Simple Brake Questions

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  #1  
Old 05-07-11, 09:20 AM
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Simple Brake Questions

Hello:

I am about to attempt my first rotor replacement on my '03 Highlander V6. I feel pretty well prepared for what's ahead, but I am confused about when and if I will need to compress the caliper pistons. Some videos I have seen they do compress them, some they don't.

If I compress the calipers, would that be done to remove them or to re-install them?

Also, if I simply remove the caliper to replace the rotor, will the brakes need to be bled on all four wheels?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-07-11, 12:06 PM
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I would think that the simple act of removing the caliper from the old rotor would compress the pads somewhat just from the rocking act of the removal. Rather that would be enough to have ample room to install them onto the new rotor would depend on how worn the old rotor was. If the calipers do not fit then you definitely will have to compress them to get them on. If the procedure you use to compress the pads involves opening the bleeder screw on that caliper then you will have to bleed that wheel. Only if you empty the master brake cylinder would you need to bleed all 4 wheels to eliminate any air from the system.
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-11, 12:29 PM
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Okay, got it. Thanks.

I am only changing these rotors because the steering wheel has developed a vibration when braking at high speeds. New rotors aren't cheap...would you think that warrants changing them? I feel a bit wasteful because the rotors I have now are still smooth...albeit warped I think.
 
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Old 05-07-11, 01:45 PM
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You can buy new rotors, or take them in to a service place and have them measured for thickness and see if they can be machined if there is still enough material left on them. Sometimes choosing the machining option if possible on original rotors is better than installing some of the cheap non OEM rotors available at some of the parts stores that have a different material makeup, but machining of course will remove some material so they could possibly also heat up quicker and potentially cause some warping again down the road, but no more likely than using discount rotors. Regardless of this rotor option you should also change out your pads with new ones, and lubricate the caliper slides at the same time. When you change out your pads you will need to push back the caliper pistons. Use a large C-clamp and an old pad to do this easily. There are alot of sites on the internet that take you through all of this process also.
 
  #5  
Old 05-07-11, 02:51 PM
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Warped brake disks myth - read before you start turning your rotors
StopTech : Balanced Brake Upgrades

yes, if you replace rotors - which you should reconsider after reading the article - you do need to compress caliper somewhat, to allow extra clearance for added new rotor thickness.

you will need large C-clamp, Walmart item, $6; caliper grease; 2 basic sockets, one for caliper bolts and one for caliper bracket bolts. from what i reckon from our RX300, which is your Highlander, it's 12 and 15 heads. if I am wrong, pardon me, it's been a while.

that's basically it. maybe a dust mask.

should you decide to replace rotors instead of cleaning them as suggested in the article, go for slotted rotors. better braking power and less prone to overheating.

if you want your new rotors - or cleaned ones - to last long and well, do break in procedure right after you had them installed.

make sure that you lubricated all contact pads points and caliper guides. caliper has to move with very slight effort, back and for, from hand. if it does not - you need to find out why and correct, or it will eat out pads on one side and overheat rotor.

might have been a good idea to replace brake pads same time. you are there anyway.
 
  #6  
Old 05-08-11, 05:42 PM
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Awesome! Thanks. So, I can sand the rotor freely without the fear of "over-doing" it? I'm assuming the garnet paper will remove deposits but not harm the rotor iron itself. Would you recommend doing a minor machine turn too or just the garnet paper? I'm finding it difficult to believe that the runout on these rotors would be enough to warrant new ones but I don't know how to measure this at home.

I'm looking forward to doing this...and I'm going to be very careful breaking in the new pads.
 
  #7  
Old 05-10-11, 09:04 AM
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I have two more questions if anyone comes across these...

The brake pads I purchased are Wagner ThermoQuiet ceramic. The instructions say that "no compounds should be placed on the insulator area of the brake pads" because these are TermoQuiet brand.

But, for dics pads without shims, it recommends lubing the "disc pad plate".

Are the insulator area and the disc pad plate the same thing? Now I am confused as to whether I should lube the area that I'm calling the "back" of the pad.

Thanks!
 
  #8  
Old 05-10-11, 03:52 PM
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personally, i have turned multiple rotors. and i have to agree with the article author - it was waste of time and $$ every time. problem just kept coming back.

i can only say what will be my plan for the future, as as of right now, out of 3 cars we are driving, all 3 have no rotors problems.
but when i shall sense them, what i will do will be take them out and run orbital sander on them. reason being, guy says to use Blanchard grinding. orbital sanding will be very close to that grinding, as in Blanchard grinding, grinding stone runs in orbital circles. question will be to find proper sand paper that can be used on orbital sander.

lubricate back of the pad, then put anti squeal shim on, than lubricate that too, where shim will be touched by rotor caliper.

personally, I had ceramic pads on my wife's RX300, and had to take them off and replace with softer pads. A LOT of rubbing towards terminal braking. very annoying. she's running on semi organics now. almost no rub.
 
  #9  
Old 05-11-11, 07:15 AM
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Okay, thanks. I have the garnet paper so I'm just going to go to town on them.

I don't have any shims, but I'll lube the back of the pad with some silicone lube.
 
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