Choice of rotors and pads rear front

Tiny
MAXS
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 CHEVROLET TAHOE
  • 5.3L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 55,000 MILES
Initially looked at Nakamoto on 1aauto. Com but are now out of stock.
so now do not know. ELine, R1, HanSell, and others but read a lot of opposite information on line.
Zinc coated or not, drilled slotted versus not, etc.
I do only commute and city driving. No towing or fast driving. I would prefer a choice that lasts and has no chance of warping. Perhaps slotted is a good choice but have no idea of brand and model. See that some offer lifetime warranty others only six to twelve months. Which seems to short for a rotor lifetime.
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 AT 1:07 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You are going about this all wrong by trying to over-engineer what the designers wanted. They spent a great deal of time and money to develop a braking system that is carefully balanced front-to-rear, and will maintain that balance as the parts heat up and their coefficient of friction changes. Every manufacturer of brake friction material must see to it that their parts maintain that exact same coefficient of friction. Some lining material has higher friction, meaning more stopping power with lower pedal effort, and therefore will have a smaller contact area.

If you were to find front pads with a higher coefficient of friction, the front brakes would develop more stopping power than the rear brakes. Said another way, the rear brakes would not be working hard enough to slow the car. During a hard stop, it is more likely the front brakes will lock up. A skidding tire has no traction so you will lose steering control. Also, since the front brakes are doing all the work, they will wear out faster than the rear brakes. It is normal for front pads to wear out twice as often as rear shoes.

Many people use the fact their car has anti-lock brakes as an excuse to rely on that to make up for their aggressive braking, but in fact, the ABS system is meant to counteract the result of road conditions like sand and snow. It is not meant to cure the results of mismatched brakes. Also, the true purpose of anti-lock brakes is to allow you to maintain steering control. It does that by reducing the braking power to any wheel that is slowing too quickly. Reducing the braking power to any wheel means a longer stopping distance. That can actually land you in a lawsuit if the other guy runs a red light and causes a crash. His lawyer or insurance investigator will convince a jury that you were partly at fault because you were less able to avoid the crash, and they will be right.

Warping rotors is affected in large part by where they are made. When we make parts from cast iron, we set them aside for ninety days to "age" before they get their final machining. There is nothing wrong with Chinese parts, but when they make them, they cast them, machine them, pack them, and ship them, then they age on your car. Warping after three months is very common, but a light machining is all that is needed to solve that permanently.

I worked for a very nice family-owned new-car dealership throughout the 1990's, and I did a lot of brake jobs because we we much less expensive than the Midas shop across the street. We used pads and shoes from an independent manufacturer because they saved our customers a lot of money. We never had a single complaint or any problems associated with those parts. The only time we ever needed to use original parts was for Dodge Vipers because those were not available from our aftermarket supplier.

You can add all the gimmicks you want to replacement parts in an effort to convince people you have something better, but in the end, your stopping power must still be balanced like it was when the car was new.
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 AT 2:22 PM
Tiny
MAXS
  • MEMBER
Thank you. Learning a lot from your post. So how do I go about finding a brand and model that is made with the ninety day "aging" period. Have no idea if the brands I posted are doing this, I also saw Canadian products. Some USA also which I prefer but see no information on this anywhere. So it would be great if you can suggest a good brand-model for what I need. Thanks.
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The only common trade name that comes to mind is Raybestos. As a brake system specialist, I buy parts for my cars from the local farm and home supply store. I look for the lowest price, not where they are made.

If you go to any auto parts store, they can show you on the package where a part was made, but that does not tell the entire story. For example, Craftsman had wrenches that were stamped and machined in Asia, then sent to the U.S. To get their chrome plating. Guess where those are listed as being made? In the U.S, because that is where the final step was done. You could potentially have brake friction material made overseas, then bonded to the metal backing plates here, and be listed as made in the U.S.

Be aware too that a lot of parts retailers buy parts from other manufacturers, then just repackage them with their own names. Chrysler fuel pumps, for example, are real quiet. Napa fuel pumps for Chrysler products are also real quiet. Napa buys them from the same manufacturer that provides them to Chrysler, so when you buy a pump from Napa or a Chrysler dealer's parts department, you're getting a pump that came from the same factory.

Remember my first comment. You are seriously over-thinking this issue. A brake rotor is more likely to warp from improper installation procedures than from anything else. The concern is how the lug nuts are tightened. Too many people think if tight is good, tighter is good, uhm, better! That is absolutely not true. All professionals use a click-type torque wrench when tightening lug nuts. This takes on more importance with small cars with rotors that are held on by the wheels, and it is a little less critical with large trucks, but it still must be considered. Equal lug nut tightness is just as important as sufficient tightness. Under-tightening can lead to a nut working loose. If they all do that, the wheel will not be held from sliding up and down and back and forth on the hub, and that will tear away the mating surfaces between the wheel and the nuts. Once that occurs, the lug nuts will never remain tight. The wheel and all the nuts must be replaced to solve that.

Over-tightening the nuts stretches and peels the threads and reduces their strength. Once the threads are peeled, you will never know it until the next time someone tries to get the nuts off. That is when the damage becomes apparent, and is when a lot of mechanics get falsely blamed for damaging them. You do not damage a nut by loosening it and removing it. It was already damaged by the last guy who over-tightened it.

Unequal tightness is what leads to the most warped rotors. The clamping forces are not even all the way around. Rotors will get much too hot to touch from normal braking. The heating and cooling causes them to expand and contract, and they wont do that evenly when there is uneven stress on them.

Be aware too that if you buy a rotor from an auto parts store and it does warp in a few months, most of them have at least a small machine shop in back and they will usually take a light cut on that rotor for free. That is highly preferable to demanding a free replacement under warranty. The replacement is just as likely to do the same thing, while the machined rotor is likely to not cause any more problems.

Referring back to the first paragraph where I mentioned my cheapness, part of the cost of replacement brake pads has to do with the extras they give you. All brake pads are going to vibrate. You cannot stop that, but you can mitigate the audible squeal that results from it. Some manufacturers provide thin metal shims, or isolators, that clip or stick to the backs of the pads. The idea is the vibrating pad is less likely to be able to transmit that vibration to the caliper or mounting knuckle where it will be amplified. Those are pretty effective and often come that way when the vehicle was new. Some pads come with thick paper shims that you are supposed to stick to the backs of the pads. Might as well throw those away. After a few hundred miles, you'll find them wadded up inside the caliper's piston, proving the pad was moving around. There are a number of other things we do to prevent noises, and there are things do-it-yourselfers and inexperienced mechanics can do to cause those noises.

Some pads use anti-rattle springs or clips, and some suppliers include new ones with their products. That adds to the cost. The warranties are different too. You do not get a longer warranty for free. That adds to the cost. It is so easy to make a safe, reliable brake pad that you will never see one fail before it wears out. I do not see any need to pay more for a longer warranty period.

Do not fall for all the hype and advertising. A brake pad had better not make your car stop faster than the original parts. You already have way more than enough braking power to lock all four wheels and make the tires skid. How much more do you need?
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 AT 5:12 PM

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