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Re Surfacing rotors

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by PhoenixTaco, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Mar 26, 2013 at 8:30 PM
    #1
    PhoenixTaco

    PhoenixTaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am about to change my break pads and I was wondering if re surfacing my rotor would be a good thing to do? What does re surfacing your rotors actually do for you?
     
  2. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM
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    iJDub

    iJDub Well-Known Member

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    I only resurface/cut rotors when they are warped. Otherwise just rough them up a bit.
     
  3. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:13 PM
    #3
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I get my rotors resurfaced EVERY time I change my brake pads.

    Over the years and mileage...your brake pads wear. Your rotors will also wear slightly. Together - the pads & rotor will have the same wear patterns in them. Sometimes there's only slight wear... other times, you feel ridges on the rotors if you run your fingers across them.

    By resurfacing the rotors....they simply cut/machine the rotors down until you have a completely clean/flat smooth surface again. This ensures the new brake pads have full contact with the rotor - because its like starting with fresh new rotors.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:19 PM
    #4
    taco084gb

    taco084gb No matter where you go there you are.

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    A lot of places can do this for around $30 to $40 bucks. I looked at Napa auto parts and they wanted $30 here in Norcal. I just end up having a friend of mine who is a machinist do mine for free. Ive heard from some people just to ruff them up with some sand paper. But you dont know for sure if they are warped until you put them on a lathe and run dial indicator on them. If they are warped you will notice after you install the new pads , your brake pedal will surge as you apply pressure.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:23 PM
    #5
    Boone

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    Actually "warped" rotors are a money making misconception. Most often the feeling of warped rotors is actually friction pad material transferred unevenly to the surface of the disc. I will agree that resurfacing of the rotors will temporarily relieve the warped sensation, it will not cure the condition in the long run. OEM or better rotors and pads will help this condition, as well as proper bedding.
     
  6. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:31 PM
    #6
    PhoenixTaco

    PhoenixTaco [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So you recommend getting them resurfaced then?
     
  7. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:37 PM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    If you're asking me....YES.
    Every time I change pads, I have the rotors resurfaced. New pads, new surface.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:39 PM
    #8
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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  9. Mar 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM
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    Boone

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    Resurfacing is a good option if you dont want to spend a significant amount of money on an upgrade. Chances are, it will brake fine for a long time. Aggressive braking or heavy towing will take it's toll on your resurfaced rotors as micro-deposits from your pads will embed in the rotors as they do in stock form, replicating the warped sensation . In short, yes resurfacing is a good practice for every brake job, as is a bed in process.
     
  10. Mar 26, 2013 at 11:07 PM
    #10
    TacoDell

    TacoDell Truck ~n~ Tow

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    I ran thru 3 pair of pads using my factory original rotors...
    Was on the 4th pair of pads when I swapped them out.
    Never had the rotors turned. evar
    Always used factory original toyota pads.
    Never ran the pads beyond 75% wear.

    Never failed to stop the vehicle...
    and degradation was minimal if even noticed.

    Pads that are worn more then 75%
    offer less lubrication, as they tend to dry out past the 75% mark
    Toyota factory pads are relatively soft.
    Metallic pads and the like are fubar and hard on rotors.
    ^ so I avoid those and semi-metallic pads.

    pads that have lost their lubricity eat rotors faster
    and that's just a fact.

    I swapped out to Brembo blanks and Akebono ceramic pads
    only because muh buddy was moving up to tundy calipers.
    So he gave me his blanks and ceramic pads. (still working)

    I still have muh original rotors...
    If I were to put them back on at this point...
    I'd likely have them turned... if they mic with enough material left.

    Fact is... Toyota rotors are compromised after turning them.
    There's barely any extra material thickness to began with.
    When you have them turned... most places will turn them to a spec.
    That spec usually cuts the rotors down to their min. limit...
    And makes for possible warping... much easier.

    Toyota rotors can be turned...
    but you would likely only get one machining from them.

    I personally will run pads thru the way I do...
    then just buy a new rotor before having them machined.
    It's not like new rotors cost a fortune.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  11. Apr 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM
    #11
    bubba353z

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    I use Brembo blanks every time I replace brakes - they are top quality and it saves the time/trouble of taking the old ones to the machine shop.
     
  12. Apr 2, 2013 at 10:04 AM
    #12
    speedjunkie13

    speedjunkie13 Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree slightly. Rotors most definitely warp and anybody who has machined some can tell you that. you can see it when you fist start and the cutting bit will only touch half of the rotor until you do another pass or two. What you describe can also occur (mostly on clutches in my opinion) but warped rotors are not a money making misconception.

    To the OP, if you didn't have any pulsation then just clean up the rotors with some 150-200 grit emory cloth and put the new pads on and bed them in, they will conform to the new rotors just fine. The problem with machining them every time is that you are taking away metal and making them more susceptible to warping from high heat in the future.
     
  13. Apr 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    #13
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    X2

    They can warp slightly and they can warp badly depending on the situation. Sometimes 'turning' them can correct a very slight warp (depending on the thickness of the rotor itself). A Machinist who 'turns' rotors will be able to tell you if they're warped and you need new ones.

    Warping can be caused by a variety of things...I've known someone who got warped rotors from over-torquing his lug nuts. The Rotors on my jeep warped (badly) due to bad wheel bearings.
     
  14. Apr 2, 2013 at 3:08 PM
    #14
    Boone

    Boone Vaginas are rad.

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    I should have been more clear with my statement about money making.It's easier to tell people they have warped rotors because that is terminology that is commonly understood. Yes, rotors can warp. Almost any type of metal subjected to high heat (as well as many other things), can warp. Micro deposits are a much more commonly dealt with problem than warped rotors. But try explaining to someone that their steering wheel shimmies back and forth when they brake because of the microscopic pieces of friction pad material that are unevenly embedded in their rotors. They more often than not cannot see any other way to explain the shimmy but the rotors being warped. It's just easier for techs to say yup, your rotors are warped.
     
  15. May 1, 2013 at 10:50 PM
    #15
    koco

    koco Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend having the rotors resurfaced except for 2 things.

    Most places seem to charge $40 to perform the resurfacing, but you can get a brand new set of good rotors for $50 if you know where to shop.

    After paying the $40 or so to have rotors resurfaced, most of the technicians that did the machine work did a horrible job, and just argued with me when I pointed out the grooves they left on the surfaces.

    It's less risky and less hassle just to replace the rotors.
     
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