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Talk about changing your own brakes

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 #377360  by In-trepid
 January 15th, 2019, 12:48 pm
Over the years there has been a lot of discussion on the "hot" brake pads and rotors. As technology changes quickly, I'm looking to get a little real time input from the past couple of years or so on what brake pads and rotors people are using and why they pick that type/brand. Also, I would like to know how they are working for you.
1. Pad Type (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, etc)
2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad (Bendix XXX, Wagner Thermoquiet, etc)
3. Why you chose this type/brand
4. Rotor Type (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.)
5. Rotor Manufacturer
6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer
7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.)
Katzchen78 liked this
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 #377362  by Katzchen78
 January 15th, 2019, 1:31 pm
I am anxious to see the answers you get here. I have only ever used the semi- mettalic myself, but am not keen on the dust they leave on my wheels.
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 #377363  by LUNAT1C
 January 15th, 2019, 2:48 pm
I'll answer for both of my vehicles.

300M Special - Blue
1. Pad Type (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, etc) - Ceramic
2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad (Bendix XXX, Wagner Thermoquiet, etc) - Adaptive One
3. Why you chose this type/brand - Available locally (NAPA) and highly recommended for quietness, bite, low dust, longevity.
4. Rotor Type (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.) - Slotted, external venting, silver coated.
5. Rotor Manufacturer - BrakePerformance.com
6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer - Came recommended, and price point was good IMO.
7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.) - All four corners were done 7/4/2013 at 113,000 miles. This was my second time replacing the front brakes and first time replacing the rears (factory up to then). The car currently has 133,500 miles. So far pad wear is pretty good, though if there was significant wear after 20,000 miles I'd be pissed. Rotors are not warped, not excessively corroded, and pad wear appears to be even so far. No noises at all, good bite. I have no concerns and so far I am quite happy. I would recommend to anyone in need of replacement rotors and pads. I do drive the car spiritedly when I can, and have participated in two Autocross events where they performed admirably for what they are, which is a fairly standard passenger car brake setup.

Prior to this setup I was using the factory rear rotors and pads, and Wagner ThermoQuiet front ceramic pads paired with a different brand of slotted rotors. Same opinion. Low dust, decent cost, no warpage, minimal corrosion, good brake feel. I replaced them only because the rears had worn out and I wanted to knock out all four corners together.

Wrangler - Front still OEM, this concerns only the rear that I recently replaced
1. Pad Type (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, etc) - Ceramic
2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad (Bendix XXX, Wagner Thermoquiet, etc)
3. Why you chose this type/brand - Price, used AAP coupon, and I wanted low dust
4. Rotor Type (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.) Smooth, e-coated.
5. Rotor Manufacturer - Bosch
6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer - Price, good reviews.
7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.) - Installed a few thousand miles ago, not much to report. I did notice that a significant groan characteristic of all JK Wranglers when stopping, or beginning to roll, disappeared with this maintenance item. So far dust is minimal compared to factory. Factory pads fell apart on removal, rotors were severely rusted.

Currently the front brakes on my Jeep have plenty of life left. The rears were replaced two months ago at 45,000 miles, rolling 48,000 in a few days. This is fairly typical for rear brakes to wear faster on JK Wranglers due to a system called the Brake-Lock Differential, which works much like a LSD, but for open-diff Jeeps like mine. It applies the brakes to maintain control and traction as the computer deems necessary. WIth the amount of skid Jeeps have in the wet and the amount of off-roading I have done, it's no surprise they wore out early. I got lucky, many folks report rear brake replacement at 20,000-25,000 miles.


The main factors I follow when it comes to brake jobs is cost, ceramic pads, some type of corrosion-resistive coating on the rotors. If these factors are not met, I pass on it. I use slotted on the Special because I do drive it competitively from time to time and want ever advantage possible to prevent overheating. I skip slotted because I fear cracking around the holes. I kept plain rotors on the Jeep because rocks and dirt have a history of wrecking pads on Jeeps with slots and drilled rotors after off-roading.
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 #377364  by In-trepid
 January 15th, 2019, 3:35 pm
I have replaced the brakes on two of my LH cars, a 2003 Intrepid and a 2004 Special. One other needs them replaced soon.
2003 Intrepid
1. Pad Type (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, etc) - Semi-metallic
2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad (Bendix XXX, Wagner Thermoquiet, etc) - BrakePerformance.com
3. Why you chose this type/brand - Read some reviews that rated them high. Wanted to stick with semi-metallic as that was what the factory used
4. Rotor Type (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.) - Slotted, Dimpled, external venting, black zinc coated. (car is black)
5. Rotor Manufacturer - BrakePerformance.com
6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer - Recommended and the price seemed good for the product.
7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.)
About 35,000 miles on these. Fronts were done a couple thousand miles before backs. These pads and rotors have held up amazingly well. No rotor warp. Little to no rust and very little wear on the rotors. Pads are wearing evenly. They tend to rumble a little on hard braking, but grab very well. They are dusty on the chrome wheels!

2004 Special
1. Pad Type (semi-metallic, ceramic, organic, etc.) - Semi-metallic
2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad (Bendix XXX, Wagner Thermoquiet, etc) - BrakePerformance.com
3. Why you chose this type/brand - Was very happy with the performance on the Intrepid. I considered ceramics, but because I had a lot of squealing problems with ceramics on an old 98 Intrepid, I decided to stick with semi-metallic.
4. Rotor Type (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.) - Slotted, Dimpled, external venting, silver zinc coated. (car is silver)
5. Rotor Manufacturer - BrakePerformance.com
6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer - Happy with the performance on the Intrepid.
7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.)
About 15,000 miles on these. All four wheels done at the same time. These pads and rotors are doing well. No rotor warp. Little to no rust and very little wear on the rotors. This car sits more than the Intrepid, but just gets a little bit spotty with rust on the machined surfaces. It comes off with the first couple of applications of the brakes. Pads are wearing evenly. They tend to rumble a little on hard braking, but grab very well. They are dusty on the chrome wheels!
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 #377617  by Sneke_Eyez
 February 6th, 2019, 10:28 am
I have been meaning to reply to this thread just to aid in the distribution of brake information.

As you all probably know, I own/care for 4 LHs (one is my wife's and one is my mom's) and have owned/cared for 3 others.

I have used nearly the same brake components in each car:

1. Pad Type: Ceramic.
I use nothing else but ceramic pads.
When I first purchased brake pads for my Intrepid, I purchased semi metallic - whatever Autozone had in stock. They dusted like crazy.
I do not like brake dust, and I do not want to have to clean up brake dust from organic or semi metallic pads.
I have never had issues with poor performance from the ceramic pads. I occasionally get some squeaking in the exact right scenario (generally when humid, but not too warm, and generally when I haven't used the brakes much and am in a low speed braking situation like a drivethru or parking lot).

2. Manufacturer and Name of the Brake Pad: Wagner Thermoquiet.
I have also purchased Advance Auto Carquest Platinum Professional Ceramic pads if they are all that was in stock. I would use the Platinums again if necessary. Advance always used to carry the Wagner Thermoquiet Ceramics for our cars, but when they bought Carquest, they stopped stocking as many Wagner pads it seems, so they have become more difficult to find if I need to do a quick brake job.

3. Why you chose this type/brand: Personal recommendation and price. I first had Thermoquiet Ceramics recommended to me by Club member IS300M. I can generally find the Thermoquiets for cheap on Amazon/Rockauto/occasionally when Advance will have them in stock.

4. Rotor Type: (Smooth, drilled, slotted, internal vent, external vent, etc.) PHP Special Smooth Rotors. Every LH car that I do brakes on has rotors ordered "for a 2002 300M Special edition" - so they have the internal PHP/Special venting, but a smooth face.

5. Rotor Manufacturer: Varies. I have used a bunch of different manufacturers throughout my years of LH ownership. Centric, Wagner, Carquest, and most recently AC Delco.

6. Why you chose this rotor type/manufacturer: Price/ease of purchase. I have not noticed a huge difference in rotor manufacturers, so I generally go with what is cheap and easy to get.
I don't love the Carquest rotors. Advance only sells one Carquest rotor for the Special and they seem to warp faster than the other brands with my driving style. I try not to use them, but put a set on my mom's 04 300M and found they seemed to be wearing pretty well before we sold that car.

As a bit of an aside, Keith has recommended the drilled and slotted rotors that he uses on his LH cars to me several times - as he has found they do not warp at all. I believe they are the brakeperformance.com rotors that John and Robert mentioned that they use. The next time I put rotors on my Intrepid I intend to use those to see how I like them.

7. How are these pads and rotors working for you? (rotor warp, premature pad wear, squeal, loud brakes, good stopping distance, etc.)
Pads.
I have owned and worn out many sets of Thermoquiet ceramic pads - they seem to wear well, are the lowest dust solution I can find, and have provided me with years of good braking performance on my LH cars. Squeaks only occur in the right situation as described above.

Rotors.
Generally they all warp eventually, but that's ok with me because it is usually close to when I need a new set of pads and the rotors are a bit scored anyway. I have only found the Carquest brand rotors to warp more quickly than the rest - and that hasn't prevented me from using them in a pinch.