I know this is probably general maintance Q

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Jan 10, 2005
Farmville, VA
My front left brake pad wore out and I didn't even notice until it was far gone. Scary I know. But the rotor got a little chewed up but it really isn't that bad just a few little grooves. Can I get by with just replacing the pads? because I already have that on order. Or do I need to go ahead and get the rotor? I am guessing what could happen is a little shaking when braking if the rotor is too bad. Any answers for this newb question?
They need a flat surface. You might could"get by", but if there are grooves you should get the rotors machined (some call it "turning" ) for not very much money. If the grooves are too deep.....you need to order a rotor.

Any brake shop should be able to tell with a quick look.

Oh, and happy:flipoff2: birthday!
Been there done that on a much lighter vehicle. The pads will conform to the grooves in the rotor, but by no means ideal and not reccommended for a heavy rig like these where braking is marginal under ideal conditions.

Rotors are pretty cheap in the overall scheme of things.
Yeah I mean I will eventually get rotors but for right now since I am wheelin saturday I am looking at a temporary fix that will work. And I don't know if it is any good to do this temporary.
I'm more concerned that the front left pad wore out more than the right front, if I read you correctly. That's not a thing that should happen. You would probably be better off getting it looked at by somebody who truly understands brakes before it becomes a problem.

I suspect it might not have been put on properly in the first place, possibly touching just enough to wear more quickly. Regardless of what the reason is, it would be better if you found out why and fixed it.

Tiny little grooves don't worry me too much. In my experience, they cause a pulsing when the get to be a bit much and would need replaceing the rotors, but otherwise nothing significant. I wouldn't go for the re-faceing. I did that to mine and got deeper grooves again within a few months. If your brake pedal isn't pulsing, use it until you can conveniently change it.

Mine sound about the same as yours, and I went ahead and did the whole shabang. Actually I ended up doing calipers too because they froze from being overextended. Stops like a mother now. :D

If i remember right my rotors werent too bad

BTW......if you want to replace your pads twice go ahead and put them on the grooved rotors. If your like me and only like buying things once............
Agree the best approach is to have the system checked out (and of course they'll suggest replacing everything 'cause they have to from a liability standpoint). But if it were my rig, I'd just replace the pads and drive it. Even moderate grooving won't affect things much.

Of course, if things don't operate properly with the new pads, you'll be forced to make changes.


I chewed up a front rotor on my old BMW and just put new pads in until I could do the brembo upgrade. After about 1,000 miles of driving, I took it in to get the upgrade and that front pad was down to about 30%. You could probably get by with just the pads for now, but like mentioned before, that pads life is short.

Side note, I just changed my front pads on 1994 LC and the PS side outside pad was down to the metal tab. The other 3 pads were not nearly as bad. All pistons had smooth travel when compressed. With the ease of changing these pads, I will probably just pull and check them every couple of weeks to see if I need to rebuild that caliper.

I'm thinking of rebuilding my front callipers because i seem to always have one side that wears the pad faster than the other side. I'll do a search, but in the mean time anyone who has rebuilt their calipers, is it a major deal?
I found out that my caliper is frozen so I am ordering a new one. Hopefully all of this will be done by tomarrow morning since I am going wheelin saturday. Thanks again guys for the tips.
stuck in GA said:
tomarrow .

Dude, you are in college. You can't be pulling that anymore. :rolleyes:

I rebuilt my fronts on the 93 a couple years ago. $22 or something and I think this was for both front calipers from Cdan. I don't have air so I used the brake pedal to push the pistons out. This was tricky as once one piston came out I didn't have pressure anymore to push the other out. So, I moved the pistons back and forth to see which was likely to give me trouble, then blocked the other ones and pushed it out. Then the others came out using rag wrapped pliers.

The only other tricky part was getting the new rubber boots back on, which a tape wrapped dull screwdriver did. The kit came with everything - even brake grease. I posted it with tips. Summer of '04???

Thanks Doug. I'll do a better search using you as the author. I really think i need to rebuild mine along with the PS pump.

If not Romer, i'll take good pics when i do mine.
It's been covered already, but I'd just put some new pads on for the short term.

You guys need to remember a couple things...
Josh = our favorite non-banana-mechanic. You guys are talking about rebuilding and slapping rotors on? Come on... :D

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