Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Braking system maintenance/upgrades for 99-07 trucks
Hawk LTS front and rear brake pads
Slotted/cryo treated rotors (any brand will do really)
Brake system flush with synthetic DOT 4 fluid (most brands work well)
Stainless braided brake lines (useful also for lifted trucks)
Inspect and adjust rear parking brake hardware
Aftermarket front big brake kit (SSBC, AP Racing, Wilwood)
Aftermarket rear big brake kit (Wilwood)
Cross-drilled and slotted rotors (many different companies)
Hawk Super Duty front and rear brake pads
05-07 brake upgrade for 99-04 trucks (requires 17" or larger wheels)
F-450 and F-550 brake upgrade for 03-07 DRW trucks (?)
Paint brake system components
As far as brake pads are concerned the most pushed pad for our truck is the Hawk LTS pad. I myself use them and love them. For those people who are going to tow heavy loads a lot the Hawk Super Duty pad may be a better idea, but for most trucks out there, the LTS will be more than enough and will provide better rotor life, less noise, and less dust. Realistically any good rated pad works, but these are the two that stick out the most.
As far as rotors go many people like to upgrade to a slotted and cryo treated rotor, something along the lines of ART rotors or Power Slots. They provide are more linear pedal feel after periods of braking along with a greater resistance to warpage. Blank rotors technically provide the best stopping ability as they have the most pad area, but they do not dissipate heat as well as a cross-drilled and slotted rotor will. I myself use Hart gold zinc coated cross-drilled and slotted rotors not only for the performance, but the looks as well. There are a lot of manufacturers that offer rotors at different price points, so you have to do some shopping around.
With brake fluid any good synthetic DOT 4 fluid will usually work well, just pay attention to the boiling points. I myself use VW/Audi OEM DOT 4 fluid since I get it for free, but also because that boiling points are quite high for a non-race fluid. The only race fluid I would recommend is the ATE Super Blue or Super Gold as it's the only one I have experience with and it's fairly cost effective when compared to other brands. Stainless braided brake lines require inspecting them more often, but they provide a better pedal feel and look very nice. Also, for those of us who choose to lift the truck they can be made in a size to accommodate your lift. I went with the Crown Performance lines since they made them with yellow sheathing and they can be made to what size lift you have not to mention a good price point.
The rear parking brake components have a tendency to seize and fail when the parking brake is not used often enough. Generally the levers for the shoes will freeze solid requiring removal of the hardware and a vice to free the levers. Also, another common failure is for the cables themselves to seize and become detached from the levers. Thankfully the parking brake system components are priced fairly cheap and can easily be rebuilt.
Now, the big one - brake size upgrades. The 05-07 trucks utilize a bigger brake system than the 99-04 trucks do. The calipers, rotors, and pads can be swapped from what I have read. Also, it is possible to adapt the F-450 and F-550 front brake setup onto an F-250 and F-350. It requires replacing the front axle along with the hubs/bearings/pads/rotors/calipers. The issue with this is that it requires 19.5" or bigger wheels to clear them. Lastly, SSBC and AP Racing make a 6-piston front brake caliper upgrade to fit under 18" wheels, but they do not make a matching rear brake setup and it runs around 1,500 dollars just for the 2 calipers and pad set. Wilwood makes a front and rear 6-piston brake upgrade, but it requires 20" or larger wheels and is insanely pricey, somewhere around 7,000 dollars for the front and rear setup.
Lastly, you can paint the brake components to add a bit of style to the truck. I myself went with yellow. I simply used Duplicolor Engine Enamel Primer, Daytona Yellow, and Clear. These paints have the same temperature rating as the caliper paint and they are readily available and more colors, plus you can get them from your local parts store.
Here is my list currently:
Perform brake fluid flush using Audi OEM DOT 4 brake fluid (92,117)
Crown Performance 3” extended front and rear stainless steel braided brake lines with yellow sheathing (includes hardware) (92,117)
Hawk Performance LTS front and rear brake pads (includes lube) (92,117)
Hart front and rear gold zinc plated cross drilled and slotted brake rotors (92,117)
A1 Cardone remanufactured right front brake caliper (includes hardware) (92,117)