95 Jimmy Braking Difficulties

curley34curley34 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in GMC
I bought a 95 Jimmy with 73K miles on it. Previous owner said he had never done anything to the brakes. When towing my boat, the truck was hard to stop, and I ended up downshifting in addition to braking (on a level, paved street). I re-did the front brakes, but the backs were hardly worn at all so I left them alone. Same problem. So I also did the back brakes. Still having problems. It almost feels like the back brakes aren't working. (A different Jimmy that I test-drove with 135K had a similar problem.. new brakes, but you had to stand on the petal to stop it, without a trailer) My mechanic said that the brakes on this vehicle are under-designed and oh well. Is this real? The boat is 3000 lbs, but the truck is OK to pull this amount.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds like your power brake booster is failing or has failed completely.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Your mechanic is right, they should ave put larger brakes on the Jimmy/Blazers, but didn't. GM used the brake system right from the S-10 w/o thinking of the added body weight or the extra passenger load. There are upgrade kits for them that give much better stopping, but they are expensive , around $1500. Check out stainless steel brakes. com for more info on them.

    Is the truck hard to stop w/o the boat? If so it can be the power brake booster, or the vacuum filter may be plugged giving a hard pedal. It could also be a bad proportioning valve, or the rubber hoses are flexing too much. I changed he ones on my car to stainless steel braided and it made a HUGE difference.

    I can recommend to have trailer brakes installed. Will help greatly in the stopping power. I really don't think this should be nessessary with only 3 K lbs. Plus in addition to the brakes, you will need a controller and more wiring on the truck itself.
  • poisondartfrogpoisondartfrog Member Posts: 102
    Have you changed the brake fluid? Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, and that can cause the calipers/wheel cylinders to be lazy, and not be as effective transferring the hydraulic force through the line from the master cylinder to the calipers. Since you have a '95, the rear brakes are drum. From '97-on, the S-truck SUVs use four-wheel disc, if memory serves, such as on my '97 Bravada.

    I believe my brake problem stems from GM using a hard pad compound, which wore my rotors to under service limit in the front (@ 38K miles) and the rear (@ 46K miles). I replaced them with NAPA premium pads and rotors, and flushed the system. Brakes work well. and I live in a hilly region, and pull a boat trailer, although I use electronic brakes.

    So give the fluid change a shot... you'd be surprised how gunky brake fluid can turn, especially if it's original in your '95.
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