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changing rotors and calipers

This is a discussion on changing rotors and calipers within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have always been interested in getting better brakes for safety reasons and so when i see the cops i ...

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    changing rotors and calipers

    I have always been interested in getting better brakes for safety reasons and so when i see the cops i can slow down as quickly as possible. How difficult is it to install some slotted and drilled rotors? i might be able to get new calipers too, but i don't know much about this stuff. any recommendations?
    1999 Trans Am M6
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    Tuned at Mongillo Motors in New Haven, CT

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    New rotors (and I'd recommend new pads at the same time) are easy to install - don't even have to disconnect the lines/bleed the brakes. Calipers should be OK unless you have a problem. If you're going too fast, by the time you see the cops it's probably too late.

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    I had to change my calipers after 75k on my 98..bad seals. You can tell if the calipers are going by visually inspecting the pads for uneven wear and cracks in the caliper piston seals. Your pads will wear more on one edge over the other. Definately replace the calipers while you are there. They are only $40 a side. As well, replace the caliper bracket bolts $4.99 each and coat them liberally with anti seize. If you dont, next time you change calipers, the bolts will have rusted in the brackets making them useless. You can try and heat them out with a torch or drill out, but it is a PITA!!! Do not DO NOT reuse old caliper bolts.

    I used the Raybestos quiet stop pads, front and rear and rebuilt calipers and new Raybestos rotors. If you have a stock setup, the drilled/slotted rotors are aesthetic only (looks) You may see negligable decrease in stopping distance, but not much.

    Sure the talk of gases escaping and cooler rotors and pad material discarding easier from the rotors is a selling point, but again, if you are stock, the minuses outweigh the positive.

    Definately replace all the old brake fluid until bleeds clear.

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    So what would be the most efficient way to decrease stopping times? I drove my mom's beetle and my uncle's S4, the brakes stop the car so much faster (damn germans). what can i do to help this?

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    Junior Member cheviz28's Avatar
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    Hi, use Brembo Brakes

    Greets from the damm German

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    If you want performance braking, upgrade your brake lines and calipers to 4 piston, then get your drilled/slotted rotors.

    Unless I "need" them ($1300 brake upgrade), I will not spend huge bucks.

    Like replacing my stock T/A hood with an OEM GM ram air hood at $1600 and paint, $300 and keeping my stock, non WS6 airbox. Just aesthetic and not cost efficient.

    Of course, if you have money blowing a hole in your pocket, go for it. I can think of 10 better ways to spend my money.

    Increased braking performance is not a bad idea if done correctly. $170 pads, stock calipers and rotors make no sense, neither does stock calipers and $200 drilled/slotted rotors and $170 pads.

    Get new or braided brake lines, your D/S rotors, premium brake pads and 4 piston calipers. Then the true cost/benefit would be achieved.

    JMO...

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    good thread!!!

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    As was stated before, you will probably notice the biggest difference with braided brake lines. Less expansion in the line so the brake pedal has a much tighter and responsive feel. Of course putting those on you will have to bleed the brakes so also get solo bleeder valves. As far as rotors, most of it is show. Slotted get a better bite but do actually run hotter and more pad wear. Slotted and cross drilled work well and run roughly at the same temp as standard rotors. Most stock brake setups are fine and really do not require 2 or 4 piston calipers with larger rotors.
    98 T/A: HPE 5.3 Heads, 238/242 113 cam, Kooks 1 7/8 stepped LT headers, Custom Y pipe, Cut out, Borla, NW 90MM TB, FAST 90MM Intake, TB Bypass, Under Drive Power steering and Crank, 150 Dry NOS, Yella Terra rockers, 3400 TC, HPE tuning,

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    Rice Hungry GottaHaveLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheviz28 View Post
    Hi, use Brembo Brakes

    Greets from the damm German
    Please don't take any offense. I only said that because your country makes very high quality cars.



    How much would braided brake lines run me? difficult install?

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    Member Transam388's Avatar
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    Generally for Earl's braided lines for all four brakes about a 100 bucks. Install is very straight forward and usually you can have all lines in within an hour and a half. You will pretty much see it is all laid out in front of you when you crawl under the car. The lines look the same except for the braiding so match em up and bolt to the calipers and brake line connections. One thing though on brake stuff don't get to crazy on over tightening as much of the metal is pretty soft and easily stripped so just get tight but not over done. Once all is done and brakes bleed, have someone watch all of the new connections while you pump the brakes to see if anything is leaking. Of course if it is you need to tighten a little more and possibly have to re bleed again. As I said you will need to bleed the brakes after the install so get the solo bleeder valves and brake fluid as well!
    Last edited by Transam388; 12-19-2006 at 09:59 AM. Reason: more detail

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    I use a vacuum bleeder...very nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GottaHaveLS1 View Post
    Please don't take any offense. I only said that because your country makes very high quality cars.



    How much would braided brake lines run me? difficult install?
    Hi, no problem. German cars are not allways better than others, but more expensive.

    I use on my Z28 Raybestos Disc's and Stock Pad's and it works.

    CU

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    Quote Originally Posted by GottaHaveLS1 View Post
    Please don't take any offense. I only said that because your country makes very high quality cars.



    How much would braided brake lines run me? difficult install?
    You can get the set for like $125 on the web. They will only help your intial pedal feel when you hit them kind of hard..
    For best bang for your buck go down to your local Autozone and buy the optional Bear rotors. They are cross drilled AND slotted. Plus they are zinc washed so they won't rust. Also they will offer a optional increase in dia. for the rears which gives you more surface area....= better stopping.
    Hope I helped..... Watch out for the salt trucks!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Transam388 View Post
    As was stated before, you will probably notice the biggest difference with braided brake lines. Less expansion in the line so the brake pedal has a much tighter and responsive feel. Of course putting those on you will have to bleed the brakes so also get solo bleeder valves. As far as rotors, most of it is show. Slotted get a better bite but do actually run hotter and more pad wear. Slotted and cross drilled work well and run roughly at the same temp as standard rotors. Most stock brake setups are fine and really do not require 2 or 4 piston calipers with larger rotors.
    wait a minute, your telling us slotted rotors run hotter than stock ones and slotted/cross drilled run the same temp as stock? I was under the assumption that either will give you quicker recovery time with lower brake temperatures. Even if you have stock calipers. Not going to make your stop faster sure, but they should be cooler, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by billsblackbird View Post
    wait a minute, your telling us slotted rotors run hotter than stock ones and slotted/cross drilled run the same temp as stock? I was under the assumption that either will give you quicker recovery time with lower brake temperatures. Even if you have stock calipers. Not going to make your stop faster sure, but they should be cooler, no?
    Thats what I thought the holes were for, to keep temp down and help stopping.
    Last edited by SandmanWs7; 12-22-2006 at 06:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banshee1967 View Post
    !Do not DO NOT reuse old caliper bolts.
    You can reuse the guide pins if they're not damaged/pitted....just have to relube'em

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    They are $4 each (guide pins)..you spend $200 on a set of decent pads and rotors for the fronts.

    Unless the person knows the FULL aspect of a quality brake job, does one realize what to properly perform whilst completing same.

    For $16 extra, I feel better not having to derust, descale, use a bench grinder wheel to clean the threads...time and labor.

    If the "tool" who did the subsequent brake jobs before you screwed up the pins by not lubing them, and they are a PITA to remove. If you can get the pins out, soak the brackets in a 30% solution of muratic acid and water for 15 minutes, rinse, dry and then touch up the pin holes with emery paper, wash and install with new pins and anti seize.

    New caliper brackets cost $159 each. new pins $4 each..your choice.

    Bought my 99 with 51k and a brake job from a non GM entity. Owner paid $700 for F/R brakes (pads and rotors). For $700, I could have done better by $350 including new brake lines and calipers and done it right, being a "novice" by the volume a "brake" establishment would lable me.

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