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Old 11-10-2009, 02:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why is my Ford F150 chewing up the new rotors I recently installed?

Two months ago, I did a front brake job on my 2005 F150 4x4. Stock brakes had 55k on them, so I figured it was about time.

I changed both the rotors and pads, and used The best parts Autozone carried. I installed the lifetime warranty Duralast Gold Ceramic pads. After only a hundred or so miles on the truck, I could start to see the rotors getting grooves chewed up in them. Now after two months, and roughly 1500 miles, the rotors look like they have 50k miles on them. Both sides are pretty grooved up.

Tonight I went back to Autozone, and one of the employee's was shocked by the amount of wear in such a short time on my truck.

I'm not sure if the Ceramic pads are the culprit, but I'm considering changing to Semi-metallic. The main reason I chose to go the Ceramic route, was the supposed minimal brake dust.

Good thing is, everything is under warranty, and Autozone will either replace the parts, or return my money.

Should I stick with Autozone parts, or would I be better off with NAPA parts?

What a PITA to now have to re-do the labor portion.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My guess is a little bit of both the calipers are too hard, and I would also wager your calipers are sticking (not fully releasing) and thus dragging the brake pads when you drive.

I did the same as you back in June (even down to the same parts and parts store). I had new tires put on a few weeks prior to the new front brakes, and now I have a constant pull to the left. My brakes are also now pulsating just as bad as before I replaced them. I went back to the tire shop which has a lifetime balance and rotation, and also complained of the pull (which I thought was an out of alignment situation), and they re-did my alignment, even showed me the computer print out before and after, and it is still doing the pulling. It seems my left caliper is not fully releasing and causing the pull, and drag, and is also overheating the rotor/pad. I only have 45k on my car, and about 5k on the brake job...

Could be the parts source (Duralast) or it could be more to it as I tried to explain above?

Keep us posted.

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rob I did Autozone on the Sportrac but got the semi mettalic, 20K miles and still looking fine..
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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pads are dragging...like stated above. I have 40K on my ceramics...
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't see how both the left and right front calipers are all of the sudden, going to start dragging. I put 55k miles on the stock brakes, and they still had life left. I also do not see any decrease in my fuel economy.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hard pads + soft rotors = somethings gonna give. Made the same mistake, twice.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Rob,

By design, all disc brakes "drag", that is the nature of how they work. There is no return spring or release mechanism to push the pads back out after the hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder "pushes" the caliper in and causes friction with the pads. The little minute wobble of the discs force the pads back into the caliper when you release the brake pedal. I'm probably over simplifying it, but that is the basics.

When you replaced the pads, did you have to push the piston(s) back into the calipers? When you went through this, did you remove the guide pins, and clean off the old grease, and remove any old contamination on the pins (I was told to use some light sandpaper to scuff them up and make them nice and smooth) and then reapply the new grease that came with the pad kit? These are all little things that can cause the caliper to stick on the guide pins, etc. and the pads won't fully return when you let off the brakes.

The ceramic pads are a lot harder than the semi-metallic, so I would think they are groving your discs with something like road debris/sand that has gotten trapped in there?

Not sure if this helps, but I'm kinda going through a similar situation with my brakes and this is what I found out.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've heard that some Chinese rotors are of a softer iron than stock. Try a different brand of rotor.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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cheap rotors + hard pads = your situation.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinatlanta View Post
cheap rotors + hard pads = your situation.
I got the best rotors that Autozone offers.

Made in China, however.

Maybe that explains it.

OK, who has QUALITY non China Brake rotors???
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi All,
I do this for a living and here is what I know. Good luck trying to find non Chinese rotors. I had requested Bendix Premium rotors after issues with their economy ones and guess what? Bendix Premium rotors are also made in China! I've gotten better service out of them however. Regarding pads, I like the Performance Friction line. Your brakes may not be releasing properly. After along highway drive pull the truck over and loosen the bleeder screws on the front calipers ,if you get a good squirt out of them it's likely that they are not releasing hydraulically and this will cause rapid wear. Silicone brake pin grease can't take the heat as well as the new ceramic based greases that are now available. I've seen silicone based grease harden up very quickly. Also when servicing the pins make sure that the bores are clean. I prefer carb cleaner because most brake cleaner warn against using on rubber (dust boots).
Apply a very thin coat to the pins. To much grease and the pins seal so well that they act like a syringe and tend to hold pressure against the pads causing premature wear. Good Luck, Shortstack
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Silly question......why did you change the rotors? Unless they are warped or grooved beyond what a good grind can fix, why replace OEM? I have over 260k on some rotors and they still look, work and feel great.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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True if you still have the old rotos consider getting them turned and put them back on. I have had good luck with semi metalic pads never felt the need to go to ceramic. Might be worth pinging Max at 5 star to see what your price would be on OEM rotors
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Rob,

I agree with akdreamer23's statement. I never change the rotors unless they have grooves or warp.

Also, what is the price different in the dealer price pads vs Autozone.

Ever since my Buick days I never went to a aftermarket place for pads. Maybe its me but I feel the difference for spending slightly more in parts.

The dealer pads are usually 50 - 60 bucks. How much are they at autozone?
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Call around and you should be able to find some North American rotors. I have them on the front of my 2000 F150. Pretty sure they came from Car Quest. Advance might have them as well - I got some for the roadster there. Auto Zone is typically bottom of the barrel. But as others have said, you may have other factors contributing to the problem.

I just did rear rotors as well on the truck. Picked those up at Napa, but even their premiums were still chinese crap.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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have found all of my brake issues

were directly related to not bedding them properly Often overlooked in the final step in your brake replacement process. Smoke the heck out of them and you'll end up with a good result
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Call around and you should be able to find some North American rotors. I have them on the front of my 2000 F150. Pretty sure they came from Car Quest. Advance might have them as well - I got some for the roadster there. Auto Zone is typically bottom of the barrel. But as others have said, you may have other factors contributing to the problem.

I just did rear rotors as well on the truck. Picked those up at Napa, but even their premiums were still chinese crap.
There are NO rotors made in North America anymore. I have had success on my 2001 F150 4x4 with NAPA's best rotors. Made in China as well.

My brakes were always crap since new. They have pulsed and had poor performance. When I removed them to install new rotors, the rt front inside of the rotor had HUGE porosity. It was the sorriest rotor I have ever seen. After that, I would never use OE rotors. Since installing the NAPA rotors, all of my brake problems have gone away.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Front OEM rotors are long gone.

I replaced them, because I thought they were warped. I have the OEM rotors on the rear, and I may just have them turned.

This weekend, I'm going to re-do the fronts, and do the rears as well.

I never really had any issues with the OEM brakes, other than a few thousands miles ago, I started feeling them pulsate, as the rotors were warped. I still feel the pulsation, so I sure hope it is an issue with the rear rotors being warped.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I paid 54.95 for the Ceramic front pad set from Autozone

The Semi-Metallics are 38.99

I purchased the Semi's, and am going to return the Ceramics.

I've always used Semi's with never any real issues, so why change.

I figured it would be nice to have less dust with the Ceramics, hence cleaner wheels, but am afraid they are too aggressive.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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BTW, is there an online brake job tutorial anybody knows of (I haven't done a google search yet)? I've done tons of brake jobs in the past, but I guess it can't hurt for me to review the proper techniques and procedures.
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:50 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The myth of the warped rotor. Pulsing brakes are almost never caused by a warped rotor.
the myth of the warped rotor
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There are NO rotors made in North America anymore. I have had success on my 2001 F150 4x4 with NAPA's best rotors. Made in China as well.

My brakes were always crap since new. They have pulsed and had poor performance. When I removed them to install new rotors, the rt front inside of the rotor had HUGE porosity. It was the sorriest rotor I have ever seen. After that, I would never use OE rotors. Since installing the NAPA rotors, all of my brake problems have gone away.
Funny, mine have "CANADA" cast right into them.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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And I didn't buy my rotors on the sidewalk in NYC. I used a store with reputable suppliers who follow the law.

Point being NA rotors are out there, but you'll have to look.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Funny, mine have "CANADA" cast right into them.
Your rotors may have been built in North America. I said no rotors are currently being manufactured in North America, not that none have ever been.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:20 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Get a jar of the hi-temp grease for the pins on the calipers. Clean them and make sure the rubber boots are not cracked or torn. Apply new grease on the pins to help the caliper "float" better.

I'm a big fan of Raybestos pads. Never had any issues with them.

While I find it easy to shop at Autozone I've never been a big fan of their parts.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:43 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Hi Guys,
I'd like to pass along some other tips while we are on the subject. When you get your new brake rotors. ( I'm assuming that they are vented) completely degrease them and paint the cooling fins all the way thru the rotor. This will keep rust flakes from forming which will eventually cause the rotor to run hot and deform. While you have the degreaser out clean the wheel studs and nuts. Torque values for wheel studs are given dry. Torque the wheels in two stages with just enough weight on the wheels to prevent them from spinning. If you torque with the vehicle fully lowered some of the torque is used to bring the heavily loaded wheel into contact with the hub. Wheel studs should never be lubed under normal circumstances. Also make make sure that the hub face and back of the rotor are perfectly clean ( no anti seize) before assembly. Also make sure the rear brakes are ok. They don't do much but if they're not working they will put more stress on the fr brakes.


Good Luck
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Last edited by shortstack; 11-11-2009 at 02:07 AM..
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