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Switch Suspension 2150 W. Broadway Rd. #102 Mesa, Az 85202
Phone: 800-928-1984
Hours: 8am-5pm Monday thru Friday
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C10s and Big Brakes: Why, What, How?

Posted by Switch Suspension on 29th Mar 2023

We’ve seen a lot of C10s come through the doors over the years, and we’ve done a lot of things to them. And while we do a lot of flashy things like airbagged suspensions and trick hood hinges, we also end up doing full big brake kits along the way. But why do we do that and what’s this whole trend all about, anyways? Let’s figure it out together by answering a few simple questions.

What?

There are two questions we need to answer here, which are “What are C10s” and “What are big brakes.” Let’s address those in order.

C10s are an era of Chevrolet and GMC truck from 1960–1987. The “C10” meant you had a 1/2-ton, two-wheel drive truck, but over the years that concept spread out a bit to mean all trucks of that era. There are three truck styles within that range: 1960–1966; 1967–1972; and 1973–1987, the latter known as squarebodies. After that, Chevrolet used C1500 for the 1/2-ton trucks, so that’s where we stop using C10.

These trucks are hugely popular. We sell a lot of C10 parts around here, as well as do a bunch of installs. They’re great rides and super fun. But their brakes suck, so let’s get into that second question.

These C10s came usually with drum brakes up front. Now while drums have their place, they can fade with excessive use and aren’t as effective as disc brakes, which first came standard on the front suspension of the squarebody trucks. Disc brakes themselves have a rotor and a caliper. The idea is the rotor spins, the caliper clamps down brake pads onto the rotor, slowing down the truck.

Now big brakes mean pretty much what it sounds like: They’re bigger rotors and calipers for your disc brake setup. But in this case it also can mean converting your truck from drums to discs, then giving you that extra stopping power.

Why?

The obvious thing is safety. Drum brakes aren’t great. They’ll do the job, but it will take longer to stop your truck overall. If you’re running an LS swap or just a higher horsepower engine, doing all that with drum brakes up front is just dangerous. No thank you.

Now converting to discs up front is great, but doing them out back is even better. Most modern vehicles today have discs out back (like the 2019+ Silverado, for example), so having that reliable stopping power is a huge upgrade.

But really? They look cool. If you’ve got some big rollers with lots of open space, showing off those brakes is pretty sweet.

How?

We have tons of big brake kits available, so you can peruse our site, pick out what you need and install it yourself. If you’re in the Arizona area, swing by the shop and set up an appointment. We can do the install if you like. And if you’re not good with tools but still want an upgrade, you can get the parts from us and find a local shop to do the work. Need help finding one? No worries, give us a call. We know lots of people across the country, so we’ve got your back.

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