Mechanics

CHEVROLET SILVERADO BRAKES PROBLEM

1994 Chevrolet Silverado • 10,000 miles

I would just like to know why chevy used leading / trailing brakes on the full sized silverado. Also, if you might know what years it was used and why they stopped using it. Thank you
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Tcorn
March 24, 2013.



They stopped because they all went to disc. They used up all the old systems till they were done so they had no parts left over in there warehouses during building.

Not sure of the year for upgrade but you need to change all from the master back when converting.

Roy

ASEMaster6371
Mar 24, 2013.
Thank you for the answer but do you have any idea why they used it? I was told leading/trailing was for light or front wheel drive vehicles.

Tiny
Tcorn
Mar 25, 2013.
Excuse me for butting in. What are you referring to by "leading / trailing"? That terminology normally means the leading shoe which is the shorter lining that goes toward the front of the truck and the trailing shoe that goes toward the rear. The leading shoe doesn't do much stopping. It simply grabs the drum and tries to rotate with it. That pushes the bottom of the larger trailing shoe into the drum through the star wheel adjuster link. The wheel cylinder pushes the top of the trailing shoe into the drum. That's called a "duo-servo" brake and is said to be a self-energizing brake meaning it takes very little pedal effort to make them apply. Drum brakes are very effective and can easily lock up a wheel. You can't do any better than that but they are prone to brake fade when they get wet. They also hold heat better and don't cool as well as disc brakes and that leads to a different kind of brake fade. The disadvantage to disc brakes is they require a lot more pedal effort to stop the vehicle so we added power boosters where they weren't needed before. Drum brakes on the back of any vehicle are perfectly fine but due to the time it takes for the return springs to retract the shoes they are not suitable for use with anti-lock brake systems. Those pulse the brakes 15 to 30 times per second and drum brakes don't respond that fast.

The other problem with disc brakes is they require considerably more than a few cables to incorporate the parking brake. GM and Ford used a miserable caliper design and Chrysler used a separate drum parking brake inside the rotor. All of those require a lot more expense to build. ASEMaster6371 is right about doing a conversion. There's a real lot more involved than bolting on a few parts.

Caradiodoc
Mar 25, 2013.
Caradiodoc
Thank you for your input but to tell you a little more I am A college student and I was asked about a leading/trailing brake system and I'm not even sure what all years it's was used on the silverado. The question was why did Chevy use leading / trailing brakes on a full sized truck (silverado) and how long was it used? Now afterwards I was told leading/trailing brakes were used on light vehicles or front wheel drive vehicles. To my knowledge leading/trailing brakes had the star adjuster up just under the wheel cylinder and they apply at different times.

Tiny
Tcorn
Mar 25, 2013.
Sorry if I repeat myself here. I typed for over two hours, then had to turn my 'puter off because the anti-virus was slowing it down to a painful crawl. I lost everything and had to start over, but I'm calm now.

First verify we're talking about the same thing. I taught Automotive Brakes for many years but I never heard the terminology "leading and trailing" used for anything other than the front and rear shoes on a drum brake. If you're referring to something else, please set me straight. Every manufacturer used the duo-servo drum brake as far back as at least the 1950s which was before my time. They are inexpensive to build and very efficient so it was only natural to keep on using them on the rear. Disc brakes are used on the front where they do most of the stopping because they are much less prone to various forms of brake fade.

The leading / trailing shoe issue has nothing directly to do with the location of the star wheel adjuster. The duo-servo brake gets its efficiency from the front shoe acting on the rear one to help apply it. That requires a movable link on the bottom between the two shoes, and it was convenient to incorporate the adjuster into that link. The adjuster can also be placed up near the tops of the shoes but that would increase the cost and the number of parts. The exception would be if the vehicle was lightweight and didn't need as much rear braking power. A non-servo brake with a fixed lower anchor could be used, and that would require the adjuster to be placed somewhere else.

Some of the first cars I saw with non-servo brakes were the Chrysler K-cars and the Omni / Horizon.S. A duo-servo brake would be too hard to keep the pressure down to prevent easy rear-wheel lockup. On those systems only the front shoe works when driving forward and only the rear shoe works in reverse. The rotation of drum causes the non-applying to release. The advantage to that system for do-it-yourselfers is both shoes are identical in size and coefficient of friction so when the front one wears out, the two can be swapped front-to-rear to get double the life out of the set. The disadvantage has to do with the wheel cylinders. With the adjuster on the bottom it spreads the shoes apart down there as the linings wear. When the adjuster is on top and it pushes the shoes apart up there the pistons in the wheel cylinder move out over time and ride back and forth in a different area where dirt and corrosion may have accumulated. That can tear the lip seals and result in leakage. Ford Escorts had a big problem with leaking rear wheel cylinders. Sometimes that leakage would stop after new shoes were installed as long as the drums weren't machined too much. Professionals check for that leakage but do-it-yourselfers often don't notice it unless it's real bad.

As for when a certain brake system was used, there's a lot of variables so it's not that easy to answer. I use rockauto, com many times a day for reference. You may find only rear disc brake parts listed for a 2500, and you might find rear drum brake parts listed for a 1500, but disc brakes might have been optional. You may even find a different set of listings based on two identical trucks having different engine sizes. There can be many trucks that are identical but are given different names based on trim packages. The Silverado name may not have existed one year but the truck could have been around long before it was given that name.

Having computer trouble again. I managed to save this wondrous document in MS Word after three hours of waiting! Instead of typing more stuff that won't help, add any questions you have if you'd like me to continue.

Caradiodoc
Mar 26, 2013.