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Well, today was not a fun day. Went to meet a friend today for lunch. My 2000 Escalade was driving odd, so I got out to check it out. Did a full walk-around, but found nothing, thought my imagination got the best of me. Less than 1 mile later, I knew something was very wrong, so I tried to turn off the main road (20mph). My rear wheel fell off, leaving me stranded...at any rate, it got me to the dealer, where I had the studs replaced, and was told vibration in my brakes may have rattled the lugs loose. The rear drums are shot, and they're pretty expensive to replace.

Which got me thinking...as long as I'm spending money on it, why not consider a rear upgrade to discs...so does anyone have info on a conversion kit?

Thanks,
Josh
 

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Pacethis,

I agree that the brakes on my '00 left a lot to be desired. I do beg to differ with what the dealer told you. I'm a wheel engineer, so don't blow me off. Loose lug nuts caused your studs to break, but I'd be very, very surprised if the rear brakes had anything to do with it. The rear brakes on the '99/'00 were nortorious for being out of adjustment, meaning they added little braking to the vehicle. If they were that much out of round to cause enough vibration to loosen the nuts, it would have been very noticeable whenever the brake pedal was applied. You would have gotten them fixed long before the nuts would have come loose. The brake drums aren't that expensive at any tire/brake shop as they are used on a whole lot of Tahoes/Yukons/half-ton pick-ups.

Most likely the wheel in question wasn't properly tightened at the last tire rotation or tire service. I suspect your broken studs are unrelated to the brakes.

I'm not trying to talk you out of upgrading your brakes. I would have seriously considered it if I was going to keep my '00. But I traded for an '05, with much better brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pacethis,

I agree that the brakes on my '00 left a lot to be desired. I do beg to differ with what the dealer told you. I'm a wheel engineer, so don't blow me off. Loose lug nuts caused your studs to break, but I'd be very, very surprised if the rear brakes had anything to do with it. The rear brakes on the '99/'00 were nortorious for being out of adjustment, meaning they added little braking to the vehicle. If they were that much out of round to cause enough vibration to loosen the nuts, it would have been very noticeable whenever the brake pedal was applied. You would have gotten them fixed long before the nuts would have come loose. The brake drums aren't that expensive at any tire/brake shop as they are used on a whole lot of Tahoes/Yukons/half-ton pick-ups.

Most likely the wheel in question wasn't properly tightened at the last tire rotation or tire service. I suspect your broken studs are unrelated to the brakes.

I'm not trying to talk you out of upgrading your brakes. I would have seriously considered it if I was going to keep my '00. But I traded for an '05, with much better brakes.
Thanks for your response! That makes me feel a little better, at least I don't feel like it'll happen again. With the cost of the conversion, I'm really better off to just use the drums for now, and upgrade next year to a newer one. Did the 02's ship with 4W Disc?

I do some towing with the Esc. so additional braking is a big benefit. My wife, on the other hand, would be fine with the current one as she doesn't have the need for upgraded brakes to the same extent. She's been trying to talk me out of it for months now..

Thanks!
Josh
 

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When the newer body/frame was introduced on the '02, there were disc brakes on all 4 corners along with 17" wheels. The increase in diameter allows a larger diameter rotor/caliper, which helps considerably.

You can improve the stock brakes on the '99/'00 by changing the front pads. I used a set of EBC pads on front, which greatly improved the braking and significantly reduced brake dust. The rear brakes are a lot more difficult. You can upgrade the shoes, but if they aren't adjusted correctly, they don't help a lot. Your best bet may be to have someone adjust them everytime you get you tires rotated. You don't want them to drag, but they have to be adjusted close to the drum. I don't know if the problem is in the proportioning of the rear versus front pressures or what, but the system leaves a lot to be desired. Finding a good brake shop to work with is well worth the effort.

Having had a very close call with a burst brake line during a 70 mph panic stop made me a believer in using a good shop that stands behind their work. It was a front line that burst. In theory I still should have had rear brakes. But the only way I could get any braking from the rear was to use the parking brake. Keeping the rear brakes adjusted is a must on the '99/'00 IMO.
 

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Good point. I would go around and check out your other lugs. You could do a break away torque and see if they were torqued or just buzzed on with a air gun.
 
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