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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2013 1500 Sierra and was wondering if anyone in here has upgraded their drums to discs. I really do not care for the drum brakes on the rear of this truck, they do not stop as good as the discs. I had a Ford 250 Diesel Fx4 which had discs all the way around and it stopped a lot better and quicker than the Sierra.
 

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I haven't done the swap you're referring to, but I will say I like the feel of my rear drums better than the discs. I had discs all around on one of my previous GM trucks, and when towing it didn't feel as efficient.

Thats just my personal opinion, but I'm sure you'll find some members on here who have done the swap. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I heard it was expensive and I saw a few kits on the Summit Racing website and they ranged anywhere from 700 to 1800. Just toying with the idea right now, the truck is really too new to mess with but if I keep it any length of time I will want to change them out. I had a 3/4 ton diesel 250 that I pulled a 35' fifth wheel with and I never had a problem stopping and it had discs all the way around. This Sierra has a lot more pep but it has had me standing on the pedal trying to stop.
 

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I agree. Stay with the drums, I am.
My 2004 Silverado had disks in the rear and they sucked. I tried everything, new braided hoses, slotted rotors, better pads, trowing out a boat anchor, nothing helped. There is a reason GM went back to drums for the last 9 years on the 1/2 tons.
I'm driving a 2014 Silverado loaner right now with rear discs and I'm not impressed vs. the drums on my 2013.
 

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Rear disc brakes on a empty pick up just plain suck, you get about 10 percent of the braking from the rear brakes on them so don't think you will see any improvement with out them locking up all the time. This is the reason you couldn't even clean the rust of the rotor faces on the NBS trucks with rear discs.
 

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Strange to hear a 2013 Sierra having braking issues. I've got a 2010 Silverado with the same brake system as you do, but I'm running 33" A/T tires with the stock pads, shoes, fluid and my truck is damn near 85k miles and it still stops great!! You do realize though that you are comparing a F250 which is a heavy duty truck with heavy duty braking system to a ½ ton truck with a standard braking system. For a while GM was producing ½ ton pickups with disk all around but found that their trucks were not stopping as efficient as their set up with disk in the front and drums in the rear. Also many don't know this, but drums actually have more surface contact of shoe to drum than pad to rotor does. But instead of looking for a disc brake upgrade for you truck try looking on this forum for a mod you can do that takes a hydrobooster from a 2500/3500 and allows you to add it to your 1500 and ditch the vacuum booster on your truck. IMO, better upgrade than switching to disc. Good luck!

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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I wish there was a kit decently priced, it's getting close for me to replace my brake shoes, and I hate drums. Drums are not as good as discs, there's no comparison when the design itself is better. Also, those comparing the trucks that had Disc/disc and the newer trucks with Disc/drum, since GM upgraded the front brakes and used larger drums to compensate for the change. There's a reason every sports car and large trucks are using disc brakes as the top of the line option, not drums.

Anyways, there's no cheap options currently to swap unless you swap axles with the NNBS trucks that had disc rear ends.
 

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I have a 2011 and the truck stops fine. The OP also talked about towing - remember that trailer brakes do not work very well with the first few initial stops when cold in the morning. In addition you need to have the brake controller properly adjusted.

I don't know if disks worked better than drums or it's the other way around. All I know is that there isn't any issues stopping my truck.

I would try steel lines before I went any further.
 

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Rear disc brakes are better, it's why all of your heavy duty trucks have them, including Silverado's with the Max tow package and 3/4 & 1 tons. Also, the 2014's once again have 4 wheel disc brakes. Drum brakes are often used to cut production costs over disc brakes. While the braking system is adequate on the NNBS trucks, a disc rear is an upgrade whether you think so or not. They also look a lot better behind open wheels than drums, so even on a cosmetic level they are better.

Also, while off roading, if you submerge your drums in water when it's below freezing, it's not uncommon for them to stop working as the water freezes on the drum surface. I've had it happen on trucks and ATV's alike, while disc brakes continued to work.

I work in the oil industry, and we have disc brakes on the biggest draw-works we have, they stop unlike any drum brakes or band brakes that were on the older models. They don't fade like drums do and they stop with a lot more force.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/b ... -disc.html

Anyways, we are taking this thread O/T, it's about changing the drums to disc, not which one is better.
 

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^^^Bottom line, with the current setup GM has, it's not economically feasable to change to disk brakes. The current disk front/drum rear brake setup GM uses is much better than the previous 4 wheel disk setup GM used. I've owned both and the new design works and feels much better. FYI, most 18 wheelers use drum brakes. Drum brakes take longer to overheat than disk, however, once they do overheat they also take longer to cool down than disk brakes. As stated above, both set ups have their pro's and con's.
 

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Yea, they make them and use them, but, the majority of them have drum. As stated before, there are pro's and cons to both. The disks will heat up faster. Once they overheat, they aint gonna stop well at all.
 

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Disk brakes can have brake fade. In fact they get it faster than drum brakes, however they also recover from it faster. But, back on topic, it is not economically worth while to swap it over to a 4 wheel disk setup.
 
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