Brake issues...fixed!!!

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Aug 24, 2009
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I was having three minor (but annoying) problems with my brakes.

1. Pedal force required to stop the 100 'seemed' too high. Meaning that the amount of force my foot needed to apply seemed abnormally high.

2. Something always smelled hot after driving long periods (it didn't smell like brakes but somehow it seemed like they were involved).

3. When I would apply the brakes with say x lbs of force the truck would begin to slow, then a second later it would slow a little harder. This one is kind of hard to describe, but it felt like somehow two levels of braking power for the same amount of pedal and it happened consistently.

Story has a happy ending though, replaced all pads with blue ceramics from Carquest (which are awesome pads and higher friction than stock) lubing all the pins, etc properly and now all issues are cured. I puzzled for a long time on what would be causing the issues so I figured I'd post in case anyone else is running into these. Search returned nothing for the last few weeks while I researched.

PS: For anyone debating doing their own brakes, the 100's brakes are probably the easiest I've ever done, I knocked out all four corners while keeping an eye on my kid in about an hour and a half! No book or write-up required.
 
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Aug 26, 2009
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Good to hear it's easy.

Do you need to rough up the existing rotors in order for the pads to "mesh" well with the rotors, or can you just swap them and be good to go?
 
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Aug 24, 2009
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With pads/rotors just go through the break in procedures and the pads will conform to any grooving in the rotors, ideally you take the rotors in and get them turned in order to make them true, but mine were fine.

With old school drum brakes, I was taught to sand the actual brake shoe to make sure it matched the radius of the drum so you wouldn't get high (and hot!) spots. That's probably what you are referring to.
 
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Aug 22, 2004
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Brakes took high pedal effort

It sounds like the brake pads were glazed or were 'high performance' and needed to get hot before they worked well. My wife is a very light brake driver, and once a month I take her car and do some significant high speed braking to clean them off. Keeps the pedal effort low, rotors stay true, and do not wear. ( I haven't had to turn a rotor on my cars in over 20 years and ALWAYS have smooth brakes)and I have even used them at high speed Driver Education sessions by Porsche Club
( track days with LOTS of max effort braking)

OEM pads are almost always the best balance of pedal effort, stopping distance, brake dust, noise, rotor wear, and pad life.

Often 'aggressive' after-market pads (low pedal pressure needed) will wear the rotors a lot more.

OEM pads, properly broken in, usually take low pedal effort and do not fade in normal driving.
 

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