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Should I Replace/Turn Rotors When Installing New Pads?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by dustinuhls, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Mar 15, 2009 at 1:52 AM
    #1
    dustinuhls

    dustinuhls [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My truck has 65K mi on it and I checked the brake pads the other day and they are getting thin. I was wondering how necessary it is to either replace the rotors or have them turned when I change the pads? They look and feel fine. No ridges, grooves, or warping of any kind that can be seen or felt. I checked w/ O'Reilys and they charge $15 a piece to turn the rotors, or they sold new ones for about $30 a piece. I asked about slotted rotors (I woldn't mind doing an upgrade), but the guy told me that was a bad idea if I did any off-roading because mud and dirt would build up in the slots and mess up the pads/rotors.
    The price of having them turned or replaced isn't a big deal, it's just the extra work to remove the calipers and rotors. I'm sure they're probably seized on (the truck is 8yrs old) and could be a pain to remove. I have a big ass hammer but no access to a torch if they need to be heated to be taken off. I would hate to tear it apart in my back yard and have to have it towed somewhere b/c I couldn't get the rotors off or mess something up while trying to.
    I called MIDAS and they charge $225 for new pads and to turn the rotors!! I'm gonna do it myself either way. Wagner Thermo-Quiet Ceramic pads from O'reilys are $36/pair (are these good?) and another $30 if I have to turn the rotors.
    What do you think I shoud do? To turn or not to turn?
     
  2. Mar 15, 2009 at 2:10 AM
    #2
    drifter379

    drifter379 CenTex Honky

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    I am about due for brakes on my 06. Im not very mechanicaly inclined but I want to start doing my own work to save money.

    You only have 65K mi and your truck is 8yrs old? I am about to turn 65k on mine by next month.
     
  3. Mar 15, 2009 at 5:22 AM
    #3
    badguybuster

    badguybuster Well-Known Member

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    Hell, that is nothing. My 2006 has 73,000 on it. I am going to attempt to put brakes on it myself. I just like doing the work, although, I am not too mechanically inclined either.
     
  4. Mar 15, 2009 at 5:28 AM
    #4
    wildjerseyfirefighter

    wildjerseyfirefighter I sell fishing and fishing accessories

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    no, you dont have to have them turned. Take some light grit sandpaper and scuff the rotors up. You just want to get the glaze off of them.
     
  5. Mar 15, 2009 at 5:53 AM
    #5
    harshest

    harshest I am the Sofa King

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    I used to replace drums, shoes, rotors and pads on my previous trucks (both Dodges). It was still cheaper than having someone else do it.

    You guys need to pay attention is you are doing the drums yourself lots of different springs. They can be pretty tricky the first time and you need a couple of inexpensive special tools.
     
  6. Mar 15, 2009 at 7:30 AM
    #6
    dustinuhls

    dustinuhls [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yep, only 65K. Pretty sweet, huh?! I bought it about 4 years ago w/ 40K on it, and I haven't put too many miles on it yet. The best part is I only paid $16K for it as well! Sweet deal.
     
  7. Mar 16, 2009 at 5:35 AM
    #7
    thenrie

    thenrie Well-Known Member

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    If you are not experiencing any pulsing or vibration during braking, there is no reason to turn or replace your rotors or drums during a brake pad/shoe change. As a matter of fact, you really don't even need to "scuff" the rotors or drums, since the new brake pads/shoes will glaze them back up within a few miles anyway. Just be aware that for the first few miles after the brake job, your brakes will feel a bit different and you may need to allow a little extra stopping distance until the new pads/shoes wear into the old rotors/drums. It's not a big deal, though, as modern power brakes give you plenty of stopping power. Also be aware that you really don't want to be breathing all that brake dust while you are doing the job. Nasty stuff. Not good for you.
     
  8. Mar 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM
    #8
    Bing0

    Bing0 Member

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    This is absolutely not true. The single thing that contributes the most to pulsing in the brake pedal is a buildup of material on the rotor at the atomic level. Most of the time pads are replaced without thought to pad material in the sense that most of the time new pads are different with different pad material. This difference will cause problems during bed in if the rotors are not machined prior to installation. If you can get the old glaze off with sand paper, then so be it.

    Bing0
     
  9. Mar 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM
    #9
    ubermx5

    ubermx5 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure who told you it was good idea to not Turn rotors. This idea has gotten out and it is bad advice... Does it work for some sure..

    I am sorry to say but these truck and most other cars should have the rotor turner or replaced.

    I was trained by 3 differant companies and asked many question about this.
    BingO hit it on the head. things are not what you think they are.
    No rotor is perefect after it is used.

    So you need to clean the surface off by removing a layer or more of metal. To expose a new surface. But this can only be done 1 or 2 times. then you will need new rotors.

    A rotor can only take so many heat cycles before it starts to have issues.

    Sand paper can work, but it not as good as a resurface. A disc gringer with a sand paper disc works better then a hand sand.
    if you use a gringer with sand paper that is like a resurface.....

    Just remember the engineers you build this expect a resurface, so if your braking is weaker becuase you picked a cheaper way, do not blame your truck..
     
  10. Mar 16, 2009 at 11:52 AM
    #10
    nicklauso12

    nicklauso12 Member

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    my experience with my taco is that you cannot use expensive brake pads on the stock rotors. i did and i messed up my rotors. i got them replaced and use the cheapest brakes i could fine and now i have no problems..
     
  11. Jan 19, 2010 at 7:18 PM
    #11
    carmellocafe

    carmellocafe Begin With The End In Mind.

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    I'm ASE certified in brakes and it is a well known industry standard to have the rotors resurfaced in a lathe at every pad replacement. As ubermx5 said, new pads need to mate with a new rotor surface. Turning the rotors in a lathe when new pads are introduced is necessary for the prevention of premature wear and any damage to the surface of the rotor (scoring & hot spots). It is a good idea to take your rotors in and have them turned when you change pads. Make sure they are mic'd before they are turned though to determine if they can be machined and still be within specification (thickness). :)
     
  12. Jan 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM
    #12
    thenrie

    thenrie Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Yeah. Just remember that ASE certification is for those who work for the automotive service industry and get paid to have you turn or replace your rotors and brakes.

    The truth is that if you are not having other issues, such as pulsing, it is not unsafe not to turn your rotors, nor is it unsafe not to turn your drums. Grooves in your rotors and drums simply provide more surface for your pads/shoes to contact, thereby improving your braking, once the new pads/shoes conform to the surface. The issue about premature wear of your pads/shoes is true, but to such a small degree that it is really a non-issue, particularly if you are a do-it-yourselfer and buy lifetime guaranteed pads/shoes. The heat issue, regarding heat cycles is also true in that overheating may cause checking (hot spots) of the surface metal...which causes pulsing...so if your brakes are pulsing, have them turned or replaced. Having your rotors/drums turned every time you replace your brake pads/shoes only guarantees you will be replacing your rotors about every third time you get your brakes changed. It is true you should have your rotors/drums miked occasionally to ensure they are not worn/turned past the minimum thickness specified by the manufacturer, but wear just from pads/shoes won't get you to that point before you have other issues...such as pulsing.

    So, if your brakes are pulsing, have them turned. If you find a deep groove or gouge (maybe a piece of grit got stuck in there) or something like that, have them turned or replaced. If you one turned or replaced, do the other side as well, you don't want a new rotor/drum on one side and an old one on the other. If you turn the fronts, you don't necessarily have to do the rears, but if you do one front or one rear, do the other as well. Keep them paired.

    Having said that, some shops will turn brakes for as little as $5/rotor, if you take it to them already off the car. Shops like Midas, etc. will charge you as much as $30 or more, even though they are already charging you to change your brakes. In most modern cars new rotors are not much more than that.

    I'm sorry guys, but the issues you present are intended to make sales and keep idiots from having any legal recourse in case of a malfunction. It's the same reason I can't get Merchant's Tires or Discount Tire, et al, to mount 33X10.50 tires on my Taco. Nothing unsafe about it.

    If this advice bothers you, then don't mind it. Get them turned. Doesn't make it false. I just hate waste. Wasted time, wasted parts, wasted money.
     
  13. Jan 20, 2010 at 6:46 PM
    #13
    humtaco

    humtaco Well-Known Member

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    I worked as a professional mechanic in one of my earlier careers and have continued to work on my on vehicles ever since, nearing 4 decades of turning wrenches on various vehicles.

    I absolutely agree with every thing Tony (thenrie) stated above and want to add the thicker your rotors and drums are the better for dissipating the heat. Don't have metal shaved off unnecessarily.
     
  14. Jan 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM
    #14
    thenrie

    thenrie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Humtaco. Can't say I've been doing it for 40 years, but I'm at 35 and still going. Remember when seat belts were an option you had to pay for and gas was at a quarter a gallon?:)
     
  15. Jan 21, 2010 at 2:14 PM
    #15
    FuTang909Inamo

    FuTang909Inamo Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it better to cut the rotors with an on-car lathe anyways? I had my rotors cut when I did my brakes and right after it pulsed. I checked and it had a runout of .005". I resurfaced it again myself at school this time and made sure runout was none to minimal afterwards, and no pulsation. Also to the OP adjust your rear brakes when you do your fronts. Your brakes will feel a lot better. After reading the threads above it made me think, should I have cut the rotors in the first place?
     
  16. Apr 17, 2010 at 7:35 PM
    #16
    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    Instead of starting a new thread I'm reviving this one. I'm going to be buying new front pads and rear shoes, and want to know if I should go ahead and get new rotors as well. I replaced the rotors and front pads back in aug 06 and haven't changed anything in the rear since I bought the truck 5 years ago. How long does the average front rotor last before needing to be replaced?
     
  17. Apr 17, 2010 at 7:41 PM
    #17
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    anytime i replace brake pads...i ALWAYS turn the rotors unless im installing new ones. you have to break pads/rotors in and cant do that too well on a non fresh rotor surface.
     
  18. Apr 17, 2010 at 7:41 PM
    #18
    h_curtis

    h_curtis Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I am surprised about the responses. These days you pretty much replace the rotors every time you replace the pads. You can get good aftermarket rotors at a pretty good price and if you know a mechanic they get amazing prices on that kind of thing. Sure you might be able to turn a set of rotors, but it really isn't done much at reputable places these days. If you are on a super tight budget, I guess you look at doing that. I know I wouldn't do that anymore though, but I am not on a super tight budget. New pads and rotors form a wear pattern of there own and it sure is nice if they are both new at the same time. Why have thin rotors?
     
  19. Apr 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM
    #19
    justin14200

    justin14200 frequent reader

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    im ase certified in brakes, steering and suspension, engine performance, and electrical. im paid by the hour at my shop. its always a good idea to turn or replace the rotors. if you dont turn the rotors it could lead to warpage in the rotors, heat spots, squeeling, or grinding. spend the extra $30 just for the piece of mind... if you dont, you may have to do another brake job in 6 months that will cost you 3x as much...
     
  20. Apr 17, 2010 at 7:49 PM
    #20
    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    OK, so pretty much accepted to replace the rotors. What about the rear drums? Same thing?
     
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