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Half-Ton Helper

Four-wheel disc brakes will help your hauler stop on a dime

Even though they are sometimes overlooked as performance vehicles, Chevy's ultra-popular half-ton trucks are just as sought after as early musclecars. Whether it's late-'60s or early-'90s iron, they're all being built to perform.

This familiar donor truck is no different. It is an '89 Chevy half-ton, which has received lots of goodies over the years. Some of those go-fast parts include the installation of a tuned-port small-block. As if that wasn't enough, the tuned-port engine was equipped with a Vortech supercharger, which we showed going on in these pages a few years ago.

Style was also incorporated into this truck, as it has received a custom interior, a custom sound system, and any other polished bolt-on item available. To say that this is not a ground-pounding performer would be an out and out lie.

The biggest problem this performance machine faced was a lack of whoa power. The original binders were more than adequate for the stock engine and suspension setup. But those days are long gone, and a little more stopping force was definitely a necessity.

The brake system that was chosen for this install is the latest high-tech offering from Stainless Steel Brake Corp. (SBBC). It is a four-wheel disc setup that uses a big Corvette-style 13-inch rotor, with four-piston calipers for the front. For the rear it uses a '94-96 Impala-style rotor and caliper combo. The caliper used for the rear has a single full-floating piston, with an 11-inch rotor. These brakes are almost enough to stop a tank; they should be more than enough for this pickup.

As with every caliper from SSBC, these feature stainless steel pistons. Making them from stainless steel will ensure that they'll never corrode, rust, or gall. They will last longer than the life of your ride.

These brakes definitely speak for themselves in the looks department, and the stopping performance is as good as it gets. (We weren't able to throw a computer on it for this story, but according to the truck's owner, it stops in half the distance of the stock binders.) As for the ease of installment, that was cool, too. The parts went together well, and the finished product came out awesome. The one thing we were not able to show was the reworking of the master cylinder. The piston assembly had to be removed from the front of the proportioning block. When you get it out, simply remove the spring and the plunger and reassemble it. This will give the correct amount of line pressure for the new rear discs.

These brakes made an awesome truck stand out even more than it already did, and to top it off, it will out-stop many "musclecars." Follow us and see how easy it can be for your half-ton hauler to stop like a race car.

SOURCES
Stainless Steel Brakes
Clarence
NY
8-00/-448-7722
ssbrakes.com
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