Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Brake Pad question

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Hello Everyone,

It is time to change my brake pads, so I went to my local Auto Parts store. They told me that the front and rear wheels took the same pad. There were 2 types of pads listed for the rear wheels, but 3 types listed for the front wheels (2 that matched the rear, and a third that was more $$ and higher performance). They guy at the parts store said that they had a higher performance pad for the front, because the front wheels do the majority of the stopping.

So I ordered 2 sets of the highest performance front pads, and i'll just install them on the rear as well.

Does this sound "normal" to anyone, or did i screw up?
 

Vettehead Mikey

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Messages
3,486
Location
Not that far from Ottawa
Corvette
1973 Coupe
You don't want or need 'high performance' pads for either end of the car. They're probably metallic or semi metallic which offer no real benefits on the street. Depending on the brands thay may also be agressive on the rotors and squeak and squeel to boot. :eyerole

Take'em back and get regular organic pads, preferably Delco.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2003
Messages
287
Location
Elk Grove, CA
Corvette
1990 ZR1 BLACK/RED 2865
If you do mostly street driving and you are bothered by brake dust on the wheels, I would recommend ceramic pads. I have had them on my ZR1 for 2 years now with no complaints. No noise, seem to be lasting well. I’ve had no braking problems in about 15K miles :beer
 

fine69

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
975
Location
Maryland / D.C.
Corvette
'69 Convertible Vette; '72 Z28 Camaro Rally Sport
Hello Everyone,

It is time to change my brake pads, so I went to my local Auto Parts store. They told me that the front and rear wheels took the same pad. There were 2 types of pads listed for the rear wheels, but 3 types listed for the front wheels (2 that matched the rear, and a third that was more $$ and higher performance). They guy at the parts store said that they had a higher performance pad for the front, because the front wheels do the majority of the stopping.

So I ordered 2 sets of the highest performance front pads, and i'll just install them on the rear as well.

Does this sound "normal" to anyone, or did i screw up?


Yes, the pads are the same for front and back.

I was able to find organic brake pads (I think at VB&P). I replaced my "high-performance" pads with the organic. They were less costly and less noisy than the other ones.

I know, it's hard to NOT get caught up in all the hype, but unless you're racing, there really is no need for ceramic pads or drilled/slotted rotors. I have the stock manual brakes, and they work great.
 

Koop

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
545
Location
Kalifornia
Corvette
YELLOW 69 modified GM Crate ZZ383, LS2 TBSS
I had Hawk pads put in mine recently, very nice. No squeaks, no dust. Worth a few extra bucks.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Does anyone know much about semi-metallic pads? Will the eat up my rotors? As near as i can tell, i'm running OEM replacement rotors. Nothing fancy.

Thanks everyone!

The original organic pads worked great, didn't squeak, rotors were good for 100K miles plus, and pedal pressure was low. Semi-metallic pads WILL wear the rotors, and require increased pedal pressure. Unless you're competitively road-racing the car (where repetitive fade resistance is important), "performance" brake pads won't stop it any faster than organic pads.

:beer
 

Koop

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
545
Location
Kalifornia
Corvette
YELLOW 69 modified GM Crate ZZ383, LS2 TBSS
Hawk is claiming the HPS pads will increase stopping power by 20%+ over organic. I don't know if I believe that or not, but I run them in my CTS-V and on my Vette for the low dust and no squeak factor. My "SeatOthePantsOmeter" couldn't give any feed back about stopping power in the Vette since I went to power brakes at the same time. The CTS-V stops like you threw an anchor overboard with or without the Hawks.

The OEM organic pads were great on the Vette, but you can't get the original compound anymore and the replacements have been known to squeak (I hate squeaky brakes). I don't much like semi metallic, to noisy, dusty and they chew up rotors. I tried Kevlar (I think that's what they were) pads on the wifes car and the damn things wouldn't wear out! They warped the rotors every 7,000 miles though, after 54,000 miles I trashed them (60% left) and went back to OEM.

IMO Hawk is a great choice at the moment.

BTW I always ran stock pads on my Vette and the ORIGINAL rear rotors were drilled off this time. This car has to have well over 500,000 miles on it. This would be my 5th or 6th set of rear pads (at 100k per set do the math)
 

Vette79

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,392
Location
Millersville, MD
Corvette
1979 L-48 Black Coupe
I agree with Bill. Ceramic pads are the way to go. Less brake dust and less noise. Heat dissapation is good to.
 

Koop

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
545
Location
Kalifornia
Corvette
YELLOW 69 modified GM Crate ZZ383, LS2 TBSS
Paragon has them. :)

Didn't the original compound contain asbestos, a substance that is now banned in brakes?

I believe the new are not the same formula, the last set of organics I had squeaked, they've been removed, trashed and replaced with Hawk HPS and no more squeak.

Squeaky brakes on a nice car drive me nuts, it makes me feel like I'm driving a POS.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
SO far, I am happy with my Hawk pads on the Vette. I installed them last week together with new rotors all around. Today, they felt great stopping the Vette.

But at the same time, I used the organic pads for the last 22 years. I like the hawks now too.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Didn't the original compound contain asbestos, a substance that is now banned in brakes?

The Paragon organic replacement pads don't contain asbestos - neither do standard Raybestos replacement pads.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
I took the wheel off and got the old pad out, but getting the new pad in was very difficult. As I compressed the pistons into the caliber, they would pop back out before I could get the pad in. I tried screw drivers, but they didn't work. Finally, I used 2 putty knives to compress the pistons and then slid the new pad down. I'd never seen pistons that would not stay in the caliber after they were compressed (though i've mostly worked on ford truck brakes).

Is there some trick to make the pistons stay in when they are compressed?

Also, my brakes feel "soft." I haven't driven it in a while, so it may just be my imagination. I guess i could have gotten some air in the brake line, but the brakes still work and stop. It just seems like i have to push the pedal closer to the floor. If I want to bleed the brakes, do i turn the bleed valve clock-wise or counter-clock wise to open the valve? I heard it may be reverse threaded.

Thanks for your help everyone!
 

LVMYVT76

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
664
Location
springfield, mo
Corvette
1976 medium blue
The bleed valves are not reverse thread. They do make a clip to slide over the pistons to keep them in. But there was a thread here that someone used a piece of 2x4 to keep them pushed in while replacing the pads. The clip is called a caliper clipper, Zip has them for $7.50 each.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
I love it when a $7.50 part can save me 2 hours of throwing wrenches.

Thanks!

"you know you're a gear head when you have "good" rags and "bad" rags"
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Do an advanced search of the C3 forums here for "Bleed brakes procedure". Searching for different terms may bring up different results. I know there have been a few threads over the years where people have discussed the proper way to bleed the system.

If you've got a soft pedal after replacing the pads, I'm guessing that something is wrong and/or you somehow managed to get air into the system. The OEM caliper setup is notorious for leaking and getting easily out of whack. That's why most people (?) have switched over to the O-ring style calipers, like those offered by CAC supporting vendor VB&P. (It's what I have.)

As far as brake pads go, I use Performance Friction. For general driving and whatnot, they are fine. No squeaks, very little dusting.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
You say that OEM is notorious for leaking and getting out of whack.
Could you define "out of whack" ?

Is it difficult to replace the calibers? I know it is $$$, but is it a weekend job,?
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
You say that OEM is notorious for leaking and getting out of whack.
Could you define "out of whack" ?

Is it difficult to replace the calibers? I know it is $$$, but is it a weekend job,?
If I recall correctly (and there's a chance I'm not), the OEM calipers have needle bearings in them, which guide the pistons. What happens is the pistons will get bumped/banged/whatever and cause the needle bearings to go out of alignment, thus causing leakage and improper brake application.

The O-ring was designed to alleviate that problem, keep the pistons true, and prevent leaking.
As for the time involved, it all depends how much you are doing. Even a complete brake replacement should be a weekend job at most. That would be master cylinder, lines, calipers, and possibly your proportioning valve.

Some issues you could run into would be breaking a bleeder valve, getting a piston cocked, breaking a bolt, etc... Obviously, if you are replacing the calipers, breaking a bleeder valve on the old caliper of no consequence.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
I see the complete O-ring upgrade kit at VB&B. Nice kit, and a lot less than I thought i'd spend. Do stock pads fit in that? i.e. can i order any pad that fits 1982 and it fits in the o-ring calibers?

http://www.vbandp.com/detail.aspx?ID=280

that's the kit i found. Looks good.

I love CAC. greatest automotive advice i've ever seen.
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom