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 FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads

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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:54 pm

When it comes to rotors, my opinion is different than a lot of folks'. I've tried about every rotor type (drilled, slotted, dimpled, plain) except for the 2-piece like from Baer or Stop-Tech, which start at $600 for a front pair and go up.

My thought is pad quality is a lot more important than rotor quality. You can use crappy $30 pads and a great set of rotors and you can ruin those rotors with some spirited driving. They will create deposits, judder and eventually warp (run-out). Turning or replacing the rotors (and pads) is the only fix.

On the other hand, a good set of pads with crappy rotors will likely not cause the above mentioned problems. The cheap rotor may wear more quickly and need replaced, but the pads will be in good shape and can be reused. Since rotors are now getting to be cheaper than many pad sets, my approach is to run cheap or mid quality rotors with the best pads I can afford. So far I don't regret it at all. Not everyone wants to drop $160 on a pair of pads, but until you try it to see the benefits, it's hard to understand.

I think that only after you upgrade to good pads does investing in really good rotors make any sense. I did the math on this, and for the money I can swap out up to 8 pairs of cheap front rotors for the cost of one pair 2-piece race rotors. That's like 8 years or 150,000+ miles worth of driving for me. I'm not sure if the 2-piece rotors would hold up that long, and right now I don't have the extra $$$ to experiment. So currently I'm trying 'medium/high' quality single-piece rotors (Brembo slotteds are on now) and I like them so far. Part of that is knowing they are Brembos. I won't know if they are actually better until I put a few more miles on them.

Best of luck, and welcome. Congrats on the new ride!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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slobalt09
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PostSubject: READY FOR FRONT BRAKE UPGRADE   Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:45 am

Good morning everyone,
I have a 1998 Riviera... I am ready to upgrade the front brakes with bolt on factory GM parts. interested to see if anyone actually has bought any pad, rotors, calipers that are from another GM vehicle that would bolt right up and fit inside the factory 16 inch aluminum wheels. Planning on going to a part store buy a set of loaded calipers and rotors. I'm interested to hear from people that have actually done this, not someone that read some info online somewhere (trying to avoid trial and error)... thank you in advance and glad to be part of the community
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:09 am

First off, Welcome to the site hi.

The only pads/calipers/rotors that will bolt right on, and might be considered an upgrade would be the dual pistons from an ~05 Impala. I know they fit, but I'm not sure if they'll fit inside the 16" wheel. There is a member here I think that has done it with those. Grand Prix GXP front calipers and rotors bolt right on too, but they DO NOT fit inside the 16". They barely fit inside my 17's.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:35 am

F-body upgrade fits stock rims, but pleeeaaassee search next time.

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t2310-write-up-f-body-brake-mod?highlight=brake
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:41 am

Abaddon wrote:
First off, Welcome to the site hi.

The only pads/calipers/rotors that will bolt right on, and might be considered an upgrade would be the dual pistons from an ~05 Impala. I know they fit, but I'm not sure if they'll fit inside the 16" wheel. There is a member here I think that has done it with those. Grand Prix GXP front calipers and rotors bolt right on too, but they DO NOT fit inside the 16". They barely fit inside my 17's.

These will bolt on with no mods? But Fbody needs to be tapped to bolt on? Is that correct?

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:41 am

matt270avian wrote:
F-body upgrade fits stock rims, but pleeeaaassee search next time.

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t2310-write-up-f-body-brake-mod?highlight=brake

Agree on searching first, but don't the F-bodys require modification? (tapping holes?)
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:43 am

Ha! We posted at the same time.

Yes, the dual piston Impala brakes bolt right on. I'm not sure how much of an "upgrade" it actually is, but then again, you're getting dual pistons....
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:51 am

thx for the replies everyone, I did do a little search and what I came up/ read was a lot of unclear information, so this is great help. What year f-body caliper should I pick up if I don't mind tapping and drilling? and what rotors should I grab also? thx again
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:01 pm

slobalt09 wrote:
thx for the replies everyone, I did do a little search and what I came up/ read was a lot of unclear information, so this is great help. What year f-body caliper should I pick up if I don't mind tapping and drilling? and what rotors should I grab also? thx again

98-02 Camaro Calipers, 97-99 Rivi rotors

They will also work if you just use a sleeve to adapt the 14mm holes in the knuckles to the 12mm holes in the caliper brackets. Some claim that the bolts will loosen with the sleeves, but I've been running them without issue. Just use a bit of blue loctite for security.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:55 pm

thx matt
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:23 pm

If you don't mind my asking, why are you upgrading brakes? The stock brakes on the '98 are fantastic if you have good pads and rotors in good condition, and good tires. I could easily out-brake my tires ability for traction. Are you regularly autocrossing or hitting up a road course?

A lot of benefit can be had just by upgrading the hoses to braided lines - the stock hoses are a 'soft spot' in the pedal feel.

What's your goal?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:48 pm

hi deekster,

honestly, I need new pads and rotors. the calipers are (original/ sticking, I cleaned and lubricated in the past but they are having a hard time retracting... for what I can the loaded calipers from ac Delco... (I work at a shop) I think it'll be worth it, where do you guys get flexible hoses for these things?
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:16 pm

I have a pretty nice set of OEM calipers I took off my car when I upgraded to the F-body set. Let me know if you're interested.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:32 pm

Honestly, if you're replacing all that stuff anyways and you have a 97+, why not just do the F-body upgrade since it consists of new calipers and pads, with OEM rotors. Only major difference is you need the extended SS brake lines.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:13 pm

To deekster's point, the OEM calipers do a great job of stopping the car. He already has the bigger 12" rotors that come with '98 models. The main reason for upgrading to F-body is to access the higher performance race pad compounds (not available for stock Riv caliper), which means more $$$. For the average driver, just upgrading to F-body calipers won't do a whole lot for stopping performance.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:47 pm

AA wrote:
To deekster's point, the OEM calipers do a great job of stopping the car. He already has the bigger 12" rotors that come with '98 models. The main reason for upgrading to F-body is to access the higher performance race pad compounds (not available for stock Riv caliper), which means more $$$. For the average driver, just upgrading to F-body calipers won't do a whole lot for stopping performance.

I agree, they'll stop the car without issue. But it's one of those "why not?" things. I like the pedal feel so much better now over my OEMs, not to mention the stopping (yes, I beat the everloving crap out of my boat, I know).
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:08 pm

To be honest, I've never liked the initial pedal engagement of F-body all that much. Next time you need to (panic) stop really quickly, you might notice the extra 1/4"-1/2" pedal travel where nothing happens (filling up that extra piston). If you're ready for it, there's no lag and all is well, but they would never sell the car with that kind of delay. That's why F-body cars came with a different master cylinder.

No one's looked into fitting the F-body MC, probably because our MC is so reliable, and because the lag is not that big a deal - you learn to drive with it, and some don't even notice. And once it bites, oh does it feel nice! But it is something folks should know before performing the mod.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:16 pm

Ive heard the c5 corvette calipers have better peddle feel due to slightly smaller pistons and less flex. Ive always wanted to upgrade my fbodys but cant justify the cost.
I will say the fbodies on the riv always feel better with a fresh bleed. I know what you mean about the slight peddle travel, especially noticable if you go from driving a honda to the riv. That inital response isnt there but you get used to it.

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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:44 pm

An the plus side, my ABS stopped working long ago. The 'cushion' probably helps to avoid skids, especially in winter. With ABS in effect, I'd want that initial pedal.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
97SC_CALI_RIV
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:51 pm

I was wondering if anyone had tried the Baer brake pads?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:57 pm

No, but have read good things about their rotors and calipers.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:43 pm

Other day i had a squeak from the rear brakes. Knowing they are less than a year old i though it must have been a rock stuck or bent clip. the sound persisted so i pulled the caliper to take a look.
I should have snapped a pic of how the piston was sitting but essentially the piston was binding on the tab pictured below>


The inner pad was completely gone from sticking to the rotor for what probably took a few months to do.
The passenger side wasnt as bad because the U groves on the piston was still lined up with the tab. (by change it was lined up better and hadnt worn enough to cause interference.

I emailed EBC to let them know about the tab and how it maybe wouldnt work on cars with rotating pistons. Also to see if i could buy just one pad since the other 3 were still almost new.

They quickly responded and are sending me a new set. +1 For great customer service from EBC.
I ground off the tab and re installed and will do the same to the inners on the new set when they arrive.

Just thought id share in case anyone else was looking at yellow stuff pads for their riv.

Matthew



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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:30 pm

So do you think you installed the defective pad incorrectly? The way I'm reading it, one side was aligned with the groove in the piston and shows acceptable wear. Is it possible to use these EBC pads with our rotating pistons if they are properly aligned?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:44 pm

No i think if i left the "good" side installed that way, it would have eventually worn down to where the piston rotated and caught the tab.

Unless our pistons dont rotate as they extend, in which case how they are installed would make the difference. Still easier to grind off the tab than try and hit the V groove on install lol


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1996 with 244k miles, L324" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Brake Rotors and Pads   Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:37 pm

Good to know, thanks. Never had a problem with a pad fitting. I have had issues getting the rear pistons to move in and out:

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/t631p165-write-up-replacing-rear-rotors-and-pads-lots-of-pics#180278

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
 
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