New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust - Suspension and Brake Forum

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New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:35 AM
I just took my '98 Sunfire (2.2/manual) to the shop for a scraping sound coming from the front and it turned out to be rusted rotors. I'm a hypermiler accumulating mostly highway miles (and live in Minnesota) so my brakes see very little use (thus rust doesn't get brushed away much). I want to change my own rotors and pads (first time) and will need to buy tools. I have read this topic and will follow those instructions if no objections are raised, and as a visual learner am also about to watch this and this (so let me know if you notice bad info in those videos). I own a Haynes manual and have the GM Service Manuals on the way (I want to start doing more of my own maintenance and repairs). The shop said I wouldn't be doing any damage putting another 250-500 miles on the brakes (any objections to that?) which helps as I have a lot of commuting to do yet this week. I'm open to all suggestions on doing the work.

Secondly I'm looking for advice on which rotors and pads to buy. I'm a slow, cautious driver and don't need performance. 99% of my deceleration is coasting/engine braking, and the car rarely exceeds 45mph. ≤$100 preferred but I want the best long-term value. Doubtful but worth asking: do rust-resistant brake parts exist? Salted roads in Minnesota winters can be pretty corrosive.

Finally, any suggestions for reducing or removing rust build-up on brakes? I read this and will continue to search for information. I do know I will be more diligent about cleaning off salt in the winter, and will be sure to drive the car and use the brakes after washing it to dry the brakes off (in the past I usually haven't; I live on a gravel road). All contributions to the topic are welcomed.

Thank you.




Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 8:46 AM
Rotors rust, that is a fact of life. I personally think the shop was just trying to scam you, but just to be safe toss a picture up of your rotors so we can give you a 2nd opinion.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:00 AM
Will do, thanks. Either way though, I do have that scraping sound to deal with.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 9:13 AM
Mine made a "scrapping" sound. That was because I put set of pads on and half of the pad went missing so one side contacted the rotor and destroyed it. While the good side had the squeaker and never touched.




On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 4:40 PM
If your car is just your dd and doesnt get much use on the brakes you would be just fine with stock replacements like ac delco rotors and a matching grade of pad. The parts store "house brand" would be fine too (usually). I get most of my parts from rock auto though, best deal plus i dont have to go out of my way to get them, or deal with the counter guy that doesnt know what hes talking about.

You might wqnt to consider new slider pins/bushings for your calipers. If they havent been serviced in a while it would be a good idea, also helps prevent uneven pad wear.
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 5:51 PM
When you plan on doing your rotors and pads yourself for the first time, have a buddy of yours that knows what he's doing give you a hand. Have him show you, step by step, what to do on one side, then go around and do it yourself on the other side.
The manuals will help, but having someone there that knows what's going on is a huge bonus.

Good luck!



________________________________________.
Still not low enough for a signature.

Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Thursday, August 02, 2012 10:25 AM
Thanks for the continued input. Looks like it'll be a while before I get to the brakes. I asked too much of my flimsy scissors jack and trashed it, immediately ordered a new floor jack ("Powerzone 380044 3 Ton Aluminum and Steel Garage Jack") and two pairs of jack stands ("Torin T46002A 6 Ton Double Locking Jack Stands") via Amazon. In case you're wondering, I got overkill on the weight capacity so I can use it all on my truck too—but also figure the extra height might help with certain projects in the future (comparable lower-capacity jack stands also had a lower max height). Not until after I'd already ordered did I notice the floor jack's shipping ETA: 1-2 months. I guess I'll have plenty of time to learn how to do a brake change ... In the meantime I have a parts car ('96 Sunfire) I can practice on and one buddy who's done a brake chaange before. If it's all the same for my grandma-driving purposes and meets with your approval I'll probably just get 2x this and 1x this. That's all I'd need, right? What about these caliper slider pins/bushings mentioned by Jordan? Haven't looked into them yet but will go do some searching.

Is there risk of rust spreading from my rotors to other parts if I don't rush this job? Any other reasons I should do this immediately? I can limit the miles I put on the car quite a bit if need be. I have been surprised by how little my fuel economy has suffered—I thought surely the extra drag would be bringing it down but there has been no discernible difference between now and before the noise started.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:01 AM
im sorry but i wouldn't trust my life to a $40 brake setup.


there are certain things i would get from jc whitney (body panels and the like) but for things that can actually keep you safe, i'd prefer to know i was using quality parts from a trusted manufacturer. there's just certain things you don't cheap out on. chassis components, suspension, and brakes being the first three on that list.



JBO Stickers! Get yours today!
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 12:49 PM
Rich Grayo Jr. wrote:

im sorry but i wouldn't trust my life to a $40 brake setup.


there are certain things i would get from jc whitney (body panels and the like) but for things that can actually keep you safe, i'd prefer to know i was using quality parts from a trusted manufacturer. there's just certain things you don't cheap out on. chassis components, suspension, and brakes being the first three on that list.


Can you be a little more specific by making a recommendation? "Quality parts" and "trusted manufacturer" are not particularly concrete or objective terms, and rejecting one proposal without offering something better isn't particularly helpful. I'm open to suggestions—that's why I posted.

Since it's been brought up, do others agree that the economy brake package I linked is unsafe? In what way are cheap brakes more likely to fail under my usage and conditions (ignoring the possibility of faster wear since that is not a concern here)? Is it that these will physically break in some way, is it that they will not stop the car as fast as better brakes would, or what?

Thanks, I'm here to learn and appreciate being educated (no sarcasm).

Also, what's a recommended online source for auto parts? I get what I can online as I'm out in the boonies and local parts prices are often double what I find online after shipping.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:42 PM
I personally agree with Rich on a few points, one being the brakes + safety thing. and another point being those parts are CHEAP. no offense to the manufacturer or to you for wanting them, but that is not very high quality. I myself have had Ctec pads on my rear disc setup (saturn) with centric rotors when I first did the swap, and this pad/rotor combination would barely hold my car in place with the parking brake applied let alone slow the car driving down the road if there was an emergency. now that was just the rears, on the fronts I have EBC rotors and pads, so i have no issue with braking on the road since the front does more anyway, but your talking about putting these parts on the front where the most braking is done.. I wouldnt trust them at all period.

just for a daily driver, get a good set of pads/ rotors.. ac delco rotors and pads can be had on rock auto (I just checked it out) $65.XX plus shipping which will vary on your location.. so figure 80 bucks or so now, and you will have quality parts that will last you a long time. or 40 dollars for cheap parts that can potentially go bad quickly and cause your car to be unsafe to drive?
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Thursday, August 09, 2012 6:22 PM
Thanks Jordan. I am surprised to hear that brakes (even cheap ones) could barely hold a parked Saturn in place. Quite an extreme case of poor quality. Did it start rolling, or did you push it with them on to find they barely worked, or what? I have done some reading up on cheap brakes but not heard anything that bad until now ... that's certainly not safe. I hope you have replaced them, even though they are just rears. Could it have been an incorrect installation, a badly designed conversion, or a fluke of the manufacturing process? Did you contact the manufacturer?




Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Thursday, August 09, 2012 7:53 PM
I never did do anything about it, just got different pads/rotors that were a bit better, I went the cheap route when I did the saturn swap because I was in college and didn't have the extra money to put really good pads/rotors on at the time.. And as for stopping power, with the ctec pads I could pull my parking brake up before my car was at a stop and it would roll until I stopped where I wanted to with the foot breaks, it will hold my car in place but that is about it. the hand brake has 0 stopping power at highway speeds, I believe someone said with their saturn swapped rear brakes they could lock them up @ 30 mph with just the parking brake. at 30 mph I might as well have holes cut in the floor boards and done it flintstone style and stop the car with my feet vs using the handbrake when I had ctecs. Im not sure of the reason, but those pads just did not work at all. its possible that their products could have improved, or be better on the fronts.. but when it comes down to it, its still a cheap set of pads, and theres a reason they are cheap.

You really do get what you pay for, and considering what the brakes do for your car I wouldn't want to skimp there. get a decent factory replacement or aftermarket pad/rotor combo. a friend of mine did ac delco rotors and hawk hps pads, decently priced and stops way better than before the switch, hawk pads are a bit more spendy though. I know i have cut corners in places before, and sometimes it can work well, but sometimes not.. Just please don't trust your life, and anyone else that share the road with you, to a 13 dollar set of brake pads.
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Sunday, August 12, 2012 8:54 PM
TIGR wrote:

Also, what's a recommended online source for auto parts? I get what I can online as I'm out in the boonies and local parts prices are often double what I find online after shipping.


Not sure how this is possible unless you're going to the dealer. All the parts you linked are going to cost you more in the long run, when you can find more than halfway decent quality parts at similar prices at a local store. The last time I bought DD replacement rotors they were ~$20, and the pad set was ~$20. Pronto isn't at the bottom of the barrel for aftermarket parts, but they are for sure lower end. I've never heard of Centric until now. (not sure if that means much or what, since I typically buy name brand stuff). Personally, I won't deal with JC Whitney after some bad business years back.

For you I would recommend something better than the "OK" grade of parts. You want something that will last and be worry free, or else you're going to be replacing them more often than you want to. You also don't want squealing, warpage, etc. Mid grade and below is going to do that no matter how you use them. A good quality direct fit replacement like Delco rotors, and a decent pad. I'm not sure if you want to go all the way up to Hawk, but they do have less dust than most. You could probably use EBC pads and be fine. Honestly, I've used Wearever pads from Advance Auto on my DD with no real issues for years now, but I also go through pads and rotors quicker with a lot of stop and go. Like I said though, you're going to want something with a bit more quality than that.

On a side note- most shops use the mid grade parts for routine service unless you tell them otherwise. So there are quite a lot of cars out there running around with the $15 brake pad sets and they aren't crashing all over the place. Most people here will always tell you to use good quality stuff, since most of us do all our own work (for the most part) and we're able to throw a bit more at the part cost rather than labor. You could compare the cost of a brake job with the cost of parts alone and end up with some pretty high quality parts and no labor cost. Just some food for thought.
.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:29 PM
Finally got my jack and stands and have some photos. Sorry about the quality, did my best getting good lighting.

Front Left






Front Right




Rears



In case context of use is relevant, these brakes have about `170,000 miles on them, est. 95% rural highway miles. The first ~20k were before I started hypermiling and I have been using them aggressively over the past two weeks; my normal [hypermiling] driving probably wears them under 1% as much (not an exaggeration). Most of my brake use is from 5mph to standstill. I use them at >5mph about once a month. Easy to track when it's rare. I've had one "hard brake" (deceleration of more than 7mph per second) in that 170k miles, from 45mph (the top speed I drive is 50mph). All my other brake use is what I'd describe as "gentle", equivalent in feeling to engine braking at 1500-2000rpm.

Minnesota roads are often salted in winter and I in the past have often washed my car and then let it sit (no brake use to remove water from the washing, a habit I've now changed). Hope that helps.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:01 PM
lol well you weren't burning up your pads thats for sure. you'll do fine with a good set of factory replacement/equivalent brakes. I'm sure with the way you drive they will last till the car falls on its last leg..

It does appear that you have a LOT of rust buildup all over the car. while you have it in the air you should roll around under there and follow your brake lines and anything else important and make sure that they aren't rusting through anywhere, this includes your brake lines, fuel lines, subframe/wiring anything that looks important.

Also I didn't even notice till this last post that your from MN, what part are you from? I live in Iowa just south of the border, I work in Fairmont, MN if you know where that is

Edited 2 time(s). Last edited Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:04 PM
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Sunday, August 19, 2012 6:19 AM
bosch makes a nice rotor that is plated to resist corrosion.
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Sunday, August 19, 2012 10:37 AM
Jordan, I live about an hour north of Fairmont (Hector). That's pretty neat.

Yeah I spent some time under the car looking at the rust all over. Was thinking about posting more photos to get suggestions. Plenty of "stuff" under there is bent/broken/dented/rusted. Now that I have some good manuals I can start to make sense of it but what I really should do is have someone knowledgeable check it out, point the issues out to me, and start me off by showing how and what to do. Manuals and videos only go so far and I didn't grow up mechanically inclined so it's catch-up time.

I'm not sure the car is worth the effort (it was an $1800 used POS six years and 200,000 miles ago) but working on it can at least be a great learning experience and project for me where I can't damage anything too valuable. On the other hand I'm not well off and it's my transportation.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Monday, August 20, 2012 6:50 PM
Today I had a rare opportunity to stop at on O'Reilly's. Picked up Bosch QuietCast (#25010530, "premium") rotors and BrakeBest Select semi-metallic (#SM673, also "premium") pads. I think those might be the rotors Spencer was talking about. Haven't been able to find much info on them and hope I did okay. The rotors have a lifetime warranty and if I recall correctly the pads were 2 years. Not sure if that means anything. Total was something like $115 I think.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Monday, August 20, 2012 8:01 PM
not too shabby, I get to buy new rear rotors and front/rear pads next week also.. rotors will probably run 140 for the set.. but to match my ebc's up front... probably not worth it but oh well
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:58 AM
Jordan, how does that affect the front to rear braking ratio? The service manual devotes a paragraph under brake pad replacement to lecturing the reader on how carefully the brake performance has been balanced between front and rear and how nothing should be done that would change that. Sounds like your setup all around will far exceed stock braking performance. Will it maintain that balance or is doing so not too critical?

I was told at the shop that drum brakes tend to resist corrosion more than disc brakes. Which makes sense but does anyone have any comments on it?

Since nobody jumped on me for the brakes I got I'm going to go [attempt to] install them. Seems suspiciously easy from the instructions and videos … we shall see. Wish me luck.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:45 AM
The proportioning and forces applied dont really change, the master cylinder diverts the braking power the same as before. If it were not safe to put them on i wouldnt have.. also jeffie and the others wouldnt have sold the bracket to do the swap. And this setup is 1000x better than the NONfunctioning drum brakes i had. The original rear shoes were on the car when i got it, then they wore out... and ate a brand new set in less than 2 weeks. Replaced again with new spring kit and etc.. still ate the shoes.

When you put them on be sure to check and lubricate the slider pins. There really isnt much to it with the front brakes. Just take the wheel off, pull the caliper slider pins, pop the caliper off, pull the rotor, new rotor on, pull old pads out, crack the bleeder and push piston in, new pads in, caliper on, lube slider pins, slide em in, tighten it all up and throw the wheel on. And repeat on the other side

Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:00 AM
It was even easier than the instructions and videos made it look. From parked on the ground to up on stands, old brakes out and new ones in, lubed pins and rust removal with the wire brush, and back down on the ground was 25 minutes. Probably takes you pros ten minutes but I thought my first crack at it would take an hour at least. Drove around for twenty minutes in blissful quiet. Can't hear the new pads engage the new rotors but I sure feel it. Nice to have the scraping gone.

I'm no expert but the old pads and rotors don't look too bad to me other than the corrosion on the parts of the rotor not contacted by the pads.



Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Thursday, October 04, 2012 8:12 PM
AAAHHHH! TIGR, I wish the heck I had seen this 2 weeks ago as your answer is advertised at the bottom of this page, at least on my end. The EBC 7054 blanks can't be beat for the money. These are UK made rotors with top grade metalergy, and are individually runout so there is virtually no chance of any judder or chudder, whichever you prefer. You can get them here http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-UPR7054/ for $38.39 ea. I bought EBC's 3GD series which are slotted, and dimpled with EBC Yellowstuff pads. You can take a look here if interested and want to stop on a dime in wet or dry weather. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-GD7054/ Stops on a dime while ricky racing around town, and the only difference between these $150 a pair rotors, and the EBC 7054 blanks is the rust prevention treatmnet/coating, and the slots & dimples, which would be great for driving in the rain as well. At $38.39, these are the best, bar none rotors you will find for the Cavalier, Sunfire family. I'm going with these this time around due to cost factors, can't afford the 3GD this time around and those Yellowstuff pads are now $100, I paid $90. The EBC blanks with some Hawk HPS pads should also due a fine job at about the same price you paid for your setup. The hawks are about $55, and get great reviews around the web. You can find them here or elsewhere, but a very recent high dollar purchase for auto parts from Amazon went awry so am awaiting my refund to rate their service. http://www.amazon.com/Hawk-Performance-HB390F-602-Ceramic-Brake/dp/B000CO745S/ref=au_pf_ss_7?ie=UTF8&Make=Chevrolet%7C47&Model=Cavalier%7C434&Year=2003%7C2003&carId=001&n=15684181&s=au tomotive Hope this helps some others.
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Thursday, October 04, 2012 11:37 PM
Those rotors, from your photos, and from my point of view, are SHOT! Throw the in the trash or recycle them. I can see where it appears a 16/th or so of an inch has worn on either side of the rotor, and these are thin rotors to begin with. IMO, they are not turnable, but you could take them donw to your local machine shop, and see if they can be turned, but I doubt it. I'd be interested to know as mine look about the same, but also have stress crack due to the dimples which definately makes them headed for the trash heap or drop off at the local recycler. Hope the Bosch rotors work great, and let us know how they perform with the upgraded store pads. I think we'd all like to know what can be had for around $100-$125. Do some multiple hard stops, and talk about fade, and judder as well. Thanks
Re: New Rotors and Pads, Minimizing Rust
Saturday, April 20, 2013 10:52 PM
Stoptech otors are great and affordable .check them out !


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