March 17

2004 GMC 3500HD – Rear Brake Rotor and Pad Replacement

Auto Repair, GMC Trucks


Rear Brake Rotor and Pad replacement on a 2004 GMC 3500HD truck with dual rear wheels is our featured service, brought to us by a client from Grandview-Woodlands, Vancouver.

GMC 3500HD
2004 GMC 3500HD cab and chassis with dump box

This GMC 3500HD pickup was sold as a cab and chassis unit. A small dump box was added to the back of the truck which makes a perfect truck for a property maintenance or landscaping company. The 3500HD series truck is basically a one ton truck. With the dump box on the back it is very easy to overload this truck and overload the brakes.

While performing a comprehensive inspection we found the rear brake rotors and pads badly cracked which generally occurs from overheated brakes.

Car and truck brakes work by converting the moving energy of  the vehicle into heat. When the brake pads press on the rotors during braking heat is generated and must be dispersed quickly. The faster the stop, the heavier the vehicle and the harder the brake application the greater the heat generated. This is why high performance cars have enormous brake rotors which are usually cross drilled. This allows the heat to be dissipated very quickly. Trucks are no different: the bigger the truck, the bigger the brakes.

In the case of our GMC truck, the rear brakes had clearly seen too much heat which caused the rotors and pads to crack. During our rear brake service we also repaired the parking brake which was not working. We found the parking brake shoes in poor condition and the pivots which connect the parking brake cables to the shoes seized. Freeing up the pivots, installing new shoes and an adjustment restored the parking brake to perfect operation.

If you drive a truck and haul heavy loads it is critical that you drive it carefully when it is loaded: high speed stops are not advised. Instead, pump your brakes frequently as you slow down: this will prevent excessive heat and ensure longer life to your brakes.

For more information on GMC 3500 series trucks click here

For more information on disc brakes click here

GMC 3500HD
Rear brake rotor from 3500HD. The arrows point to 2 of the large cracks
GMC 3500HD
Rear brake pads, also severely cracked from excessive heat



About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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