Braking solution for 1983 Silverado. Help
Just occurred to me that my 1983 Silverado has almost twice as much torque and power as my DD 1998 Volvo with less efficient stopping power. Been a member since 2007 and ive always wanted to go fast, having achieved that goal I admit I never thought to look at the suspension and brake end of the spectrum. The Truck Currently has Leaf Springs and front Disc Brakes. What are somethings I can do (in order of cost) to improve handling and stopping power. I am willing to do anything and a full disc setup is years (maybe months) down the road. Thanks for help in advance
2WD? 4WD? What axles? Any rear end upgrades planned?
Get a set of Stainless Steel brake lines for your disc set up front, big difference in feel and actual force applied to the brakes. Best "bang for the buck" you can get for brake performance, in my opinion. The front brakes handle most of the braking force on almost all vehicles, this is especially true of pickup trucks.
If I were you, I'd plan on swapping to discs in the rear soon. The stainless steel lines won't be much change on the drum brakes out back and it's cheaper to put discs in the rear than to do anything else. The big brake aftermarket is insanely pricey. The cheapest brake conversion I've seen for these is $500 for one axle, and the brakes were not impressive looking.
If you're in a 5 lug truck, you could get an entire OEM disc rear-end and stainless steel lines for half of that. New rotors and pads for another $150. New calipers would still have you cheaper. Plus you can get one with limited slip and the gear ratio that you want if you're picky. Also the added benefit that you can go to any Autozone, O'Reilly, or Napa when it comes time to do your brakes again.
You can go through it at your leisure, when time and money will allow, and install it when you're done. Rear ends are cheap to buy and cheap to go through.
There might be swaps to a bigger rotor and caliper from another GM vehicle that would be feasible (like 'Vette brakes on Camaro's). But watch out, because when I looked into that for my Camaro, the extreme prices of having to buy bigger wheels (and new tires to fit the wheels) to fit over them still ruined it for me. I'll now be waiting until it's painted and the wheels are picked, then just stuff whatever I can fit behind them into it, probably some C5 Corvette brakes up front and the disc setup off a 93-02 Camaro out back.
I currently have 295/50/15 tires all around. The rear end is a drum axle with limited slip and 3.73 gears. (5-Lugs) Do you have a link for the stainless steel brake lines? For now I plan on going with the brake lines, ceramic pads and bigger rotars.
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