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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day,

It's been about 2 weeks now since I've installed the factory HD brakes onto my 2009 SE, it's now been ~1000 kilometers on the new pads and rotors. I've been very pleased with them but I can't help and notice how the outside pads on both front rotors don't seem to fully reach the very center edge of the rotor where the pads should reach, and it's more noticeable on the passenger side. It's almost as if the caliper is twisting, applying a lot of pressure on the outer part of the pad and almost nothing to the inner part, see the photos below:
This is the driver side (less noticeable) Notice how it seems to skim the very center part of the rotor:
Fixture Composite material Wood Tints and shades Rectangle


This is the passenger side, and it's more noticeable:
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread


And for reference, this is the rear, both rear rotors look the same:
Rectangle Wood Line Sky Composite material


Now I know that on some vehicles, this is normal just like having slightly more pad wear on the piston side of the caliper vs the outer pad. But this doesn't quite seem right to me, granted they are from a salvage town and country but the pads I took off from those calipers looked even so I'm not sure what the deal is. The rears both have even wear across the whole rotor from the top to the center stretching the entire pad.

I did also take off the passenger side caliper bracket, even though the pads moved freely on it. I noticed the outer part of the non piston side pad was shinier (or sort) then the inner part of the pad, the piston side pad has even wear. I rook the tins off (which are new) and made sure I got all the rust and everything else off where the tins meet, re applied the caliper grease, and put it back but it didn't make any difference. And I did remove the sliders on the bracket during the install, cleaned them all out, and re applied new grease and new boots. They all moved freely.

Is this normal? Or have I done something wrong/possibly the calipers are somehow bad?
 

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Bent caliper bracket from an accident or pads are binding in the shims. Try them with one shim per pad, on the end that takes the most beating. That's what I did with the rears I just installed as the shims made everything too tight (impossible actually). One spring loaded shim per pad should keep them from rattling.
Or grind some metal off the pads to get a looser fit. That's my usual fix
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bent caliper bracket from an accident or pads are binding in the shims. Try them with one shim per pad, on the end that takes the most beating. That's what I did with the rears I just installed as the shims made everything too tight (impossible actually). One spring loaded shim per pad should keep them from rattling.
Or grind some metal off the pads to get a looser fit. That's my usual fix
I will give it a try, I could move the pads freely within the bracket itself, on both sides.

But now that you mention the bracket bending, is there a way to test this? I noticed both calipers had dirt on the bottom and so did the rotors of the van I took them from, almost as if they had taken the wheels off and just placed the van straight onto the ground.
Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wheel Automotive design
 

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Stuck pins (common) can causes uneven wear. The bottom pin tends to corrode and seize up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Stuck pins (common) can causes uneven wear. The bottom pin tends to corrode and seize up.
I removed the pins, cleaned the bores and pins, re lubricated everything and put it all back together. I torqued the pin bolts to 26 as per manufacturer. I might just have bent caliper brackets, if the weight of the donor van was on the ground without wheels that could have bent them.
 

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Not likely a bent bracket but I have come across a bent bracket on a remanufactured assembly for an Acura. I caught it before I did any assembly, it was pretty noticeable. If bent there would be a noticeable misalignment somewhere in the assembly.

It sure sounds like something is not moving freely (#1) or a misalignment (#2). Feeling any difference in heat from wheel to wheel, after a drive and doing some braking?

One of my rear wheels is warmer than the other wheels. I will need to take the caliber off that wheel and check the relationship of the pin (pad) to the slot (piston), to see if it's mating properly (related to e-brake). If it is, then I am looking at a sticking caliper.
Everything looks good on the outside surface.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I once again took off the passenger side caliper, removed the sliders, cleaned the bores and sliders, applied new grease and put it back together and after a 5 minute test drive it hadn't changed the wear on the rotor.

I'm kind of at a loss, I'm not sure what could be wrong at this stage. There is also a definite gradient of heat from the most center part where the pad is supposed to touch but doesn't to the edge.

The pins slide easily in and out, if I apply pressure (as the weight of the caliper would) there is a grinding type of feel to it but it's really not much. Am I to replace the front calipers for different ones? I just want them to be working properly.
 

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Are the pads sticking out past the outside of the rotor? In other words, does the wear pattern go all the way to the edge of the rotor? If not, if it were mine I’d let it go and keep an eye on it. The outside of the rotor is moving significantly faster against the pads than the inside — that might explain what you’re seeing. If the pads wear unevenly over time then I’d look again, but I’d give it time.
If rotor temperature is significantly different side to side that also would indicate a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are the pads sticking out past the outside of the rotor? In other words, does the wear pattern go all the way to the edge of the rotor? If not, if it were mine I’d let it go and keep an eye on it. The outside of the rotor is moving significantly faster against the pads than the inside — that might explain what you’re seeing. If the pads wear unevenly over time then I’d look again, but I’d give it time.
If rotor temperature is significantly different side to side that also would indicate a problem.
Yes they are, they should reach more to the center, notice how the wear pattern is normal on the outer edge and just scrapes the center. The passenger side is worse then the driver side is, but even the driver side has the same problem.

I'm starting to think that there is a deeper problem with these calipers, I have replaced the sliders with no difference. A 2014 GCV with the HD brakes has showed up at the yard so tomorrow I'm swapping the front calipers, and I hope this solves the issue.
 

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If everything is sliding like it should, then the caliper is putting uneven pressure on the pads, causing uneven wear. I guess one could take measurements for the open space, to see if it's consistent.
I don't see any lubricant on the back of the outer pads.
Is there any lubricant on the wear surface of the pads?
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If everything is sliding like it should, then the caliper is putting uneven pressure on the pads, causing uneven wear. I guess one could take measurements for the open space, to see if it's consistent.
I don't see any lubricant on the back of the outer pads.
Is there any lubricant on the wear surface of the pads?
Yeah I just took a fingerful of caliper grease and smeared it over the pad wear surface where it contacts the rotors to prevent any squeals while braking, haven't heard any yet so it's fine. :D :LOL:

All jokes aside, no the pads did not get any grease on them at all on the wear side and I made sure of this. I put some lubricant on the caliper pistons and the ear on the caliper but it was absorbed by the pad padding on the outside (you see the moist area where the lubricant got absorbed on the photos). I'm gonna roll the dice and swap calipers and brackets, I hate to remove everything, again....

But if it solves the issue then I'd be a lot happier and feel a lot better and safer. I could have opted for rebuilt ones but I paid 12$ per caliper, guess I got what i paid for.
 

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Yeah I just took a fingerful of caliper grease and smeared it over the pad wear surface where it contacts the rotors to prevent any squeals while braking, haven't heard any yet so it's fine. :D :LOL:

All jokes aside, no the pads did not get any grease on them at all on the wear side and I made sure of this. I put some lubricant on the caliper pistons and the ear on the caliper but it was absorbed by the pad padding on the outside (you see the moist area where the lubricant got absorbed on the photos). I'm gonna roll the dice and swap calipers and brackets, I hate to remove everything, again....

But if it solves the issue then I'd be a lot happier and feel a lot better and safer. I could have opted for rebuilt ones but I paid 12$ per caliper, guess I got what i paid for.
If that caliper grease was high temperature copper anti-seize (like I use for non-rubber contacts), watch out for copper flakes on your paint. :)

You can buy caliper brackets at rockauto
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If that caliper grease was high temperature copper anti-seize (like I use for non-rubber contacts), watch out for copper flakes on your paint. :)

You can buy caliper brackets at rockauto
It was this stuff:
Product Liquid Automotive tire Drink Logo
 

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I have some of that in my stash as well. It's good.

You know, if alignment is off a tad starting out, the initial wear will bring pad to rotor together for the long haul. You should be fine.
 
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Rather than gambling with junkyard parts on your brakes, get new. Raybestos has bracketed calipers for about $50 each.


Side note: If anyone can point me to a set of HD front calipers that DON'T have the plastic pistons, I'd sure like to hear it. Plastic in my brakes and cooling system gives me nightmares. :p
 
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Rather than gambling with junkyard parts on your brakes, get new. Raybestos has bracketed calipers for about $50 each.


Side note: If anyone can point me to a set of HD front calipers that DON'T have the plastic pistons, I'd sure like to hear it. Plastic in my brakes and cooling system gives me nightmares. :p
You may know this, but the main reason they started using plastic caliper pistons was to limit heat transfer to the fluid so the brakes can get hotter before the fluid boils (and you lose the brakes). I’ve rebuilt a lot of calipers and never seen a problem with plastic pistons.
 

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The rears on mine looked like metal to me. They have the notches for the e-brake, so I guess they would be. Then again, that could just be the face part.

Phenolic brake caliper pistons have been around for awhile (decades) so they have been "perfected".

:)

What is Cardone saying about it all?
Do Phenolic pistons have any metal?
• Some Phenolic Pistons utilize a metal end cap that contacts the inboard brake pad preventing a chatter/noise upon contact.
 
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The rears are always metal. Just happened to think about the plastic pistons when a Ram the same age as my van got towed to the shop for one shattering. The little old lady that drives it definitely doesn't hit them as hard as I do. It's something I've been wanting to do ever since I changed the pads and noticed they were plastic. I've seen far too many of them shatter, especially on Dodges. Heat transfer means nothing if you lose all your fluid.
 
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