Graybeard Outdoors banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having recently voiced my opinion on good brakes on this site I did not waver a couple of weeks ago to replace the front rotors and brake pads on my 2005 GMC, 4x4, z71 package ½ ton pickup. With labor it cost me $407. I realized I could have done the job myself but the mechanic checked a number of other unrelated items. The mechanic has been my friend for over fifty years and hunting partner. The right front rotor had a slight warp to it, that slight warp created a pronounced shaking when downhill braking on steep, paved mountain highways.

The mechanic gave me three options on rotors, the low price model, the model in the middle that meets or exceeds original manufactures requirements, and the high price model. I selected that middle model because I do not haul heavy loads on regular bases, or tow a heavy trailer. I do tow a 17-foot boat at times. The in-between rotors cost a little less than $100 each. The high end rotors are vented and cost about $300 each for my vehicle. I had the high quality pads installed.

After I made my selection I was told that was what my friend would have selected. He does recommend the vented rotors to clients that commercially haul hazardous materials over mountain highways. One client who runs a number of one ton rigs had problems with brakes burning out rapidly over mountain highways. Replacement of the rotors with the high price vented rotors and premium pads seems to have resolved the problem.

I keep thinking that I should have bought a ¾ ton PU at the time I purchased the 2005. The heavier duty components would have been worth the small extra cost. The downside is the higher vehicle registration fees. Another hunting partner has a 3/4-ton Chevy PU which we travel in at times. It has good clearance and the ride is okay.

While out hunting in the Salmon-Trinity Mountains this fall we crawled up and down some rocky 4X paths, and slopes. I am still running on my original equipment M&S tires which were original equipment on the Z71 package. This gets a little scary because I have taken out a side wall or radial tires a couple of times off road. I do carry a Handi-man jack with me besides the original factory jack.

I admit that I backed off going up one steep skid road created by a CAT. I was in low range 4X and still had good traction with the locking rearend. It was getting a little tight, and I had my partner get out a spot for me while I backed down and into a hole in the logging slash for a turn-around point. We parked and hunted from there.

My partner hunted up the skid road and said an early vehicle had spun out on it, and had backed down a short distance from where I stopped.

Overall the tires on my 2005 performed okay, and I did not have any traction problems on the slope or on the little snow that covered some of the high elevation logging roads. The snow never exceeded three inches and was gone in a few days. But real winter is in front of me and I know if I encounter chain control going over the Siskiyou Mountains into Oregon, or over the Sierra Range going to Nevada they might make me chain-up. One time between the main bridges across Northern California’s Shasta Lake the Highway Patrol made me chain up my Toyota Land Cruiser which had very good mud and snow tires on it. I could not believe it, but when I got out installing the chains I understood quickly. I could hardly stand up on the thick ice. Those without chains were parked until road crews could sand the steep roadway.

(One of my bigger laughs came when I was working. I had responded to a vehicle accident after a driver lost control of his vehicle and went over the mountain side. By policy my 4x4 patrol rig with a 110-gallon water tank and pump was chained up. It had very aggressive M&S tires on it, but I complied with a policy that they would rather replace chains, than vehicles. The injured had been transported, the vehicle towed and it was time to go. It had been snowing steady and there was six to eight inches of snow in the turn-out the CHP officer and I was parked in.

The tires of on the CHP cruiser spun in the snow and the vehicle needed chaining. The officer who had been raised in L.A. said he did not know how to put on chains and asked me to put them for him. I told him it was time he learned, and he might have to get dirty. I supervised and he put on his chains.)

My Dad had set a good example and always had two sets of tires for his pickups, a summer set, and a winter set. He also always had good tire chains ready to go. My Dad laid a good foundation for me when I went to work for the Forest Service. It was a job that involved a lot of driving on mountain roads that were covered in mud or snow. I also attend courses on mountain driving, and was licensed to drive 4X4 fire trucks with a GVW up to 32,000 pounds.

Dad set a good example for his son’s. He did not make a lot of money, but his old vehicles were taken care of, they had good brakes and tires.

A few years back a hunting partner and I independently equipped the 4X pickups we drove with B.F. Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires. When we meet up for our annual deer hunting trip we congratulated each other on the tire choice. At the time I was driving a 1995 Chevy ½-ton, 4x4 with the Z71 package which included a locking rearend and skid plates. It was a good time to test those tires because we were hit with a major snow storm. Our hunt on one day took us up an old mining road which jumped off at about 3500-foot and peaks out over 6000-foot elevation. Even in dry weather it offers some mud with a spring or two feeding water down the road. It offers a lot of pot holes and boulders to craw over. After the snow hit, all I could see was snow, the pot holes, mud and water were underneath. I just put the rig in low range a crawled up the road, with muck up to the bottom edge of the door. The performance of the tires was outstanding.
The snow and ice were not as forgiving and later in the week a partner made a trip to the hospital for x-rays after falling in some rocks.

• Later hunting another Zone I busted my way through a few inches of snow and went down an old logging road. Once below the snowline conditions improved and I took my vehicle out of 4X. During the day I was out in my rain gear on foot, and it poured. When I returned to my vehicle the road was soaked, and I had a few miles of up slope driving on the muddy road. The solenoid on the front axle failed. (A problem with that generation of Chevy/GMC 4X rigs.)(Dale be aware) I was concerned, but the excellent All-Terrain tires and the locking rearend got me out without a problem.

I got very good wear and service out of the Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires and so did the guy who bought the rig from me.

When I bought my new rig in 2005 I was very busy working the summer fire season and did not have a lot of time to chase vehicles. I had seen what I wanted on a dealer lot, and had asked the wife make a final deal on one of two Z71 vehicle on the lot. The tires on the Z71 package appeared to be slightly better than the none Z71 package, but not great. In my opinion the downside to the new package was the P265/70R17 tires over the P265/75/16 tires on my 1995 rig. Replacement tires cost a lot more, and I already had an extra spare. I knew I was going to get hit with higher cost and less clearance for chains.

While on the rack for the brake job my hunting partner advised that my tires might remain legal for the next few months but replacement time is approaching and I might end up running on chains when required.

I just order four B.F. Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO E-rated P265/70R17 E rated tires for my pickup. With balancing and mounting along with taxes it will cost me a little less than a thousand dollars. If I was running 16-inch rims it would have saved me close to fifty dollars a tire. The old saying is you play-you-pay is the case here.

A couple of the take-off tires will go on spare 17-inch rims I have. It is nice to have an extra spare on a trip. Dad always carried an extra spare during hunting season.

I have been bleeding deep red lately, but I would rather be safe than sorry, and do not want to place others at risk because of poor judgment.

http://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/overview/all-terrain-t-a-ko/44.html :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Trailer brakes are a great tool. But sometimes it pays to go very slow and keep off the brakes. A few logging roads in Idaho come to mind when I was towing a 7200-pound trailer with a ¾ ton 4x4. The first two heart stoppers were in Idaho. I left the pavement and headed North on a logging road for Yellow Pine. The road was washboard and had not seen a grader in a long time. As I started down the grade a small sign advised me that there was a 23% down grade ahead of me. I put the transfer case in low 4, and just touched the brakes very lightly. I made it to the bottom without incident. A few days’ later three men were killed in a truck on the pave road I had come off of. They lost their brakes and tried to slow the rig down by rubbing along the cut bank, they went 600-feet into the canyon off a hairpin curve.

The next event was on a road off of Idaho 21 to Atlanta, Idaho. The steep dirt road had been graveled and it was like braking on marbles on the steep down grade and care needed. Near the bottom after a tight switch back I encountered a Forest Service pumper. Fortunately for me they found a spot to get into. If I would have locked the brakes up on the loose gravel, and steep slope it would have been messy. I was told there was another road into that area but it had been washed out the winter before.

The two main roads into California’s Salmon River Country can challenge brakes. When dropping into the drainages one must shift down and manage braking because of the extended down grades. Late one night I was headed for hunting camp towing a utility trailer with the 4x4 Chevy S-10 I had at the time. It was a nice night and I was running with the windows open. I caught the odor of hot brakes and pulled over for about twenty minutes to let them cool. I had towed that trailer all over the country and that was the first time a steep grade put me on notice. I use to haul firewood out of the woods in that trailer behind the Land Cruiser keeping it geared down and had not problem. A key difference was the S-10 with an automatic transmission. Without a doubt it would have been a better trailer with brakes. Trailers less than 1000 pounds in California are legal without brakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,258 Posts
I can only assume you mean me here? The solenoid on the front axle failed. (A problem with that generation of Chevy/GMC 4X rigs.)(Dale be aware) I was concerned, but the excellent All-Terrain tires and the locking rearend got me out without a problem.
[/color]If that is the case thanks for the heads up. Is this a costly part? Should I have it replaced just to ease my mind? Thanks Dale
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dale I am glad you picked up on the solenoid issue, I was thinking of you when I wrote it and other Chevy-GMC owners. As I recall the repair cost me about $250.00. But it had me sweating BBs because the storm was predicted to last a few more days, the old road/mining trail I was on received very light use and I might be faced with a choice of camping in my pickup until found or hiking out to a main highway. The only vehicle I have seen back there was a dirt bike one time. That is not very often in a twenty year period.

The pickup I was driving was a Chevy but their shop was full and I had a GMC dealer do the repair. The service manager immediately knew what the problem was, because they had replaced others. If I had been aware of the problem I would not have run out and spent the money to have it repair. It is a toss of the dice item.

The week before four of us used the same pickup to take us about fifteen miles in the mountains after leaving pavement on a nasty old mining road. That rig was in four wheel drive coming and going. Snow, mud, and water were up to the doors all day and it performed great. When it failed a week later I was surprised.

The new tires were installed on my truck a couple days ago. I am playing catch-up with this rig as far as having a second spare tire. It seems like I bust a radial tire every few years on a new pickup or have a flat while hunting on original equipment tires. Recently a brother gave me four, seventeen inch rims with nice Dunlop tires on them. The only problem is they are one size to small, they are 265/65R17 and my rig takes 265/70R17E. The rims came off a Cadillac Escalade and I was sure they were a fit. Today I pulled the left front off my rig and installed one of the Escalade take-offs. A short test run shows that it works. I plan on having one of the tires that had been running on my rig installed on it. During hunting season my partners and I like having an extra spare riding in the bed of the pickup. The Dunlop tires will go back to my brother.

One year we were headed up a steep, nasty track when I busted the side wall on a new original equipment tire. The handyman Jack saved the day, because we were on a steep slope in ruts, the tall handyman was used to lift us high enough to get the spare from under the rig. A little scary, and I take comfort in having the spare in the bed. I have had to cut a couple of hunts short after busting a tire because we did not want to get stranded without one.

The last chore I did today was to make sure the cable-pulley setup on my spare tire is still operational. One night I left the woods at dark and we crossed an old wooden bridge, and a few hundred feet later I had a flat. (Original factory tires.) Changing a flat late at night is not my idea of fun. A few days later I checked out the old bridge. The wooden deck on it was worn down, and the heads of the nails had worn away. The bodies of the nails were sticking up in the air waiting for the right tire. Needles to say I avoided that bridge until I heard the County had replaced the deck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
Don't leave home without one. The spare here must match the road wheels because of the Detroit Locker.


Regards brakes; We can install new pads/shoes and be on our way. A shop, because of potential liability must do an aircraft quality job.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HellBound: Those are some very nice and I expect pricy off-road tires. Are you running the Detroit Locker up front?

I have had a couple of Broncos in the past, one without a locking differential in the rear and one with. The locking differential makes a big difference over an open rearend. If I win the lotto I would add an Eaton electric locker to the front differential of my pickup.

A relative was complaining about the open rearend on his Toyota 4X pickup the other day.

I am still trying to be a little tender with my rig; the brush is rough on the paint.

I am running stock dimension tires because I have had to put chains on a few times going over the passes after an ice storm. The CHP made it clear, put chains on or park it.

I now have my second spare mounted, and a fresh frontend alignment to hopefully get the most out of the new tires.



I went for off road traction and good highway miles for a traction type tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
Manual front hubs, no locker. If I did rock crawling I would use an electric front locker. The biggest problem is clearance. I got rid of that snow scoopin rear bumper. If I go to 40s and lift it, I can't get in it. For serious boony crashin it also tends to be a bit wide. Jeeps work better for that. I do arrive at my shootin spots dry,warm or cool.
 

Attachments

1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top