New brakes a coming on the RAM 2500

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Well-known member
Oct 6, 2017
50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
Gonna be a busy week. After looking at weather, I highly suspect that the eclipse will be a bust in most places and I was planning on SE Missouri or southern Illinois.

Saturday I put the Truck on the two post lift in the shop and brought it up to the first lock point. This is only the second time I've had that truck on that lift. Its a lot of work aligning everything just right, and while the lift is rated to 9000 lbs and the truck is about 6000 as it sits, the front end alone weighs 4060 when I last had it on the CAT scale. The diesel engine is heavy, and the transmission weighs 490 lbs.

Today (Sunday, Easter) I drove about 100 mi roundtrip to Summit Racing in McDonough, GA and picked up a complete brake kit, calipers, rotors, and pads. I had the web page loaded in the computer yesterday, $977.95, this morning, I reloaded it and it was $937.95. I drove over and picked up the boxes, stopped and ate lunch, and headed back.


I got the wheels removed this evening and washed the center caps and the wheels. I always do that first, as it won't get done if I wait till the end. I have brake hoses and have already completely flushed the system a couple of weeks ago so that no bad fluid will get in the new components.

I bought the powder coated calipers not for the bling, but because I hate to see rusted parts when you look thru the wheels and see the brakes. A few remanufacturers actually put a clear coating on calipers and such to prevent this, but these were not much more expensive. Pads are carbon fiber reinforced ceramic so hopefully no dust to speak of.

Attachment is a shot of the Summit retail store, which sits in a corner of their huge warehouse. They have four retail stores. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go in there.

Pics tomorrow.


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Long, long day. The calipers were not "loaded" with the pads, so I spent a couple of hours doing that. The front calipers were tagged backwards (bleeder screw always goes at the top and this is the way the original was set up. I spent a lot of time walking back and forth verifying configuration with the original ones still on the truck.

Went to break the caliper bolts loose and found them real tight, got out my powerful IR impact and it would not move them. Finally dug in my old work toolbox drawers and found my air hose "doubler" and connected two air hoses supplied by separate outlet valves on the air compressor, THAT finally busted the bolts loose. Red locktite from the factory.

After removing the caliper, I went to get the rotors off. I've had the rear ones off before when I repacked the bearings in the hubs, but have never had the front ones off, and sure enough they were rusted in place. I started spraying penetrant on the outside and thru the gaps around the wheel studs. I beat on the back of the rotor with a 3 lb hammer (which I didn't want to do, hard on the front wheel unit bearing). Finally took a 4x aircraft rivet gun and with a 2x4 wedged into the studs, started driving on the cooling fins in the middle of the rotor, This turning action of the rotor on the hub broke it loose.

Off to get locktite and something to eat at Chick-Fil-A and back home. Right front is completely finished now and I will work on the drivers side in the morning. Hopefully all of that Kroil I sprayed on and in it will loosen the rotor overnight.



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Super hard day today. Walked into the shop at noon, went back to the house about 2 pm to feed the cats, went right back out and didn't stop until 7 pm.

Front left rotor came off with only moderate pounding of the hammer, the Kroil helped alot. Installed the caliper, hose, etc, and moved to the rear. Swapped both calipers and rotors, and found the hoses (and tube on the axle) were the hardest part. Original cross axle tube had 6 inch hoses permanently on each end, the new tube has replaceable hoses. Had to stop and drop the spare tire so I could get to the body to axle hose.

Everything's done and ready to set up and pressure bleed it tomorrow.

I started posting this because this is my trailer's tow vehicle. I want it absolutely reliable. 21 year old hoses and calipers that could seize up if they get hot are not something I want to deal with a thousand miles from home. With my car, worst case, call a tow truck and they take it to my house. 20 to 30 miles, but traveling and pulling a trailer, I want reliability.

Something to realize is that most manufacturers recommend brake fluid flushing every 2 to 5 years. Why? Because when Malcolm Loughead developed the first practical hydraulic automobile brake systems, he selected a glycol based fluid for its high and low temperature qualities and to this day, glycol based brake fluid is the dominate fluid used in automotive brakes. (Malcolm's brother Alan went on to found the Lockheed Aircraft Corp)

The problem with brake fluid is that it is hygroscopic and tends to absorb moisture. This causes corrosion inside the brake system and when brakes get hot, the water boils. I'm betting this truck had the original fluid in it, and only about two or three weeks ago did I flush the system. The old fluid was very dark and nasty looking. I experimented on my Pontiac Vibe first to test out the new Mityvac MV7840 Pressure Brake Bleed Kit for Pressure Bleeding Hydraulic Brake and Clutch Systems. No more trying to find someone else to help bleed brakes. Its a one person job, but is a lot of cleanup of equipment when done, and you tend to use more fluid than normal bleeding procedures.

Sooooooooo.......... Git 'yer brakes flushed today.....................


Wednesday I got a late start. Discovered I didn't have enough brake fluid so off to Wal-Mart and bought 3 qts of Prestone (its all the same, but I have been using the Prestone so I'll stick with it).

Set everything up and started bleeding. Found one leak at the junction block on the axle. I finger tightened a fitting and failed to go back and put and wrench on it. Fixed that and sprayed that down with mineral spirits. At first the brakes didn't feel too good, pedal seemed to travel more than I thought it had been.

I started reinstalling wheels and realized there are stickers on the rotors right where the wheels sat, so I pulled the wheels off again and removed the stickers and the goo from them. Installed the wheels and torqued them, 32 lugnuts, 135 lb ft. Thats a lot, then a second time around with the torque wrench. After I drive it a hundred miles or so I will recheck the torque on the wheels and install the center caps.

I did the break in procedure that Power Stop calls for. By the fourth application I could smell the brakes, but I went on with the process. Got finished and drove it around at 30mph or so not using any brakes to allow them to cool, back to the house and let it sit.

When we have some more rain I will take it out and do some panic stops to actuate the ABS pump, then I may bleed the system again. I also could just take it down the dirt road past my neighborhood and do some panic stops on the dirt. I don't have the electronic module/code reader you need to cycle the ABS pump while you are bleeding.

Looked at the Summit Racing website today, and it showed the kit I bought as out of stock in McDonough GA where I bought them. Guess I hit it just right.

I have a rattle that sounds like a rear shock loose or something similar so tomorrow I will take them loose and check everything. I only hear it when the rear axle hits a bump.

I guess that finishes this saga. Now I know that I have good brakes for my next mountain tow (plus the exhaust brake), one less concern. That job about wore me out, I did nothing today.

Hope someone got something out of all of this................

Yep tired from just reading it. Great upgrade once it gets done though. I will be doing a similar upgrade on mine when it's time. I have a '20 Rebel 1500. Gonna be a tough one cause I already have 134k on the clock.

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