Tips and advice needed for brake work on '97 K3500 DRW...

Tomorrow I will be starting (and hopefully finishing) a full brake job on my '97 K3500 DRW Pickup (crew cab), 141k miles.
I've hopefully got all the parts I may need:
New pads for the front New rotors (got a warped one) New wheel studs New pins and bushings for the calipers (one likes to stick) New shoes for the rear New drums New bearings and seals for the rear (eats axle seals and contaminates brakes with gear lube) New hardware kits for the rear Plenty of bearing grease Plenty of caliper grease Couple cans of 3M brake cleaner Also have new shocks all around and new steering stabilizer.
I have a 20T press, and a reasonably equipped shop for "normal" tools. I also have the factory service manual set for the truck.
What else might I need (besides beer and aspirin)? Gotchas to watch out for? Other stuff that will give me grief?
Thanks,
    Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

DOT 3?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wws wrote:

Why would I need that? I won't be disconnecting the calipers, just reseating the pistons to accommodate the new pads and shoes. Come to think of it I've heard that you should open the bleeder when pushing the pistons back in on the theory that there is junk in the fluid in the piston that you don't want to push back up the line. Not sure that's true, but I'll pick up a fresh quart tomorrow morning. I have to go pickup the front shocks that they had to order anyway.
Thanks,
    Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

you should still flush the whole system anyway when you are done IMHO. bleed until each bleeder runs clear.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

How about inspecting the front bearings and seals? Could always get them and take them back if they are not needed.
wws
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wws wrote:

Actually I have the front seals, but for some reason the parts place couldn't come up with front bearings. All they had was a full hub assembly including bearings for an insane price. I dug up a few part numbers online so when I stop in tomorrow for the remaining shocks I'll see if I can get the bearings.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

Looks like you have it covered. Got Kroil? Sometimes shocks are stubborn.
wws
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wws wrote:

Got a gallon of Kroil last year per the suggestion of folks on RCM to help free and clean a set of lightly rusted micrometers I found. Stuff works real well too.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

Just repack 'em unless you are getting some noise.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote:

That's what I figure I'll do if I can't get the bearings. I already have the rears on the theory that for the $50 for all four it's not worth NOT replacing them while I've got everything apart.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete, you said you have one warped rotor, and that you have purchased new rotors... On a lot of trucks, the rotors are thick enough to true several times, and new rotors are not necessary. From the thoroughness with which you are approaching this project, I suspect you are replacing the rotors in sets. If not, you should be, or at least you should have both the new replacement rotor and the old keeper machined the same way.
If I were going this far, I would probably rebuild or replace the calipers too. I tend to rebuild the old ones, but if you can get new cheap enough, that is the easier way out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

Mostly I don't have other transportation to go get parts once I've got the truck apart, so it's easier to get everything I might need and return what I don't use later. It's also easier to put on new rotors that are already machined than to take the old rotors to a shop for machining since I can't turn them on my regular lathe.
As it turns out the rotors aren't warped, although they sure acted like they were. It seems that both calipers were sticking. The rotors measured well within spec at numerous points and had virtually no runout and no scoring of any significance. The pads were worn 80%+ on the outside and probably 10% on the inside. Wheel bearings seem ok as well.
I just cleaned everything up and replaced the calipers with new bolts and bushings and lots of grease and of course new pads. I flushed / bleed as best I could by myself. The new front shocks are in as well and I'm putting thing back together now. The steering stabilizer is up next before I turn the truck around (or dump it in the pond if the breaks don't work) and start on the rear. Had to come in for food and to get out of the heat for a bit.
Thanks,
    Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

Un-f'in-believable
I just turned the truck around and checked the brakes and they worked ok but seemed a tad spongy. Figured I'd have to do more bleeding when I was done.
Got on the creeper to take a look at the steering stabilizer and shortly after that saw something dripping towards the rear of the truck. I went around to see what it was and it's f'in brake fluid! It seems I blew the f'in hard line to the rear brakes.
I certainly wasn't stomping excessively testing the brakes. The line must have been corroded. I suppose it's better to blow it in my driveway than on the highway. Of course it's Saturday afternoon so I can't get a replacement line and I have a slight transportation issue anyway. F'in typical!
Why do I even bother?
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pete C. wrote:

Close call! Glad it didn't happen on a downgrade. If you have some solid line there you can smush it flat and roll it, cutting off that wheel and limp into town in the morning. If it was me, I wouldn't guess but just replace both sides. Pinch it while it's dripping and you won't have a worse bleeding problem. Luck.
wws
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wws wrote:

Isn't that why we have split hydraulics and cable e-brakes? Even on a downgrade on the highway it should not have caused a disaster unless perhaps I was towing a trailer at max capacity, and then I would have the trailer brakes to help. It's also a standard so I could downshift and use engine braking.
There isn't another side to replace either, it's a single line back to a block on the diff. and then two more hardlines out to each side. It's 4wal and without digging into the manual I think it runs the left, right and rear with the rear tied together.
I haven't dug into it yet, but from where all the drips are it looks like the failure point is in the frame channel where it is obscured by the fuel tank.
Probably had an accumulation of the excessive CT road salt there where the pressure washer at the car wash couldn't clean it. I wonder if the fuel lines that also pass through that area are toast as well. Glad I'm not in CT anymore, no road salt in TX.
Fortunately my retired neighbor can give me a ride to town Monday or Tuesday when I can get parts. Little chance of getting a pre-bent line on Sunday.
The lines from the block at the diff look ok, probably because they were able to be washed. I'm worried about the hardlines buried up front now as well as the fuel lines.
My next headache was just getting the rear wheels off. I twisted the lug wrench that came with the truck into a pretzel trying to get the lug nuts off. I put some Kroil on and then got out the 3/4 drive socket set and a piece of Unistrut for a cheater and that just barely got them off. The fronts weren't that bad and the last time they were touched is when I got new tires all around.
I watched the guy who put the new tires on. Unlike the morons in CT who don't have a clue about hub piloted wheels or torquing sequences who twice put my wheels on crooked, this guy did the proper sequence with the impact wrench set at the lowest setting and one of the color coded torque limiting bars and then went around again with a torque wrench to the final value.
I think I'm going to clean up the tools, hit the shower and then spend the rest on the evening in the hammock with a beer and a cigar. I'll deal with the rear brakes and the hardline tomorrow. Nothing I ever do goes smoothly...
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

Alrighty, two new sections of hard line in. Had to drop the blasted gas tank to get to them. I've still got an issue with the rear brakes, probably due to failed axle seals. They don't even give you an inspection port on the damn things.
Seems I need a special wrench to get the damn hub/bearing lock nut off as well, J-2222-C. Seems nobody has it even though there are literally millions of these axles around. One more pain in the ass. If I can't track one down at a reasonable price tomorrow I'll probably make one myself.
I did have fun bleeding the brakes by myself though. I threw together "Robo-Foot" out of some Unistrut parts and a pneumatic cylinder so I was able to remotely operate the brake pedal while under the truck operating the bleeder screws. Worked quite well.
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Pete C." wrote:

Got the wrench, turns out it's a perfectly ordinary six lug on 60mm circle deal same as some front axles, but the applications guide doesn't cross it properly.
Got the left side that I know had a problem apart and sure enough it's dripping with 90wt. That's the fourth axle seal to go on this truck. I've not read of seal problems on the GM 14 bolt 10.5" ring gear full float axles so I'm rather stumped as to why this one eats them
The drum seems to be ok since it wasn't really doing anything. Looks like some brake cleaner and a little deglazing will make it serviceable and save me the trouble of pressing the studs out so I can separate the hub and drum.
This project has become quite the pain in the ass...
Pete C.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You will not need brake fluid if you don't open the lines. You will have more fluid in the master cylinder reservoir after the job is done because the pistons in the caliber will be recessed more with the new pads. I have had vehicles with well over 100,000 miles that I never flushed the brake lines on, and I have never had problems with the old fluid. I have seen vehicles with far fewer miles that had fluid that was muddy or had brake lines collapse. Since these were not my vehicles I don't know how the fluid got contaminated.
"Pete C." wrote:

--
Mike Walsh
West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
At the risk of starting another interminable thread where nobody agrees or even comes to any agreement, IMHO it is as vitally important as regular oil changes to flush the brake fluid at a minimum every two years. If you keep your vehicles for several decades or several hundred thousand miles this will pay you back many times over.
That said, lots of times people get lucky, and/or wreck their vehicles or sell them before they get old enough that the corrosion in the brake system reaches the point that it actually needs attention.
nate
Mike Walsh wrote:

fluid in the master cylinder reservoir after the job is done because the pistons in the caliber will be recessed more with the new pads.

brake lines on, and I have never had problems with the old fluid. I have seen vehicles with far fewer miles that had fluid that was muddy or had brake lines collapse. Since these were not my vehicles I don't know how the fluid got contaminated.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

more fluid in the master cylinder reservoir after the job is done because the pistons in the caliber will be recessed more with the new pads.

the brake lines on, and I have never had problems with the old fluid. I have seen vehicles with far fewer miles that had fluid that was muddy or had brake lines collapse. Since these were not my vehicles I don't know how the fluid got contaminated.

the
Im with you Nate. It is pennywise and pound foolish not to flush your brake fluid. And if I had had this sort of problem with unequal wear, I would have spent the couple of odd bucks and rebuilt the calipers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.