EBC Orange Stuff Pads w/ Sport Rotors
It didn't take long after driving the truck with the camper for the first time that Ashley complained of difficulty braking. Admittedly, the OEM brakes on the RAM are not the best (In my opinion, Ford was the best, Chevy was the worst). Thankfully, the combination of Tow/Haul mode and the Turbo brake ordinarily do a fantastic job of helping to slow the rig down, but the inadequate braking power still needed to be addressed before we left home.
Having had great experiences in the past with EBC products, I once again turned to them to see what they have offer for the RAM. After reviewing their catalog, I selected the orange stuff pads due to their high friction, low(er) dust, and longer life relative to the yellow stuff pads. I paired them with Sport rotors which are both drilled and slotted for heat dissipation and performance.
Rather than replace both the front and the rear brakes, I choose to do only the fronts as braking bias makes the upgrade significantly more impactful.
Installation is straightforward; if you've ever done a brake job before, swapping these out is pretty easy.
When removing everything, I found it much easier to get both wheels off the ground so I could turn the wheel side to side and give myself a bit more space to work with. The caliper adapter bracket bolts are torqued to 260 ft*lbs, so the extra space is helpful when getting a breaker bar in there.
It's purely personal preference, but having grown up in Massachusetts where rust runs rampant, I take every opportunity to anti-seize components to prevent corrosion. A thin coat of anti-seize on the outer bore of the hub and the hub back should prevent any issues in the future.
While the rotors are marked L and R, they are interchangeable as the only reason (to my knowledge) that they would be directional is if the internal cooling vanes are anything other than purely radial. In this case they are, so I ignored the L and R stickers and mounted them as such (Driver's side pictured). While I was doing this, a fledgeling chickadee decided that my rotor made a nice perch to rest on while it practiced flying.
And all back together again.
A few things to note during the installation:
I used the piston bore inserts provided with the EBC kit and did not re-use the anti-vibration shims that come on the OEM pads. For curiosity sake I decided to see if I could get both the shims and the inserts to fit but no dice, the pads won't fit into the caliper with both on there.
Surprisingly, the worst part of the entire job was getting the copper colored retainer clips off of the wheel studs. The technique I developed was to wedge a flat blade screw driver behind it and pry it off the rotor enough to thread it off by hand.
All bolts came out dry, but went back in with some blue Loctite. My general rule of thumb when re-installing fasteners is to use Loctite (default to blue unless otherwise directed) for all bolts that would result in catastrophic consequences if they backed out, and anti-seize for everything else.
At this point we have about 3,000 miles on the kit, all with the camper on the truck, and I can confidently say that they are a worthwhile upgrade. The OEM brakes required you to stand on the brake pedal and never really developed any sort of bite that gave you the confidence that an emergency stop would have any urgency to it. These do. We've had a couple of short stops so far on our trip and I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly these stopped when pressed. Even Ashley, who is otherwise oblivious to most car modifications, commented that they are much better than stock.
The only noticeable downside, and this is to be expected, is that there is a lot more brake dust on the wheels. Such is life with performance brakes; I will happily trade more brake dust for better performance any day.