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Brake pad and rotor recommendation?

Maine951

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Looking to change the front pads and rotors on my 3rd gen explorer. I've been recommended motorcraft, raybestos, and Wagner as good brands. Stock pads are suppose to be ceramic, but I think im gonna go with semi metallic for better stopping power, unless anyone has used ceramic pards that preform just as good. I don't tow anything but I live on Long Island so winter can get pretty cold at times. Heard ceramic can be not as good during cold elements. Money isn't an issue, looking for a good recommendation from people who own a 3rd gen.
 
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Drewmcg

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I ordered closeout AIMCO economy ceramic pads from Rockauto.com. I paid $26 total (plus shipping) for all four wheels combined. I prefer these to the greater dust and quicker wear (of rotors) associated with semi-metalics. This was three years ago; would buy 'em again in a heartbeat.

Of course, there are all kinds of exotic formulations with grandiose claims. Eric O. @ South Main Auto (great car repair YouTube channel) swears by the platinum Wearever stuff from Carquest/Advance Auto. But most shops favor paying a premium to avoid callbacks at all costs . . . .

For rotors, I usually get the second cheapest standard grade rotors available. In my case, I ordered closeout economy rotors from RA ($14 for the AIMCO and twice that for a Wagner, each + shipping). Again, no problems whatsoever in 3 years. Stops smooth and quiet and strong.

Checking just now, for the '02 XLS, RA has one Raysbestos professional grade front rotor for $18 + ship, which is a real good deal, and a couple of Motorcrafts for $34.
 
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Coolhand20th

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I don't tow anything but I live on Long Island so winter can get pretty cold at times. Heard ceramic can be not as good during cold elements.

Every time I hear this statement I crack up laughing at it. Every person will have different opinions but based on what I have gone through on several different vehicles I just can't put any stock into it. I have run nothing but ceramics since i turned 16 over 25 years ago and I live what can be a very cold climate of Northern Wisconsin, I tow my dad's 2 place & his friends 4 place snowmobile trailers fully loaded down with ceramics all the way around and NEVER have an issue stopping in cold weather.

As far as pads yeah AIMCO like Drew says works good, used them before in the past along with raybestos with no issues on rotors or pads. I won't use Wagner but that is a personal preference after selling those when I ran a Fisher Auto Parts store in the '90s for a few years. Saw too many of those just fall apart and having to constantly warranty them.
 
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IIGood

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For what it's worth, I've always used the Motorcraft semi-metallics on my 2003 Mustang GT over the years...I bought the car new and it's on it's 4th set right now (177K miles later). Also Motorcraft/Brembo rotors. I tend to stick with Ford/Motorcraft stuff for that car in general.

My '03 Explorer currently has Power Stop brakes on it...a full kit that included ceramic pads, rotors, and calipers cost me about $350 from RockAuto. They've been on for just about a year now and I have no complaints on those either.
 
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04redGT

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I have used wagner and motorcraft. I have to say that I feel that the motorcraft super duty pads made a difference on the stopping power.
 
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Drewmcg

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I'm pretty sure michigan is colder than long island. And I've always been able to lock my brakes to where the antilock system kicks in with ceramic pads, so I do not see how you can get mire stopping power than that. Then again, I don't tow 5000lb trailers down mountains, either....
 
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Coolhand20th

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I'm pretty sure michigan is colder than long island. And I've always been able to lock my brakes to where the anti-lock system kicks in with ceramic pads, so I do not see how you can get mire stopping power than that. Then again, I don't tow 5000lb trailers down mountains, either....

Exactly, since I bought my XLT last year I put new Callahan rotors w/ ceramic pads all the way around on it. I towed what I posted above for my dad in the UP of Michigan and around the state with no issues. I have and never will buy this stuff about ceramic not being good enough in the cold, and I sold the that stuff for a few years in 3 different auto parts stores as a manager.
 
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UtahX

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Power Slots and Hawk ceramic.
 
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Coolhand20th

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Power Slots/Stop Tech are one in the same and are made by Centric Auto Parts just a FYI. Those are nice rotors w/ some nice features like the curved venting system they use. Out of my price range though hence why I like my Callahan rotors they don't have the curved venting system but I prefer them to OEM stuff. From all the posts above you have some nice choices to go with from whats been recommended so far in this thread and as you can see most of us are using Ceramic Pads.
 
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Recoil Rob

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I read this with interest. About 10K miles ago I put EBC brakes all around on my 2002 XLT. They barely lasted 10K miles and now I have to replace everything again. This with an empty truck, towing a 800 lb boat 2-4 times a year. They were slotted and drilled, wanted to look cool, just didn't work out.

I too was going to go with semi metallic because I will now be towing a much heavier (4000lb) boat more often and want the stopping power. Reading the comments I may reconsider and go ceramic.
 
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Coolhand20th

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Last set of ceramics I got around 30k out of them before replacing them and that was only because the caliper on my Jeep Grand Cherokee the Akebono style on it decided it wanted to stop working on the one side so it took out the rotor as well as the one side of the pad. Which can happen to anyone at any time. But the other side of the pad still had another 10k in the pads without an issue. Granted I am not towing a 4000lb boat compared to roughly 2500lbs on a 4 place trailer. We used to have a 20' boat in Illinois and icr what the weight was or if my dad used semi-metallics on it when towing it with our 1983 Buick Electra w/ rear air ride suspension. For what I do ceramics work fine, for daily use ceramics work fine. As far as towing a heavy boat like that I would imagine the trailer also has a built in braking system on it, I know ours did which helped out a lot.
 
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Drewmcg

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D
I read this with interest. About 10K miles ago I put EBS brakes all around on my 2002 XLT. They barely lasted 10K miles and now I have to replace everything again. This with an empty truck, towing a 800 lb boat 2-4 times a year. They were slotted and drilled, wanted to look cool, just didn't work out.

I too was going to go with semi metallic because I will now be towing a much heavier (4000lb) boat more often and want the stopping power. Reading the comments I may reconsider and go ceramic.

Do you mean EBC brakes? Which color pad? I put the reds on my Volvo S60 years ago and they are holding up strong and perform great (low dust, too). Too expensive and not really ideal for the Explorer, I think.
 
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Recoil Rob

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Yes, EBC. I used the Greens they recommended for the Explorer. Just didn't last at all. Probaly shouldn't have gone with slotted/drilled.

I just ordered a complete set (front & rear) of Nakamoto rotors and semi-metallic pads. We'll see how they hold up.
 
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Drewmcg

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Yeah, on the EBC site they say that greens basically designed for smaller cars (and remember, EBC is a British company; "small" is even smaller accross the pond!). So that was a poor recommendation to begin with. You would have done better with Reds or Oranges, but they're still overkill (money-wise) for our trucks.

I've noticed that the semi-metallic pads are almost all cheaper than the better quality ceramics for these trucks. They will stop quick and strong; generate a lot of dust; and eat up your rotors quicker than ceramics. So their are tradeoffs....
 
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Recoil Rob

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$128 for everything, shipped. An experiment to be sure. I did use a set on my Honda CRV last month, I was impressed with the quality of the rotors, the cross hatch was well done and they don't seem to be rusting up as much as the EBC. We'll see how long they last though.
 
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El Duque

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How'd you make out? I'm looking for pads and i'm curious how these work. My complaint is the initial bite when stepping on the pedal is garbage. thanks
 
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Recoil Rob

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Re: the Nakamotos, they just got here today and I'm off to the beach for 4 days. Will be installing them next weekend and will report back.
 
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kydirtscooter

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I have been using frozen rotors for rotors and have 60,000 mi on a set with barely any wear in hilly country occasional combo stock trailer use. Pads wear out before rotors, use brown box Ford pads (OE). We use Ford super duty (blue backing plate) on our Diesel pickups with great results in wear,dust,noise,pedal feel. Never tried on gen 3 yet.
 
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Drewmcg

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What's a "frozen rotor"? Is that spell check speak for "Ford rotor"?
 
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