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Old 09-23-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
trevor_bartram
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What are your favorite after market front disc pads?

I have a 2005 ZX3 SE 2.0 non-ABS with original pads, with close to 100K miles and it's just had it's first service. The service guy refused to replace the pads without replacing the rotors because of noise concerns, so I thought I'd change them myself, I did my Accord 20 years ago using a shop manual, it was fairly simple. The present brakes work well, the pads have worn evenly but are thin, there is no pulsing or grinding etc.
To maximize the likelyhood of success, what after market pads are closest to the originals (I assume Ford pads are expensive) a reasonable price and available online?
I have a Haynes manual and know I'll need a 7mm Allen wrench, are there any other items I should purchase to make the job go real easy?
Thanks in advance, Trevor.


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Old 09-23-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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I would highly suggest new rotors with those pads. The rotors need to be turned to get all of the old pad material off in order to properly bed in the new pads. Those rotors are going to be way to old to do that with hence why your mechanic wouldn't do it. Go to Napa and get premium rotors and then buy some Hawk HPS pads. I hear that is a nice combo or at least get their premium pads as well.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bringler26 View Post
I would highly suggest new rotors with those pads. The rotors need to be turned to get all of the old pad material off in order to properly bed in the new pads. Those rotors are going to be way to old to do that with hence why your mechanic wouldn't do it. Go to Napa and get premium rotors and then buy some Hawk HPS pads. I hear that is a nice combo or at least get their premium pads as well.
Hi, Bringler26, thank you for your reply, you would replace the rotors even though the present pads are the original that came with the car new?
I wasn't going to turn the rotors, just let the new pads bed in by themselves, obviously the new pads would have to be the exact same shape as the present pads. When I replaced the Accord's pads I used Honda pads.
If it has to be new rotors and pads, I'll have the service guy do it, he's cheap and quick.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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at that mileage you will want either your rotors turned or new ones. and even turning them might not be feasible depending on how thick it still is. doing the rotor isnt any harder when you are already replacing the pads. do it your self and save the money. Hawk HPS pads are best but honestly any auto supply store brand brakes will work. I use Duralast from Autozone and cant complain. its a daily driver not a track car.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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Yup hawk hps look no further. Well worth the few extra bucks. Centric rotors are a great alternative to autozone crap and are around the same price too.

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Old 09-23-2013, 02:34 PM   #6
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Agreed with above. Hawk HPS is pretty good stuff. They grip well, last well, are quiet, and dont produce a huge amount of dust.

Paired with some centric blanks, I was quite happy with the setup.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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Follow up again

Quote:
Originally Posted by bringler26 View Post
I would highly suggest new rotors with those pads. The rotors need to be turned to get all of the old pad material off in order to properly bed in the new pads. Those rotors are going to be way to old to do that with hence why your mechanic wouldn't do it. Go to Napa and get premium rotors and then buy some Hawk HPS pads. I hear that is a nice combo or at least get their premium pads as well.
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. You've been telling me what to do but not why, this may be because I come from a different era and am not familiar with these new pad materials and, I have a natural inclination to do the minimum necessary, as a hedge against encountering more problems than I bargained for, I tend to approach all problems this way!
With previous cars, the front pads lasted 50-60K miles. For my 2005 Focus they have lasted 100K miles. If my driving style has not changed over the years, does the extra mileage imply the Focus pads are harder than previous cars causing the Focus rotors to wear more than previous cars and that is reason everyone is saying replace the rotors?
The remedy here is to measure rotor thickness, I've done that on previous cars but not on the Focus.
I realize that if I keep the rotors initial braking will be poor until the pads bed in. There will be some extra pad wear as well, as the pads fit to the small grooves and undulations on the rotor, it's a small sacrifice. There will be some noise as the rust on the outer and inner edges of the rotor beds to the pad too. In the past this is just something to take into account while driving the first 1000 miles, not a big deal or a safety issue. I'm not planning a mountain trip, just regular commuting.
Thanks, Trevor.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_bartram View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. You've been telling me what to do but not why, this may be because I come from a different era and am not familiar with these new pad materials and, I have a natural inclination to do the minimum necessary, as a hedge against encountering more problems than I bargained for, I tend to approach all problems this way!
With previous cars, the front pads lasted 50-60K miles. For my 2005 Focus they have lasted 100K miles. If my driving style has not changed over the years, does the extra mileage imply the Focus pads are harder than previous cars causing the Focus rotors to wear more than previous cars and that is reason everyone is saying replace the rotors?
The remedy here is to measure rotor thickness, I've done that on previous cars but not on the Focus.
I realize that if I keep the rotors initial braking will be poor until the pads bed in. There will be some extra pad wear as well, as the pads fit to the small grooves and undulations on the rotor, it's a small sacrifice. There will be some noise as the rust on the outer and inner edges of the rotor beds to the pad too. In the past this is just something to take into account while driving the first 1000 miles, not a big deal or a safety issue. I'm not planning a mountain trip, just regular commuting.
Thanks, Trevor.
You will want a clear surface to bed the new brakes to, you will get the best results this way. Just like the pads wear out, so do the rotors. If they get too thin, they will be more prone to warp (why i dont like turning them) or if the surface isnt flat/smooth then squeal and not effectively bed. Not having a clean/flat surface will prevent the pads from bedding properly. You want a perfect surface for those pads, your stopping depends on it.

If you are looking to just save money, try rockauto.com they normally have a rotor/pad combo that's a good deal.


I went with centric blanks and green stuff pads, been happy with that combination. The greens have a decent amount of dust but i like their stopping grip. Get a decent set of rotors, spend money/time when its important...like stopping
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_bartram View Post
I have a natural inclination to do the minimum necessary, as a hedge against encountering more problems than I bargained for...The remedy here is to measure rotor thickness
we hear ya, and often that's not a bad strategy. However, there are times when a little extra effort/expense saves alot of effort/expense a month or year later. You sound like a easy braker, but at 100K, I doubt there's enough good material on the rotors to machine them, and it's a false economy to "leave well enough alone" when you're gonna have them disassembled anyway.

Note that we're not only recommending that it makes sense to replace the rotors now, but to repace them with good quality ones. Many of us have found the hard way that the cheap ones from the discount chains (even with good warranties) are made of lousy steel and will warp quickly, even with easy braking. Mine were horrible after 12 months, and with the cost of re-machining them, I wound-up saving $0 by buying inexpensive ones. Back in the day, a cheap set of rotors lasted a long time; the stuff coming from China now ain't the same (ironically, it's alot of our own scrap metals and all of the impurities that comes with that...our recycling comes back to haunt us).

Finally, don't overdo it when remounting the caliper. The knuckle threads are easy to strip, as some folks on the forum have found out the hard way.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_bartram View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. You've been telling me what to do but not why, this may be because I come from a different era and am not familiar with these new pad materials and, I have a natural inclination to do the minimum necessary, as a hedge against encountering more problems than I bargained for, I tend to approach all problems this way!
With previous cars, the front pads lasted 50-60K miles. For my 2005 Focus they have lasted 100K miles. If my driving style has not changed over the years, does the extra mileage imply the Focus pads are harder than previous cars causing the Focus rotors to wear more than previous cars and that is reason everyone is saying replace the rotors?
The remedy here is to measure rotor thickness, I've done that on previous cars but not on the Focus.
I realize that if I keep the rotors initial braking will be poor until the pads bed in. There will be some extra pad wear as well, as the pads fit to the small grooves and undulations on the rotor, it's a small sacrifice. There will be some noise as the rust on the outer and inner edges of the rotor beds to the pad too. In the past this is just something to take into account while driving the first 1000 miles, not a big deal or a safety issue. I'm not planning a mountain trip, just regular commuting.
Thanks, Trevor.
Sorry for not responding sooner the two post below cover pretty much exactly why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambleon84 View Post
You will want a clear surface to bed the new brakes to, you will get the best results this way. Just like the pads wear out, so do the rotors. If they get too thin, they will be more prone to warp (why i dont like turning them) or if the surface isnt flat/smooth then squeal and not effectively bed. Not having a clean/flat surface will prevent the pads from bedding properly. You want a perfect surface for those pads, your stopping depends on it.

If you are looking to just save money, try rockauto.com they normally have a rotor/pad combo that's a good deal.


I went with centric blanks and green stuff pads, been happy with that combination. The greens have a decent amount of dust but i like their stopping grip. Get a decent set of rotors, spend money/time when its important...like stopping
Quote:
Originally Posted by my_beautious_ZX3 View Post
we hear ya, and often that's not a bad strategy. However, there are times when a little extra effort/expense saves alot of effort/expense a month or year later. You sound like a easy braker, but at 100K, I doubt there's enough good material on the rotors to machine them, and it's a false economy to "leave well enough alone" when you're gonna have them disassembled anyway.

Note that we're not only recommending that it makes sense to replace the rotors now, but to repace them with good quality ones. Many of us have found the hard way that the cheap ones from the discount chains (even with good warranties) are made of lousy steel and will warp quickly, even with easy braking. Mine were horrible after 12 months, and with the cost of re-machining them, I wound-up saving $0 by buying inexpensive ones. Back in the day, a cheap set of rotors lasted a long time; the stuff coming from China now ain't the same (ironically, it's alot of our own scrap metals and all of the impurities that comes with that...our recycling comes back to haunt us).

Finally, don't overdo it when remounting the caliper. The knuckle threads are easy to strip, as some folks on the forum have found out the hard way.
Both of these are very good points. I had a set of Raybestos rotors that were ok but after 25k were junk with my driving habits. Next I had some Autozone "premium" rotors which were also junk and finally some power stop rotors that while ok were not my wisest decision due to them being dimpled and slotted. The raybestos rotors and the autozone rotors were not able to be turned due to them being made of thinner material.

Newer rotors are not as thick as rotors of the past so many are not able to be turned for a clean braking surface for bedding in new pads. At 100k miles you can bet there is no way that they can be turned. The way pads are bedded in if you don't have a clean surface you will never get the full braking capability of a new pad especially if the compounds are not the same.

Brakes are one area you never want to skimp on money due to safety that goes as well with tires. Never skimp on these to areas your life and others may depend on it when you least expect it.
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