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Minimum pad thickness
Posted 22 July 2012 - 06:10 PM
So I glanced at the pads through the wheels on my '03 Baja and they look like they are going to need replacing soon. Best I can tell. The car only has 65K miles on it and I'm not hard on brakes and the car is a 5 speed so I tend to gear the car down on hills rather than riding the brakes like most people do especially with automatics.
So I can't understand why the car would need pads this early. Unless that's just normal wear on a Subaru.
I'm going to pull the wheels off and see if I can measure the thickness with a slide ruler without pulling the calipers.
Any idea what the minimum thickness of the brake media is which would merit replacing the pads?
Since this is MY car and not my wife's car and I have plenty others to drive if the brakes start squeeling, I thought about just waiting until the squeelers got down to the rotors before replacing the pads.
Also when I hit the brakes I can feel some vibration in the steering wheel. The rotors are smooth and ordinarily I would not have the rotors turned but I'm wondering if the vibration is from warpage. Either from a tire store using an air impact wrench to put the wheels back on or they got hot and lost their temper.
I'm concerned if I have them turned, if they have lost their temper, the vibration will come right back.
Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:46 PM
I would wait until the wear indicators start sounding off. they give you plenty of warning and you can drive them for awhile after, giving you plenty of time to arrange parts/repair. And who knows - you might get another year or two out of them.
As for the vibration, you can google it but rotors don't technically "warp". I think it's more like material build up and driving style and conditions are most likely to make it happen again. There are some excellent technical reads about it. So turning is a fine solution.
Sometimes you can tell which side it is...turn the wheel by hand and you'll feel it hit a high spot - that's the warped one. If you can't tell then install a new rotor on one side and then:
1. if it goes away you're done
2. if it doesn't go away then install the rotor you removed to install the new one on the other side
Or just replace them both or have them both turned, lots of options.
Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:11 PM
Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:02 AM
Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:47 PM
Brake pads I usually replace at 2mm thickness but recommend doing them at 4mm. I use Akebono brand pads at work as those are pretty much a standard OE replacement pad. Remember, the cheaper the pads, the worse the braking performance and they can also make noise.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:53 PM
For track application, "we" like to replace when the material has worn down to the same thickness as the backing plate: 4-5mm.
In both cases, it's a question of heat. You need the material to absorb the heat from the disc/pad interface. The last few millimeters should never see any real braking action, but simply act as a heat sink.
Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:58 AM
I printed this conversation off and will inspect the pads when I get a chance and take some measurements.
And yes it's probably not a bad idea to change them before winter. My Subaru get's driven mostly during the winter months. Living in Tennessee, it can be 70 degrees in January one day and 6" of snow the next.
I tend to drive my Mustang GT in the summer as well as some of my other collector cars.
And I'm a blue collar worker at a chemical plant so I can't just bail out like management does when the weatherman is calling for a big snowstorm like back in 2009.
It started snowing around 3 pm that day and I didn't get off until 6:30. Management bailed out and went home while all the worker bees had to stay behind.
My Subaru got me home without incident but it took forever having to wait on people trying to make it up hills. Or having to take detours because of all the abandoned cars parked in the road (on hills).
I hate to have a chip on my shoulder but I finally got so pissed off at these people I just started driving around them while they were spinning out.
I mean, I love my Mustang and all my other rear wheel drive cars but when the conditions are right for a snowstorm, those cars stay in the garage.
Here are some shots I took the day after. Notice the abandoned Mustang on the interstate (photo 19 of 43).
http://s222.photobuc...izzard of 2009/
Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:59 PM
Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:43 PM
Like they all said, just replace the parts, even go one better and flush the fluid. I'm sure it will help wonders once I do it on both of my Subaru's.
Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:48 AM
The other day the brakes would squeel slightly when applied so I was afraid the squeelers might be getting near the rotors.
So I pulled the front and rear calipers on the passenger side. ASSuming because the car stops straight I am going to say there was no need in checking the driver's side. And because I've done tons of brake jobs in the past pads usually wear out the same on both sides.
Using one of those slide calipers that has the pocket clip on it:
I measured the actual thickness from the backing plate to the media. Not from the groove cut into the center of the media.
The front pad thickness was 5.5mm and the rears was 4mm.
The thickness of the new pads I got from Advance Auto were fronts: 10 mm and 8 mm rears.
Does that sound right? Or is my cheap slight ruler marked incorrectly?
So that leads me to believe after 70,000 miles the pads have only worn down half and if my driving habits don't change I shouldn't need to install new pads until 140,000 miles.
Is this a good assumption?
I use my engine as a brake instead of riding my brakes when going down steep hills and even on flat land tend to gear down to 3rd then to 2nd and then hit my brakes at around 20 mph before coming to a stop.
Edited by jseabolt, 01 January 2013 - 09:52 AM.
Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:07 PM
In the US, there can be a slight asymmetry to pad wear favoring the pass side. this is due to parking at the curb where gravel, leaves and other debris may allow a little sliding that the DS doesn't experience. This is most extreme on Postal Vehicles but, the DS is probably the best 'tattle-tale' for general pad wear. And, suppose a caliper is sticking at one of the other 2 corners?
Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:42 PM
Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:15 PM
Replaced the front pads on my 2000 OBW, 5 speed, for the first time at 170,000 miles. Worn down to nothing. Still keeping track of the rears which are original!
Squeakers had broken so had no warning when the pads were gone.
OEM pads are great
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