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Rear brakes on 2001 dully
03-12-2014, 11:11 AM
Post: #1
Rear brakes on 2001 dully
I have a 2001 Silverado 3500 with an 8.1L engine and approx. 89000 miles. It also has a dully rear axel. I want to replace the rear brakes and have been told that I will have to pull the axels to accomplish this. I have no doubt I can do this job, but I just need a little direction before I open up a can of worms. Thanks, Eric
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03-12-2014, 11:39 PM (This post was last modified: 03-12-2014 11:46 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: Rear brakes on 2001 dully
Presume it has disc brakes in the rear so here's the deal. You can change the pads without pulling the axle shafts but to change the rotors you must pull the shafts and that's where the fun begins.

Support the vehicle properly with jack stands and remove the tires. This presumes you have access to power tools. If not then crack the lug nuts and the axle nuts lose while it's on the ground. Once the tires are off crack the bolts that hold the calipers to their brackets because they need to be held firm while you do this and depending on the GVW you may not get the top bolt out all the way due to the suspension / springs being in the way. At this point you can remove the caliper bracket bolts and set each unit on top of the rear springs. (yes, the brake hoses will reach) DO NOT let the calipers hang from the rubber hoses as they can be damaged!

Now you can unbolt the axles and pull them out. Several ounces of gear oil will drool from the center hub so be ready with a container and some rags. More oil drools on one side if you are not on level ground. (presuming the rear end is full) Using a flashlight look closely at the threaded area inside the hub. There's a spring clip you can pick out with a small / sharp tool (ice pick, etc) and possibly a big washer. Behind that is a square drift key that sits in a machined groove you can grab out with a small magnet. GM has made it such that you really should have a special socket to remove the hex nut holding the wheel bearing, although you can usually get the nut off using some imagination. You will need the special socket to properly reinstall and torque the nut going back together!

Anyway, once the bearing nut is off you can pry / beat the rotor assembly off the stub axle. It's usually a fight because they use a two piece seal on the inside and that's tight on the stub.... and it MUST be replaced EVERY TIME you remove the assembly!

All that said, now you can unbolt the rotors from the bearing hub, or in the case of the later models you beat out the lug studs and the rotor falls off. Assembly is exactly the reverse.... beat the studs back in with a 5 pound hammer and a BIG punch. Install new seals carefully, they are expensive. Coat them with a little oil and they will go in easier. Same with the mating surface on the stub shaft. BTW, during all this beating you need to stuff some clean rags into the bearing area to keep out dirt. All it takes is one flake of rust to ruin a bearing. I usually place a large / clean piece of cardboard on the floor to eliminate sand, grit, etc from going where it shouldn't. This will also facilitate clean up and the gear oil in the bearings goes everywhere.

More fun stuff: Going back together is faster. Slip the rotor assembly onto the stub of the rear housing and gently find the center then push briskly and firmly. Install the bearing nut hand tight. Squirt some gear oil into the bearing if you haven't done so already then torque the big nut to 50 ft lbs while slowly turning the rotor. After several turns this will draw the entire assembly and the new seal fully home. Once you reach your torque spec back off a turn then tighten again to about 10 ft lbs while turning the rotor. It should spin easier but we are not done yet. Back the nut up aprox 1/8 turn or until you can insert the square key into it's slot. The rotor should turn easily with no obvious play in the bearing. Now you can install any washers, lock nuts, and the spring clip. When that part is done you can clean the mating surfaces for the axle and apply some silicone sealer before sliding them in. Snug those bolts up good. Going from memory they are probably around 80 ft lbs or so.

I presume you know how to change brake pads so I'll just suggest using a BIG pair of channel locks or large C clamps to push the pistons back. Make sure to block the other side so it doesn't come apart while doing the first side. The big caliper bolts need to be TIGHT. Likely 80 - 100 ft lbs.

Let us know how you make out.

Edited to add: If you have gone this far and spent all that money you might as well replace the small shoes for the parking brake while you are in there. Probably less than $50 for everything, which is cheaper than the cost of the bearing seals if you do it later.
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03-18-2014, 11:21 PM
Post: #3
RE: Rear brakes on 2001 dully
Figured I would give you a weekend to open the job up. How did you make out?
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03-19-2014, 10:53 AM
Post: #4
RE: Rear brakes on 2001 dully
Haven't started yet, but thanks for checking back. This is my buddy's truck and he just got back to me two days ago. He said his phone blew up. He's working on getting that socket you spoke of. That being said, we're here in Wisconsin and we're waiting for a weather window. My garage is more of a storage shed than a garage, if you get my drift. I'll get back to you as things progress, and again, thanks for your help.
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05-21-2014, 11:10 AM
Post: #5
RE: Rear brakes on 2001 dully
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(03-19-2014 10:53 AM)bigbuck Wrote:  Haven't started yet, but thanks for checking back. This is my buddy's truck and he just got back to me two days ago. He said his phone blew up. He's working on getting that socket you spoke of. That being said, we're here in Wisconsin and we're waiting for a weather window. My garage is more of a storage shed than a garage, if you get my drift. I'll get back to you as things progress, and again, thanks for your help.

The job is complete now and it actually went quite smooth. Now we can go on our annual fishing trip to Three Lakes WI with confidence. Thanks again for your help. It has emboldened me to take on the next auto repair challenge.
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05-21-2014, 11:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: Rear brakes on 2001 dully
Thanks for the follow up and glad to help!

Obviously you found that like most jobs, the hard part is getting started and I'm sure you guys saved a few bucks doing it yourself.
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