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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I had my 1st Trooper the 4 wheel discs were pretty impressive performers in 1988. I did some tweaks on them and found a sweet set of pads that is long since out of production. I used to commute to the nutcase capital of Wash DC. The brakes got tested pretty often. I could lock up all 4 32x11.50 BFG's if I needed to. That's a lot of footprint to lock. Almost a square foot of contact patch at each corner.

Fast forward to these days. When I built Red Beans I wasn't yet aware of the big brake swap. So I built it with Powerstop drilled and slotted rotors on all 4 corners and EBC green stuff 6000 pads in front and Wagner thermo quiet ceramics in the rear. I wasn't blown away by the braking. Just didn't seem to be what I remembered. The EBC's needed to be HOT to stop well and the ceramics on those rotors felt greased. So last year I did a big brake swap on the front with semi-mettalic pads and stock 2nd gen rotors. I turned the rear Powerstop rotors and added semi metallic pads there as well. It was an instant difference. Much better! And they stopped well cold also. These days I drive pretty gently normally and leave lots of following distance and have yet to really test the brakes in a panic situation.

Well today I went fishing. 1st time I've had the boat wet since August. She was a little light as the 17 gal fuel tank was near dry.I wanted to run the fuel out before winterizing the boat. I've not weighed the boat. But I figure the load is near but under 2,000lbs. I do not have trailer brakes. Surge brakes were illegal in MD till last year and electric brakes and muddy water don't mix well. This is the rig.


So On the way home shortly after dark. I was coming down a slight downgrade on a 2 lane highway about 45 MPH. I see a big doe run across in front of the car in front of me. Me and the passender both said "ok where are the others" There are always more than one. we looked and didn't see any. Then " Oh S***!" :shock: This med sized doe darts out in front of me. RIGHT NOW and HERE. I had slowed a little. I nailed the brakes HARD. NO problem at all locking all 4 32x11.50 BFGs quite easily on dry pavement with the boat on the hitch. I did the human ABS. Lock, lift, lock, lift. I brought the rig to a quick short stop in the road. The deer was doing the same thing. Braking and skidding. When we stopped if the doe had lowered it head it would have been resting it's chin on the hood of my truck right behind the passenger headlight! It's chest was maybe 4" from my front bumper corner and fender. It looked at me and I at it and it turned and ran back in the woods. WHEW!

I was very impressed with both the brakes and how the whole rig handled. The brakes stopped very short and hard. The modulation and control was great. The trailer didn't even think about getting untidy nor did the Trooper. Both stopped straight as an arrow.
I'll probably be adding surge brakes to the trailer in the spring. I've been thinking about it for a while. But it's nice to know I can throw some serious WHOA on this rig without them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since someone is asking in another thread and I've been thinking about it lately I'll add some brake talk to this thread. In the past I haven't been real impressed with parts store ceramic replacement pads on much of anything. I recently had a talk with Matt at Independant4x about aftermarket brakes. He verified what I had been thinking. With the performance brakes run matched sets from the same manufacturer. As in EBC pads and rotors or Powerstop pads and rotors ect.

I just redid the brakes, struts, tires, and sway bar bushings on my wife's Honda CRV. It has always been a good stopping car. We wanted a little more. So having liked the Powerstop rotors I had on the Trooper. I bought a matched set of Powerstop Clean Ride Evolution ceramic pads and the matching drilled and slotted rotors.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-BK528X503C/
1st impression is very good. Everything fit well and seems to stop very well. Better than stock. I also did the controversial new break in procedure some recommend. Drive 60mph and break hard (not stupid hard) to 15 mph. Repeat 3 or 4 times never coming to a stop. Drive a little for the breaks to cool and do it again. I did this cycle 3 times. It seemed to do a good job of bedding the brakes. We'll see how these brakes work out over the long haul.

Performance brake options are drying up for the 1st gen Isuzu's. But Powerstop still makes quality drilled and slotted rotors for them. I noticed that they also make the same pads as above for both the front and REAR of these trucks as well as the same for the 2nd gens. I just acquired a new/old spacecab pickup. I think I will do the big brake swap on the front of it eventually and try Powerstop stuff front and rear.
Rear pads.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-16-398/
Rear rotors.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-JBR-323L/

2nd gen front pads.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-16-579/
2nd gen front rotors.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PWR-JBR-567L/

This same combination should also work on 1st gen Troopers. There is not much made for the rear of these trucks any more and only a couple of options for the fronts. The above pads and rotors are also available for the stock sized 1st gen fronts for those without a big brake upgrade. I haven't tried the combo yet myself. It is pretty much the same matched set I bought for the CRV so I think it will work well and be a nice matched front and rear set. If anyone beats me to it let me know how it works out for you.

Thanks to who ever moved this!
 

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We have tons of deer around here as well, just waiting to meet the front end of a vehicle as soon as its dusk. I put new pads on and new rotors (cheapies from Napa but not the lowest grade) and it stops pretty darn good. I would say though in my experience, its not really worth turning rotors for how much you can buy them for new and for the ability to carry heat, maybe with how much Powerslot are its worth it? Dont know how much they run....
Off topic, I love CRV's, wanted one but the wife said it had to be bigger, so enter the Passport.
 

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NICE!!!!! Love the looks of that rig! Glad your ok...
 

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Yeah, I did the big brake upgrade after my stock sized brakes broke...yes broke. The caliper pin snapped and the caliper pushed off the rotor and was then dragging on the inside of the rim. I had the Trooper loaded down with 4 passengers and a big load of camping gear, 20 gallons of extra fuel, firewood, and 10 gallons of water. She was maxed out and the front small brakes simply could not handle it. Had to drive 7 hours with the brake caliper blown off. Kinda scary cause I didn't even know it until I got home and decided I had better find out what the grinding noise was. :)

Here the load.



Bart
 

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I too had used ceramic in the past thinking I upgraded my brakes, only to find out that I had lost stopping distance. But they seemed to last longer. I think that is the gimmick, they last longer so you don't have to replace as often. To me stopping power is more important, the cost of rearending someone or smacking into a deer is cost prohibitive. I have hit deer but I was in a loaded concrete truck and an emergency stop was not possible. I felt pretty bad, I had tried to steer around them but they panicked and turned right in my path anyway.
 

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squatch said:
Well today I went fishing. 1st time I've had the boat wet since August. She was a little light as the 17 gal fuel tank was near dry.I wanted to run the fuel out before winterizing the boat. I've not weighed the boat.
So you couldn't make URE but went fishing anyway. :roll: And I thought that you had some chores to do; working on the brakes on Pam's car and getting the spacecab ready before your time for emissions on the CRV runs out.

Maybe the deer were trying to tell you something. :lol:
 

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Did you swap in the larger booster as well?

squatch said:
............So last year I did a big brake swap on the front with semi-mettalic pads and stock 2nd gen rotors. I turned the rear Powerstop rotors and added semi metallic pads there as well. It was an instant difference. Much better! And they stopped well cold also.
 

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Are you running 15inch wheels? I have read that the upgrade requires larger wheels. I ask because I am thinking of doing the "BIG BREAK" swap on my 91 Trooper. However, I just got new wheels and tires on the truck and do not want to replace them just yet. Crager soft eights 4" back spacing. Not sure as well if I should pull from a yard or get the OEM rotors and calipers? ... I will need the dust shields? and master cylinder right?.... I would get new lines from INDY4X.

Glad you and your rig is safe. I have had so many close calls driving from my pops place in Henryville IN. They are thick out there and I take it real slow. Would rather get home 20 minutes later safe than quick and banged up.

cheers
-Ian :blackeye:
 

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imamonstertruck said:
Are you running 15inch wheels? I have read that the upgrade requires larger wheels. I ask because I am thinking of doing the "BIG BREAK" swap on my 91 Trooper. However, I just got new wheels and tires on the truck and do not want to replace them just yet. Crager soft eights 4" back spacing. Not sure as well if I should pull from a yard or get the OEM rotors and calipers? ... I will need the dust shields? and master cylinder right?.... I would get new lines from INDY4X.
cheers
-Ian :blackeye:
I did the big brake upgrade.

I put the stock wheels back on.

What I took from the donor vehicle, (A 93 trooper)...

Rotors, brake pads, calipers and the 'rack' they ride on, backing plate, master cylinder, booster, and brake lines.

I didn't need the brake lines. Mine worked perfectly.
 

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On the subject or new vs turning rotors, I had the same thought...why turn them? After several "new" rotors I'm back to being a fan of turning rotors. I honestly think the factory uses much better material in the rotors then the cheap Taiwan or China rotors. My comments are only directed to the cheap, generic new rotors the parts houses generally carry.
Having seen the drilled rotors Squatch runs on the build of RedBeans I thought they must be pretty pricey! Thanks for the link Squatch, much more affordable then I had imagined. Actually, an even bigger thanks sourcing them...I had no idea past the parts houses where to buy a quality rotor or even if one was available outside of oem.
 

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I did not replace the booster with my big brake swap. Does it make a big difference?

Also, regarding 15" rims, it all depends on the type of rim you have the offset/backspacing. I have 15" Procomp wheels and they fit fine. It is very close though, maybe half and inch or so.

Bart
 

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nfpgasmask said:
I did not replace the booster with my big brake swap. Does it make a big difference?

Also, regarding 15" rims, it all depends on the type of rim you have the offset/backspacing. I have 15" Procomp wheels and they fit fine. It is very close though, maybe half and inch or so.

Bart
I never ran it with the big rotors, without the bigger booster and MC.

Others have, though. And they say they see a bigger difference with the bigger booster and MC, than they did with just the rotors and calipers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hessmess, As I understand it the big selling point of Ceramics is long life and no black brake dust on the wheels. There is dust but not as much and it's light colored.

Mario, The fishing was a reward for busting my butt. :D . I got Mama Squatch's ride done last weekend. I have to get Red Beans done before the Spacecab. Figured I'd burn up the last of the fuel in the boat before winterizing. It was sputtering as I headed to the ramp. :lol: Lovely day on the water. Now the Trooper goes in the garage. Today I paid the price. I hand mowed under every tree on the property and you know what a job that is. Then mowed on the tractor. Then split and hauled this load of wood to the garage and stacked it.


And charged the boat batteries and a few other chores. No slacking here. Winter is coming! :shock:

Jay, No I did not swap boosters or master cylinders. Don't see any need for that. The brakes have a light touch and plenty of power.

Ian, I'm running soft eights as well no problems. The pinch on 2nd gen brakes is in the rear which won't work on 1st gens. Because of the inner drum parking brake on those the diameter of the rear rotor is pretty big. Add the caliper and it's pretty tight with a 15" wheel. Fronts are no problem in my experience. As for where to get the brakes I think I would rather have good clean used OEM Isuzu off a junkyard truck than rebuilt parts store ones. You can always rebuild them yourself if need be. You will need from a donor. Rotors and bolts (get them turned at a machine shop not parts store), Pad holder and the bolts, Caliper and the bolts, The front rubber brake lines from the donor ( the banjo fitting is at a different angle than your Trooper's lines), Backing plates/dust shields. Buy new: Pads and hardware pieces Those little foil clips the pads ride on.

Airhead Rider, I agree. Stock OEM rotors are much better steel than the cheap parts store junk. I've seen the cheapies need to be turned new because they are not true. The fine print on the box of many of them even says that :shock: The cheap ones will rust over night after a rain storm as well.
Here is what I've learned about turning rotors. Take them to a machine shop not the parts store. On mine I take them mounted on the front hubs. The machine shop recommended I do that. They then mount them in the lathe so that they are cut true to the bearing races. They last a long time like that. A parts store will tell you to bring them in loose because they can't do it that way.
The main things is I turn them when I change pads. I rarely replace just pads. I like nice feeling brakes and rotors always warp from heat a little. Why not start with everything in great shape when you do the job.
1st gen rear rotors are solid not ventilated. They are heat challanged. They will warp a little faster after turning them especially if you really had to cut them. Less metal=more heat=faster warpage.
Don't let them get bad and they won't have to cut much at all. I found out last time as well that my machine shop has no problems turning drilled rotors.

I buy a lot of stuff from summit racing. Good prices, great service, the folks that answer the phone are usually pretty knowledgable and if not they can connect you to someone who is. They also have a great return policy and their own warehouses. They do drop ship some stuff but not like half these internet companies that are just somebody with a PC and a dist list. Also Independant4x sells Powerstop and EBC products as well. Matt has a full set of each brand on 2 of his personal vehicles!
 

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squatch said:
Jay, No I did not swap boosters or master cylinders. Don't see any need for that. The brakes have a light touch and plenty of power.
Thanks for the info. Good to know. Jerry confirmed that the booster is not required for "the big brake" upgrade on 1st gen Troopers.

squatch said:
I hand mowed under every tree on the property and you know what a job that is. Then mowed on the tractor. Then split and hauled this load of wood to the garage and stacked it.
Where is your palatial estate located? Off topic I realize but curious.
 

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I wonder if I need to swap my brake booster to the bigger one as I am running full four wheel disc and everything seems to be intact yet the braking system seems to have no bite whatsoever meaning I couldn't make a sudden stop very easily not without downshifting from like fourth to second and dumping out the clutch maybe even to first in a desperation situation but still i know my brakes could be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
krazzedbwoy said:
I wonder if I need to swap my brake booster to the bigger one as I am running full four wheel disc and everything seems to be intact yet the braking system seems to have no bite whatsoever meaning I couldn't make a sudden stop very easily not without downshifting from like fourth to second and dumping out the clutch maybe even to first in a desperation situation but still i know my brakes could be better.
The booster just makes it easier to push the pedal. The bite is in the pads and rotors. Early isuzu's came with "organic" brake pads. I've found that semi-metallic pads are a good cheap upgrade. I've not been impressed at all with ceramic pads on these trucks, If you are going to run those I suggest moving up to performance pads and rotors that are made for those pads like I wrote about above. 2nd gen front brakes are a nice addition as well.

Jay I don't think I'd call the place an estate but I do have a couple of acres. Bought a long time ago when normal people could still afford land here. I'm NW of Baltimore near Pa.
 

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Mark, it kills me that Red Beans stops so great. My 2nd gen has never stopped well. There is something wrong and I can't seem to figure it out. When I am towing the boat or even the utility trailer with a good load on it I have to be super cautious about speed and following distances. I can stand on the pedal in a panic stop and there is nothing reasuring about the braking. There is no sign of lockup at all. It just gradually rolls to a stop.

My next step is to change the entire master cylender/booster assembly and add SS brake lines. But, with all the other mechanical and financial drama I have going on it is low on the priorities list. :lol:
 

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squatch said:
Ian, I'm running soft eights as well no problems. The pinch on 2nd gen brakes is in the rear which won't work on 1st gens. Because of the inner drum parking brake on those the diameter of the rear rotor is pretty big. Add the caliper and it's pretty tight with a 15" wheel. Fronts are no problem in my experience. As for where to get the brakes I think I would rather have good clean used OEM Isuzu off a junkyard truck than rebuilt parts store ones. You can always rebuild them yourself if need be. You will need from a donor. Rotors and bolts (get them turned at a machine shop not parts store), Pad holder and the bolts, Caliper and the bolts, The front rubber brake lines from the donor ( the banjo fitting is at a different angle than your Trooper's lines), Backing plates/dust shields. Buy new: Pads and hardware pieces Those little foil clips the pads ride on.
So I would only do the front brakes then?... and good to hear the soft eights will be fine.
Winter is coming and I as well have been busy readying the wood reserves. :D

cheers
-Ian
 
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