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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rotors and Pads at the same time? - Update: Solved

I've searched the archives but I feel like I have a little different situation than what I've seen... (but perhaps not, that's why I'm asking)

I have a 2002 Sequoia with 45K miles. Within the past two or three weeks it developed a terrible vibration on braking. I am convinced this is brake related as it only happens while braking, it is worse when braking going downhill (weight transfer to the front), and it increases as the brakes heat up.

My first thought was that the rotors are bad. I picked up a new pair and installed them (but left the old pads as they still had plenty of life). No dice. Still have the vibration.

My question is this: can the pads be "worn" to match the old rotors, thus needing to be replaced with the new rotors? That's the only other item I can think of that would cause this issue. In my search, I read about the wheel bearings going bad, but I really don't think that's the problem in this case b/c of the reasons noted above.

Also - what is the proper procedure for "breaking in" a set of brake pads? I've always heard that there is a procedure for this, much like breaking in a new engine or ring and pinion, but I've never done it. I've never had a problem, but figured I'd better go by the book on this one...

Thanks in advance.
Tim Harris
 

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I've searched the archives but I feel like I have a little different situation than what I've seen... (but perhaps not, that's why I'm asking)

I have a 2002 Sequoia with 45K miles. Within the past two or three weeks it developed a terrible vibration on braking. I am convinced this is brake related as it only happens while braking, it is worse when braking going downhill (weight transfer to the front), and it increases as the brakes heat up.

My first thought was that the rotors are bad. I picked up a new pair and installed them (but left the old pads as they still had plenty of life). No dice. Still have the vibration.

My question is this: can the pads be "worn" to match the old rotors, thus needing to be replaced with the new rotors? That's the only other item I can think of that would cause this issue. In my search, I read about the wheel bearings going bad, but I really don't think that's the problem in this case b/c of the reasons noted above.

Also - what is the proper procedure for "breaking in" a set of brake pads? I've always heard that there is a procedure for this, much like breaking in a new engine or ring and pinion, but I've never done it. I've never had a problem, but figured I'd better go by the book on this one...

Thanks in advance.
Tim Harris
When ever you put a new set of rotors on anything you should also put new pads and with Toyota's the best pads are factory pads. Also depending on how long the new rotors you bought where sitting on the shelf in the parts store they could get a little warped just from sitting there. When ever I put new rotors on anything I always throw them up on the brake lay and take a very small cut out of them just to make sure they are perfect. But because you didn't change your pads you can't tell if the problem was the pads or the new rotors where warped. If I where you and if I was doing this myself I would go to the dealer and buy a new set of pads. Take off the new rotors you just put on your truck and bring them to a brake shop and tell them they are new and you just want to take a small cut out of them to make sure they are true. Then put it all back together and I bet everything will be fine. Johnnnny
 

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I agree with most of what Johnny says, though there's no physically possible way that brake pads themselves can cause a shake. I would be checking out all my front suspension components (tie rods and such).
 

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The break in I've read on a couple of articles recommends 10 consecutive 60mph to 5-10mph hard brakes, not to a full stop, followed by complete cool down and then repeat the process. This procedure is after an initial easy break in of several miles.
Look at the break in procedure on Stop Techs website at the end of the installlation instructions for their Big Brake Kits.
I had a similar vibration on my 2000 Tundra and tried this procedure. It worked quite well.
Some time back I read an article written by one of the developers of the Ford GT40 that did so well at Le Mans 30 years ago. He recommended the same break in procedure. He postulated that rotors rarely warp...it is the pads that warp and that the distortion in the rotors is caused by deposits from the pads. He said you should never come to a compete stop if possible from a hard stop, as that implants the deposits on the rotors.
All that said, I would have changed the pads when I changed the rotors. The additional expense and time is minimal in the overal scope of the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone. Since I have the original rotors on the work bench, I'm going to take them and have them turned. No down-time for the Sequoia, since I have the new set already installed. Once I get those back, I'll reinstall and see what happens...

I did read the bedding procedure on the Stop Tech website yesterday and did that step last night. It really seems that it reduced the vibration by about 1/2, but it's definately still there. My hope is that the remaining 1/2 will be eliminated with the rotors.
 

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I agree with most of what Johnny says, though there's no physically possible way that brake pads themselves can cause a shake. I would be checking out all my front suspension components (tie rods and such).
You would think so but that all depends on what kind of brake pads they are. Some people go out to there local Pep Boys (or equal) and think by buying a set of "life time" brake pads they will be the last set of brake pads they get or they will last a very long time. Well, Yes they will last a VERY long time because the stuff those lifetime pads are made of is harder then what the rotor is made out of. (well maybe not that hard but you get my point) Good brake pads in my opinion should be made soft or at least much softer then the rotor. I have seen lifetime pads destroy rotors because of heat. If there are groves in the old rotors he took off his truck and he put new rotors on without changing the pads and if they are a set of those lifetime pads I can see the truck shaking because of how hard those pads are and because they are grooved from the old rotors. But if he had a set of factory pads on the truck well then I can't see the pads causeing the shake. That's my opinion, Johnnny :D
 

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I have brake vibration issues myself. I have a 2000 Tundra. I have upgraded to 2004 rebuilt calipers, still have vibration. I have ordered some Raybestos PG plus rotors. I will install them. If I still have the vibration, I will referred to the Toyota TSB which suggests to check the runout on the vehicle 6 times by rotating the rotor by one lug each time. Then in the position where the runout is the least, lathe the rotor on the vehicle. I think the on vehicle portion of this procedure is important. This compensates for any differences created by the seating of the rotor against the hub flange. That's going to be the process I will use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update

Johnny Rock was correct. :ts: The new rotors that I bought were warped right off the shelf.

Here's the sequence of events, in case anyone runs into this in the future:

  1. Vehicle developed a terrible vibration upon braking
  2. I first replaced the rotors with cheap, 'part store' replacements
  3. Still vibrating
  4. I replaced the pads with cheap pads (I know I shouldn't use these, but I didn't know if the pads were the problem, so the cheap ones were used for "testing")
  5. Still vibrating
  6. I took the original 'Yota rotors and had them turned at the machine shop
  7. Reinstalled with the cheap pads - PROBLEM SOLVED
Lessons learned: buy the good rotors to start with. PowerSlot rotors are only $200/pair from Performance Products. I paid $110 for the cheap rotors, $35 for pads, and $20 to turn the original rotors - for another $35, I could have bought the good ones to start with...). Hind-sight 20/20, eh? :D
 
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