87 dakota 2wd under my 54 dodge pickup could use more woah
I threw a 1986 dakota 2wd 6cyl frame under my shortened and lowered 54 dodge pickup body and shoehorned a 512 low deck stroker in there.
I’m running a small diameter universal dual diaphragm booster and a set of jeep zj discs on the back adapted to a ramcharger 9.25 axle. The front discs, knuckles, steering, suspension are all rebuilt with stiff moog coils and good qa1 double adjustable shocks. The original brakes are uninspiring, even after trying several M/C bores to get the best compromise between travel and leverage.
The truck weighs 3750 wet so no lightweight but not a dumptruck. It slows down well but doesn’t have the bite and grab that I want- it stops very similar to my 87 ramcharger with 33” tires. The last bit of stopping like 5-10’ you can’t lock it up or stop real hard if you know what I mean.
If I want bigger brakes is my best option to machine off my rotors, pinch a big rotor in there that’s 5x4.5” bolt pattern, and make some brackets for appropriate big calipers? Does a D150 hub/rotor fit my spindle with just a caliper & caliper bracket swap?
I like junkyard solutions but safety is worth spending some $. To be clear the truck stops a million times better than the stock 54 drums but I want sportscar or modern truck brake performance not 80s economy performance.
I have been running into this issue on a few builds now.
It's the brake pads
Some of the brake pads like Performance Friction Carbon Metallic do exactly the situation you describe. I have even seen some low and mid-grade pads do the same. Has a little to do with break-in but also formulation of the pad.
I have been using the premium ceramic pads from Raybestos or Centric with great success. Also break in is important. If you read the manufacturers break-in procedure, they want you to drive up to 40 mph and hammer the brakes hard but not lock them up and don't come to a complete stop. Do this 3-4 times and then drive normally letting them cool off. I find doing this not only beds in the pads better for better stopping power, but it makes them last longer too.
What is happening is the binding agents (glue) is getting tempered and offgassing some of the binder agents.
I just had a small kit car with some Speedway calipers and cheap-o pads that did the same thing. Pad swap and bedding in and the brakes feel completely different.
As to changing out the brakes completely, I have done it using 2004 Explorer rotors and calipers. Took a lot of machine work to make it happen though.
wow what a great thoughtful response Steve- thank you.
If I recall correctly I went with whatever looked like a better option from the list on rockauto when I built the truck.
I’ll try new pads before I go nuclear with a thousand dollar investment or a week of making chips on my mill.
When I was building my truck I remember finding your site and getting excited then disappointed when I saw you stopped production on your parts and kits- good to see you active and please take any opportunity to let me know how to buy your parts or support the cause.
Just revisited the rockauto ‘87 dak pad listings. There is metallic and semi metallic but no ceramic available. Boo!
Rock Auto is fantastic for most things. When it comes to aftermarket and upgraded parts, other sites are better. Carid.com is trying to outdo Rock Auto
Just look at the listing for brakes for that chassis https://www.carid.com/1987-dodge-dakota-brakes/
Thanks so much Steve if you’re ever in Philly I’ll buy ya a beer!
I ordered a set of the ChromeBrakes ceramic pads from carID and a fresh set of hub rotors & skf bearings off rockauto. I’ll see how they do after proper break in and bedding and report back.