Brake Upgrades for Ram 1500: When and Why to Consider Complete Guide

Struggling with brake issues in your Ram 1500? Thinking about a brake upgrade but not sure when or why? You’re not alone.

This guide will explain when an upgrade makes sense and why it’s important so you can stay safe on the road. So, let’s get started!

The Ram 1500 is one of the most popular pickup trucks sold today. For owners of older models, a brake upgrade can provide improved performance and safety on the road. It’s important to approach this job with caution, and to make sure you understand which upgrades are right for your vehicle.

This guide will walk you through the different parts of the upgrade process that are applicable to Ram 1500s, when you should consider taking on such an upgrade, and how to do it properly. We will also discuss some additional considerations for those who may want a more comprehensive job than just brakes. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Brakes

The performance of your vehicle’s brakes plays an important role in your safety. Regular maintenance and inspection of brakes is essential to ensure they are adequately prepared for emergency situations. Knowing when and why to upgrade your brakes is also a key factor in determining the overall performance of the vehicle.

In general, upgrading the braking system of a Ram 1500 will produce better vehicle performance, improving stopping power and driver control while correcting many common brake-related problems. This guide will provide you with comprehensive information on understanding your vehicle’s brakes and when it is time to consider upgrading them.

Function and Components of Braking System

The purpose of a braking system is to convert the kinetic energy of a vehicle into heat via friction for slowing or stopping. The braking system in the Ram 1500 incorporates several components that work in unison to deliver secure and reliable response.

The three main components which typically make up a braking system are the brake pedal, master cylinder and calipers or valves. When pressing down on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is released from the master cylinder and divides among all four wheels via a series of tubing and hoses.

The hydraulic pressure then causes pistons located within the brake calipers or wheel cylinders force to press against brake pads or shoes paired with rotors or drums, generating friction necessary to slow or stop the vehicle.

Types of Brakes and their Characteristics

A heavy-duty pickup like the Ram 1500 offers serious power, making it ideal for hauling large loads. However, when you’re dealing with a truck this size and weight, proper brakes are essential for keeping you and others safe. In this guide, we’ll look at when it’s time to upgrade your Ram 1500’s brakes and the different types of brakes available.

Types of Brakes and their Characteristics The Ram 1500 is equipped with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes as standard equipment; however, there are several upgrade options that can improve braking performance in certain conditions. For example, if you plan on doing a lot of towing or driving in wet roads or up long hills, purchasing upgraded brakes might be a wise investment.

Here are some of the brake upgrades available for the Ram 1500:

  1. Drum Brakes: These are the most common type found on trucks and other vehicles built before 1980. They work by using an electronic control unit (ECU) to transfer brake fluid pressure from a master cylinder to each wheel’s drum where two shoes expand outwardly against the inside surface of the drum providing stopping force. But because these braking systems rely wholly on friction between shoes and drums for stopping power, their sensitivity to slippage — especially in wet weather — can cause premature wear or malfunctioning.
  2. Disc Brakes: This type provides better overall performance than drum brakes because they use ceramic pads instead of shoes and incorporate rotors instead of drums which allows them to dissipate heat more efficiently while providing better braking force on each wheel. Themaster cylinder supplies pressurized brake fluid directly to each caliper which pushes pad against rotor as needed to provide quick stopping/starting action with less slippage than found in drum systems leading to improved handling while reducing wear on pads/rotor over time
  3. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS): This system sends rapid pulses of pressure into individual ABS valves located in between calipers/discs allowing wheels to rotate briefly during hard stops which prevent skidding out-of-control due adjusting tire grip when necessary
  4. Electronic Traction Control System (ETCS): This system detects when one rear wheel is rotating faster than other bypassing power from one side anotherwheel helping truck traction over slippery surfaces for improved stability when making turns off road or icy roadways during winter season

Signs That Your Brakes Need Upgrading

When it comes to your truck, you want to make sure it has the necessary components for safe and efficient performance. If you own a Ram 1500, one of the most important parts is your brakes, so pay attention to any signs that suggest they may need upgrading.

There are several reasons why your brakes might require an upgrade. First, they could be worn out due to age and accumulated miles. On average, brake pads need replacing every 50k miles or so. Second, if you’ve done a lot of off-roading adventures or carry heavy loads often, then it’s likely those activities have contributed to accelerated wear on some components such as disc rotors. Lastly, aftermarket modifications or lifts might put your OEM parts under strain such as changing the type of studs used with wheels or adjusting tire size and weight distribution which affects brake caliper shallower depth on the rotor hub surface.

It’s best to check your brakes on a regular basis and at least once each year ahead of inspection time for wear indicators (shims). The most common sign that suggests a brake upgrade is noise e.g., grinding metal noises coming from calipers or other car sound when braking; vibrations felt in your steering wheel; sudden changes in pedal resistance when using anti-lock brakes (ABS); pulsations felt through brake pedal; and extreme pulling of vehicle from side-to-side during deceleration e.g., car lurches left then right and vice versa due to uneven brake force acting on each wheel during ABS kickback events.

Inadequate Braking Power

If you are experiencing insufficient braking power or extended braking distances when performing hard stops in your Ram 1500, this could be an indication that the brakes require attention. In most cases, the Ram 1500 requires a brake upgrade if inadequate breaking power is being experienced. If you have noticed a brake pedal that is quickly going to the floor it is likely time to act and make changes as this could be indicative of a dangerous situation whereby the brakes are not performing according to specifications.

Many early model year Ram 1500s are equipped with inadequate brakes which can cause significant safety concerns under harder braking conditions, such as emergency stops or during extreme weather conditions such as rain, sleet or snow. Consider upgrading the rotors, calipers and/or master cylinders to improve the overall performance of your vehicle’s brakes in order to ensure optimal performance and enhanced safety on the road. Often once these new components are installed and adjusted correctly -you will enjoy much improved brake feel and stopping distances for everyday driving needs.

Noisy or Squeaking Brakes

If you find yourself with noisy or squeaking brakes, it is generally an indication that more brake maintenance is in order. There are a few different factors that contribute to noisy or squeaking brakes and they often require certain upgrades to fix the issue.

Excessive dust buildup on the brake shoe and drum could create squealing noises when driving, as well as grinding and scraping sounds. Since dust tends to accumulate over time due to continuous use of your brakes, it’s important to check and clean your brakes semi-regularly for proper functioning. Over time, the dust and grime will wear down the brake drum, meaning a rotor replacement may be necessary.

On newer vehicles equipped with power-assisted braking systems (ABS), faulty ABS components can also be responsible for creating unpleasant noises when stopping. If your vehicle is equipped with ABS, you’ll want to have it inspected by a qualified technician who can diagnose what specifically needs replacing in order for you resolve any issues associated with noisy or squeaky brakes.

Rotora Front and Rear HD Brake Kit (Ram TRX) For Use With OEM Wheels -  Solis Racing Group | Your online performance parts leader for the Jeep,  Durango, and the new Ram TRX!

Vibrations or Shaking

  1. Vibrations or Shaking: If you’re feeling vibrations or shaking while driving, it’s likely a sign that your brakes need servicing. This can be caused by a number of problems, such as uneven brake pad wear, worn rotors, lack of lubricant on the system, or worn calipers.

If you experience vibration or shaking while driving, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic and have the brakes checked out immediately. It could potentially be something more serious such as failing wheel bearings but brakes are often the culprit for this symptom.

Choosing the Right Brake Upgrade

Brake upgrades can help you stay safer and stop faster. How do you figure out which one is best for your Ram 1500 Truck? We’ll discuss the differences between different types of brake systems, as well as when it makes sense to upgrade.

Brake upgrades come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including drum brakes, disc brakes, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), power brakes, rear-disks and more. Drum brakes use a drum with shoes that sit against the inner surface of the drum. When released, the brake shoes retract away from the drums and the vehicle coasts to a stop. This type of brake system offers average performance but generally requires more maintenance than other types of brakes due to increased wear on brake pads and drums over time.

Disc brakes are an alternative system that uses friction between two rotating plates which squeeze together to slow down or stop the wheels from turning. Disc brakes provide quicker stopping power and require less maintenance than drum brakes due to less heat build up during braking scenarios. If your Ram 1500 truck currently has drum brakes but you’re looking for increased safety and performance, then it’s time to consider upgrading your braking system with some new discs or calipers from Dodge Performance Parts or other aftermarket suppliers.

When deciding on an upgrade for your braking system it’s important to consider cost versus improvements in performance, aesthetics and safety before committing to any particular upgrade path. It’s always advisable to have any potential modifications inspected by an experienced mechanic prior to purchase so there are no surprises later on down the line once they are installed on your truck. Taking into account these factors will ensure that you receive quality parts with minimal downtime and maximum performance results while keeping within budget limits.

Understanding Your Driving Habits and Needs

When considering a brake upgrade for your Ram 1500, it’s important to think about your own driving habits first and foremost. Knowing your needs and expectations can help you make the best decision regarding which type of upgrade is right for your vehicle. Factors like how much weight you typically carry in the bed, how aggressive or recreational you take your off-roading trips, and how often you tow or haul trailers are all important considerations.

Furthermore, consider if long-term overall performance and safety are important to you or not so much if money is a limitation. By understanding these things ahead of time, you’ll be able to decide if brakes upgrades are truly necessary, which types of brakes upgrades suit your needs best, and whether spending extra money will get you performance improvements worth the cost.

With every driving style comes different requirement when it comes to braking efficiency. Thus it’s important to research thoroughly ahead of time so that you can get a better understanding of what will work best for your individual application!

Compatibility with Ram 1500

When considering a brake upgrade for your Ram 1500, it’s important to understand the compatibility between the vehicle and the new brakes. Brake upgrades come in many shapes and sizes and each one will have different requirements for installation. Make sure you check both the front and rear brakes of your vehicle to ensure compatible fitment with any upgrade packages.

Front brakes are more likely to experience wear due to their continued use when driving, so it’s important to make sure that you select a compatible model for your needs. The specific rotor size, style, type, and material should all be taking into consideration when looking at brake upgrades for your Ram 1500. If a certain component of the brakes doesn’t match your vehicle entirely, then it may not be suitable for or even legal on the streets.

Rear brakes do not typically experience as much pressure or wear as their front-facing counterparts but they still need regular maintenance in order to remain effective and safe on the roads. Selecting compatible rear brake components is essential if you are investing in performance modifications or even aftermarket parts that require installation at this end of your car. Consider calipers, rotors, pads, drums (if applicable) as well as braking power boosters or hydraboost systems when making decisions about what will be best for your needs.

Cost and Budget

When you’re selecting a brand and model of brake upgrade for your Ram 1500, the cost should fully be taken into account. As mentioned previously, budget brake upgrades can provide short-term savings but could end up costing you more in the long run if they are not as reliable or durable as other components. You should aim to find the best balance between cost, quality and longevity that fits within your budget.

If you plan to install yourself, you will also need to factor in tools and equipment costs such as extra jacks, stands and wrenches in addition to purchasing the new brakes. If instead you intend to take it to a specialized garage or dealer for installation, it’s important to get a quote prior to committing so that there are no surprises when it comes time for payment. Labor costs can add up quickly!

Service centers may offer discounts or have promotions available which can help reduce overall cost — ask about these at the time of booking. It’s also worth inquiring about any recommended brake maintenance programs or extended warranties (if applicable) at the same time so that your initial investment is being maximized and protected.

Ram 1500 Brake Upgrade Deals, SAVE 43% -


Ultimately, the decision to upgrade your Ram 1500’s brakes is largely up to you and your particular needs. If you find yourself frequently tackling tough conditions or operating in high-output situations, it may be worth taking a look at an upgrade. It could provide additional reliability and improved performance down the line. However, if you find that your brakes are functioning properly, it is generally not recommended to take on an upgrade as a preventative measure due to cost and potential complications with factory settings.

If you do decide on an upgrade, make sure to research the best product for your truck’s specs and consult a professional mechanic if you have any further questions or concerns about installation and safety. An expert mechanic can help ensure that the product meets quality expectations — from fitment all the way through brake rotor wear — before calling it good.

We hope this guide has helped clarify when and why you should consider brake upgrades for your Ram 1500!


Are brake upgrades worth it?

Yes, brake upgrades can improve the performance and safety of your vehicle.

When should brakes be replaced on Ram 1500?

Brakes should be replaced when the brake pads are worn down to 3mm or less.

Why should I upgrade my brakes?

Upgrading your brakes can improve stopping power, reduce brake fade, and increase overall safety.

Are big brake upgrades worth it?

Big brake upgrades can be worth it for high-performance vehicles or for those who frequently tow heavy loads.

What to look for when upgrading brakes?

When upgrading brakes, consider factors such as the type of driving you do, the size of your vehicle, and the type of brake pads and rotors you want to use.

When to change brakes on 2017 Ram 1500?

Brakes on a 2017 Ram 1500 should be changed when the brake pads are worn down to 3mm or less.

Should I upgrade both front and rear brakes?

It is recommended to upgrade both front and rear brakes for optimal performance and safety.

Should I upgrade to hydraulic brakes?

Hydraulic brakes are typically more powerful and reliable than mechanical brakes, so upgrading to hydraulic brakes can be beneficial.

How long do Ram 1500 brake pads last?

Ram 1500 brake pads can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on driving habits and conditions.

How long do Ram brakes last?

Ram brakes can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, depending on driving habits and conditions.

See Also : 

Leave a Comment