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1997 Tahoe Brake Upgrades-Easy and Cheap?

Discussion in 'Engine & Drivetrain' started by MarkD51, Apr 7, 2021 at 7:15 AM.

  1. MarkD51

    MarkD51 Full Access Member

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    Vehicle, 1997 Tahoe LT 4-Door 4x4:

    Over the years I have read various threads about brake upgrades to the less than stellar brake performance on these trucks. The more complex upgrades were Hydroboost, and some others.

    Some years back, I did do an upgrade to Stillen Calipers (no longer available) which possessed a larger Oval Shaped Piston, better Pads, Slotted stock sized Rotors, and Stainless Steel Braided Hoses (3) front and back.

    Braking performance did seem a bit better, but in reality, unsure if it was simply the better Pads and Slotted Rotors that largely contributed to the improvement.

    Due to stock size Wheels, I cannot entertain anything like larger Brembo Calipers, and am of the belief that Calipers from the likes of the SSBC, and Power Stop Calipers are nothing more than remanufactured Stock Calipers.

    But I understand the Calipers that were made for 3/4T Trucks, Suburbans with single rear 8-bolt Axles, that those Calipers possess a slightly larger Piston, are a simple, much less expensive swap, plus then can also use the larger 3/4T Brake Pads and would be compatible with no fitment issues with the stock sized Rotors.

    To add, I read that some more specialized Tahoes of the day came outfitted with such for say Police Vehicles-etc.

    OK, if all sounds good so far, and one might note some increase in braking performance with such a simpler and less expensive swap, what other considerations and issues might there possibly be?

    Will the vehicle properly behave with the larger Calipers on board, or will other modifications be required, Proportioning Valves, or any other needed modifications to go with such a swap without making the vehicle problematic?

    What about the Master Cylinder and Brake Booster, were these parts on such vehicles the same as the stock versions, or no?

    Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.
     
  2. MarkD51

    MarkD51 Full Access Member

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    I'd like to add, I am running a 16" aftermarket wheel, 8" wide and slightly larger tires than stock, 275/70-16 BFG All Terrains currently.

    Reading through some older threads here in a search, I see this has been tried, with some mixed results.

    The larger 3/4 Ton Calipers fit, but Pad Size was an issue, and as well some claimed a greater degree of pedal travel due to the slightly larger pistons on the 3/4T Calipers.

    Thus it sort of sounds like it is not the ideal upgrade, but will wait for further comments.

    Another thread I read was to simply remove the Fuse for the Kelsey Hayes ABS Unit, that braking will be better than stock. I understand by doing such, one will get a brake light lit on the dash though. Would mean yanking the Dash apart to yank that Bulb is all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 8:45 AM

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