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Old 09-25-2018, 04:16 AM   #1
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Default Chevy brake rotor warning

A member here, Dicktill, had a recent problem when he checked the rear brake pads on his 2009/2010 Chevy Roadtrek 190. The inside pad on each side of the rear was severely worn with the outside pads looking good. The rear rotors, which were drilled and slotted, each had a crack, from a hole, on the outside of the rotor braking surface.


After checking all the sliders, piston movement, etc that would normally cause such an issue, nothing bad was found. At that point is was complete mystery as to why the uneven pad wear.


Longer story shorter, it was discovered that the rear rotors were not the correct ones for his van which has the standard, non locking, semi-floating version. The rotors were for the same van with a full floating rear axle.


The different rotors are nearly indistinguishable from each other unless you measure a couple of places, the diameter of the center hole, and the overall height when laying flat. The full floating version of the rotor appears to put the braking surface further inboard in relation to the wheel mounting surface, so the sliders don't have enough travel to center up and use both pads.



Here are the dimensions for the two styles


Semi-floater axle-center pilot of axle hub only comes through the rotor a small amount-will be non locker and not used on the towing package. Tag would carry a 60s model number


Center hole at 4.63" diameter

Height at 86mm (3.38")






Full floater axle-center of axle hub protrudes through the rotor at least an inch and 6 bolts in the hub protrusion-locker and used in towing package. Tag will carry a 70s model number


Center hole at 4.84" diameter
Height at 91mm (3.58")


As can be seen from the numbers, you can't put a semi-floater rotor on a full floater axle because it won't go over the hub.


You can put a full floater rotor on a semi-floater axle and it will go right on, but with a small amount of clearance to the hub diameter. You won't notice anything amiss, most likely, because the wheel studs will center up the rotor. The pads appear to have gone in OK too with the wrong rotor on the semi-floater.


Most of the rotor listings, like at Rock Auto, will mention either the center hole diameter or the height in the listing, but not mention that the axle is what determines which to get. You need to either remove a rotor and measure it or identify the axle type by the hub protrusion so you get the correct rotors.


In the case of this example, the brakes had been upgraded with a kit that included rotors and pads for all four corners of the van. The kit apparently had the wrong rotors for this van, and also apparently didn't give any indication of any other option. A visual at install very likely wouldn't show the very minor difference between what was coming off and the new ones.


The good is that it is likely no serious damage is done except to the pads and rotors, and the worn inside pad appears to be a sure fire way to tell if there is an issue.


We hope this is an isolated occurrence and isn't happening to anyone else, and I have never heard of anyone who had inside pad only wear, at least that I remember. It is, however, something to keep in mind when you buy rotors, as I could also imagine mixed stock could be an issue.
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:25 PM   #2
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Very interesting! Thanks for the follow-up on this.

It feeds into my general anxiety regarding buying repair parts: is this really, really, the correct part?
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:17 PM   #3
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I feel like you can't win with this stuff. I had no issues with repair parts so far but then I read or hear stories like this one and, as you said, I get anxious.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:01 PM   #4
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I certainly don't think things like this should overly scare people, as I would consider this an outlier in that the parts are so very similar even experienced mechanics or DIY folks could miss it. Most parts, even if mistakes are made in getting them to you, are readily identified as wrong by appearance and/or part numbers.


I always look up part numbers separately from what the part stores give me as a double check, and give the parts a good look over compared to the old at install. Getting the wrong parts happens occasionally, but it can caught 99% of the time, I think, by just being careful.


Buying in a kit, like this setup was, points out something that is probably rarely done, and that is to check the individual parts in the kit for application. Most of us would confirm the kit application, but not all the loose parts inside it.


As I said earlier, I posted this because this is a case that a bit of heads up could be a very good thing, but it certainly is a very rare type problem.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
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Excellent information Booster!
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
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Booster.
Do you have the correct part numbers for both the front and rear high performance rotors and pads? Autozone offers a high performance set, rotors with slots and holes and special pads for around $630. Do you know if these are correct ones?

Here is my situation: I would like to change my front and rear pads and rotors to the high performance ones. Rotors with Slotted and holes and pads that will dissipate the heat better.

I own a 2016 Roadtrek 210 Popular and when you go down steep mountains (ie:Rockies) and try to slow down from 60-65 to lower than 60 the rotors get so hot they warp and the RV shakes so violently that you could easily loose control. If you stop and allow the rotors to cool down, then go about 50 you will not feel the shake as much, but it is still there.
I contacted the GM office (Colette) about the problem, then took it to a Chevy dealer. Since they couldn't duplicate it, (ie: no Rocky Mountains around) GM would not have anything to do with it and were a total Waste of time to get the problem resolved.
Thanks,
Dave
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Booster.
Do you have the correct part numbers for both the front and rear high performance rotors and pads? Autozone offers a high performance set, rotors with slots and holes and special pads for around $630. Do you know if these are correct ones?

Here is my situation: I would like to change my front and rear pads and rotors to the high performance ones. Rotors with Slotted and holes and pads that will dissipate the heat better.

I own a 2016 Roadtrek 210 Popular and when you go down steep mountains (ie:Rockies) and try to slow down from 60-65 to lower than 60 the rotors get so hot they warp and the RV shakes so violently that you could easily loose control. If you stop and allow the rotors to cool down, then go about 50 you will not feel the shake as much, but it is still there.
I contacted the GM office (Colette) about the problem, then took it to a Chevy dealer. Since they couldn't duplicate it, (ie: no Rocky Mountains around) GM would not have anything to do with it and were a total Waste of time to get the problem resolved.
Thanks,
Dave

You have the standard "juddering" brakes that most of the Chevies have experienced at one time or another. The most current information is that the juddering is not caused by the rotors warping when hot, but is caused by uneven brake pad material transfer to the rotors. The uneven coating heats unevenly so provides pulsing braking action. As it turns out, the pads, not rotors, are the most important thing to improve, but rotor upgrades are certainly not a bad thing. Most report that good condition stock rotors seem to work OK on the rear, and some have also had good luck on the front, too. Every manufacturer has their own part numbers for stuff, so you have to go by application, and the measurements given in this thread.



For rotors, I am not a fan of drilled and slotted rotors, and essentially all the makers of brakes don't recommend them for heavy vehicles like our vans. Especially the drilled ones have a tendency to crack at the holes. Small, or mini, slots are good IMO, but the bigger the slots the less help they are as you are reducing rotor area. I would chose very small slots if you can find them or plain rotors of high quality, like Frozen Rotors or other premium rotors, especially for the front.



The pads are the important part! Ditch the factory ceramic pads or ceramic replacements. Contrary to logic, they don't handle the heat all that well, and do a poor job of transferring an even layer of material onto the rotors, and then keeping it clean and fresh. The best pads will be top end "heavy duty light truck" or some other name like "police" compound, etc. Properly bedded in, they should take care of your issues as the have for quite a few others. Be warned, however, they will be much messier for getting brake dust on the wheels.


I don't like the kits as you get what they want, and it was a kit the actually caused the problems that this thread is about, as they had the wrong rotors in it.


Top line semi metallic pads from Hawk or other major manufacturer for the pads, and solid rotor from similar high end vendors will be well worth the investment. For high end pads expect to pay $100-$140 per end of the van, and rotors around $100 each.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Determined View Post
Booster.
Do you have the correct part numbers for both the front and rear high performance rotors and pads? Autozone offers a high performance set, rotors with slots and holes and special pads for around $630. Do you know if these are correct ones?

Here is my situation: I would like to change my front and rear pads and rotors to the high performance ones. Rotors with Slotted and holes and pads that will dissipate the heat better.

I own a 2016 Roadtrek 210 Popular and when you go down steep mountains (ie:Rockies) and try to slow down from 60-65 to lower than 60 the rotors get so hot they warp and the RV shakes so violently that you could easily loose control. If you stop and allow the rotors to cool down, then go about 50 you will not feel the shake as much, but it is still there.
I contacted the GM office (Colette) about the problem, then took it to a Chevy dealer. Since they couldn't duplicate it, (ie: no Rocky Mountains around) GM would not have anything to do with it and were a total Waste of time to get the problem resolved.
Thanks,
Dave
IMO, the report that the rotor warp couldn't be duplicated is suspicious. When rotors warp from excessive heat, the warp may become less prominent when the rotors cool, but they don't recover to a "true" state.

FWIW, we have the 210 on a 2016 chassis. With six transmission gears that we can manually select during lengthy descents we don't have to use the brakes much at all.
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Old 09-30-2018, 10:50 PM   #9
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The mechanics not being able t duplicate the issue is really common for this problem, as you need the long, steep, brake taxing terrain to generate the problem. Sometimes it is not even the Rockies that are the worst, as we found out on the Smoky Mountain Parkway a few years ago. We got the brakes hot enough to smell when we stopped at the bottom on the west end, which had never happened anywhere else. That stretch going down to there is curvy and downhill, with straights in between, so tougher to do the downshifting thing without a lot of up and down manual shifting as you go from 45mph to 20mph over and over again. Our upgraded brakes were not at all damaged by getting that hot and were smooth and effective all the way.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:21 PM   #10
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Booster,
Thank you very much for the information. I have never experianced that much shaking in my life, worse than any headbanger concert. It felt like the whole rv was going to fall apart.
I have another question: I tried metalllic pads on different car I owned and they never seemed to stop the car any better, BUT they really tore up the rotors!
Have you found out that also to be the case in your experience?
Thanks again
Dave
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