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Old 02-08-2020, 08:16 AM   #1
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Question Roadtrek 2008 210P brakes

New owner of 2008 RT210P, brakes fine around town but after a long downhill (geared down 1 notch, using the brakes conservatively), developed severe shutter and front end shake. Later on the flat, normal braking.
Can rotors warp with heat, then revert? Is this common? Would aftermarket rotors and pads solve this? All suggestions welcome, thanks.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:57 AM   #2
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Yep, but you didn’t gear down enough. Go slower and gear down lower on the down hill. Amazing that it returned to normal which may imply it wasn’t warping but changes in the friction coefficient due to heat. I’m not an authority but slow it down more on the downhill.

If you gain speed you are in too high a gear if low brake heating is your goal.

Traveling too slow for traffic, pull over.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:22 PM   #3
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Aftermarket rotors and pads will help but probably not eliminate. Downshift to use engine braking to keep speed down. If brakes are needed on downhill run, apply them firmly to slow down, then release. Moderate continual pressure is worse than occasional hard application.
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Old 02-08-2020, 04:40 PM   #4
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After a similar experience, the advice I found was to replace the front pads with high quality ones of semi-metallic construction. The OEM are ceramic. I chose Bendix Fleet Metlok MKD784FM. I also replaced the rotors with the matching brand to provide a fresh surface for the pads.

Donít know how much the change has increased the heat tolerance of the brakes because I drive slower down hills, as others have recommended, to stay away from this ominous situation.
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:06 PM   #5
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Also, with a good quality heavy duty pad you should get much better braking. There were times with the OEM pads that I didn't know if I was going to stop in a panic stop. I put Hawk pads and rotors on my 210 and the braking improved dramatically. I did find however that the Hawk rear pad shim plate was smaller than the caliper contact surface and I had some uneven wear on the plate. There are various other brake discussions and recommendations on this forum and others so spend some time researching and you should be able to figure out what pads/rotors will work best. One other thing: I recommend changing brake fluid frequently on these heavy vehicles. I change every 2 years but that may be OCD overkill on my part.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadbiker1 View Post
New owner of 2008 RT210P, brakes fine around town but after a long downhill (geared down 1 notch, using the brakes conservatively), developed severe shutter and front end shake. Later on the flat, normal braking.
Can rotors warp with heat, then revert? Is this common? Would aftermarket rotors and pads solve this? All suggestions welcome, thanks.
I had the exact same experience as you. I too feared the brake rotors whould be permanently warped based on the severe shaking I experienced. Yes, I did not set a low enough gear in Death Valley, did not notice any warning signs, and was fooled by the long, strait decline which I misjudged. By the time I realized it, I did not want to over-rev the engine and did the best I could balancing the two at the time.

However, as soon as the brakes cooled I felt no residual shaking for that trip and the next which has covered about 5,000 miles in total since that incident.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by peteco View Post
Also, with a good quality heavy duty pad you should get much better braking. There were times with the OEM pads that I didn't know if I was going to stop in a panic stop. I put Hawk pads and rotors on my 210 and the braking improved dramatically. I did find however that the Hawk rear pad shim plate was smaller than the caliper contact surface and I had some uneven wear on the plate. There are various other brake discussions and recommendations on this forum and others so spend some time researching and you should be able to figure out what pads/rotors will work best. One other thing: I recommend changing brake fluid frequently on these heavy vehicles. I change every 2 years but that may be OCD overkill on my part.

Totally agree with all this.



Over the years we have heard of a lot of the issues with Chevy brakes, and it does appear to be mostly because of the brake pads, as the OEM pads are usually found to be the culprit. Rotors are always pointed to first, but that is not why they pulse, and the rotors aren't warping. The bad pads deposit an uneven amount of material on the rotors and that makes the friction change unevenly when they get hot. It goes away when cool again. The best light truck (not medium duty which are very aggressive) semi-metallic pads you can find are probably best. The may have any kind of name on them like police duty, extreme duty, etc. The main thing is that they are high end semi metallic and not ceramic. Good quality rotors, including the originals have been shown to work OK when matched with the right pads and runout checked.



Note that breakin of the pads is critical, so follow the manufacturer's instructions completely (they will smell a little hot during breakin, most likely and that is what it takes).


It is a solvable problem, so there is no need to risk not being able to stop.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:54 PM   #8
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Hiya... the knowledgeable crowd ( Booster especially ) have made some good suggestions that may apply to your rig as well. Thanks for reporting the same scenario... makes me
feel a little less special ;- )

Cheers
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:06 PM   #9
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We experienced this same violent shaking in the front end of our 2007 210V coming off Wolf Creek Pass (at 10,000 feet) in Colorado. It also went away once we hit flat ground. I am wondering about the reference to shifting down to slow the vehicle on a steep incline. I have done this with diesel pusher RV's (the diesel has more compression, therefore stopping or slowing power) but I wonder about a gas engine like the 6.0 in our Chevy. I guess I would feel better if I had a tach to monitor engine rpms. What prevents the gasoline motor from being over reved and damaged ? Is it safe to downshift on serious declines with a gasoline motor ? I would to hear from someone with a mechanical viewpoint.
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:15 PM   #10
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This is very interesting. The brakes on our '01 200 have always been annoying. Generally not long after having the rotors turned or replaced the brakes go back to shuddering and pulling to one side. This happens under all braking conditions but is most noticeable under light braking. The shudder becomes less noticeable with heavy braking. The pull remains but I know to anticipate and compensate for it.

Can some describe the proper burn-in procedure for new pads?

I'm guessing our Chevy dealer is not the place to get better pads....
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
This is very interesting. The brakes on our '01 200 have always been annoying. Generally not long after having the rotors turned or replaced the brakes go back to shuddering and pulling to one side. This happens under all braking conditions but is most noticeable under light braking. The shudder becomes less noticeable with heavy braking. The pull remains but I know to anticipate and compensate for it.

Can some describe the proper burn-in procedure for new pads?

I'm guessing our Chevy dealer is not the place to get better pads....

First you need good pads of semi metallic material. Second you need a sanded (preferred) or turned rotor so it is clean to shiny cast iron.


Different brands have varying break in procedures, but most will entail repeated stops, right in a row, starting from a fairly quick near stop from 30mph a few times, then 40 a few and then 50 a few times. At the end, if you have the window open, you will likely get a bit of hot brake smell, which is right where you want to be. The big mistake that people making is coming to a complete stop, which is not what you want as it will imprint the hot pads on the rotor. Go down to like 5mph and then back up in speed immediately, but never, ever, stop completely until you are done and have driven at speed long enough to cool things down.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jbucking View Post
We experienced this same violent shaking in the front end of our 2007 210V coming off Wolf Creek Pass (at 10,000 feet) in Colorado. It also went away once we hit flat ground. I am wondering about the reference to shifting down to slow the vehicle on a steep incline. I have done this with diesel pusher RV's (the diesel has more compression, therefore stopping or slowing power) but I wonder about a gas engine like the 6.0 in our Chevy. I guess I would feel better if I had a tach to monitor engine rpms. What prevents the gasoline motor from being over reved and damaged ? Is it safe to downshift on serious declines with a gasoline motor ? I would to hear from someone with a mechanical viewpoint.

Yes you can and should downshift a gas engine on steep grades. To check RPM, which is a good idea, we use a Scangauge which gives lots of data including trans temp on Chevies. Easy install into the OBD port.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
This is very interesting. The brakes on our '01 200 have always been annoying. Generally not long after having the rotors turned or replaced the brakes go back to shuddering and pulling to one side. This happens under all braking conditions but is most noticeable under light braking. The shudder becomes less noticeable with heavy braking. The pull remains but I know to anticipate and compensate for it.
..
The pull is probably caused by a sticking caliper or possibly an obstruction in one of the brake lines.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:49 PM   #14
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My 2012 Popular 190 has the rpm readout (aling with tire pressure, trip odometers, etc). Switching to manual, using the paddle shifters, watching the rpm and not tapping the brakes constantly solved the problem.
Suggest practicing this, as it can be scary in real time.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:26 AM   #15
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This is a big problem with the mid-2000 210's. There has been a lot written about the shimmy problem. Downshifting and really slowing down helps but does not solve the problem. My solution for my 2007 210V was to replace the rotors with slotted rotors and heavy duty brake pads. This was down in early 2013 at 51,000 miles. I now have 135,000 miles on the vehicle and have been through many mountainous roads in the four corners area, the northwest and the east coast National Parks without any shimmy problems. I still downshift going down hills, check the front end alignment about every 15,000 miles and have the tires rotated every 6-7500 miles. I have been told that the shimmy problem develops because the rotors heat up and warp slightly. Hope this helps.
Steve Provost, Newberry, FL
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by roadbiker1 View Post
New owner of 2008 RT210P, brakes fine around town but after a long downhill (geared down 1 notch, using the brakes conservatively), developed severe shutter and front end shake. Later on the flat, normal braking.
Can rotors warp with heat, then revert? Is this common? Would aftermarket rotors and pads solve this? All suggestions welcome, thanks.
We had the exact same problem that you are describing on our 2007 RT170P. Super scary when it happened the first time. The brakes always seemed soft to me when we first bought it. After getting the brakes serviced, we did notice a difference during general driving around town. We didn't get a chance to test it on a steep downhill as we sold the vehicle prior to the next trip.
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