PDA

View Full Version : Brake upgrades



Duke George V
11-18-2011, 01:00 AM
We all know van brakes are a good upgrade for the cars it's based on. But what about the van? The brakes are shared with C and H platform cars, which aren't exactly performance vehicles. I haven't found anything that's a bolt-on improvement for C, H or U cars. I e-mailed ZZ Performance the other day, and they were decidedly unhelpful, simply remarking that they don't carry anything for the vans. Well duh, I knew that, since their site is essentially a W-body wank fest.

Both myself and my wife have long complained about the brakes on the van. They feel... undersized. My mother-in-law drives it pretty regularly too, and she says they don't feel right, like they're trying to stop something much bigger than the van is. That may be due to a combination of factors, such as the fluid status, or the booster/master cylinder, but I really feel that the brakes are perhaps a hair under adequate for a top-heavy vehicle, despite weighing approximately the same as the cars the brakes came from. Anyone have any ideas? I was considering trying to crib ZZP's F-body kit, (http://shop.zzperformance.com/store/p/268-F-Body-Dual-Aluminum-Piston-Brake-Kit.aspx) but it looks like it uses a different caliper and bracket, which probably requires a different... backing plate? Is that what it's called? Anyway, it's probably not a bolt-on affair.

If I am successful in installing those brakes, I would probably need to get bigger wheels, no? What would the minimum be? I was thinking 16, since that's what base F cars use.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-18-2011, 01:56 AM
...but I really feel that the brakes are perhaps a hair under adequate...

1992 - Brakes were enlarged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Trans_Sport) and anti-lock brakes (ABS) was added as standard equipment.

PS: Imho, a waste of bucks...lots of bucks!

Duke George V
11-18-2011, 03:05 AM
1992 - Brakes were enlarged (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Trans_Sport) and anti-lock brakes (ABS) was added as standard equipment.
I know, and my point still stands. Even with the '92 improvement, I still feel they're not quite enough.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-18-2011, 04:16 AM
I still feel they're not quite enough.

My brother and I, years ago, installed a larger brake booster from a Blazer on a small pickup truck...that made braking very sensitive...small amount of pressure translated into stronger braking force. Not good for inexperienced driver.

Those front wheel calipers you gave an URL to stated in essence, double the applied braking force with same brake pressure. I have no idea how this would work with your ABS, or if your ABS is limiting how you apply brakes now. I've never researched how ABS works...have you been in another ABS equip'ed vehicle? Same response? Does it sense pedal pressure also?

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-18-2011, 04:44 AM
Even with the '92 improvement

I did some quick internet searching....

1. On one diagram, it showed a brake pressure sensor feeding computer.

2. Your system may be the Delco Moraine ABS VI, so I have no idea if this modification applies to you or not (http://www.voicecrystal.com/Esprit/ABS_Disable/):

It is commonly known that the Delco/Moraine ABS systems are pretty lame. There is a constant back force applied against your foot as you try to brake. It's somewhat like stepping on a brick (for me). These systems are in place on cars from the SE's thru the S4s.

3. "Training Manual," but only table of contents, and applications are listed. (http://cf.linnbenton.edu/eit/auto/fiorits/upload/NAPA_ABS_ABS_Training_Guide.pdf)

4. Another training manual (http://webtools.delmarlearning.com/sample_chapters/3520P-09.pdf)

Duke George V
11-18-2011, 05:38 AM
Those front wheel calipers you gave an URL to stated in essence, double the applied braking force with same brake pressure. I have no idea how this would work with your ABS, or if your ABS is limiting how you apply brakes now. I've never researched how ABS works...have you been in another ABS equip'ed vehicle? Same response? Does it sense pedal pressure also?
I have not owned an ABS-equipped vehicle prior to this one. I know how to threshold brake, so I've never tripped the ABS. The pedal feels about the same as the A-bodies I had before.

I like your bigger booster idea. Do you think it would fit under the hood of the van?

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-18-2011, 12:37 PM
I like your bigger booster idea

I just skimmed ABS info...it don't appear to operate like traditional brake systems. On DaimlerChrysler ABS-3 system and the Teves ABS both use a pressurized
hydraulic accumulator. Which would defeat the purpose of putting a larger booster on vehicle. with these systems.

I saw on ebay a manual for Delco Moraine ABS VI for seven bucks delivered to your door (oops, just sold, I bought it:-)....if this is the system used on your van, I would highly suggest buying a shop manual. I am not familiar with this system, so I don't know how a larger booster might affect it. On ABS system, I'm sure they matched up the components to work best.


When we put on a larger brake booster on small pickup, GM used a different setup on Blazer, so we had to modify it.


ABS is controlling the amount of applied pressure....and you can't "pump" ABS brakes....just press down more. That last item, number four, gives some tidbits on these systems, but getting GM's shop manual for your vehicle is best.

SCREECH
11-21-2011, 06:00 PM
I've had several vehicles with the Delco ABS VI system now (my '92 Trans Sport van, '94 Century, '96 Regal) and have had great success with all of them. I'm actually installing that system on my '89 Ciera coupe project. Unless the EBCM (electronic brake control module, or ABS computer) detects wheel skid from one of the four wheels, the system does not interfere with normal braking operation. The pedal feel has been exactly like on a non-ABS equipped vehicle in my opinion. The problem comes when one of your wheel sensors starts to go and the ABS kicks in when it's not necessary or supposed to. That can increase stopping distances as the system pulses the brakes to the failing wheel, decreasing effective stopping power.

As for brake upgrades, there was a thread on here a while back posted by a user that claimed to have made custom brackets to install larger Cadillac brakes on his A-body or U-van (I don't recall which at the moment). It was a number of months ago, perhaps even a year. That same user reported that he had completed an '05-'08 U-van rear disc upgrade as well. Ring a bell for anyone?

Duke George V
11-21-2011, 08:03 PM
Yeah, sounds familiar. He used CTS brakes, but that necessitated 17" wheels. I really don't want to go that large because 17" tires are expensive. That's why I linked to the Camaro brakes. Pretty sure you can use 16s with those.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-21-2011, 08:55 PM
...don't want to go that large because 17" tires are expensive.

Around here, when you want 19" tires, those are special order.

Have you done a brake test at 55 mph, and compared results to OEM specs?

Duke George V
11-21-2011, 09:07 PM
Doing a brake test like that is a little difficult in a metropolitan area of 2.5 million people. I'll see what I can do though. I've been thinking since I posted this thread though—tires and suspension have a significant impact on braking performance. I know I need new tires, and I could probably do with new struts and shocks.

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-22-2011, 01:48 AM
Doing a brake test like that is a little difficult....

Kept in mind a fully loaded 18 wheeler takes about 300' at 55 mph, on level ground. Lifted from a site below:

SUVs can't avoid accidents as well.

Braking distance (http://swiharts.com/SUV/)

In addition to larger turning radius at a given speed (ie more likely to roll over), braking distances tend to be longer. Compare the braking distances from 60 mph to 0 in the following illustration. In a common accident scenario, imagine you've encountered a stopped semi truck while going around a blind curve. The semi is 142 feet in front of you. Which is the safest vehicle to be in?

http://swiharts.com/SUV/braking_distances.gif

Porsche Boxster: 120 feet
Oldsmobile Intrigue: 131 feet
Dodge Caravan SE: 135 feet
Pontiac Transport: 141 feet
Chevrolet Suburban: 155 feet

85_Ciera_Rebuild
11-22-2011, 01:59 AM
Doing a brake test .

Will determine if your vehicle is "fit for duty."

In the process, if done firm and hard, you may find out if everything is OK with your braking system.

One time I was thinking about trading in a vehicle, and car salesman took it for a spin. Well, when he got back, the brake light was on...I had to fix the brakes.

That's the downside, that light may come on...$$$

85_Ciera_Rebuild
12-05-2011, 06:05 AM
brakes on the van


Sidebar - I came across this site (http://www.thirdgen.org/propvalve) tonight, where someone might be "swapping out your old drum brake rear axle for a disc version," but on a traditional non ABS system.

Here, one has to install a Proportioning Valve so that a balance can be struck between rear/front breaks.

Myself, I'd stick with what came with vehicle

Jr's3800
12-14-2011, 01:15 AM
A few questions...

1) What kind of brake pads are currently on the van?

2) are the rear shoes adjusted up, and are the adjusters clean and lubed?

3) Are the rear wheel cylinders dry?


This system functions as a normal system until the EBTCM sees a wheel change speed( lock up ) then the ABS kicks in, until that point its a basic system, nothing like the old Bosch..


As well,the van does use rotors from the C and H platform and iirc Camaro Firebird calipers, I think the 93 firebird would be the same...


at current I have Bendix Titanium pads on the van, rear wheel cylinders were replaced with the shoes... Van stops extremely well, as good as my Bonneville does.. For pads I would use wagner quick stop, or bendix titanium, both of these seem to have good bite with minimal fade... Next thing that I will do is go to a slotted front rotor, beyond that I am happy with brake system..

Also if its never been done, it may be time to bleed the system and get some fresh fluid in it, this also helped my van...

Duke George V
12-14-2011, 07:40 AM
I haven't been able to do any sort of real maintenance on the van, since I'm contractually prohibited from working on it on the apartment complex's property. Hell, I'm a couple thousand miles overdue on an oil change, even though I have oil and a filter, for that reason. But anyway...

Some time last year (2010) I did a pad slap job because I was using it for a roadside assistance gig and needed to be down for as short as possible. I bought Duralast pads, which still have lots of material left. The rotors and calipers need to be replaced, for sure, since the right one seems to be applying more pressure than the left; the pads that came off were worse on the right, and the rotors have a lip that made pad/caliper removal rather awkward.
The rear brakes keep moving out of adjustment, which is probably due to me using the parking brake all the time. My assigned parking spot is on a slight slope, and I'd rather not break the pawl, ya know?
The wheel cylinders seem to be fine, since I haven't had the characteristic single rear wheel lock I used to get on the Celebrity.

It could go for a brake fluid flush, too. I'm going to do a fair amount of work on this van once I get some money, probably with a tax refund. All new brakes all around, new struts and shocks, fix the damn doors, sway bar bushings (completely blown out), new tires, all that. I imagine that'll bring braking back into spec.

Jr's3800
12-14-2011, 12:34 PM
When you do this look at Rock Auto for some of your parts, could save you a good bit... I also replaced all of the brake hoses on the van when I did the pads... Also when you do get to it, stay away from the duralast, wearever and the like... I do highly recommend Wagner or Bendix, shot for the middle of the road pads at least.. when it comes time I can help you find what you need...

On my van, while the motor was out we decided to replace the master cylinder, what fun that was........ The factory service manual doesn't say a whole lot about the replacement... But with almost 200,000 miles on the body we figured that it was most certainly due...

On another note, I saw you video. The 4T60E is a good transmission, but in the vans depending on how it came from the factory, at times there was not enough cooling and they would overheat.... This is a bad thing for any trans and most of the time this overheating is what would kill a 4T60E.. You would usually see burn bands and clutches when rebuilding.. If you do not already have one, a cooler may be a good idea.. Curious to know if yours has cooler lines on the passenger side of the radiator, or if it has dual coolers( drivers side as well )...

85_Ciera_Rebuild
12-14-2011, 04:30 PM
I'm contractually prohibited from working on it on the apartment complex's property


Years ago, between Ft. Collins and Loveland Colorado on Hwy 287, there was a "U-Fix-It" shop where you paid for a slot in a heated garage. They had tools/etc.

But, this was just a private business. I've never seen one since.

Of course, nowdays, fewer kids work on their vehicles...

Jr's3800
12-14-2011, 08:48 PM
That was one of the biggest reasons I got away from the apartments... Got tired of that... Right before I moved I was under my hood checking the oil and got a mouthful from the Resident Manager... I told him I was checking the oil... Got another mouth full of his garbage... I told him my car does not leak a drop of anything... I even scrubbed down my parking space when I moved in.. I pointed to the other spaces and said if its such a problem that I might drop a splash of oil on the ground then why aren't you pestering all the other people... I told him to go F*** himself, Evict me for all I care... Pissed me off so bad I was out 3 weeks later...

Looking forward to hearing the OP say... Man these brakes are pretty good....lol

turbokinetic
12-26-2011, 02:08 PM
That was one of the biggest reasons I got away from the apartments... Got tired of that... Right before I moved I was under my hood checking the oil and got a mouthful from the Resident Manager... I told him I was checking the oil... Got another mouth full of his garbage... I told him my car does not leak a drop of anything... I even scrubbed down my parking space when I moved in.. I pointed to the other spaces and said if its such a problem that I might drop a splash of oil on the ground then why aren't you pestering all the other people... I told him to go F*** himself, Evict me for all I care... Pissed me off so bad I was out 3 weeks later...

Looking forward to hearing the OP say... Man these brakes are pretty good....lol

Apartments are nearly criminal. A friend of mine pays far more for RENT (never see a penny back) on an apartment (one bedroom) than I pay for loan payment (can get money out of it if I sell) on a 4 acre property with house and barn. He is given a slew of bullshit rules and harassement from the management for many reasons. Their car rules give the management the option to fine or kick out a tennant for:

-Having the hood open more than 5 minutes per day. (yes you read that correctly)
-Having the car jacked up for any reason (including a tire - flat tire = tow truck to the tire store)
-Parking a car with visible body damage of any sort. (even if car still runs and is still daily driven)
-Pushing a car. If you can't get it started and can't reach it with jumper cables - you call a tow truck, not push it out of the spot so the cables can reach.

And that's just the car rules. It goes beyond that.

It would be a COLD DAY IN HELL before I would accept this type treatment for this amount of money.

Sincerely,
David

Jr's3800
12-26-2011, 02:23 PM
Yep thats exactly it in a nutshell David...

You have been here before, its quiet... The neighbors don't care that I work on cars( My one neighbor does the same )... No one cares here... I can do what I want... County rules say that 3 of the cars I have sitting here are a no no.... But the county is not going to care as long as the neighbors aren't complaining... 2 of the 3 neighbors have the same thing going on that I do...LOL..

I wish I had a little more land tho, and a shop..

turbokinetic
12-26-2011, 02:33 PM
Yep thats exactly it in a nutshell David...

You have been here before, its quiet... The neighbors don't care that I work on cars( My one neighbor does the same )... No one cares here... I can do what I want... County rules say that 3 of the cars I have sitting here are a no no.... But the county is not going to care as long as the neighbors aren't complaining... 2 of the 3 neighbors have the same thing going on that I do...LOL..

I wish I had a little more land tho, and a shop..

Yep you have a good location there. Quiet and peaceful!

It is very sad to see a person "trapped" in an urban area like my friend near DC. I would never even consider that lifestyle. Not. Ever. I've seen many countries around the world and can say..... the urban lifestyle in the northeast USA is possible second only to third world Africa.

Jr's3800
12-27-2011, 05:17 PM
I agree David...

Ok getting back to Brakes...lol

I am thinking of doing the brakes on my 95 TS.... Only items that are original at this point are calipers... Thinking of getting some new or reman calipers( wagner or the like ) and then going with a set of slotted rotors...

Thoughts?

SCREECH
01-02-2012, 03:06 AM
I am thinking of doing the brakes on my 95 TS...Thinking of getting...a set of slotted rotors...Thoughts?
I've never tried any rotors other than standard style rotors. I would be interested to know how much of a difference upgraded rotors would make.

Jr's3800
01-02-2012, 03:56 PM
Not sure... The van does stop good, great really for a van... But I would like to have more bite when I have the clamps to the floor... Rare but it does happen... I have replaced the Master cylinder, Brake Hoses, Wheel cylinder, rear shoes, Drums... Only thing left are the calipers up front...lol Looking at the AC Delco or Rebestos slotted..

lackneramanda
02-25-2012, 06:03 AM
Not sure... The van does stop good, great really for a van... But I would like to have more bite when I have the clamps to the floor... Rare but it does happen... I have replaced the Master cylinder, wagner brakes Hoses, Wheel cylinder, rear shoes, Drums... Only thing left are the calipers up front...lol Looking at the AC Delco or Rebestos slotted..

It's that time for new brakes again. What do you think about Wagner rotors and thermoquiet pads? my cousin got them on one of his cars and they seem fine.

Century7667
02-27-2012, 05:34 PM
I've been running Wagner since EIS has been out of business. Very good luck with them.

Jr's3800
03-04-2012, 01:40 AM
Agreed... I have always used Wagner on every car I have worked on... No complaints or rework for that matter... 2 of my Vehicles are running Wagner pads... Highly recommended...

Duke George V
03-04-2012, 04:28 AM
Yeah, I just went with some Pep Boys specials for the front brakes. They feel about the same. I imagine replacing the struts and sway bar bushings will make a bigger difference. I know it did when I did the same on a '92 F150 for a company I worked for a few years ago. Completely redid the brakes front and back, along with the master cylinder. It stopped better, to be sure, but it still lacked something. I then replaced the shocks all around, and it was like night and day.

Jr's3800
03-04-2012, 01:11 PM
On my van I replaced the center bar to frame bushings with Moog Bushings... Been several years and they are in great shape... At the time I went with Energy Suspension Ploy bushings for the sway bar to control arm... This made a good difference... Later down the road I added an Addco rear sway bar... That was another leap forward... I was also running 225 60 R 16's ... Later ran 235 60 16's... That was tuff as the Van is not set up to run a 225 or for that matter a 235... I had to use spacers... I ran 5mm with the 225's and 10 mm with the 235's and still had rub... Even the 225's rub at full lock... But I might use a set of Bonneville torque star rims and 225 sumitomo High Performance all seasons... I drove this van from FL to WV and back and was pleased with the ride and handling... Felt very sure footed and more car like then van...

DarkFox
03-08-2012, 07:01 AM
I've gotta say, I used to go with Wagner / Advance's in-house brands, whichever was on special.
I would get the standard rotors / drums with Cermaic pads and shoes, religiously.

I asked a mechanic friend what he thought about slotted rotors, because I wanted brakes that could handle more heat because I always seemed to roast the econo-specials with hard driving.

He laughed when he heard I was using Wagner / in house and told me to get some Raybestos equipment.
I was skeptical, but this guy knows his sh*t, so I went ahead and ordered a full set of Raybestos "Heavy Duty" everything for my Century from Rockauto.com

That's Rotors, pads, drums and shoes.

Before, my Century could NOT lock the wheels even if all 250lbs of me stood on the pedal, and the parking brake was a joke.

Those Raybestos brakes kick ass, major, MAJOR improvement in STOPPAN' POWA.
The parking brake will also easily lock the rear wheels resulting in some FWD ass-dragging if you're not careful, lol.

That said, I'll deal with the extra brake dust the Raybestos semi-metallic pads throw over the Ceramics for the drastic improvement in braking.

Plus, from RockAuto, an entire set of brakes ran about $250-270 with shipping, which kicks the crap out of Advance's pricing!

Jr's3800
03-11-2012, 07:14 PM
I use wagner but not the cheapest ones... I have also used Bendix Titanium... Rebestos is good stuff... You get what you pay for...

I bought Bendix Rotors( when they were USA Made ) for my 95 Bonneville, Bought the Bendix Titanium Pads.... The set up has been on the car for almost 5 years... The pads are half worn Rotors are still in great shape... At the time these were the most expensive Bendix parts I could get... To this day I don't have much of anything for brake fade on a long drive.... Its nice when you can come to stop on command without trying to bend the brake pedal....lol

lackneramanda
05-02-2012, 05:24 AM
I use Wagner brakes (http://www.carparts.com/Wagner-Brakes-Brakes/4199997350-600022159.car) but not the cheapest ones... I have also used Bendix Titanium... Rebestos is good stuff... You get what you pay for...

I bought Bendix Rotors( when they were USA Made ) for my 95 Bonneville, Bought the Bendix Titanium Pads.... The set up has been on the car for almost 5 years... The pads are half worn Rotors are still in great shape... At the time these were the most expensive Bendix parts I could get... To this day I don't have much of anything for brake fade on a long drive.... Its nice when you can come to stop on command without trying to bend the brake pedal....lol

Bunch of my cars have Wagners, nice pads... no noise, no dust, etc. You should be flushing the system every spring! really great brand!

Century7667
05-03-2012, 06:19 PM
Bunch of my cars have Wagners, nice pads... no noise, no dust, etc. You should be flushing the system every spring! really great brand!

Since the passing of EIS many years ago, Wagner is the gold standard for me. They stop well, and are quiet. I always run semi-metallics though.

I have put Raybestos on probation for poor customer service for that ball-joint fiasco last year.

Ken T.