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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there, i got a quote to replace my front pads and rotors for $1150 from the dealer... doing a little searching here, that looks reasonable all things considered. (I'm in the San Francisco area where labor rates are really high)... but i'm not afraid to do a little work myself to save some money sometimes... and pads and rotors seems like one of those jobs that's usually easier than expected...

So, anyway, i noticed i can price out rotors and pagid pads on Sector 111 for around $550 so i'm tempted to do it myself becuase that'll save me close to $600. I've changed brakes and rotors on my G500, (heck i changed the wheel bearing on that which is a pretty nasty job) but it's an old solid axle type suspension... and i've changed pads on an old Civic. is there anything about the Lotus front brake and rotor set-up that i need to know?... or special tools? I've got a low profile floor jack and some Metrinch tools.

if it's a pretty striaght forward job then that's great... anybody know the torque specs for the different bolts involved in the job? or is it written up anywhere in a tech article and i just need to search it?

Thanks ahead of time.

Also, the pads are also still at 50% wear... (the reason for the service is that 1 or both rotors are warped... which is wierd considering how lightly i drive the car) anyway should i consider keeping my pads or just change it now since i'm in there already...

:popcorn:
 

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Before you spend all that money, be sure your rotors are really warped. Advanced apologies to the moderators, but this link has some good information:

StopTech : Balanced Brake Upgrades

The best thing to do is actually measure the runout. It could save you a bundle.

I'm not taking any position, pro or con, on the products offered on that website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PatrickShim, i think the same reason you find different prices for parts is same reason you find different prices on cars. made differently, made to do different things, boutique vs. high production also.

Anyway, any other input on my original post? torque specs for bolts? Special tools required?... you guys are a pretty gear headed group yes/no?... i was figuring i'd get a little more feedback based on the amount of tech-talk that goes on at mercedes g-wagen owners forums (the good ones anyway).
 

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PatrickShim, i think the same reason you find different prices for parts is same reason you find different prices on cars. made differently, made to do different things, boutique vs. high production also.

Anyway, any other input on my original post? torque specs for bolts? Special tools required?... you guys are a pretty gear headed group yes/no?... i was figuring i'd get a little more feedback based on the amount of tech-talk that goes on at mercedes g-wagen owners forums (the good ones anyway).
Front brakes pads are very easy to replace. Needle nose pliers to remove the "R" clips, the rest you can do with your hands. Attach a bleed hose and open the bleed screw (open end metric wrench), and you can retract the pistons with your fingers. Lock down the bleed screw and remove the hose.

For the rotors, if you've got a set of metric hex drivers for your ratchet set (and torque wrench), you're probably good to go...

According to the manual, you have to remove the front caliper to remove the front rotor... two metric hex head bolts.

The rotors have a small, countersunk screw with a metric hex head... it's usually seized, so it's useful to spray some penetrating oil on it before trying to remove it.

Use threadlocker blue when reinstalling the caliper bolts (45 Nm/33 ftlbs).

That's it...
 

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you should be able to replace all four corners in about 1 hour... the first time. the second time should take you about 30 minutes.

use some penetrator on the counter-sunk bolts or you may get in trouble.

a jack, pliers, torque wrench and some sockets and you are on your way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
perfect!

Perfect, thanks for some good responses. i should be good to go... although the first time will probably take me 4 hours to only do both sides on the front. I'm painfully slow at care maintenance stuff until i've done it a few times. :shrug: :nanner2:
 

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Front brakes pads are very easy to replace. Needle nose pliers to remove the "R" clips, the rest you can do with your hands. Attach a bleed hose and open the bleed screw (open end metric wrench), and you can retract the pistons with your fingers. Lock down the bleed screw and remove the hose.
I would be scared doing it that way as you could induce air into the system. I use a hammer head to pry the two pads apart like in sands museum.

Lotus Elise Maintenance, Front Brake Pad Replacement

I would also double think the rotor warp. I drive pretty hard on the street and i went thru a set of the stock pads and did not have rotor warp. I say take the time to measure the run out and save yourself alot of money and time. If you can get away with replacing just pads its a very easy procedure each side will take less then 20 mins including taking off the wheels and putting them back on.
 

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I would be scared doing it that way as you could induce air into the system. I use a hammer head to pry the two pads apart like in sands museum.
Why? As long as you're retracting the the pistons, you're displacing brake fluid... it has to go somewhere. If you put a bleed hose on the bleed screw, it's really no different than bleeding the brakes with positive pressure. If you don't do this, you're pushing the brake fluid back up the system (and the fluid in the calipers has seen the highest temperatures).

I always do a full bleed of the brakes with positive pressure after replacing the pads anyway, but that's as much to flush out more of the older fluid as it is to ensure there's no air in the system.
 

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Perfect, thanks for some good responses. i should be good to go... although the first time will probably take me 4 hours to only do both sides on the front. I'm painfully slow at care maintenance stuff until i've done it a few times.
Before you start, make sure for yourself that your rotors are actually toast. Get a micrometer and check the thickness. Sand off any pad deposits on the rotors and see if you still have any pulsing (assuming you had any in the first place). We've heard that some dealers say that Lotus "recommends" replacing the rotors when you do the pads. That's BS. :thwack: I've replaced my pads numerous times already and my rotors have almost half of their spec thickness left.
 

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VERY good chance that the rotors are *not* warped.......
More than likely pad deposition has smeared pad material onto the rotor; 1/2 the time it cannot be removed.

Take a few pictures and post them here before you toss out the $$$ --
 

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open the bleed screw (open end metric wrench),
First thing - don't use an open end wrench, always use a boxed end wrench. Bleed screws tend to be made from softer metal, and if it's on too tight or corroded in place, you stand a very good chance of stripping the corners off the bleed screw using an open end wrench. Removing a stripped bleed screw can become a major pain (last time it happened to me, I bought a new caliper - but the caliper was cheap for a Chevy).

Second, I wouldn't remove the hose from the caliper as that's just asking for air to get into the brake fluid, and if it gets to the ABS unit, you will have to take it to the dealer for bleeding. Instead, just remove the caliper from it's mounts, and use a length of wire to hang it from something so that the hose isn't being stretched. That fact that some of the "bad" fluid gets pushed back up the system really doesn't matter if you are going to bleed/flush it anyway.
 

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Front brakes pads are very easy to replace. Needle nose pliers to remove the "R" clips, the rest you can do with your hands. <b>Attach a bleed hose</b> and open the bleed screw (open end metric wrench), and you can retract the pistons with your fingers. Lock down the bleed screw and <b>remove the hose.</b>
First thing - don't use an open end wrench, always use a boxed end wrench. Bleed screws tend to be made from softer metal, and if it's on too tight or corroded in place, you stand a very good chance of stripping the corners off the bleed screw using an open end wrench. Removing a stripped bleed screw can become a major pain (last time it happened to me, I bought a new caliper - but the caliper was cheap for a Chevy).
Fair enough...

Second, I wouldn't remove the hose from the caliper as that's just asking for air to get into the brake fluid, and if it gets to the ABS unit, you will have to take it to the dealer for bleeding. Instead, just remove the caliper from it's mounts, and use a length of wire to hang it from something so that the hose isn't being stretched. That fact that some of the "bad" fluid gets pushed back up the system really doesn't matter if you are going to bleed/flush it anyway.
I didn't mean the brake line hose, I meant remove the bleed hose after retightening the bleed screw... as opposed to removing the bleed hose before retightening the bleed screw.
 

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Why? As long as you're retracting the the pistons, you're displacing brake fluid... it has to go somewhere. If you put a bleed hose on the bleed screw, it's really no different than bleeding the brakes with positive pressure. If you don't do this, you're pushing the brake fluid back up the system (and the fluid in the calipers has seen the highest temperatures).

I always do a full bleed of the brakes with positive pressure after replacing the pads anyway, but that's as much to flush out more of the older fluid as it is to ensure there's no air in the system.
True that the caliper sees the most heat and the fluid there does too. However it really does not matter if the fluid in that area travels back up. The fluid itself will want to balance itself out, if heat and/or water is introduced into the system the fluid moves around until it is even. That is why when fluid gets old it is dark in the reservoir and when you bleed the system the fluid coming out isn't darker and gets lighter. There is a term for this phenomenon but its slipping my mind right now.
 

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True that the caliper sees the most heat and the fluid there does too. However it really does not matter if the fluid in that area travels back up. The fluid itself will want to balance itself out, if heat and/or water is introduced into the system the fluid moves around until it is even. That is why when fluid gets old it is dark in the reservoir and when you bleed the system the fluid coming out isn't darker and gets lighter. There is a term for this phenomenon but its slipping my mind right now.
Diffusion?
 

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I didn't mean the brake line hose, I meant remove the bleed hose after retightening the bleed screw... as opposed to removing the bleed hose before retightening the bleed screw.
In the imortal words of Gilda Radner: Never Mind!

Obviously I misunderstood it to mean the brake hose, not the bleed hose. :eek:
 

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Diffusion?
No it has to do with balance of fluids and air. For example if you have a bucket of water and half the water is warm and the other half cold. it will want to mix by itself to balance itself. Another example, you have a cold drink on the table and it brings itself to room temp.
 

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No it has to do with balance of fluids and air. For example if you have a bucket of water and half the water is warm and the other half cold. it will want to mix by itself to balance itself. Another example, you have a cold drink on the table and it brings itself to room temp.
Are you sure it's not molecular diffusion? That would cover the process of a contaminant in the brake fluid smoothing out its relative concentration over time.

Molecular diffusion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For heat, that's just considered equilibrium through diffusion (or convection)...
 

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Equilibrium thats it
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
easy job!

THanks guys, boy that is an easy job. I got the first side done in 45 minutes. I was able to push the pistons back into the calipers (for fitting the new pads) by hand... wasnt even that hard by hand, it just took 20-30 seconds of consistent squeezing.

I did the right front only because that side had a wheel bearing go bad which made me wonder if it wasn't the root cause of the problems with the rotors... which turns out to be true, because there is NO brake shudder at all anymore. Whether it's warped or just has deposits is more or less unimportant to me becuase it should be warrantteed so we'll see how this turns out when i go back.

the gold-ish colored EBC slotted/spotted rotors do make a light swishing/whirring sound (due to the slotting) on braking that they put in big writing on the paperwork that comes with them. No squeeling though so i'm okay with it.

I put EBC slotted and spotted rotors and ebc green stuff pads. Bedding in one side only sure was awkward. the car pulled left for a bit (i'm assuming becuase the left side is bedded in already) but now it actually brakes straight... so at least for street driving it's probably safe to say that the EBC green on their Slotted and spot drilled rotors has substantially similar brake grip in normal driving or non spirited driving becuase it's not pulling at all any more. Correction i played around a bit more today on my lunch hour and while with light braking it slows straight, the EBC green pads do definitely have more friction than than stock pads when you start getting hard on the pedals during regular driving becuase it now pulls right.
 
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