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Posted: 5/22/2005 2:53:48 PM EDT
My Isuzu Trooper doesn't have the brake response I'd like it to have. While I certainly could change the pads, etc., the fact remains that the system isn't as aggressive as I'd like. More than once I've had my heart try and claw it's way out through my throat and escape when I've stomped on the brake and the truck has kept going...

Is there any way to improve the performance of a brake system? Replacement of cylinder or pump or whatever? I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgeable about this stuff, but due to recent developments in my life (to be addressed in a different thread), I'd really like to learn.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:09:08 PM EDT
How are the tires?
If you don't have good grip, you won't brake well.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:11:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:13:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stryfe:
How are the tires?
If you don't have good grip, you won't brake well.



They're good. I don't believe I've ever squealed them. The problem is the amount of grip applied by the brakes on the wheels.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:25:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2005 3:26:48 PM EDT by Merrell]
presuming it has ABS, you will likely be limited by the wheel/tire combination. (with ABS, you should never hear a squeal, as braking becomes less efficient with the tires locked up and sliding)

The road rally guys do stuff like synthetic brake fluid, but they are hard on the binders continuously, if you are in a Trooper (doing that), then you are in the wrong vehicle.

Quick & dirty rules:

Don't haul around junk in the back, more weight = longer stopping distance

If rotors & pads are worn excessively, replace rather than have the rotors cut (below a certain point, thermal performance suffers - not enough "meat" left to avoid overheating

Reduce rotating mass (this wins on accelleration & braking) - wheel change typically required. The "sweet spot" (min weight for a given overall OD) was somewhere around 16-17" wheels, if I recall my conversation with a GM engineer from a few years back correctly.

Look around at wet & dry braking performance of tires (the Tire Rack used to have gradings, IIRC) along with treadwear & temperature ratings.

FWIW, I did all that stuff for my Blazer & figured it wasn't worth the $$$ to get a set of Weld or Centerline wheels, so kept the stock aluminums and went with Goodyear Forteras. (of course, we have to deal with snow up here, which may not enter into your equation) Michelins were equal but I will be damned if I will give the French a $ more than I have to.






You can also check the shocks & springs if it is older, but a Trooper is not a car where you should be gettin on it.

I would not cross-drill or slot rotors in that vehicle unless I was really really into it.

Use name brand (not generic) semi-metallic pads, if that is what is called for.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:41:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:46:34 PM EDT
4 Wheel Discs are the only way to go. I lucked out and got em' on my new truck and they have excellent stopping power. You can always up grade your front discs with a larger disc and dual piston caliper set up but it'll run you some money even if it is a pretty easy swap to put on the new parts. Rear disc kits are available and will help a lot but there again, it's costs money. Like we always used to say, "Speed costs, how fast do ya' want to go." Same can be said for braking.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:47:21 PM EDT
Addenda: watch the country of origin with rotors - US Made rotors are more expensive than Chinese (often 2X-3X or more) but the metallurgy is better. Verify the country of origin when replacing (brakes are not a place I want to skimp)

Also make sure you do not ride the brakes - how often do you need to have brakework done (or brake lights replaced?) either could be an indication of driving habits that might need modified.

Ducting hoses to direct cooling airflow over brakes works, but again, if you are running your brakes that hot in the first place, you should be in a sports car, not an Isuzu.

Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:48:15 PM EDT
How old is your 'troop?

If it's more than a few years, consider at least a "flush and bleed" of the current system or a newer master cylinder.

You could also consider replacing the OEM reinforced rubber wheel lines with the braided stainless high pressure ones.

They might make bigger discs and multiple - cylinder calipers that will fit your ride. Check out the aftermarket truck / off roading websites.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:51:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:
Addenda: watch the country of origin with rotors - US Made rotors are more expensive than Chinese (often 2X-3X or more) but the metallurgy is better. Verify the country of origin when replacing (brakes are not a place I want to skimp)



+1.

The Bendix rotors for my buddy's F250 were $125... the Chinese/Malay/Guatemalans were $65. They looked the same, but the metal composition of the Bendix were better. They were heavier, and will be able to hold up to periods of high heat without warping (towing) like the imports -a necessity for him.
Link Posted: 5/22/2005 3:53:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:
How old is your 'troop?

If it's more than a few years, consider at least a "flush and bleed" of the current system or a newer master cylinder.

You could also consider replacing the OEM reinforced rubber wheel lines with the braided stainless high pressure ones.

They might make bigger discs and multiple - cylinder calipers that will fit your ride. Check out the aftermarket truck / off roading websites.



+1 on the braided stainless steel high pressure lines. That way all of the force from the fluid is going into the caliper and not into expanding the stock rubber brake hose.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 1:07:13 AM EDT
That may not be the best vehicle to get braking performance out of......
(they do make kits though)

If you have rear drum brakes, are they adjusted correctly?
(I've never seen any that were)

Do you have a mechanic friend that can drive it and tell if they are working properly?
(does it have a problem or are your expectations too high)

This one could cause what you describe
Have your rotors been glazed?
(they will have a blue sheen)
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 1:49:39 AM EDT
i'm sure you can get bigger rotors.


diameter matters more than pad area


good luck!
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 2:59:40 AM EDT
Better calipers would be the easiest for the front (increased pistons). Premium shoes for the rear. Flush the system and get a good bleed job (even the smallest air bubble will decrease brake performance and this gets worse with altitude).
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 3:46:14 AM EDT
DOT 5 is silicone based and will not work with any commercial automobile.

For better braking performance:
bleed and flush your fluid with fresh DOT 3 every year. DOT 4 is more hygroscopic than DOT 3 (absorbs water faster). I've noticed this whenever I used DOT 4. Don't bother with it.

Get larger rotors for your disc brakes.
Convert your drums to disc brakes if possible.
Slot your brake pads perpendicular to the axis of rotation, do about 3 slots per pad with 1-1.5" spacing.
Do the same for your drum shoes, being careful to NOT slot it above a rivet.
Also do not slot the pad so deep that it cracks off the backing.

To get rid of squeel, chamfer the leading/trailing edge of your brake pads (with the axis of rotation) , note that this reduces surface area slightly.

Cross-drilled and slotted ROTORS are bad juju. Slotted rotors will have a grindy feeling but will work better. Albeit again sacrificing surface area. Cross-drilled rotors will crack over time.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:10:05 AM EDT
Have you checked for glazing of the pads? This is a tough problem to fix over the internet, but you should start with the basics, flush fluid, check pads for excessive wear, glazing, then check for stuck pistons.
If everything looks good you might try high end brake pads, the old ones may be no good.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:11:58 AM EDT
The only REAL way to improve braking it thru softer tires or bigger brakes rotors (which is expensive).

The reality is that Isuzu brakes suck.

SGtar15
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 7:15:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
My Isuzu Trooper doesn't have the brake response I'd like it to have. While I certainly could change the pads, etc., the fact remains that the system isn't as aggressive as I'd like. More than once I've had my heart try and claw it's way out through my throat and escape when I've stomped on the brake and the truck has kept going...

Is there any way to improve the performance of a brake system? Replacement of cylinder or pump or whatever? I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgeable about this stuff, but due to recent developments in my life (to be addressed in a different thread), I'd really like to learn.

Thanks.



Firstly, draining and replacing all your brake fluid might help out more than you realize. (Be sure to properly bleed the brakes too)

Depending on the year trooper you have, you may indeed be able to get an aftermarket brake system that will include multi-piston calipers, vented and cross-drilled rotors, etc that will reduce stopping distance, possibly something that even uses DOT 4 or even DOT 5 fluid (which have higher boiling points, keeping you from having that lovely brake fade that happens when your brakes get hot...) though these systems would be a tad expensive and may even require a new master cylinder.

But having enough whoa is a lot more important than go, trust me.
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