Thread: CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN the "SUBURBAN BRAKE UPGRADE" FOR 1/2-TON CHEVY/GMCs

  1. #1
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    Default CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN the "SUBURBAN BRAKE UPGRADE" FOR 1/2-TON CHEVY/GMCs

    I'm looking to replace the front brakes and rotors on a 2001 Chevy Silverado Z-71 1/2-ton 4x4 truck. The brakes on it are fine, but who couldn't use better brakes, especially if the parts are OEM and bolt on?! I read some of the posts here that say you can "upgrade" the front (rear?) brakes by installing Suburban rotors and calipers from model years 2005-2007. This sounded pretty good until this morning when I stopped by a GMC/Chevy dealership. (I read you need 17" wheels which came stock on our vehicle)

    The GMC parts guy at the dealer told me that the brakes, rotors, and calipers for 2000-2006 1/2-ton pickups are the SAME PART NUMBERS as for a 2000-2006 Suburban. He showed me the part numbers which indeed are the same.

    So, if this is the case, what specific parts numbers are you guys using for this "Suburban" brake upgrade that I'm reading about? Could it be that the 2000-2006 (Suburban) brake parts can be used to upgrade the 1992-1999 model series?

    Also, could it be that the brakes parts are different on the 1/2-ton Suburbans and the 3/4-ton Suburbans? T H A N K S . . . !
    Last edited by General Automag; 05-07-2012 at 03:58 PM. Reason: grammar
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  2. #2
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    If anyone has done this conversion, please let me know the part numbers, whether or not you noticed any real braking improvement, and your bottom line cost once you got everything bolted back up. T H A N K S !
    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

  3. #3
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    brakes are much larger on 3/4 ton suburbans, not sure you can swap them onto the smaller rear axle you would have though.
    2011 silverado 1500 crew cab ltz....stock for now

    SOLD: 1988 suburban 2500 on 1 ton axles, diy4x shackle flip, sky engineering crossover steer, 35" tires on H2 rims, 2005 5.3L swap, th400/208, 4.11s
    build thread: http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...burban-buildup

  4. #4
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    Hydro-boost conversion (there is a string on this w/part numbers in this forum) if you don't already have hydro-boost is biggest bang for buck as the clamping force increase is the desired result. Understand that you would need high pressure p/s pump and cooler in most hydro boost brake up-fitting projects. Vacuum, hydro-boost or hydro-electric all have their place when up-fitting brake system, however, there are many specialized brake up-fitters who more likely than not sell complete kits for your desired results and application.
    1999 GMC K2500 BURBAN, NAVISTAR enhanced 6.5 td aftercooled, dual alt's, PSC p/s pump w/HD cooler, redundant FSD's, HEATH program, turbine/downpipe wrapped, 4" SS exhaust, real time OBD2 data logging w/device controller, EVANS waterless coolant @ zero (0) psi & 135 gpm pump, 4L80e w/kevlar and premium steel w/cryo treated input/output shafts running @ 100 deg. F & 140 deg F towing, all synthetic fluids, AMSOIL bypass system, MileMarker hydro, dual fuel tanks, and on and on, questions PM me.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, but I'm just interested in the bolt-on rotor and caliper brake upgrades for a 1/2-ton Chevrolet/GMC truck. Does anyone out there have any part numbers or has anyone successfully upgraded their 2000-2004 model year trucks with the Suburban or 3/4-ton brake parts?
    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

  6. #6
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    General-
    Check this site out. HeneryJ, who is a member on here did what I believe you're talking about, and he documented it on here:
    http://sites.google.com/site/bltoffroad/

    He used '07up gmt900 parts on a 2005 avalanche, which i would think would be the same as your pickup.

  7. #7
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    SUV upgrade only applies to the rear calipers and rotors of 99-2004 GM Pickups with rear disc brakes.

    Here:
    http://www.performancetrucks.net/forums/gm-drivetrain-suspension-22/installed-suv-rear-brakes-my-silverado-467040/

    For the front:

    Starting in 2005, 1/2 ton gm trucks recieved REAR drum brakes and larger front rotors. The larger front brakes required a change to 17" wheels for clearance. The 05-07 classic bodystyle brakes are the same as the new body 2007-2011. My 2006 1/2 ton has the big front brakes and rear drums, although i replaced the 17" wheels with some SS 20's.

    Please reference this thread on the topic, this forum is a good place to search for gm truck related topics.

    http://www.performancetrucks.net/forums/gm-drivetrain-suspension-22/budget-brake-upgrade-2000-silverado-05-front-suv-rear-497499/
    Last edited by 4BT; 05-08-2012 at 02:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    I ended up installing new rotors which were Napa's "premium" rotors at $83 each. New front brake pads from GM cost $123. These are the exact same pads that came on the truck. The original pads lasted almost 150K miles, so that's what went back on it. I did have the new rotors resurfaced for $8 each. A few of the counter clerks at the parts store looked at my as if I was crazy asking to get new rotors turned, but they did need to take a little off which made me continue to always have new rotors turned.

    Our truck has the Z-71 option with disk brakes on all four corners, with dual-piston brake calibers on all four corners, so the 1/2-ton "upgrade" to 3/4-ton Suburban disks and calibers didn't make much sense. Perhaps I missed some part numbers, but my search here for some good information on the subject was, unfortunately, a waste of time. The "stock" brake setup should serve us fine for another 150K miles as the truck stops fine and the ABS works great in getting the vehicle to a quick halt.

    FYI, see the #1 Post for 1/2-ton truck to 3/4-ton part numbers, and "stock" 2001 Chevy Z-71 have two-caliber pistons on all four corners. I guess the truck was built pretty good from the factory... A front brake job for a 2001 Chevy Sliverado truck is right at $300 if you do it yourself. Larger rotors and bigger pads would be great. Perhaps we can get a good post on this some day.
    Last edited by General Automag; 07-15-2012 at 04:17 PM.
    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
    I just did this upgrade on my 2002 Z71 with JC5 7200LB 4 wheel disk vacuum brakes stock. I'm not sure where you got your information but no Z71 pickup with rear disks had dual piston calipers. Basicly what I did was ordered rear brake parts for a 2003 Suburban. The rotors are the same diameter but slightly thicker. Than got a set of Nastra remanned rotors for the rear for a 2003 suburban. Than topped it off by replacing all the parking brake hardware and backing plates, major PITA but worth it. Then on the front I ordered a set of PPV (police pursuit vehicle) 2007 and up remanned calipers from GM. These calipers have higher temperature ratings than the normal 2007+ calipers. Then picked up 2008 PPV tahoe raybestos rotors and pads. While I was their I replaced the backing plates and one wheel bearing. Let me tell you the new front disks are massive compared too the stock parts, Thicker too. The next upgrade for me is braided stainless brake flex lines and Hydroboost. 2007 and up SUVs also have larger rear brakes in diameter by I think 1/2 inch if I remember correctly. Too top it off I picked up a set of OEM 2005 tahoe Z71 17" rims to makes everything pop. Ask any questions I did about a year of research before spending a dime.


    Edit: Oh any you cant upgrade too 3/4 ton rotors and possibly calipers. Different bolt pattern.

  10. #10
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    I did the upgrade on my Avalanche BLToffroad Avalanche. About half way through that page you will find details.
    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.

    You will find ten pages of details here: Gmt800 To Gmt900 Brake Upgrade, Everyone deserves good brakes!
    "Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-mechanic from Mad Max-
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