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Brake Pads...what makes the difference?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 EOppegaard

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:26 PM

My 93 Legacy is going in for a brake job soon, and I was looking around on the internet and was seeing that a lot of people are using these ceramic brake pads instead of the regular old ones.

Is there anything I should ask them do to that would be out of the ordinary, as in different brake pads or whatnot?

I drive my car pretty hard when I am on my way to emergency calls, and braking definitely is important (yeah, I need to stop), anything people reccommend?

#2 Atomic Robot

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:49 PM

I put ceramic pads on my '00 Odyssey van a couple of months ago and the main things I've noticed are 1) no metallic "sqeaking" and 2) almost no black brake dust on the alloy rims.

They seem to perform just like the stock pads otherwise. Since they're new, I'm not qualified to comment on any sort of long-term wear issues.

#3 tcspeer

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 09:55 PM

As king of brake pad user (mail carrier) I have high opinon of the semi metallic pads that are sold at Auto Zone. Have you thought about changing them yourself they are really simple, and you can save lots of money. If you do try just make sure if your brake fluild level is full take some out with something that is clean before pushing pistons in. And if you have drums on back just do one at a time where you can see how every thing goes back.

#4 DerFahrer

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:08 PM

I always was intimidated by brakes, since I was scared of working on something that important :eek:

But I recently did a brake job on my Legacy and I did it quite nicely. I changed all 8 pads and turned all 4 rotors for the cost of someone doing just the fronts, and I got the best pads I could get at Autozone. Those are Raybestos pads, and while they do brake the car very well, I have noticed some fade after about 30 min of slightly "spirited" driving ;)...

If you don't know when the brake fluid was last changed, it's worth it to change it. I just took the hoses off the calipers and let the system gravity drain. Then I put Valvoline synthetic brake fluid in, and a simple bleeding with an assistant's help, and I was done!

Really, give it a shot yourself. It's not difficult.

#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:18 PM

Hey tcspeer, do your left side pads wear like twice the rate of your right side pads?

#6 EOppegaard

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 11:11 PM

I am intimidated by this whole brake pad thing as well, still think I am working on something important. I also don't think I have the tools/know how for such a job. :banghead:

#7 tcspeer

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 11:34 PM

Carl, no I have not had that problem with the Subaru, however I use to run a 83 Malibu on the route and the pads done what you were talking about. Sometime they would wear uneven on the same caliper, I never did know what was causing it.

Oppie, The first time I done brakes I gave my brother in law who is a shadetree mechanic a small fee to teach me. It has saved me lots of money being I go through so many brakes, however no more brakes than most people go through, it might not be worth the effort.

#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 12:08 AM

Supposedly, mail delivery vehicles can have the curbside tire in the leaves, mud, water, gravel of the gutter so much that slippage there causes the 'streetside' pads to do more work.

I think it is normal for the inner pad to wear a little faster than the outer pad on all wheels because of the pistons being in direct contact with that side.

#9 Legacy777

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 08:30 AM

Carbotech recently released a compound/brake pad called the bobcat. All the reviews of this pad are extremely good. Great initial bite, good cold stopping, and rather large effective temp range.

They probably don't list a part for your car, but email them and see if they can make you a set.... http://carbotecheng.com/main.htm

Only issue is, yes they will be a little more then your autozone pads. probably in 80-90 range.....give or take.

My mintex pads were about 100-110 for front and rear......but they do stop very well.


Also....the subaru brake system is about the easiest brake system I think I've worked on. I've practically re-engineered the entire thing. The only braking componants that remain from stock are the hard brake lines & the booster. Everything else has been swapped out, front & rear rotors, pads, lines, MC, & prop valve.

#10 EOppegaard

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 10:28 AM

What kind of info do I need to attempt something like this? Is it in the Chilton Manual? Are there any special tools I will need?

#11 DerFahrer

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 10:43 AM

You could use a Chilton's or Haynes your first time, and then you probably won't need a manual again, after seeing how easy it is...

I can't think of any special tools you'll need, besides wrenches and sockets.

Be careful removing some of those bolts, however. I still have a scar on my right hand index finger where I was struggling to loosen the banjo bolt on the left rear hose, and it came loose suddenly, and my knuckle went flying across the control arm bolt! :eek:

#12 99obw

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 01:13 PM

jack, jack stand, wheel chocks, metric tools, large c-clamp, wire brush, safety glasses, anti-sieze compound, anti-squeal compound, brake cleaner spray, large pipe and/or BFH, penetrating oil, bungee cord, perhaps a turkey baster, ball pein hammer, fuel line and container for two man bleed or power bleeder for one man bleed, brake fluid.

If you are going to bleed the brakes I always recommend replacing the bleeders on a car that age and put a little anti-sieze on the upper threads of the new ones. Take a look and see if the hexagon is rusted off or if they look really bad. Be careful not to break them or you will be replacing the caliper or wheel cylinder. I always bleed all four wheels when I am doing it. A car that age that has been exposed to salt will be a bear to work on, regardless of what you are doing. I recommend soaking all fasteners for several days with penetrating oil before starting, especially until you get a feel for how much force it takes to break something.

I posted the procedure here:

http://usmb.ultimate...=&threadid=7847

#13 nickb21

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 02:54 PM

... , safety glasses .



Safety glasses? Oh come now, need to have some fun in knowing you might hurt yourself while working on your car! Of course my tune would change real quick after I lost or damaged one of my eyes!

#14 99obw

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 03:42 PM

When I was doing the head gaskets on the outback I got something in my eye. After having the doctor dig it out with a needle and talk about drilling the rest out I am the poster child for safety glasses.




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