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Old 10-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I've never heard of 268,000 miles on a set of brakes. Even with a high % of highway, and downshifting, that's a lot.

So why get them replaced at 60%/70% worn? Even with a 10% buffer, an added 20% wear would get you another 53,000 miles. Your 3,000 mile trip is nothing.

-ERD50
I'd like to know what your secret is - I was never, ever able to get more than 40K miles out of a pair of front brake pads on my Suburban. They were notorious for quickly going thru front pads.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by EllisWyatt View Post
Getting ready to take the 2001 Suburban on a 3,000 mi round trip, so took it to the shop and asked out trusted mechanic to make sure it's road worthy.

He recommended replacing the brakes as they are showing wear - 60% on the front, 70% on the back. This will be the first brake job the vehicle has had - I know, 'cuz we 've owned it since it was new.

The vehicle just passed 268,000 miles.

Told him to replace with factory originals, as we're trying to reach 500,000 miles.

So my input on how to save money is get a good vehicle, drive gently, and be VERY lucky
That's a record for brakes! are you sure that's not kilometers?

You may not get as much mileage out of the next set of brakes. Why? Well, all other parts of the car are now worn, such as shocks/struts/chassis bushings, etc. The dynamics of stopping a car have changed...more of the energy will go into the pads than did previously.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:45 PM   #303
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Here's a question for you. I live in New England and the road crews typically apply salt to the roads. Some people have their undercarriages coated with oil to prevent rust. I have never done this and it has never been a problem, however I recently moved and am now on a dirt road and noticed that my truck is starting to exhibit signs of undercarriage rust. I'm considering having my car (2008 Subaru) undercoated. What do you think? Good idea or waste of money (costs ~$50-70 once a year or every other year)
That's not my area of expertise, but I'd say if the rust has already started, it's too late...I'd do it on the next car you get before it starts.

That's odd that they use salt. Usually in those colder climates they use pot ash instead.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:49 PM   #304
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18. Brakes – this one is upon request lol. I actually have several upcoming posts, all about brakes...stay tuned.
a. Rotors can be turned only to a “minimum thickness”, and typically they have enough material for only one turning. I’m ok with either option…replacing or turning…turning costs about $25 each, new rotors can be $30-$100 each depending on size. The bummer is if the tech starts turning, then after getting halfway through decides there is not enough material…some of them will then charge you and then not be able to finish the job…recommend discussing this before you drop off the parts to see what their policy is.
b. When you say telling a good rotor from a bad one, do you mean telling whether a new rotor is defective? Or do you mean whether it’s made by a high quality vendor? If the latter, buy from name brands like Bendix, Raybestos, or buy OEM. I’m not going to list others because there are many for which I don’t know the quality, but the ones above are definitely high quality. They often will come with an oily coating on them…use “brake cleaner” to clean this off…just spray and let it drip off….it’s only to prevent rusting during shipping/storage.
c. Ceramic pads have higher heat tolerance and less fade, but at the expense of rougher pedal feel and sometimes will wear rotors faster. You make the call. I use regular except on my high performance cars…and on those I use HAWK pads.
d. Caliper slides…this one is difficult to answer because each car manufacturer is different. If the car has two large pins that you can remove…they typically slide through o-rings mounted in the calipers…so simply clean them with some fine sandpaper and apply a non-petroleum-based lube (often the rubber is made to handle petroleum products on new cars, so you can use nearly any grease…but some greases will harden under the extreme conditions such as water, heat/cold, etc.) such as lithium…it won’t take very much to make it work. On other cars they use “wedges”…on these, again, clean the rust off, and lube only the areas that need to slide…just a film is all that’s needed…if you put too much grease it will get on the rotor…a drop the size of a pencil should do both calipers. I can’t even find good pics of the o-rings installed because they are hard to see and rarely need replaced (see the below thread for a pic, but not a good one). I think I’ve only replaced about 5 sets in my life. Here is a link with photos of a caliper rebuild, this guy seems to do a good job. One point to make…note in some photos you can see the caliper “bore”…and it is rough and rusty in some areas. Yes you should clean it, but don’t spend too much time here…nothing touches the inside bore of the caliper. The piston surface is much more critical…as it slides in the square-cut o-ring, it never touches the bore. http://www.nastyz28.com/forum/showthread.php?t=179858 . When removing the old piston with air pressure, be very careful…as the piston may come flying out. I always put a block of wood in that leaves only about 1” of room…that way the piston cannot get all the way out. When the piston “pops” out, it will sound like a firecracker went off…wear safety glasses, gloves, keep hands away, drape large rags over the caliper and use the wood block…BE CAREFUL.
e. On drum brakes, you better be confident before starting…they are a real rubik’s cube of springs, wires, and pins). And be sure to lube slightly the backing plate pads. They are the 6 raised lugs (3 on front, 3 on rear …you can only really see 3 in the pic below)…just sand lightly and apply a thin film of grease.
f. Interpreting pad wear is pretty easy…they typically start out about ¼” thick. If they are the thickness of a nickel..start planning for replacement. Be sure to check both inner and outer pads, they don’t always wear the same. In the old days they had bonded and riveted pads…but today bonded are the rule…so you can see the pad life remaining. With the riveted ones, you must remove the pad to see actual wear, as the rivets stick out further than the metal mounting block.
g. Changing brake fluid…I’ll let you simply Google this…but there are about 3-4 different ways. I prefer gravity method. Here is a decent article…although I think every 2 years is overkill…maybe every 5 is good. http://www.ehow.com/how_2111457_change-cars-brake-fluid.html A few watchouts:
i. Don’t get brake fluid on paint, it will eat it. If you do, wipe it immediately and flush it with water, then wash the area with soapy water and reapply wax.
ii. When they talk about brake fluid being hydrophilic, they mean it. Don’t store brake fluid in an unsealed container more than about 2 weeks…buy brand new bottles each time you do this.
iii. Don’t bottom out the pedal when bleeding. He mentions using a wood block, that’s one method….I just push down about halfway each time. Why is this important? Well, it’s difficult to describe, but let’s say you would be pushing the master cylinder seal into an area of the bore it’s not used to going, which often contains rust, and you may tear the seal. It was amazing when I was a mechanic how often people would say “I changed my fluid, and now my brakes don’t work”…and this was usually why.
iv. You must get all air out of the system when bleeding….this is a bit of an art and takes some patience. A complete description of how to do this is beyond the scope of this post.
Did I miss any areas you asked about? LOL

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #305
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Thanks for your patience, Dave. I appreciate you sharing all your knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finance Dave View Post
b. When you say telling a good rotor from a bad one, do you mean telling whether a new rotor is defective? Or do you mean whether it’s made by a high quality vendor? If the latter, buy from name brands like Bendix, Raybestos, or buy OEM. I’m not going to list others because there are many for which I don’t know the quality, but the ones above are definitely high quality.

I meant for a new rotor, what characteristics demonstrate quality? When I look at Rock Auto, for example, they have parts from 1X to 3X dollars for the same application. What is the difference between the cheap stuff and the good stuff? For a Ford, is Motorcraft same as OEM, or a cheaper substitute? When you take your car in for a brake job how do you know what parts they will install? Do the cut rate places typically install Chinese parts? Should you negotiate the parts brand in advance?
Quote:
c. Ceramic pads have higher heat tolerance and less fade, but at the expense of rougher pedal feel and sometimes will wear rotors faster. You make the call.
. What comes as original equipment? How would you know?
Quote:
Caliper slides…
Would making sure the pins slide freely and lubricating the pins be part of a standard brake job?
Quote:
Interpreting pad wear is pretty easy…they typically start out about ¼” thick. If they are the thickness of a nickel..start planning for replacement. Be sure to check both inner and outer pads, they don’t always wear the same.
How much difference in wear is normal? Would a lot more wear on one side indicate a problem of sticking calipers?
Quote:
Changing brake fluid…
How often should brake fluid be changed? Is this part of a standard brake job?
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Did I miss any areas you asked about? LOL
Great job, Dave.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:49 PM   #306
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That's not my area of expertise, but I'd say if the rust has already started, it's too late...I'd do it on the next car you get before it starts.

That's odd that they use salt. Usually in those colder climates they use pot ash instead.
It has started on the truck but not on the car. I've never heard of using pot ash, but they do commonly use sand to help provide traction (which I suspect is similar to pot ash). They use salt (or actually brine these days as it spreads better) to melt ice and snow on the roads and it is the salt that can be highly corrosive to undercarriages.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:06 PM   #307
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Someone told me that using "better" gas with less ethynol (Shell, BP, Citgo) would improve gas mileage. I would love to hear some opinions........

Ethynol is garbage, sorta like using hamburger helper.

I notice the decrease in mileage on my 4 cyl camry. It seems to be about 1 to 1 1/2 miles per gallon less with the ethynol.

To me it's just another scam from the oil companies to increase profits. JMHO
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Tail gates
Old 10-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #308
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Tail gates

Here's one I hope someone can confirm or at least add info to. Some time ago I read an article by an automotive engineer who said that it actually reduces your gas mileage on a pick-up truck to drive around with the tail gate down.

I then saw this question put to the NPR guys in their newspaper column and they said that it was correct, gas mileage will drop.

The engineer said that the pick-up bed quickly fills with air when driving with the gate up and new airflow just brushes off the top of that trapped air. But when you put the gate down the air keeps flowing down into and across the truck bed. This adds extra friction and thus reduces mileage.

I don't know the true answer to this but I will say that on my own pick-up, if I leave the tail gate up the leaves that have fallen from my trees stay put. They never blow out even at high way speeds. Except, if I leave the tail gate down. Then nearly all of them blow out rather quickly.

Common sense tells us that the tail gate catches the wind and therefore should reduce mileage. However, when we look out the window common sense tells us the earth looks flat and the sun revolves around the earth, but neither is true.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #309
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #310
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The guys with the MythBusters show did a controlled test and verified what you observed.

Myth: Driving With Tailgate Up Is Fuel Efficient : Discovery Channel
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:29 PM   #311
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I had a buddy of mine who used to drag race a 1966 Chevelle Elcamino. With the tailgate down his time were better than with it up. I would think it acts sort of like a parachute.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #312
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I had a buddy of mine who used to drag race a 1966 Chevelle Elcamino. With the tailgate down his time were better than with it up. I would think it acts sort of like a parachute.
Did he take the tailgate off for racing, or just lower it? I'd think that losing the weight of the 75#+ tailgate would make a bigger difference in quarter mile times than any difference (+ or-) in aerodynamic drag.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:55 PM   #313
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Did he take the tailgate off for racing, or just lower it? I'd think that losing the weight of the 75#+ tailgate would make a bigger difference in quarter mile times than any difference (+ or-) in aerodynamic drag.

To run in the class he had to leave the tailgate on. I would imagine that there is some weight savings if he was able to remove it. Less weight, faster times.
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Thanks
Old 10-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #314
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Thanks

Thanks to Wahoo.

Well I guess all those guys driving around with their tailgates down are losing mileage. This is what I thought from what I have read.

Warning, don't ever tell these guys about this, they don't want to hear it.

b.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:20 AM   #315
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I had a buddy of mine who used to drag race a 1966 Chevelle Elcamino. With the tailgate down his time were better than with it up. I would think it acts sort of like a parachute.

Just an opinion.... but I think a 1/4 mile drag does not give enough time to fill up the bed with air....

So, I can see where it make a difference on a drag, but still be worse if down for normal driving...
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #316
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18. Brakes – this one is upon request lol. I actually have several upcoming posts, all about brakes...stay tuned.
a. Rotors can be turned only to a “minimum thickness”, and typically they have enough material for only one turning. I’m ok with either option…replacing or turning…turning costs about $25 each, new rotors can be $30-$100 each depending on size. The bummer is if the tech starts turning, then after getting halfway through decides there is not enough material…some of them will then charge you and then not be able to finish the job…recommend discussing this before you drop off the parts to see what their policy is.

[/FONT]
One reason I decided to just change rotor instead of turning is the cost. I can replace the rotors myself but I can't turn them, then there is labor for turning, plus as you say it's a waste if not enough material to turn, plus the time involved taking to the shop. I can get new rotors about for the cost of turning.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:29 AM   #317
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How often should brake fluid be changed? Is this part of a standard brake job?
That's a good one. I never found a for sure answer. Consensus seems to be 2yrs/24kmiles. It's in some owners manuals but not all. I don't think it is part of a brake job, you don't have to touch the fluid when replacing pads. I bled and filled mine last year, main thing is to not let the reservoir go down and get air in the system.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #318
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Just an opinion.... but I think a 1/4 mile drag does not give enough time to fill up the bed with air....

So, I can see where it make a difference on a drag, but still be worse if down for normal driving...

In drag racing everything effects ET's. According to my buddy he said there was a substantial time savings, just not sure how much he meant.

One of my friends drove a convertible at the drags and while watching him go down the 1/4 miles I always noticed that the car seemed to fill with air. The convertible top blew up like a ballon. So we put some tape across the front of the car where the top meets the windshield and the car turned a much faster time but I can't remember exactly how much faster.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:02 AM   #319
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Thanks for your patience, Dave. I appreciate you sharing all your knowledge.


I meant for a new rotor, what characteristics demonstrate quality? When I look at Rock Auto, for example, they have parts from 1X to 3X dollars for the same application. What is the difference between the cheap stuff and the good stuff? For a Ford, is Motorcraft same as OEM, or a cheaper substitute? When you take your car in for a brake job how do you know what parts they will install? Do the cut rate places typically install Chinese parts? Should you negotiate the parts brand in advance?
There's no way the average person can tell. Hardness of the metal, alloying metals that may make it less likely to wear, etc. Conformance to specs is another...but again no easy way to check. For example radial runout, concentricity, etc. Motorcraft is same as OEM. In summary all I can say is that I've never seen a rotor fail because it's "cheap"....more likely the issues you'll find are that they are rusty when you open the box because they did not coat it, or in a couple cases I've seen where they won't quite fit over the hub and need some very minor sanding/filing.
. What comes as original equipment? How would you know? Buy it from the dealership.
Would making sure the pins slide freely and lubricating the pins be part of a standard brake job? No, typically this is not done. However, if they are stuck badly, a good technician will point this out and suggest a rebuild kit or pins or whatever is needed. It's not much extra work to clean and lube the pins.
How much difference in wear is normal? Would a lot more wear on one side indicate a problem of sticking calipers? There's no exact number, but I'd say if wear varies more than about 15-20% from inside to out...something is wrong. The problem is either a sticking caliper slide or, if the difference is VERY extreme...look for a stuck piston.
How often should brake fluid be changed? Is this part of a standard brake job? See my other article or an upcoming one.
Great job, Dave.
See bold
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #320
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It has started on the truck but not on the car. I've never heard of using pot ash, but they do commonly use sand to help provide traction (which I suspect is similar to pot ash). They use salt (or actually brine these days as it spreads better) to melt ice and snow on the roads and it is the salt that can be highly corrosive to undercarriages.
Yes we have salt here in Indiana...but our friends in Connecticut say they use the ash/sand up there because it's typically so cold the salt does not help.
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