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Are My Front Rotors warped??

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by airfreddy, October 23, 2017.

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  1. airfreddy

    airfreddy New Member

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    City, State:
    san tan valley, az
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1993 Ford Explorer
    Hello All:

    so in June I replaced the pads on my front brakes and the rotors on my 1993 explorer and they seemed fine.I ended up going on a trip into the mountains and on my way back going down some switchbacks in utah I started to smell my brakes. By the time I got down to the bottom the brakes were smoking. I was only going about 5 MPH.

    So I let them cool off and they seemed fine until I was on the freeway from Flagstaff to Phoenix and there is a 14 mile 10% downgrade. About half way down whenever I stepped on the brakes I would start getting a shimmy.

    Once I got down the hill they cooled off and were fine and have been ever since. Last week I was in southern az on about a 5 mile 6% downgrade and when I stepped on the brakes they started to shimmy again. Once they cooled off again they were fine and have been since.....

    I am going back to northern az next week and am going to be going down that 14 mile 10% downgrade again and don't want to loose my brakes.. .They are just fine in everyday normal driving.

    Do you guys think the rotors are warping when they get hot and will they fly apart on that hill this time...???

    I am thinking that I should just replace the rotors and pads again.
     
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  3. Jason94sport

    Jason94sport Well-Known Member

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    Fly apart they will not. Not designed that way. You might have a bad caliper. I'd get them inspected good. The calipers, the slide pins, the rotors. Excessive heat will warp rotors.
     
  4. Rhett

    Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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    Did you gear down? i.e. manually put the truck in 1 or 2? You do that, and brake use will be much less. Gearing down is mandatory if you're on OEM-style rotors. I've run Colorado passes for years in my Ex....I know the limits under those conditions.
     
  5. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    If your rotors were smoking, they are warped.
     
  6. Centaurious

    Centaurious Active Member

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    I would recommend replacing pads. rotors. and doing a brake fluid flush. If you are going down a grade with your foot off the gas and your speed is increasing, you are in too high a gear and must down shift. Manual or Automatic you need to downshift. As you have found, brakes are not intended for long usage.

    If you have an Automatic consider adding an external transmission cooler.
     
  7. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Often overlooked is the break in for new pads and rotors. There is a proper way to "bed" them in.

    2nd suggestion for fluid flush. Moisture in the fluid also causes pulsing when it boils-
     
  8. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    You probably got a bit too aggressive with the brakes and should have geared the transmission down. I made the same mistake. Did a front brake job, rotors, pads, bearings. Took it down a long steep 6% grade and didn't gear down, wanted to test my new brakes. At the bottom I went from about 70 to 40 with a good thrust of the pedal and then smelled the front brakes shortly after. Checked them out the other week and the rotors have a bit of blue on them towards the studs. When they get warm again they'll start to vibrate (towards the bottom of that hill again) but with normal use they're functioning perfectly smooth. Honestly, I think it's also a problem of cheap rotors as much as it is stupidity on my part. They're all from China, even if you buy parts house premium ones like me. They'll work and they're safe but they're not as thick as the OEM ones and probably more prone to warping. The vibration isn't a bad thing, it just means your caliper is moving back and forth as the rotor turns. You can do another brake job and be ginger on the brakes afterwards but ultimately they're not going to be an issue and if anything, it lets you know when your brakes are hot and you should probably gear down.
     
  9. larrydd999

    larrydd999 Active Member

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    I have the 'warped rotor shimmy' on both of my GEN1's. It's not bad, but I would appreciate a recommendation for a better brand for the next time I do the brakes. I don't buy the least expensive, but don't pony up for the gold plated ones either. I also make it a practice to only have them turned one time, the next time they get replaced.
     
  10. Rhett

    Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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    I'm presently using Wagner rotors and Wagner semi-metallic pads. They've held up well, better than my previous, more expensive setup: (PowerSlot rotors and Performance Friction carbon metallic pads). Given the undersized brakes on our rigs, even if you lube the slide pins every 6 months, and check your bearings, it's still hard to get more than 4-5 years out of a set of rotors, at least that's my experience.

    The Wagners don't stop as well as the Powerslots/PF pads. But they have lasted longer.
     

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