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Old 05-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #1
Punchback
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Front Rotors With Uneven Wear

I replaced these rotors a couple of years ago. I don't drive the car anymore but I've recently had to look at the brakes because of a spongy pedal and low brake fluid. I cannot find any wet spot for a leak but I did find some odd wear on the rotors. The out board side of the rotor looks as you's expect. The inboard is another story. It doesn't look like it's contacting the rotor very hard. The contact patch is not as big as you'd expect. It's maybe half across the middle of the surface. The car sat for 4 months during this past very cold winter. I suspect its the caliper, which may be contributing to the spongy pedal. Does disassembling the caliper and cleaning things up and replacing the seals seem like a good idea? I'm thinking that servicing the rotor and a good system bleed might fix things up. I'll need to keep an eye on the fluid level to see whats going on there if anything.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #2
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Seems like the caliper was not moving freely on the bolts. These should be cleaned and lubed when new pads are put on. If they are that bad, you'll probably just have to replace the rotors and pads and start over. That bolt on the top and bottom of the caliper should piston in and out before putting the caliper back on.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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I typically always clean and lube those pins that the calipers slide on. Do you think it's work the trouble to take the caliper apart and clean it and replace the seals? Or am I barking up the wrong tree about the caliper being compromised?
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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It sounds like the caliper to me as well; when one side pushes harder than the other it will cause uneven wear and warping of the rotors. When you put new pads and rotors on (or even just turn them) without fixing the original issue, it will wear the same or worse since it won't get any better. The more aggressive you apply the brakes, the worse it gets with the heat generated. I think you're barking up the right tree, unless there is reason to suspect the material the rotors were made of (aka China made crap).

In terms of rebuilding the calipers, it's just easier to replace them new - but, if you take the time to do it right you would 1) gain the experience and 2) definitely save money. The main issues would be whether the calipers have excessive wear from the piston and the bolt guides/sleeves. I've done it but it's not my favorite things to do.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #5
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There's a distinct possibility that the rotors are cheap. I need to do a real good bleed job on the system so taking the calipers off and rebuilding them shouldn't be a real biggie (I might regret saying that). I've rebuilt a few calipers in the past. Not for a long time but I have done it. I'm thinking that the flacky caliper would contribute to the spongy pedal. I'm hoping the caliper can be turned to true it back up.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punchback View Post
I typically always clean and lube those pins that the calipers slide on. Do you think it's work the trouble to take the caliper apart and clean it and replace the seals? Or am I barking up the wrong tree about the caliper being compromised?
For sure clean & lube the caliper slide pins, like said above. ^^^^^^
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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New pads & rotors time. As long as the calipers don't hand up & the pins are lubed it should be fine.

I've seen that before on occasion, particularly when something has sat for a while & more than once for that makes it worse. Once the rust starts bad, you'll find the rusted area sits lower than the polished area. Rust can take away the surface faster than it wears from the pad contact. Starts when some rust chews part of the pad quicker than the rest, after that it isn't making contact to get buffed clean & the rust just gets progressively worse.

Even if they were thick enough to be turned, no-one wants to put a tool to rust because it chews up the carbides quick as well.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:41 PM   #8
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Half contact on the inboard or piston side of the rotor indicates there's something not lined up correctly with the caliper piston and or pad that is simulating a spring loaded condition when hydraulic pressure is applied and released giving the illusion of a spongy pedal.
The one thing that pops out to me is either the caliper piston has an unseen failure with it or the brake pad on the inboard side has worn uneven as a result of the initial problem requiring further travel of the piston to make contact with the rotor.

My suggestions is to replace the rotors pads and get re-manufactured or new calipers. Make certain the caliper guides seals are intact and are using a good dampening grease.

Perform a complete brake bleed (front and rear) and make certain the fluid reservoir is maintained full at all times to avoid any more air in the system as possible aside from the drain off of the lines to the calipers when being replaced.

Then do the proper bed in procedure of the rotor and pads and see if that solves your issue?. If not suspect an issue with rear brakes or quite possibly the master cylinder?.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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I was really wanting to fix this on the cheap but... I'm going to get new rotors, pads, and calipers. Turning the rotors is $13 compared to $25 for the least expensive at AZ. I've owned this since new and I'm sure the calipers have never been replaced so I'm sure rebuilding them isn't the best idea. Anyway I'll check back later after it's done. I have to wait until this afternoon for the calipers.
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:34 PM   #10
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Well just finished replacing rotors, pads, and calipers and the brakes are great. I only bled the fronts where the new calipers went in. The pedal is just how it's always been. I don't drive this car anymore but I drove it for about 8 years so I'm aware of how the brakes should feel. I guess the crappy contact the pads were making with the rotor is why it had a spongy pedal. It's really a head scratcher as to why the rotors got the way they were. I'm going to get some photos uploaded some where so I can post them here. Any suggestion on where to put them so they can be viewed in the post?

I'm not sure why the fluid was low. That's probably another Saturday afternoon. I'll have to make sure the driver jeeps a close eye on the level.

Thanks all for the help
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