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Brake upgrade for my 98 K3500

M.Kasperan

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After being less then happy with the braking on my 1998 K3500 GMC me an a friend of mine figured we could do something about it. After looking at a spindle from a 2000-2008 HD2500 we thought it was close enough to try it. Well it was some work but it does fit. Again this was done on Saturday and it might have 5 miles total on it. Nothing is painted yet this was just to see if it will work. Here's some pics.
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M.Kasperan

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Well....spindles needed to be mod, make a adapter for the tie rods. I've got about three weeks of research into this project and still working on it. Drove the truck today for about 15 miles I think it's going to turn out nice when it's all figured out. Even now it's better then the old stuff, looking into M/C bore sizes to make sure I'm pushing enough fluid.
 

Burning oil

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Looks very close to what Im doing (as I told you in the other thread). I'll be starting a thread on it tomorow.
Did you have to change A arms?
 

handcannon

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Well....spindles needed to be mod, make a adapter for the tie rods. I've got about three weeks of research into this project and still working on it. Drove the truck today for about 15 miles I think it's going to turn out nice when it's all figured out. Even now it's better then the old stuff, looking into M/C bore sizes to make sure I'm pushing enough fluid.
I'm extremely interested in what you did here. I've been wanting an upgrade for my 8600 GVW front brakes and have been unable to find any. The single piston brake caliper in my 94 is 3.15" diameter/9.896 sq inch and the MC bore is 1.25". I looked up a 2002 DMax and the caliper is 2.25" diameter/7.068 sq in X 2 pistons = 14.137 sq inch, and the MC bore is 37mm (1.46"). That is 43% larger than my 94 K2500. I don't know the size of the pads, but with a 43% larger piston area the brakes just have to be much better.

Can you explain what you did to mod the spindle?

What kind of adapter is needed for the tie rod? Does the DMax spindle have a larger opening for the tie rod, thus needing a spacer for the taper?

This got me interested enough that I went junk yard hopping today. I found a 2002 DMax 4X4 with everything there except the calipers.

Don
 

M.Kasperan

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I'm extremely interested in what you did here. I've been wanting an upgrade for my 8600 GVW front brakes and have been unable to find any. The single piston brake caliper in my 94 is 3.15" diameter/9.896 sq inch and the MC bore is 1.25". I looked up a 2002 DMax and the caliper is 2.25" diameter/7.068 sq in X 2 pistons = 14.137 sq inch, and the MC bore is 37mm (1.46"). That is 43% larger than my 94 K2500. I don't know the size of the pads, but with a 43% larger piston area the brakes just have to be much better.

Can you explain what you did to mod the spindle?

What kind of adapter is needed for the tie rod? Does the DMax spindle have a larger opening for the tie rod, thus needing a spacer for the taper?

This got me interested enough that I went junk yard hopping today. I found a 2002 DMax 4X4 with everything there except the calipers.

Don

It's really wasn't that hard. You'll need a 10* reamer. The ball joint in the older trucks 88-2000 are bigger then the newer 2500HD trucks. I reamed the ball joint hole until the ball joint from my 98 fit in the spindle from the 2500hd to the same depth (top ball joint). The lower you have ream A little more to clear the axle. I used the outer tie rods from the 2500hd truck which are female. I bought two cheap outer tie rods for my 98, cut the ball joint end off the turned them down and retreaded them to fit the 2500hd outer tierod. So what you end up with is a threaded rod that fits the stock adjuster on one end and the 2500hd tierod on the other. After that it's a basic bolt together deal. Then get a front end alignment and it's done.
 

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Whats the diameter of the new rotor?
12.8" VS the 12.5" for the GMT-400's. The biggest differrence is in the calipers. The larger piston size of the newer master cylinder actually means the upgrade to the GMT-800 stuff on the GMT-400 trucks makes for some wicked pressure to the front calipers. It would be nice to find a cheap upgrade to get a bigger caliper on the front end, but I'm very pleased with the RAYBESTOS pads I put on my BURb and the ACDELCO DURASTOP rear shoes. I did end up having to change out my front rotors, and teh RAYBESTOS rotors made teh pedal even better than the DURALAST AZ rotors. I cannot complain about my brakes now since I upgraded except for when the rear brakes needed adjusting(they're still burning into the drums).
 

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Thanks.
I was supprized that the diameter of GMT400 is that big. The hardware on the newer 3/4-1 ton dual piston is massive, the pads are huge. I was going to use them in my Big Brake convertion, but they were to big to fit on the 2wd spindle. I wound up using 09 1/2 ton hardware as its bigger than the GMT400 2wd stuff.
 

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Thanks.
I was supprized that the diameter of GMT400 is that big. The hardware on the newer 3/4-1 ton dual piston is massive, the pads are huge. I was going to use them in my Big Brake convertion, but they were to big to fit on the 2wd spindle. I wound up using 09 1/2 ton hardware as its bigger than the GMT400 2wd stuff.

GM went to a beefy thick rotor and alot of surface area on the newer trucks. Combine that with dual piston calipers, but a larger MC piston and you get an improvement in braking along with a huge reduction in pedal travel. And since tehy have so much pad material on the newer trucks, they last a LONG LONG time.
 

handcannon

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It's really wasn't that hard. You'll need a 10* reamer. The ball joint in the older trucks 88-2000 are bigger then the newer 2500HD trucks. I reamed the ball joint hole until the ball joint from my 98 fit in the spindle from the 2500hd to the same depth (top ball joint). The lower you have ream A little more to clear the axle. I used the outer tie rods from the 2500hd truck which are female. I bought two cheap outer tie rods for my 98, cut the ball joint end off the turned them down and retreaded them to fit the 2500hd outer tierod. So what you end up with is a threaded rod that fits the stock adjuster on one end and the 2500hd tierod on the other. After that it's a basic bolt together deal. Then get a front end alignment and it's done.
Thanks for the info. I do have more questions also.

Today I checked out the difference between the outer tie rod end for the 94 and the 2002. The 02 taper is larger by just a little bit. The 94 is 9/16ths in the cylindrical part above the taper, and 21/32nds for the 02.

The length of the taper appeared to be the same. The threaded end on the 94 is 7/16ths, and the 02 is 1/2".

Since the ball joints for the older trucks are larger you'd think the tie rod tapers would also be larger. But no, it's exactly opposite, the older tie rods are smaller tapers.

I have no access to, or experience with, a machine lathe. Because of this I'm wondering about a tapered spacer to allow the 94 tie rod end to fit into the 02 tapered socket on the 02 spindle.

A spacer like this is used when swapping/upgrading front drive axles and tie rods for the 60's, 70's and 80's Toyota FJ40, FJ55, FJ60, and FJ62.

I'm thinking the Toyota taper is different than the GM taper so I may have to do some searching for a spacer.

Somewhere I've read where I think a bronze starter bushing was reformed to make a spacer for the tie rod ends. I'll have to do some searching a iIh8mud (Toyota Landcruiser website) for more detailed info.

You state a 10* tapered reamer is used to slightly enlarge the holes for the ball joints. Is this something that can be done on a drill press, with proper jigs to hold the spindle? I'm a cabinetmaker, so I'm used to making wooden jigs for specialized applications.

Also, where would I find a reamer? I know where to find things for woodworking, but not for machining.

What did you do about the ABS system? My 94 has ABS, but since it is OBD1 I don't know if it would be compatible with the OBD2 of the newer system.

Don

Edit: After some time thinking about it I think I now understand what you did for the tie rods. Are the tie rod threads different size between the older and newer trucks?

If I can find someone with a machine lathe I'll go to the pick-n-pull and get some used tie rods, cut the taper joint off and throw it away, saving the shaft portion to make a threaded rod.
 

handcannon

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After some searching I've decided the ABS won't be a problem. According to what I've found the 94 has ABS only on the rear wheels. So the ABS sensors on the 02 hubs are useless extras, not needed.

This is looking more and more like my next project, hopefully done before camping season.

Don
 

M.Kasperan

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After some searching I've decided the ABS won't be a problem. According to what I've found the 94 has ABS only on the rear wheels. So the ABS sensors on the 02 hubs are useless extras, not needed.

This is looking more and more like my next project, hopefully done before camping season.

Don


Ok On my 98 the ABS wires plugged right in to the 2500hd sensor. I have not put the fuse in to see if will work. I'll find the link to the ream I bought. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/AFCO-Tapered-Ball-Joint-Reamer-10-Degree,23749.html

Yes this what I did for the tierod adapter.
Edit: After some time thinking about it I think I now understand what you did for the tie rods. Are the tie rod threads different size between the older and newer trucks?

If I can find someone with a machine lathe I'll go to the pick-n-pull and get some used tie rods, cut the taper joint off and throw it away, saving the shaft portion to make a threaded rod.
 

M.Kasperan

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After some searching I've decided the ABS won't be a problem. According to what I've found the 94 has ABS only on the rear wheels. So the ABS sensors on the 02 hubs are useless extras, not needed.

This is looking more and more like my next project, hopefully done before camping season.

Don


Ok On my 98 the ABS wires plugged right in to the 2500hd sensor. I have not put the fuse in to see if will work. I'll find the link to the ream I bought. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/AFCO-Tapered-Ball-Joint-Reamer-10-Degree,23749.html

Yes this what I did for the tierod adapter.
Edit: After some time thinking about it I think I now understand what you did for the tie rods. Are the tie rod threads different size between the older and newer trucks?

If I can find someone with a machine lathe I'll go to the pick-n-pull and get some used tie rods, cut the taper joint off and throw it away, saving the shaft portion to make a threaded rod.
 

handcannon

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Thanks for the info.

The taper reamer is $128, OUCH!!! The only way I can justify that is to use it for something else also. I've been on the fence about what tie rod to use on my 71 Toyota FJ40 when I swap the 60 series axle under it--80 series ends or GM 1 tons. Now it's a no brainer, 1 tons.

Another question about the reamer, since I have no experience with machining. How many RPMs is too fast for overheating the reamer? My drill press only goes down to about 450 RPMs.

Don
 

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Problem is: will your drill press turn counter clockwise? Thats a lefthand cutting bit. I would just do it by hand with a 1/2" drill.

Edit: well crap, it looks like a righthand cut to me in the picture. I was going off what one of my suppliers said. I had checked to see if I could get a better price on the tool and he told me it was lefthand.
Maybe the OP can confirm this?
 

M.Kasperan

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Problem is: will your drill press turn counter clockwise? Thats a lefthand cutting bit. I would just do it by hand with a 1/2" drill.

Edit: well crap, it looks like a righthand cut to me in the picture. I was going off what one of my suppliers said. I had checked to see if I could get a better price on the tool and he told me it was lefthand.
Maybe the OP can confirm this?
The way I did it was 1/2 air drill turning very slow. Cutting oil helped. It did take a few hours to do all four holes. A drill press would be better with a jig but I didn't want to spend all the time building one for just two spindles. The tapered reamer centers it self also so I wasn't hard to do. $130 is nothing when you figure how good the truck stops after doing this. I'm very happy I did this conversion.
 
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