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z71 1500 brakes

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by wirenut, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    as many have found out out trucks brakes suck
    I've changed f/r rotors and pads last year now they need it again....
    anyone found a good combination of rotors/pads that work and provide a better
    feeling pedal?
    i can see why the generals ship is sinking....

  2. Mike N

    Mike N Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Biggest problem with the four wheel disc setups is the sliders freezing and/or the pads becoming stuck in the mounts. With everything lubed up and working nice and free there's no reason you should have to replace brakes once a year.

    With that being said I'm glad my Z71 is old enough to have drum brakes in the rear.
  3. te snow

    te snow Member
    Messages: 46

    Brake Pads and Rotors

    I don't know if they would work for your truck but I have a 2004 GMC Sierra HD with over 80,000 miles and have never changed the front brake pads or rotors. I did buy it used with 23,000 miles but I'm almost positive that they were never changed before that and even if they were I have 60,000 miles on them. I actually just went to the dealer and picked up the same pads that were on the truck (Heavy Duty Pads) for $200. Again I'm not sure but you might want to look into this before trying to install them on your truck. I believe the rotors are also bigger as in surface area of contact. I have yet to see the condition of the rotors but not expecting to have to change them unless rusted out like the rears everytime I replace those.
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    What year is this truck wirenut?
  5. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    it's a 04 1500 z71
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Thats what I suspected. It's wearing out a set of front brakes in a year because the rear brakes aren't doing their job. And its likey due to the fact that the pads are frozen in the caliper bracket....super super common issue on those trucks when run in the salt belt.

    In other words...your working on the wrong end. :D
  7. Bigcat99

    Bigcat99 Senior Member
    Messages: 126


    I have the '04 1500 and the last time I had it on a hoist, my mechanic mentioned that they see lots of these having early issues with the rear brakes. He noticed mine are getting close to needing to be replaced. Right now, I only have 41K on the truck. Any recommendations on a good replacement, as I am thinking to have them done before summer? Can you get a better after market set up for these than the OEM parts? Also, if I go new in the back, should I replace the front - even if they have a decent amount of pad left?
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Not surprised that your mechanic is well aware of it cat, like I mentioned it's a very well known issue. The sad part is the fact that many so called "mechanics" don't understand the root cause of the rear brake issue. Most think it's the caliper itself getting hung up on the slides..but it reality it's actually the brake pads themselves that get "pinched" in the brackets as the corrosion builds up behind the stainless slide plates that the pads notches ride in. They'll get so much corrosion built up under there that the caliper physically can't move the pad on the bracket..hence all the brake pedal force is being used just to overcome the pads resistance to slide in order to contact the rotor, instead of going to apply the pad against the rotors surface. And in that situation the pedal feels fine (or even slightly stiff) but the pad and rotor isn't even contributing to the braking effort...and then what happens is the truck then depends on the front brakes to handle the majority of the braking effort. And of course that leads to premature wear on the front brakes. The driver isn't even aware if it in most cases either.

    When doing a brake job on these trucks its imperative to remove the stainless sliders and clean the rust/corrosion build up from the brackets...and that's exactly what most guys do not do because they're not aware of the issue. You have to get the grooves 100% free of any corrosion build up...and in many cases just scraping a screwdriver through them a few times doesn't remove it, you have to use a chipping hammer, a coarse flat file and/or a small grinder or else you not getting it all. If it only takes you 2 minutes to clean the grooves out then your not getting it back down to the original base metal. It's actually a little deceiving when you first look at them as they never look that bad but in reality there's actually a considerable build up on them...and that's why many guys miss this very important detail. When properly done the pads should be LOOSE in the bracket when you install them. Thats how you know it won't be a problem again.

    So, these "mechanics" throw a fresh set of pads and rotors on but don't even remove the stainless sliders to clean the corrosion from behind them, so it's only a matter of time before the whole cycle starts all over again. This also can apply to the front brakes as well in some parts of the county...but it's mostly the rears that have the most issue. It's not just a GM issue either. The Ford's and Dodge's will do it too.

    As for brands, I generally use either Raybestos pads & rotors or NAPA's top of the line premium rotors along with either their "Application Engineered" or "Ceramix" pads. Good life with good performance on all accounts. Brake parts are no different than anything else you get what you pay for when it comes to both the new parts and the person doing the job. Not an area where cheaper is better. The extra $$ is worth it. :salute:
  9. Plowinpro03

    Plowinpro03 Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    It amazes me that so many people focus heavily on the sliders as requiring attentions, and there right. However, all GM truck's ive owned...(04 and up)....ive come to realize that, its much easier to actually make the path on the pad bigger. Grind down the grove rails on the pad a little, make them sharp so they can ride on the sliders easier. There's nothing wrong with doing this. Making more room for movement. I had exact opposite happen to me. The pads would stick b/c the sliders would be nasty, id clean the sliders, then the rear pads eventually would just stick again..wearing down or not working. So, like i said, id grind down the little rail on the shoe/pad that goes into the slider, making it smaller to fit better. You can even bore out the holes in the pad that ride threw the pins for more play. Never had a problem EVER again.
  10. ghlkal

    ghlkal Member
    Messages: 83

    Is this an issue with '04 and up, or does it effect previous years too?
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    It's an issue with all '99-up trucks equipped with rear disc brakes.