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Old 08-11-2004, 10:40 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Brake Pads?

Can anyone suggest a very good source for brake pads to be used on my tow vehicle? 1st hand experiences please! I've heard Hawk pads work great on trucks. Maybe the Raybestos pads. I don't mind sacrificing some rotor life for better pad bite. My vehicle is an '86 3/4 ton suburban.
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:56 AM   #2
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What do you have in mind with "better"? What do you NOT like about the way your Burb stops now? If you are intent on chewing up the rotor, get semi-metallic pads. They bite well, and will take the heat. Be forewarned they will probably squeal a lot.

For the ultimate in short rotor life, I will suggest the Albany semi-metallic pads from Auto Zone. I just replaced a set on my wife's Yukon after the RH pad's wear sensor went MIA and allowed the inboard pad to wear down to the metal & chew up my Wagner rotor

I now only use Wagner pads (i.e. a good, reputable name) on all my vehicles.

Out of curiosity, while good brakes are always a good idea, are you attempting to overcome some deficiency in your trailer's brakes? My '84, 3/4 ton Burb brakes work extremely well with heavy loads. If you are having trouble stopping, it may be due to malfuntioning trailer brakes.

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Old 08-12-2004, 10:07 AM   #3
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I haven't even started towing yet.
I'm in the process of getting everything ready. the truck is new (to me) so I'm replacing a number of things to be safe/ready. The truck stops ok, but its 20yrs old and a behemoth. I plan on using electric trailer brakes for sure. I just want to upgrade to the best (or near best) to reduce the possibilities of what could go wrong, especially in emergency situations i.e. panic stops! I can't lock 'em up at 60mph but I can stop ok. I'm very experienced with modifying and fixing cars and know how much good, new brake pads will help when choosing the right ones. the 2nd best improvement is a complete and total flush of the brake fluid, which is also on the top of the list.
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Old 08-12-2004, 12:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y5e06
I haven't even started towing yet.
I'm in the process of getting everything ready. the truck is new (to me) so I'm replacing a number of things to be safe/ready. The truck stops ok, but its 20yrs old and a behemoth. I plan on using electric trailer brakes for sure. I just want to upgrade to the best (or near best) to reduce the possibilities of what could go wrong, especially in emergency situations i.e. panic stops! I can't lock 'em up at 60mph but I can stop ok. I'm very experienced with modifying and fixing cars and know how much good, new brake pads will help when choosing the right ones. the 2nd best improvement is a complete and total flush of the brake fluid, which is also on the top of the list.
I prefer Wagner Thermo-Quiet pads. They work well, stop well, are quiet, and last pretty well, too.
They also make Thermo-Quiet shoes for the back of your 'burb.
One caveat, though. If your truck did not come with semi-metallics, you may actually be causing more problems than you are solving by using them. The pads work best when hot, and the older braking systems run too cool to get the semi-metallics into the heat range where they perform well. By the time you get the pads hot enough to work well, you are at the point where you are overheating and warping rotors.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by y5e06
... The 2nd best improvement is a complete and total flush of the brake fluid, which is also on the top of the list.
If you are going to that level of maintenance, you may want to consider replacing the brake line's flex hoses.

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Old 08-12-2004, 01:21 PM   #6
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I'm running Rayspestos Gold on all my trucks including my 88 3/4 ton burb. Pepboys has them. I have been happy with them and no adverse problems. Just besure to turn the rotors to get the best possible job. I'm using Castrol GTX break fluid that is supose to meet DOT 4 standards and have been using it for years in all my vehciles. Never boiled one yet since switching.

Pick up some "Brake Quite" and some brake lube. Anywhere the pad or caliper has to slide on the bracket put a thin coat of lube. Coat the back of the pad where it contacts the piston and caliper with the "Brake Quiet". It's sort of a goo that will dry and leave a rubbery coating. Both are Permatex products. My brakes are quiet using them.


The drums are so crittical on these that they be correct. All my GMs at one time or another I have had problems with the adjusters hanging. If they hang then you will get a spongy peddle with a lot of travel. If you cant get them freed up if they are hung they are not expensive and Auto Zone and pep girls have always had them on the shelf. Adjust the drums till you can hear and FEEL them drag slightly. That will bring the peddle right up to the top.

Ask "Chile Pepper" about how good the brakes are. She was use to the before and about launched the kids out of the truck first time out after I did the last brake job.
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