older truck, the brakes are MUCH more sensitive, and since it doesn't have 4wal, it will lock the fronts if you aren't paying attention. (I have NEVER had the rear abs work properly on that truck.... in gravel, it was a simple matter to slide the rears, and the system was intact.)

Best thing to do is see what the manufacturer specifically recommends for pad/rotor brake-in. Follow that procedure. If done wrong, you can glaze the rotors, and your brakes just suck.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:47 PM
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Didn't actually do it myself, guess I am getting lazy. Took to a auto repair shop and I know the mechanic, he has been doing work for 20 plus years, would assume he cleaned them.

The whole story is he did all this work about 6 months ago and at that time he turned the drums and new shoes on the rear. It still didn't stop that well or lock up wheels. Then stupid me set the parking brake and drove with it on, parking light hard to see. Well after not releasing the parking brake a couple more times, it just didn't work at all. So I took the wheel and drum off and had nice shinny rivets. So took back to mechanic and this time it took new drums and new shoes on rear. Stopping is still the same, not all that great.

I did fix my problem of leaving on the parking brake. I hooked up a 12 volt buzzer that sounds when have the parking brake on. I have this hill I park on and just like sitting the parking brake before I put it in park.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:49 PM
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my stock brakes (99, 2500) aren't great either but they'll put me forward in my seat if needed. if you're saying they're that bad, I'd be concerned about more than the spongy brake feel that seems common on these trucks
 

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Old 03-14-2018, 03:51 PM
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Front brakes do around 70% of the work of stopping your truck, so, if they are weak, or simply not working right, it is REAL easy to notice. I might be tempted to sand the pads, turn the rotors, (does anyone do that any more??) and try break-in again.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:25 PM
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I understand how the front brakes do most the work, not sure how to tell if they are weak. One of the reasons I took it to a shop I know is to let someone else that wasn't a "shade tree farmer mechanic" look at it. I have done stuff on other cars/trucks like only put on one new front rotor, gravity bleed brakes, never do any break in etc, don't really follow protocol. However, I also never had any trouble either, so maybe my farmer fixes are better?

I guess I do usually try to break them in by doing easy stops, planning ahead a little better. I can remember when I worked in a machine shop part time for an uncle, we ground down the brake shoes to better fit drum.

Before my 1996 Dodge, I had a 75 Blazer and it stopped good, locked up them wheels. Maybe the 1996 Dodge isn't meant to lock up the wheels? Maybe I should just have the rotors rough up and get better pads, not sure what my mechanic used for pads, then just do it myself. I actually have a place I could turn them myself, but if I whine can get buddy to do it for a beer or two. I kind of thought new front hoses would have fixed the problem, know they can get narrow, kind of like arteries.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:16 PM
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Put wheel cylinders from a 3500 on the rear brakes. Steel braided hoses would also help. They limit the expansion of the brake hoses so the pressure goes to the calipers and wheel cylinders instead of expanding the rubber hoses.
 
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:25 AM
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Your pickup should absolutely lock up the front wheels if you stomp the brake pedal...unless maybe of course if you've got earthmover size tires on her...wait...even then! The one thing I've noticed here, is that you make no mention of the master cylinder or portioning valve having been replaced. Have you replaced them as well? It's also possible that your lines are blocked or pinched. Do a line survey, especially around the gas tank, they have a bad habit of rusting there.
 
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