Even if your brakes aren’t worn down, you may want to have your brakes replaced with new parts. Some brake upgrades last longer, are able to brake more effectively, and can perform well in certain climates. Take a look at some of the best investments you can make for your brakes.
The easiest way to upgrade your brakes is to install better-quality brake pads. High-performance street pads are able to provide better stopping in situations where you must brake repetitively. For example, if you are driving your truck through a construction zone, you may need to brake repeatedly as the traffic slows down intermittently.
There are three types of brake pads to choose from: organic brake pads, semi-metallic brake pads, and ceramic brake pads. Organic brake pads are less expensive and are quiet. However, they do not last very long. Semi-metallic brake pads are louder and more expensive but can last longer than organic brake pads. Ceramic brake pads last a long time and are quiet, but they do not perform as well under cold climates.
Your brakes must be the right size to allow for proper fluid flow and pressure, which allows your brakes to stop more quickly. Brakes that allow you to stop more easily will give you the extra margin of safety that will reduce the risk that your truck will have an accident.
If you have an older truck with manual drums, replace them with power discs. There are conversion kits that will allow you to do so, but you could also take your truck to a brake repair shop. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure that you only use new brake fluid when installing power discs. Contaminated fluid will damage the hydraulic brake components as you are bleeding the brakes.
Even if the fluid was opened but unused you should use fresh hydraulic fluid. Take the hydraulic fluid to an oil change facility. Make sure that all of the components are clean while performing the installation. Do not eliminate the loops from the vacuum lines because these serve as moisture traps.
Brake Proportioning Valves
Adjustable brake proportioning valves allow you to dial the front-to-back brake balance. They allow the drum brakes to engage before the disc brakes. You will especially need this upgrade with a lifted truck and stock brakes because weight transfer will be greater on a lifted rig. You may need more front brake pressure to stop more effectively.
As your pads break down, they will generate dust. The heat that builds up can generate a layer of hot gases between the rotor and the pad. However, when you use slotted or cross-drilled rotors, the dust and gas between the brakes and rotor will escape. Otherwise, your brakes will wear down more quickly and won’t perform optimally.
You can tell whether or not you have a vented or solid rotor by looking at the edge of the rotor. Vented rotors will have holes on the edge, while solid rotors will not. The holes on the edge of the roller allow hot air to escape.
One of the newer brake systems to upgrade your truck with is the Hydroboost brake system. This system will provide more pressure than a vacuum booster. Instead of using engine vacuum for brake assist, this system uses power steering pressure. The Hydroboost system is placed between the firewall and the master cylinder.
When you are ready to have your brakes upgraded, give us a call at Clutch & Brake Xchange Inc. We specialize in brakes for heavy trucks, and we‘ll assist you in finding the right brakes for your heavy truck.