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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Brake Problems



  • I climb under my 2003 2500 HD silverado, Durimax Diesel that I bought new to change the oil and look at eveywhere there was a clip on the brake line it was ready to rust through. So I go to the local Auto Parts store to get some brake line. The fittings on my truck are 14mm nuts with either 10mm or 12 mm threads on the nuts, and the line is 10 thousands bigger than 1/4 inch line. Advanced Auto, and NAPA as well as all the other auto part stores have only american standard threads on their brake line pieces. I will get metric inverted nuts then they don't have them and can't get them????Ok, I will get metric! CAN'T they dont have any metric lines,or nuts on 1/4 inch line? You've got to be kidding me!Nor, can they get it??? They have no Inverted fittings on 1/4 inch metric either??? My line is not bubble its inverted??? OK I go to the Chevy Dealer and order the parts--- I can't all their computers and books tell me their is American line and nuts on my truck. The parts guy looks at my line and says thats metric, but nothing listed in computer is metric for 2003,2005,2002 and he can't get it either. So only option I have is to cut off line and re-use old nuts on 1/4 inch line and hope the flange tool compensates for the 10 thousands line size difference and what if I strip one I'm in a world of hurt. Is there anyone else that has had this problem? I can't be the only one in America with this problem and what did you do?
  • Hey Fideuce,

    I have not heard of this issue, we have 4 GMC pickups in the family and not had this issue, we have had our brakes, and brake line rusting, but not the metric/american issue. You may review some of these threads... #125 of 178Re: Rusted Brake lines, 2003 GMC 50K miles [barnowl3] by ttaupier1, the : Forums/Pickups/Chevrolet Silverado & GMC Sierra/Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Brake Problems

    There are several links and different guys that needed to find the solutions to similar problems (rusty lines). To tell you the truth, I am very surprised this is the first time, we have seen or heard of this, knowing the vehicles are mostly manufactured in a Metric based countrys, and serviced in the USA, ...almost sounds like there was a daily supply issue and someone at the factory came-up with a short time fix... Yikes...

    keep us posted..
  • I need to replace the rear brake pads on my '99 Silverado, and was told that I may need a special tool to compress the calipers. Will a regular 'C' Clamp not work. If not what of kind of tool is this and is it easy to get?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Yep a big C clamp would work.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Installation Procedure

    Important: Use denatured alcohol to clean the outside surface of caliper boot before installing new brake pads.

    1.If you are installing new brake pads, use a C-clamp in order to compress the piston to the bottom of the caliper bore. Use the old brake pad, a metal plate or a wooden block across the face of the piston in order to protect the piston and the caliper boot. Important: Use a small flat-bladed tool and lift the inner edge caliper boot next to the piston to release any trapped air.

    2.Ensure that the piston boot is below the level of the piston face.

    3.Install the brake pad retainers to the caliper bracket. Important: Ensure that the wear sensor is positioned at the leading edge (upward) of the inner pad during forward wheel rotation.

    4.Install the brake pads over the brake pad retainers and onto the caliper bracket.

    5.Install the tire and wheel assembly.

    6.Lower the vehicle.

    7.With the engine OFF, gradually apply the brake pedal to approximately 2/3 of it's travel distance.

    8.Slowly release the brake pedal.

    9.Wait 15 seconds, then repeat steps 7-8 until a firm pedal is obtained. This will properly seat the brake caliper pistons and brake pads.

    10.Fill the master cylinder reservoir to the proper level with clean brake fluid.

    11.Burnish the pads and the rotors.
  • Hey John, I have done a lot of brakes in my day, and nearly every rear disc caliper, from a 63 Maserati "Mexico", 2002 Honda accord, to a 2003 Jeep Grncheke, to a 2003 GMC 1500 pickup, I have always had to screw the rear calipers in as they are being compressed...hence the special tool. This is based on 25 years of doing about 40 brake jobs (friends and family). I have used a c-clamp, however the screwing in of the caliper piston is very key to the compression process. I have never had a special tool...however i did find this excerpt from another Car help page....

    was unaware that nearly all modern vehicles w/rear disc brakes NEED turned in, like a screw. so i ruined a clamp and the calliper trying to figure it out :( the special tool purchase is not required in most cases because most auto parts stores offer free tool rentals to promote the sales of auto parts, and the tool they offer is usually better than the one most people are willing purchase due to expense probably in the upwards of $50. there is a cheap tool option 3 to 4 bucks kinda looks like a cube w/ a 3/8 ratchet drive hole on each side for a extention to fit to your ratchet. and it has different sized/shaped pegs at the corners of each side to make it more compatible with other vehicles, efficient but difficult to use and i really dont suggest it either but ive used one and it did get the job done.

    also check this out.. >> #134 of 182Re: Brake Pad replacement with ABS [Bloozester] by ttaupier1

    good luck
  • I have the same issue and I found out that it is the ABS kicking in. This is caused by rust and the sensor and tone wheel in the bearing housing on one or possibly both front wheels.
  • Hi
    New to this blog, but looking for information on replacement of rear brake shoes on my silverado. Apparently GM had gone back to drum brakes, and upon inspection noticed that there is a big sort of u-clamp or u-shape pin going across both brake shoes to hold in place. Any ideas on how to reinstall easily or special tool suggestion. I changed one side and wow what a hard time it was getting the rod back in place.
  • On a 2001 1500 is there a safe way to unhook the ABS brake system?
  • I have had this brake problem with my 2001 GMC Sierra since I purchased the truck. They have cleaned whatever it is they had to clean and given it back to me only to have the same problem around 6 months later. I have had this done over 10 times and have never yet received a recall notice on this problem.
  • Has anyone else had the problem of the brake lines and now the transmission lines rusting out? Last year I had to have the brake lines replaced after they rusted through and I lost my brakes completely. Now I find out that my transmission line has rusted out and I lost all my transmission fluid without any knowledge and now I find that I may need to replace the transmission. This truck has been the worst vehicle I ever purchased. I have had nothing but problems with it since the day I purchased it in 2001 brand new off the lot. I'll be looking for a new truck but a GM product won't be on my list. And they say buy American. I have all my life but I'm seriously thinking about going foreign now.
  • I've had the same problem on my 2003. I do live up here in the rust belt in upstate NY where they drop salt like crazy. However, this is not an excuse in my opinion as GM does test components with salt spray. My brake line failed at about 5.5 years. Gas line rusted at the o-ring joint at about 4.5 years, causing a spraying leak under pressure. Engine oil cooling lines at 3.5 years. Check that if you have the oil cooling option, as you lose oil fast! I think they are just not using the right alloys in the lines and they are becoming sacrificial to the adjoining metals.

    Report your brake line problem to the NHTSA. They just sent me an email to get more info on the problem, so they must be investigating.
  • Is this what the recall was for? Have the same issue, anti lock kicks in when truck has just about come to a complete stop. 2000 Silverado, 100K miles, rotors and pads replace 10K ago.
  • As I had mentioned earlier, my ABS was doing the same thing, brake failure at very low speed. Wheel Speed Sensors were replaced, and Master Cylinder was replaced. Neither of these repairs solved the problem. Discovered at a much later date, one of the wheel bearings in front was bad,(way bad), and never made a noise. Replaced the wheel bearing, which comes with wheel speed sensor and problem went away.
  • guys

    i have a 1994 GMC K1500 Z71, 5.7l. Disks on the front, rotors on the back.

    First, the brakes have never been great but they should be better then what they are now. I replaced the master cylinder, front brake lines, calipers, pads and rotors. I used slotted rotors & posi-quite pads. I flushed the brake fluid and put back valvoline synthetic dot 3-4. I bleed the brakes per GM's policy, 3 times, and still have soft brakes. I had soft brakes before and thought redoing everything should solve the problem. What am i missing :cry: ?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    What type of brake lines did you use when replacing?
  • i only replaced the rubber portion and got those from Napa Auto parts
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Some have replaced theirs with stainless steel braided lines and have commented that it had firmed up the brake pedal "feel". Theory being that the stainless makes the brake lines less flexible with more resistance.
  • ok i'll try that. Would using a power type bleeder help ensure all of the air is out. I'm just thinking out loud. What if there's some air still some where how best to try and get it out.
  • jomanjoman Posts: 2
    where is the best deisel repair in mohave valley?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    What if there's some air still some where how best to try and get it out.

    The old fashioned way. Have someone pump the pedal and bleed each unit.
  • I've done that (have a real person pump the pedal) 3 times and my brakes are still soft. I'm looking for anything i may have missed. If there's air in there what other things can I do to try and get it out?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    The brake pedal is softer now as compared to before the brake job?
  • Thanks. Appreciate the info. Didn't know about the turning part. I'll watch out for that.
  • I've read where Silverados have an engineering problem with the parking brakes and that a new designed spring clip is the solution for premature wearing of the emergency brake shoes. I never use my emergency brake and yet my emer. brake shoes are worn out. Does this issue with the spring clip account for the brakes being worn out even when they are rarely if ever used?
  • change rubber hoses to calipers :shades:
  • no it's just seems inconsistent. At times the pedal will go to the floor and other times it won't. However, i can never slam on the brakes & lock up the wheels. I spoke with my dad and he seems to think it may be the rear drums. I've not adjusted those is a long while. So i'm going to over haul those and i'll let you know.
  • My 2002 Silverado 2500HD has 28000 miles on it. Recently,while driving the truck, I applied the brakes and the pedal went completely to the floor, leaving me with no brakes. Fortunately, I was going very slow and was able to roll to a slow stop with no injuries or damage. I found a hole had rusted through one of the brake lines. I then called General Motors and was told that a dealer would need to inspect the truck before any further action could be taken. The result is this: I was charged $175.09 for hauling the truck 20 miles to the nearest Chevrolet dealer and 'inspecting' it; The lines had rusty spots with a hole in one area; General Motors would provide no assistance with repairs since my problem may be the result of 'low mileage'; And the dealer wanted to repair the truck for $1000.00. I am sure the sudden and unexpected loss of brakes is a major safety defect and have reported the problem to NHTSA.
  • Hi etrexler,

    check the post with my name on them this will lead you too many threads with this subject.. just click on the green linked (ttaupier), there have been a lot of posts ..about this >> and the NTSB/NHTSB.. could not careless, unless you cause a 300 car pileup.. just my .5 cents

    There is a stainless steel kit you can order ($300~), then about $300-$400 to put on.. as far as the problem being >>> a Low millage thing.. I'm not understanding.. sounds like someone talking out of their silly part, BUT..I don't know.

    let us know how you make out..
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