Brand New Rotors, Warped Already!

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  #1  
Old 12-10-14, 06:34 AM
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Brand New Rotors, Warped Already!

I just put new calipers (Beck/Arnley), rotors (Toyota OEM), and pads (Hawk LTS) on my '04 Tundra and the rotors are already warped after only a week of driving. I'm so frustrated because I don't understand how this is even possible. I intentionally went with OEM this time (more expensive) because the Brembo rotors I put on (only two years ago) were badly warped and I thought OEM would be better. Adding to the frustration is the oscillations caused by the rotors when braking cause the front end to hop at 45 mph and 25 mph, which I am attributing to the aftermarket shocks I put on last year (Bilstein 5100 adjustable ride height). I followed the break-in procedure for the pads (6 to 10 moderate stops from 30-35 mph followed by 2 to 3 hard stops from 40-45 mph) and everything seemed fine for the first couple days, but I slowly started to feel the vibrations come back and they are progressively getting worse. I'm at my wits end and am looking for advice as to how this could be happening and what needs to be done to fix it once and for all (and not by resurfacing the rotors). BTW, I torqued the lug nuts in a start pattern to 95 ft-lbs and I have aftermarket wheels. I've been having issues ever since I raised the truck 2" and got new wheels. I'm seriously considering going back to the stock setup or just selling the truck.
 

Last edited by mossman; 12-10-14 at 06:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-14, 06:54 AM
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Loosen lug nuts, re-tighten in proper sequence to listed torque specs.

(Alternate lugs as you tighten. Don't just go around bolt pattern.)

I have found warped hubs on some vehicles from over torqueing lugs. Check hub run-out with dial indicator. Should be less than 0.005". Anything more will translate to a "big" run-out at tire tread causing shimmy, shakes, and increased tire wear.

Hope this helps and isn't TMI.

RR
 
  #3  
Old 12-10-14, 07:26 AM
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Trust me, I am very anal when it comes to torquing my wheels properly. I always do a start pattern and use a torque wrench, so I don't believe that is my issue. I think maybe the style of wheel isn't compatible. It uses ET lugs and perhaps they just don't clamp the rotor tight enough. I believe the torque spec for the lugs when mounting an alloy wheel is 97 ft-lbs (used to be 85 ft-lbs, but Toyota issued a TSB) and steel wheels is 154 ft-lbs. I torqued mine to 95 ft-lbs so they aren't over-torqued. Could under-torquing them cause rotor issues as well? Found this informative article: http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/a...etails?id=1787
 
  #4  
Old 12-10-14, 08:34 AM
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You mean a STAR pattern and not a START pattern. Do you know what a STAR pattern is?
 
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Old 12-10-14, 08:47 AM
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Yes, I meant a "star" pattern. That was a typo. Of course I know what a star pattern is Perhaps there is excessive runout on one or both of the hubs and this is causing the rotors to rub the pads unevenly? Now that I think of it, if I free spin the wheels by hand, I can hear a scrape-scrape-scrape noise every revolution, which means something is untrue. Perhaps I should have them milled using an on-vehicle lathe.

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Last edited by mossman; 12-10-14 at 09:59 AM.
  #6  
Old 12-10-14, 11:23 AM
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Be sure there is no rust or foreign matter between the rotor and hub and the wheel interface. Even if everything is machined properly you will induce runout to the rotor and you will end up with thickness variation in the rotor and that is what you feel as a brake pulse. On car rotor machining does compensate for any runout in components with the exception of the mating surface of the wheel. That noise you hear when rotating the wheel may be a valuable clue. Take the wheels off and reinstall the wheel nuts and then see if you hear the noise. If the noise is gone you may have a wheel problem.
 
  #7  
Old 12-10-14, 11:34 AM
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The noise is there without the wheel. I remember hearing the same sound when installing the last set of rotors two years ago. Must be hub runout then (all surfaces are clean).
 
  #8  
Old 12-10-14, 02:54 PM
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Certain Tundras are well known for warping their rotors in unacceptably low miles. This was said to be due to badly undersized brakes (at least up until the 2013 models). Toyota addressed this problem on the assembly line by installing much larger brakes (no recall was issued for existing trks tho).

Btw, I was once a huge fan of Toyota. But not anymore. IMO, their vehicles are no longer as well made as they were prior to the year 2005 or so. This, and my horrible experiences with their rude and unprofessional dealership employees, have made me a lifelong non-customer.
 
  #9  
Old 12-10-14, 03:51 PM
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Assuming your truck has rear drums, are you sure they're adjusted properly, and the adjusters are working? If they're not grabbing, your front discs are doing all the stopping, which will heat up the rotors really fast.
 
  #10  
Old 12-10-14, 04:49 PM
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I did a complete rear brake job this past summer--cylinders, shoes, drums, and small hardware--and adjusted the shoes so that they dragged slightly when spinning the tire. In other words, I adjusted them until the wheels would spin maybe a half turn. The parking brake holds as well, but definitely won't stop the truck while coastin. When adjusting the parking brake, I had to take quite a bit of slack out of the cable which I found to be odd considering I had just installed new shoes and drums. After driving a few miles the other day, I could smell the front brakes when I got out. I figured it was normal since the pads are brand new, but maybe you're right about the rear brake adjusters not working. Also, I should have mentioned that I put a thin coat of copper anti-seize on the front hubs before installing the new rotors to prevent corrosion. Was this a bad idea?
 
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Old 12-10-14, 04:54 PM
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The anti-seize shouldn't be causing any problem. Check that the rear shoes are still adjusted properly. If the self-adjuster isn't working properly they may not be grabbing as well as they should.
 
  #12  
Old 12-10-14, 05:00 PM
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I cleaned the adjusters really well and lubed them with caliper grease, but I do recall them being abnormally difficult to spin when adjusting them through the access hole. There isn't much to them is there, such that they woukd fail over time? Anything else I should check on the rear? BTW, I have the larger 13WL calipers on the front.
 
  #13  
Old 12-10-14, 05:13 PM
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If they're like every other adjuster I've ever worked on... they're a pretty simply device, but they do need to turn easily. You also need to make sure the tabs that push them line up properly and engage with the teeth.

You can test your rear brake adjustments by jacking up the back end, and just pushing down the e-brake a couple clicks... that should be enough to create a noticeable drag on the wheels.
 
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Old 12-10-14, 05:32 PM
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Definitely not. The pedal has to be at full travel to hold the truck and if you leave it on whike driving, it isn't noticeable. I adjusted everything according to the service manual, so I dont understand what the issue is. The only thing I can think of is maybe the parking brake cable is stretching. For instance, the bell crank brackets are supposed to nearly rest against the backing plate when the parking brake pedal is disengaged. However, if I do this, the brake does not engage enough to stop the wheels. I have to take nearly all the slack out of the cable to get it to engage, which results in the bell crank brackets being about 1/2" off the backing plate. Doesnt seem right at all and the only thing I can think of that would cause that is a stretching cable.
 
  #15  
Old 12-10-14, 05:41 PM
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Could also be that the shoes aren't being automatically adjusted so they're just not sitting anywhere near the drums.

Try taking a little drive with the e-brake pedal about halfway down, then get up to speed a bit and hit the brakes, see if the shaking isn't as bad as normal... that would indicate the shoes aren't normally grabbing when they should.
 
  #16  
Old 12-10-14, 05:57 PM
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I bet they aren't grabbing. I'll try that tomorrow on the way to work. I should also mention that the truck is lifted 2" and I raised the brake proportioning valve accordingly. However, I think something else is going on (i.e. the parking brake). I know the cable isnt seized because I can pull on it by hand and the bellcranks move, but that doesnt mean the cable isnt stretching when the wheels are on the ground and holding the weight of the truck. I suppose the transfer cables inside the drum could be stretching. Guess I could replace the cables to rule them out. Everything else is practically brand new.
 
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Old 12-10-14, 06:40 PM
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I just did my brakes on my '04 Tundra. I was surprised when I went to the dealer to purchase rotors and pads and they said they weren't sure of which pads I needed. I guess the pad design was changed mid-year? Never heard that before.
 
  #18  
Old 12-10-14, 09:55 PM
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I don't think you'll find an issue with the cables - all your problems can be related back to the shoes being out of adjustment. The adjuster sets the starting point for the shoes in relation to the drums. The e-brake cable moves them out from that point. If there's too much space between the shoes and drum, neither the e-brake cable nor the brake cylinders will be able to push the shoes out far enough to make proper contact.

If YOU found the adjusters difficult to turn, then the mechanism probably wasn't able to move them either. You shouldn't use grease on the threads; if anything, a dry graphite lube is probably best. Grease is thick and will hamper easy movement, and will collect dirt as well.
 
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Old 12-11-14, 05:04 AM
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The first thing I did after installing the new shoes, etc was adjust the star adjusters until the shoes just started to drag. This was done with the wheels on and vehicle raised (obviously). Next I adjusted the parking brake so there was no slack in the cable and the wheels locked up with the brake about halfway engaged (locked up meaning I couldnt turn the wheels by hand). Went for a test drive and the parking brake would hold the truck on a 30-degree incline/decline as it should. The days and weeks following, the brake was less and less effective and is now to the point where it wont hold. The reason I mentioned the cables is because the parking brake would not lock the wheels (vehicle raised) unless I adjusted the bellcranks to their max setting and tightened the parking so much that ghe bellcranks were about a half inch off the backing plate when they should've been nearly touching (a few millimeters spacing according to the manual). That alone suggests there is slack inside the drum, which would mean either the short transfer cable is stretching (not likely) or the shoes aren't adjusted properly. However the shoes were seemingly adjusted properly because they were dragging enough where I could only spin the wheel about a half turn. I'm gonna take another look this weekend. I'm pretty sure I didn't lube the threads on the adjusters, but that doesnt explain the issue with the parking brake during initial adjustment.
 
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Old 12-11-14, 06:13 AM
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I engaged the parking brake while driving to work this morning, and it was nearly to the floor before I noticed any dragging and it barely slowed the vehicle down when fully engaged. Also, there was pulsation when engaging it. Sounds like the shoes are not adjusted properly. And I'm assuming the pulsation is due to the shoes not making full contact with the drum--only the top edges--thereby causing the shoes to shift back and forth. My theory anyway. First thing I'm going to do is grease up the star adjusters real well.
 
  #21  
Old 12-11-14, 07:05 AM
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I'd start by FULLY cleaning the grease off the adjusters - they should turn smoothly without it.
 
  #22  
Old 12-11-14, 07:32 AM
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I cleaned them really well when I did the brake job, then lubed them with caliper grease. However, I don't believe I lubed the threads, which could be my problem. I'll clean them again and apply copper anti-seize this time.
 
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Old 12-11-14, 07:42 AM
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Here's the exploded view of my rear brake drums. There's a note that says to apply high temp grease to several locations on the adjuster, which I did not do. I simply lathered some brake caliper grease onto the non-threaded end. That could very well be my problem.

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  #24  
Old 12-12-14, 06:45 AM
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Think I may give these a try (Raybestos brake rotor shims):

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Old 12-12-14, 08:11 AM
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I engaged the parking brake while driving to work this morning, and it was nearly to the floor before I noticed any dragging and it barely slowed the vehicle down when fully engaged
Are you certain you reinstalled the adjusters in the right direction? Many years ago I saw this same problem on a Chevy truck and the adjusters were backwards which was loosening the brake when the self adjusting mechanism operated. It took a couple weeks for the brakes to loosen as much as you are describing.
 
  #26  
Old 12-12-14, 08:12 AM
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Regarding the rear brakes/shoes, since the shoes are self-adjusting (by applying the parking brake), I shouldn't have to adjust the star wheel at all. Considering I had to adjust them manually through the access slot when installing the new brakes means something isn't working properly. I'm going to take everything back apart and lube the adjusters real well. I'll also be sure the parking brake is self-adjusting the shoes like it should. It definitely wasn't before and is likely the reason things have been getting progressively worse.
 
  #27  
Old 12-12-14, 08:25 AM
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Are you certain you reinstalled the adjusters in the right direction? Many years ago I saw this same problem on a Chevy truck and the adjusters were backwards which was loosening the brake when the self adjusting mechanism operated. It took a couple weeks for the brakes to loosen as much as you are describing.
Yes, I'm sure. The tab on the adjuster lever engages the star wheel. If the adjuster were backwards, it would not engage it. Again, I am able to adjust the shoes manually using the star wheel, but the parking brake will not adjust it.
 
  #28  
Old 12-12-14, 08:38 AM
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Applying the parking brake does nothing to aid in the adjustment of the rear brakes. I also think you may have done the job incorrectly or at least did not adjust the brakes correctly, warping of rotors is caused from too much heat build up which could be an indicator of improperly adjusted rear brakes allowing the front pads to exceed more than the usual 85% (+/-) of normal braking. FWIW, I have never torqued lug nuts, impact driver works just fine.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 09:02 AM
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I've never lubed my adjusters. At least, not since the first time I did and they stopped working because the grease was too thick.

The adjusters need to turn EASILY for reliable operation. If you must lube them, use a thin grease, silicone or PTFE (Teflon) spray, or a dry lube (ie graphite). These days I just use a very thin coat of anti-seize.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 10:53 AM
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Applying the parking brake does nothing to aid in the adjustment of the rear brakes.
This is not correct. Everytime the parking brake is applied, it adjusts or attempts to adjust the star wheel to bring the shoes closer to the drum. Notice the "Automatic Adjusting Lever" in the diagram above, which is connected to the "Parking Brake Lever", which connects to the parking brake cable. Everytime the cable is pulled, the parking brake lever moves, which moves the adjusting lever, which advances the star adjuster if/when the shoes have worn enough such that the adjusting lever can advance to the next notch in the star wheel thus causing it to rotate.

Warping of rotors is caused from too much heat build up
I respectfully disagree with that theory. Rotors do not warp like a potato chip, they wear unevenly because of improper installation (e.g. not compensating for runout) or because they were not machined properly. A perfectly true, perfectly installed rotor will wear evenly and will not cause pulsation.

The adjusters need to turn EASILY for reliable operation. If you must lube them, use a thin grease, silicone or PTFE (Teflon) spray, or a dry lube (ie graphite). These days I just use a very thin coat of anti-seize.
I have an abundance of high-temp copper anti-seize, so that's what I'll use.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 11:13 AM
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Everytime the parking brake is applied, it adjusts or attempts to adjust the star wheel to bring the shoes closer to the drum.
That's interesting, I didn't know that and proves that things have changed over the years. The self adjusting rear brakes I remember from years ago were actuated when braking while in "reverse". Things must have changed or Toyota just might do some things differently. I haven't had to deal with rear drum brakes in a long time.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 04:46 PM
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Applying the parking brake does nothing to aid in the adjustment of the rear brakes. This is not correct. Everytime the parking brake is applied, it adjusts or attempts to adjust the star wheel to bring the shoes closer to the drum. Notice the "Automatic Adjusting Lever" in the diagram above, which is connected to the "Parking Brake Lever", which connects to the parking brake cable. Everytime the cable is pulled, the parking brake lever moves, which moves the adjusting lever, which advances the star adjuster if/when the shoes have worn enough such that the adjusting lever can advance to the next notch in the star wheel thus causing it to rotate.

Warping of rotors is caused from too much heat build up


I respectfully disagree with that theory. Rotors do not warp like a potato chip, they wear unevenly because of improper installation (e.g. not compensating for runout) or because they were not machined properly. A perfectly true, perfectly installed rotor will wear evenly and will not cause pulsation.
Well then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
 
  #33  
Old 12-12-14, 05:05 PM
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Rotors CAN warp from heat, but it takes a LOT of heat to do it. I've seen stock cars racing at night with their brake rotors glowing red diving into a corner, and they don't warp. Granted, they're higher-grade rotors than on your truck...

Note that the shaking in your steering can be caused simply by the front brakes having to do all the work, and will likely just go away once the rear brakes are adjusted properly.
 
  #34  
Old 12-14-14, 06:40 PM
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Well yes, that is a little different. In that case I can imagine a rotor actually warping.

I was hauling my dirt bike around today and the brakes felt noticeably better, so I have a feeling that everything will be fine once I get the rear brakes squared away. I'm wondering if I should raise the proportioning arm a bit higher as well, which will engage the rear brakes more.
 
  #35  
Old 12-26-14, 04:44 AM
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I too always thought backing up and then hitting the braked caused the self-adjusters to work ?

I do not know about heat warping brakes , but , at least on older vehicles , it can cause hard spots in the metal . This can cause uneven wear and thus cause problems .

I had much rather work on disk brakes than drum brakes .

God bless
Wyr
 
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