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Thread: WHAT ARE THE BEST OPTIONS FOR BRAKE ROTORS FOR A 1/2-TON CHEVROLET Z-71?

  1. #1
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    Default WHAT ARE THE BEST OPTIONS FOR BRAKE ROTORS FOR A 1/2-TON CHEVROLET Z-71?

    I need to replace a set of warped brake rotors on our 2001 Chevy Z-71. It's a 1/2 ton, and when I tow, I tow HEAVY loads. I replaced the brake pads at 125,000 miles. Can you believe it?! Of course I replaced the brake pads with the same type of pads that came on it, but I want to get some good rotors that will be less likely to warp under load. Thanks!
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, Im from the government and Im here to help. Ronald Reagan

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." Thomas Paine

  2. #2
    I would say oem... Imo...

  3. #3
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    I've had excellent luck with Napa Premium and Ultrapremium rotors.

    For pads I use: EBC Yellow (aggressive), EBC Green (sport to normal), Napa Ultra Premium (smooth). The right pad is key for perfomance. Rotors aren't a big deal as long as they don't warp.

    Won't you need to change pads again when you install rotors? I've never reused old pads, even if they were still ok. I can believe the 125,000 miles. I get good mileage on mine. About 100,000 miles. With that kind of mileage I replace the rotors, pads, and pins every time. I usually compress the calipers and check that they slide freely every 3rd tire rotation, if they don't, I pull the pins and relube/replace as needed.

    It helps that our trucks stop like someone threw a giant boat anchor out the back whenever we let off the gas. Who needs brakes when our trucks can't coast more than 50 feet?
    Last edited by Buliwyf; 04-26-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Upgrade the calipers, brackets, and rotors to the GMT900 brakes. These are 1" larger and what we needed to begin with. Then use the NAPA Reactive one slotted rotors and Adaptive One ceramic pads. The difference is night and day. Check about half way down my page: BLT Offroad Avalanche

    Gmt800 To Gmt900 Brake Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryJ Apr 16 2011
    Thanks for all the posts and information
    I went with local "performance parts" from NAPA. The application that I used was a 2007 Tahoe.
    Eclipse reman calipers with brackets, Reactive One slotted bidirectional rotors, Adaptive One ceramic pads. The total came to just under $420



    Some comparison shots:



    Brackets and two rotors in the background


    At first I thought that the caliper pistons were smaller. In the first shot it looks that way, but the second shows the larger piston of the new caliper. Very deceiving.



    A comparison of the pads shows only a small increase in contact area. Most of the swap benefit must come from the mechanical advantage. The rotors and pads will be the rest of the improvement. I have had only limited testing with these rotors in the fleet. They do bed in pretty easily and evenly. It is a little too soon to say just how much of an improvement they will be , but with the "rose colored glasses" still on, the improvement is noticeable. Less effort to bring this thing down. It feels much better.
    Last edited by HenryJ; 04-26-2012 at 11:28 PM.
    "Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-mechanic from Mad Max-
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  6. #6
    While your at it, the rear single piston calipers can be swapped for a dual piston set from a same year suburban.

  7. #7
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    Total for all the front with the performance rotors came in just under $420. The rear brakes have no upgrades available for my year truck, so I just installed the performance rotors and pads. I don't recall what those cost.
    A few have just swapped salvage yard parts from the later models to get the bigger front brakes "on-the-cheap". Everyone seems to hover around that $400 mark for the front brake upgrade using various new / reman parts.
    "Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-mechanic from Mad Max-
    If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
    - BLT Offroad KE7CSK

  8. #8
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    I honestly haven't had any issues with the breaking performance of our now 11 year old truck. Are the "performance" rotors the same diameter as stock rotors off of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1/2-ton Z71, or are the performance rotors larger? I'm using OEM brake pads as I've never had another set of front brake pads that lasted over 100K miles, and since I have just over 10K miles on the new pads, I don't think I need to buy new ones. I just have slightly warped rotors probably due from towing a heavy trailer and braking downhill.

    The upgrade looks great. I try to keep most everything stock unless it's an obvious design flaw. Are not the factory or stock calipers two-piston calipers? OEM front rotors are $113 each with my trade discount, and "better" from Napa are roughly $80 each. How much are the slotted rotors in your posts? I try not to buy the cheap auto parts because it's simply not worth it to me in regards to labor and downtime. Thanks for the responses!
    Last edited by General Automag; 04-27-2012 at 03:41 PM. Reason: grammar
    The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, Im from the government and Im here to help. Ronald Reagan

    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." Thomas Paine

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcpimpin View Post
    While your at it, the rear single piston calipers can be swapped for a dual piston set from a same year suburban.

    The SUV rear brakes also come with vented rotors

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Automag View Post
    Are the "performance" rotors the same diameter as stock rotors off of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1/2-ton Z71, or are the performance rotors larger?
    You can buy either
    ... I have just over 10K miles on the new pads, I don't think I need to buy new ones.
    Maybe, maybe not. If you can scuff them enough so that they will bed the new rotors, you may be ok. They need to transfer material to the new rotors to operate properly.
    I just have slightly warped rotors probably due from towing a heavy trailer and braking downhill.
    It could also be hot spotted, or uneven pad transfer. Use a dial indicator to check them.
    The upgrade looks great. I try to keep most everything stock unless it's an obvious design flaw.
    For towing, all the more reason to upgrade to the bigger late model parts. They are still OEM size and parts. Just a newer application. GM recognized the older models had insufficient brakes and upgraded. These were in the past only available with the police package.
    Are not the factory or stock calipers two-piston calipers?
    Yes. Bore and piston sizes can differ though.
    OEM front rotors are $113 each with my trade discount, and "better" from Napa are roughly $80 each. How much are the slotted rotors in your posts?
    I have had some serious problems with NAPA Premium and Ultra Premium rotors. I will not use them any more. Inconsistent iron content leading to warping and hot spotting. The fleet and I have suffered through too many crappy sets of new rotors, I'm done with them for now. The reactive One rotors are good though. Cheaper since they are not directional. My cost on the front rotors is $97.79 each for the stock size and $121 for the newer , larger rotors.
    "Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-mechanic from Mad Max-
    If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving!
    - BLT Offroad KE7CSK

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