start off by removing the wheels. We recommend using a
them off you ask... why?
) Simple- when you remove the lug
nuts- this is a good time to check what WAS the torque
on your wheels to begin with! That favorite repair shop
of yours may have used an impact gun to install the wheels the
last time- and over-torqued the lug nuts in the process.
Over-torquing lug nuts is one of the most common causes
of warped rotors!
You don't want to do this all
over again do you?
Always use a torque
caliper brackets and note the brake-pad to caliper contact
More on this later.....
|Once the wheels ar
removed, you can remove the caliper bolts and (if necessary)
the caliper bracket bolts to remove the caliper
Make sure you use a piece of wire, string, etc...
to HOLD the caliper out of the way. Do not let the
caliper hang by only the hose!
Once these items have
been removed - you can inspect the caliper brackets. The
image at left shows the area of the bracket where the
brake pads make contact and need to be able to slide
|Next, take a look at the inside of
your old rotors. Notice the rust buildup on the inside
of the rotor hat?
Well, chances are it's not just the
rotor that got rusty....
Let's look further.....
Inspect inside of old rotor and note
hub-to-rotor contact areas....
Inspect wheel hub and note
any rust or buildup.....
|Now, let's take a look at the
hub. Most newer vehicles utilize 'floating
rotors'. This means that the rotor is separate from the
hub. Floating rotors have the advantage of being able to
be installed easier and do not require replacing the hub at
the same time. However, one of the|
disadvantages of floating rotors is that
are actually held on by the wheel. It is critical that
whenever wheels are mounted and dismounted that the lug
nuts are torqued to the proper setting....
note: Many older two-wheel-drive vehicles
(amongst others) utilize a hub and rotor setup.
Unlike this picture, you would have to remove the
hub nut, and the bearings in order to remove the
rotor assembly. These units are typically more
costly and require (by definition) changing the rotor
AND hub. However, it is also less likely that these would
be affected by improper wheel torque.
|Here we have a close-up picture of the hub. We've cleaned the
surface of the hub with a 3M pad on an angle
grinder - and for the most part it looks pretty
However, do you notice the rust buildup
and scale where the finger is pointing?
This debris is left behind from the
inside of the old rotor. This small amount of
debris, if left on the hub surface, could tranlate into .005"
or more of rotor runout if not removed!
This means you could install a brand new,
perfectly true rotor- and still have the symptoms of a
Clean all hub-to-rotor contact areas
|| Here's a finished picture of the hub
- after we've spent a little more time cleaning to be sure to
remove all rust buildup.|
We want to ensure that we have
a perfectly flat hub-to-rotor mounting surface.
|Remember those caliper bracket
Since we're already in the cleaning mood-
We thought it might be a good idea to clean up
those areas where the brake pads and shims contact the
brackets. Rust and debris here could cause the pads to
stick, and cause uneven wear..
We don't want to
have to replace the brakes any sooner than necessary...
Clean all brake-pad to caliper bracket contact
Clean all caliper-bracket to steering-knuckle mounting
points as well as caliper to caliper-bracket mounting
|Also, the caliper-bracket to steering
knuckle mounting points - as well as the caliper to
caliper-bracket mounting points should be
Mis-alignment of either of these items could cause
the brake pads to wear unevenly.
|Now that we've cleaned those
we can ensure that the calipers/pads -
as well as the rotors will have straight-and-true surfaces for
contact. This means less brake drag - and by the
better fuel efficiency!
Did it ever occur to
you that improperly functioning brakes is not only wearing out
the parts faster - but costing you gasoline as well?
Clean new rotors prior to installation to
prevent contamination of the brake pads.
|Here we have the new rotors which we
will be installing. Before mounting the rotors- you
should clean the inside and outside surface with brake cleaner, or
soap and water. New rotors are typically shipped with
a preventative (oil type) coating to inhibit
This needs to be removed before assembly - otherwise it
could contaminate the brake pads.
You wouldn't soak
your brake pads in oil and then install them, would
|Next, take a look at the caliper sliders and/or bolts. These are
designed to allow the caliper to slide freely,
back and forth, on the caliper bracket.
frequently become rusty and need to be cleaned or
Otherwise, it could cause the brakes
to 'drag' and create unnecessary wear
on the brake pads.
Also, while you're looking at
that- take a look at the caliper pistons.
should be in good condition and the rubber seals should not be
broken or cracked.
Inspect caliper pistons and seals for
signs of deterioration and replace if necessary.
Lubricate caliper sliders for free
| We like to use a high-temperature
lubricant - like 'Anti-Seize' to lubricate the caliper
sliders, and bolts. There are other brands available -
and many of them seem to work well- and perform their
|We also apply a small amount of
'Anti-Seize' to the hub area where the rotor will be
contacting it. Hopefully, it may make future
dis-assembly easier (remember picture #3?)
don't have to use a sledge hammer to disassemble parts- it
makes our lives easier...
Replace or clean the brake hardware and shims prior to
brake pad installation.
|Here we have installed the new rotors
and re-attached the caliper brackets.|
Now would be a good
time to install new brake hardware (eg.
shims) and clean and/or lubricate the pad to
caliper-bracket contact areas.
It may be necessary to compress the caliper piston in
order to fit the new brake pads. Using one of the old brake pads
and a large C-clamp will work. Many auto
parts stores also sell an inexpensive tool to accomplish
|Finally, we have completed
installation of the brake pads and
Now we're on the home
the new brake pads - do not touch the surface of the pads
with your fingers. The oils from your skin can
contaminate the friction material.
Always use a torque wrench and torque the
bolts/nuts to the correct amount!
|Now, we have come full circle.
We are installing the wheels and using a TORQUE WRENCH to
properly tighten the lug nuts/bolts.|
We can't stress enough:
NOT USE AN IMPACT GUN! <
For professional installers:
>DO NOT USE TORQUE STICKS!
Torque sticks have their
limitations and will not compensate for your 450+ft.lb Snap-On
Use a Torque wrench when
installing the wheels and torque the lug nuts/bolts to the
factory specified amount!
Once you have got everything put back together-
don't forget this:
1) Follow the manufacturers'
instructions for 'bedding-in'
Every manufacturer has slightly
different instructions for pad 'bedding-in'.
should be followed as listed - more is not
We have 'bedding-in' instructions for the pad
manufacturers that we carry listed on our website here:
Follow the manufacturers' instructions for
of the new
Anytime new rotors and pads are
installed, it will take a period of time/use for the pads and
rotors to perfectly seat together. During this period of
time- care should be taken not to thermally stress the rotors
The more times that you can introduce a medium
level of temperature into the rotors, and then allow them to
cool, it will normalize the metal- and they will become
stronger. Just like heat-tempering a tool - make
We have rotor 'break-in' instructions for the
brands that we carry listed on our website here: http://www.raceshopper.com/tech.shtml
ask yourself this:
time you had your brakes changed - did you or the installer
follow these procedures? To some
folks- this may seem like a lot of extra and unnecessary
However, wouldn't you rather have the
job done right the first-time?
Wouldn't you rather spend less
time in the shop for brake repair- and have the components
last longer and save money in the process??
Take the extra couple of minutes it requires
and you'll be much