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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of years ago I replaced the stock rotors on my '02 Tundra with some drilled/slotted Brembo rotors because my stock rotors had warped. I was told the Brebo rotors were supposed to be good. Now I am getting vibration when braking again, so I have a few questions:
1) Are the Brembo rotors pretty reliable, or is there a more reliable brand?
2) If the Brembo rotors are supposed to be good, should I spend the money to have them turned or just buy another set (probably about the same price after labor)?
3) I am using ceramic brake pads because any other pads that I have used have trashed my front wheels (Centerline aluminum). Are there other brands or other types (drilled, slotted, drilled/slotted, etc) that would be better with ceramic pads?
Sorry for all the rookie questions. Thanks in advance for any help.
Ken
 

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A couple of years ago I replaced the stock rotors on my '02 Tundra with some drilled/slotted Brembo rotors because my stock rotors had warped. I was told the Brebo rotors were supposed to be good. Now I am getting vibration when braking again, so I have a few questions:
1) Are the Brembo rotors pretty reliable, or is there a more reliable brand?
2) If the Brembo rotors are supposed to be good, should I spend the money to have them turned or just buy another set (probably about the same price after labor)?
3) I am using ceramic brake pads because any other pads that I have used have trashed my front wheels (Centerline aluminum). Are there other brands or other types (drilled, slotted, drilled/slotted, etc) that would be better with ceramic pads?
Sorry for all the rookie questions. Thanks in advance for any help.
Ken
Ken,
If you can find a place that is willing to turn your drilled/slotted rotors, I would recommend that. I use the term "willing" because from what I understand the machine used to turn drilled or slotted rotors is the same one that is used for plain rotors. It just has to be properly maintained and the operator must know how and be willing to do the job.

Your symptoms suggest to me that your rear brakes are not doing their fair share of the braking which is causing your front brakes to work harder. The critical areas of the rear brakes are the three contact points on each brake shoe that rest against the backing plate. From my experience and from posts on TS, it appears that the rear brakes should be cleaned and lubed, with something other than anti-seize, once every twelve months at a minimum. One TS member has recommended that this should be done every 5k miles.

I've got a pair of cryoslot rotors that are out of tolerance due to my rear brakes being out of adjustment. I went well past one year since my last rear brake overhaul and I used the wrong lube. I haven't been able to find anyone that is willing to turn my rotors so I'm fairly certain that I'm just going to replace them with plain Brembos.

Good luck.


Paul
 

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Brembo rotors are good but as Picasso pointed out something has caused them to warp. First off drilled and slotted rotors are much more susceptible to warpage since they have less mass. You should definitely not resurface them as you will make the situation worse by removing more mass.
But first clean and lube the rears as Picasso says. Adjust the rear with the wheels on a be on the look out for the wheel getting tight then loose as the drum spins. This is a sign of the rear drums being warped which may be your problem. The rear drum are near impossible to resurface correctly. If they are warped buy the updated Toyota heavier drums.
If it turns out your problem is in the front, which can be checked with a dial indicator. I suggest you buy just plain rotors no holes or slots. Brembos or Raybestos are good. I think you'll have much better luck with plain rotors.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Paul and Mike, thanks for the replies.
I gues I will take my truck in to the dealership to get checked out. Normally I would do this myself (I installed the rotors/pads, SS brake lines, etc) but I had some surgery recently and will not be able to do any projects for a long time. No worries, I trust the dealership. One of my buddies is the service manager, and another is the master tech that does a lot of work on my truck.
I have not done the rear brake maintenance before, so is there any other procedure other than what was mentioned above that I should tell the tech? Am I going to notice a big difference in performance going with plain rotors over say just slotted ones?
Thanks again guys, I really appreciate the help.
Ken
 

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I would expect any good Toyota tech will be able to do the above mentioned checks. Just reminded them that there is a TSB regarding the drum situation. If you end up replacing the front rotors you will probably not see any difference in slotted/drilled or standard rotors.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would expect any good Toyota tech will be able to do the above mentioned checks. Just reminded them that there is a TSB regarding the drum situation. If you end up replacing the front rotors you will probably not see any difference in slotted/drilled or standard rotors.
Mike
Thanks Mike!
 

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If you've lifted your truck at all, you also need to take a look at the brake proportioning valve in the rear. I went and adjusted mine enough that I can actually lock up the rears in a panic braking situation. At least I know that they are doing there job. :eek:
My experience: I now have slotted rotors, not sure I'd get them again. They do have a slight vibration just from the slots, which is annoying. First set of pads I had on vibrated like hell. Heard others had issues with that pad also. So after only a few thousand miles, I trashed them, lightly sanded the rotors and put some Hawk pads on. Problem solved. So I would just say pads do make a difference too. Good luck getting your vibrations fixed, I know it is annoying as hell.
/Mike
 

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Slotted and or drilled rotors are not a good choice for heavy trucks. Or many other car apps. Many drawbacks. Sure they look trick!!
They should never be cut!
This is basic stuff.

They give slightly better braking, at the sacrifice of pad wear and rotor glazing.

PS . always torque your wheel lugs to spec.

FYI, the term "warpage" is not correct. This term is a misnomer.

99% of the time true sintered cast iron rotors merely get glazed. It is this, that causes pedal vibration. Cast iron doesn't warp out.

The glazing is a build up of brake pad by-products that create the uneven rotor surface. It can be cleaned up by a cutting lathe. But not recommended on drilled and/or slotted rotors. They become disopsable at this point.
Never use anything like stainless steel or alloy brake rotors. These can warp and should never, ever be cut. NG.

LifeTech:)
 

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A couple of years ago I replaced the stock rotors on my '02 Tundra with some drilled/slotted Brembo rotors because my stock rotors had warped. I was told the Brebo rotors were supposed to be good. Now I am getting vibration when braking again, so I have a few questions:
1) Are the Brembo rotors pretty reliable, or is there a more reliable brand?
2) If the Brembo rotors are supposed to be good, should I spend the money to have them turned or just buy another set (probably about the same price after labor)?
3) I am using ceramic brake pads because any other pads that I have used have trashed my front wheels (Centerline aluminum). Are there other brands or other types (drilled, slotted, drilled/slotted, etc) that would be better with ceramic pads?
Sorry for all the rookie questions. Thanks in advance for any help.
Ken
"warped rotors" is a VERY rare occurrence. More likely you have developed brake deposits on one spot on your rotor as a result of a very hard "panic" stop that super heated the pads and transferred some to the rotor.

Now when you are braking and that spot come around and hits the pads it grabs a little harder - this creates a pulsing feeling – what’s worse as you turn corners your tires turn different speeds so those spots on the rotor get out of sync and hit your pads at different times creating a pulsing that may be different one side to the other! You can read in lots more detail about it here...

StopTech : Balanced Brake Upgrades#

Fix - may get better with time or you need to skim your rotors (not sure if you can do that with slotted). Also change your driving habits - don't sit still after a long hard stop - you are just burning dust into your rotors...

Good Luck
TIM
 

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Like others already said,have your master tech friend inspect the brakes. How many miles do you have on them anyway?

I have plain Brembo rotors on my Tundra. I wasn't expecting a performance brake company that supplies parts to Ferrari and Porsche to have rotors manufactured in Mexico :td: I guess I shouldn't expect that much for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help guys.
So at this point my plan is to buy some new front rotors (white bread, no slots or holes) and take them to the dealership to have them installed AND service the rears at the same time. My truck IS lifted, so I will ask them to check the proportioning valve while he is at it (allthough I am fairly certain they checked that for me when I first lifted the truck and they said it was ok).
I did check out the stoptech site the other day and refreshed my memory about the cause of front end vibration (although I seem to remember some debate about the stoptech site here on an older thread:confused: ).
So now I guess the only thing left is to decide that rotors to buy. I can't find brembos anywhere (they used to be all over eBay), and the rotors on Wheeler's are $215!! Any other suggestions?
Thanks again for all of the help
Ken
 

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So now I guess the only thing left is to decide that rotors to buy. I can't find brembos anywhere (they used to be all over eBay), and the rotors on Wheeler's are $215!! Any other suggestions?
Thanks again for all of the help
Ken
Ken,I bought the plain Brembos from Tirerack;just checked the site and they're $63 each. Are you sure those were real Brembos you bought? There's no drilled/slotted versions listed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ken,I bought the plain Brembos from Tirerack;just checked the site and they're $63 each. Are you sure those were real Brembos you bought? There's no drilled/slotted versions listed.
Who knows. The rotors that I bought were listed on eBay as Brembo rotors. They came in a Brembo box and I definitely remember that they were made in Mexico.
I will check out Tirerack and see what they have.
Thanks again for the info.
Ken
 

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I read this thread and was shaking my head at some of the information put out by some guys on here about slotted and crossdrilled rotors. First off I would like to say I work in a custom automotive shop that builds racecars and performance automobiles.
  • Slotted and crossdrilled rotors are not any weaker than regular rotors which does not cause them to warp easier.
  • They are less prone to warpage (misnomer) due to the extra cooling the slots and crossdills provide
  • You can turn slotted and crossdrilled rotors without any negative effect! There is a minimum thickness on the rotors like any other.
  • Rotors do get brake buildup causing slight pulsation but the main cause is the rotor being heated up to a high temperature and warping slightly.
The large front brakes on the Tundra stop it amazingly but also produce lots of heat which is multiplied if the rear brakes are out of adjustment. Slotted and crossdrilled rotors are used on every nascar, every road race car, and come on many performance vehicles sold off the showroom floor. They can be turned without any negative effect. I just turned the rotors on a Nascar last Thursday since it just got back from racing at Seabring in the historic stock car league. These brakes will help the truck stop better as I have them on my tundra. I turn my own rotors to no adverse effects. And with the rear drums they can be turned to be perfectly round with the right equipment, you do not need to go get new drums. I to do this regularly. It is however difficult to find a skilled technition that knows how to do this correctly.

Travis
 

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Wow Travis I also work in a shop that deals with high end sports cars. I don't know about NASCAR but in most compition motorsports rotors are just something you don't use over again. I have never heard of resurfacing a race car rotor, what a risk!
Drilled rotors have been falling out of favor by most racing groups as the holes tend to generate cracks and clog up in a short time. Slotted rotor are use now to dispense pad gases and serve no extra cooling affect.
In you favor I agree, if a brake is design from the start to have slots or holes it can be resurface with in manufactures spec. But then again most car that are designed in this way tend to wear the rotors out as well as the pads so resufacing is not usaly an option.
My beef is with after-market company that take a stock rotor as design for say the Tundra and remove metal mass to drill or slot it. It serves no purpose, weaken the rotor and remove the most critical thing, mass. If the Tundra rotors have a problem to begin with is they didn't have enough mass to start with, seems senseless to remove more.
The mass is what despence the heat not holes, think about it.
Mike
 

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Ken, I'm surprised that no one has asked you if the rotors were actually measured yet. It was mentioned in several threads that pedal pulsation does not automatically equal a warped rotor or a rotor with a high spot/hard spot.

A rotor is an engineered and machined part, just like any other engineered or machined part. The proper inspection method involves a lateral runout check and a thickness variation check. Both are very simple, but require a few tools that you may not have in your toolbox. My local NAPA and Carquest stores rent tools, so your's may too.

To perform a lateral runout check, you'll need a dial indicator attached to a gooseneck clamp. Remove your wheel, then re-fasten your lug nuts to apply pressure on the rotor. You may need to stack some washers between the lug nut and the rotor hat to keep the rotor snug. Next, clamp the dial indicator mount to your tie rod, steering arm, or some other sturdy component. Pull the dial indicator down to the rotor so that its needle touches the rotor. Spin the rotor slowly and record the maximum variance you see on the dial. A good rotor will have around 0.004" or less of runout. Do this test for both sides of the rotor and use a black Sharpie pen to mark any areas on the rotor's face that have unusually high runout.

Next, you measure thickness variation by using a micrometer. Pick 5 or 6 spots around the rotor's surface to measure the overall thickness. Write down the numbers and figure out how much the thickest spot varies from the thinnest spot. Compare these dimensions to the manufacturer's specified minimum thickness of the rotor that should be stamped on the edge or the back of the rotor. If your rotor has high spots, when you turn them on a brake lathe they will be cut down to the level of the thinnest section of the rotor. So if the thinnest spot is close to or right at the specified minimum thickness, your rotor doesn't have enough "meat" left on it and you should replace it.

After you (or your mechanic) has done both measurements, you'll know if you REALLY need another set of rotors, need to have the existing rotors turned, or if the problem is being caused by something entirely different. By the way, everything I just wrote in the above paragraphs is part of the study materials for the ASE certification in foundation brake systems. Any mechanic who has passed his ASE exam for foundation brakes should know this stuff.

The measuring process is so incredibly easy, but I think most home mechanics and professional mechanics skip it because they lack the proper tools.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks M5guy, those are awesome instructions.
If I were up to it, I would give it a go myself (I have a dial indicator and calipers). I am still recovering from some surgery so I will have to let my buddy at the dealership take care of it.
Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
Ken
 

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Good explanation of what should be done. By the way I did mention this in my first post, I just didn't give these details.
The check of the rotor for thickness variations is done when looking for out of parallelism. Thicker and thinner variations will causes a washboard effect. This type of warpage is general very minor unless a vain of the rotor has cracked then it is extreme.
A dial indicator is used when checking run out in general and if run out is found you should next check the hub. This is important as if the hub is warped the rotor will never run straight.
The part that most always gets left out is when the rotor goes on the bench lath. If the rotor is checked like m5guy describes above then it should be rechecked on the lath to verify that the rotor has the same run out as on the vehicle. Many things can change this including the condition of the lath so the rotor must be indexed and check on the machine. This is never done by any technician I have ever worked with and there is no way a guy at NAPA or any othe part house will do this. Therefore you are likely to have more run out machined into your rotor then you had to begin with.
Then came along the On The Car Laths. This is what most car manufacture now recommend as this eliminates the Technician laziness. The rotor is machine on the hub where it lives no chance of run out coming from poor techniques. But they will usually charge more for this service as the set up takes longer. This really is kind of strange when you think about it, since if a technician took the time to do all the measurement and set up the rotor correctly on a bench lath it would take more time.
So they charge you less to do it wrong. This is why many tech just sell rotors, more proffit, less time less, comebacks. Machine rotors is a dying art!
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow! This thread has turned into AUTOMOTIVE BRAKES 101!! VERY informative! I never would have thought about a lot of the points that you guys have mentioned, but makes sense.

...This is why many tech just sell rotors, more proffit, less time less, comebacks. Machine rotors is a dying art!
Mike
Mike I think you are right. Turning rotors used to be almost "required" when brake jobs were done (thinking back to my experience as a Tech at Sears about 20 years ago). We now live in a "disposable" era, everything is throw away. I wonder in regards to rotors if it isn't partially because the cost of rotors has come down and it is almost as cheap to buy new rotors as it is to have old ones turned? Allthough I have no idea what turning the rotors goes for these days.
Ken
 

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Ken, BTW, I just noticed that you are in Santa Barbara. I'm just south of you in Ventura. If you decide to tackle the repair project on your own and you need a hand, let me know. I'm up in Santa Barbara or Carp practically every other Saturday.

MEvang, good point about the condition of a shop's bench lathe. There are a lot of scary brake lathes gathering dust out there!
 
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