Friday while driving home, my drivers side brake started "roaring". I
took it down to JustBrakes and they said the back side pad went down to
the metal but all other pads in the truck were just fine (had them
replaced 2 years ago). He said the front caliper jammed up and needed
to be rebuilt and the rotor was too damaged to turn (which I think was
BS, it was just close to the tolerance) He also said the right rear
cylinder (disc on front, drums in back) had leaked a little fluid
because some paint was bubbled on the inside, but it was dry.
So the guy said "the bare minimum to make it safe" would be to
completely replace the rotor, rebuild the front caliper and replace
both back cylinders. He claimed that my back brakes were not working at
all which I think was BS. The total would be $309 plus Tax but there
was really more he wanted to do such as replace the springs and stuff.
I asked what the cost on the rotor was and he said $150 "because dodge
rotors are more expensive due to the bearings"
I said I don't have that kind of cash and won't until the end of the
month so I said put the wheels back on and I'll park it in my driveway
until then. I think when he took a micrometer to the front rotor it
read 1225 and the other side was 1250 and I think he said 1210 was the
"replacement threshold" and turning the rotor would put it too close to
If this were my truck (and it's not), here's what I would do.
1. Adjust the back brakes and otherwise leave them alone.
A little bit of paint bubbling around the cylinders isn't that big of a
2. Replace both front rotors, both calipers, and all the pads.
If one caliper has locked up, the other one may not be far behind. If you
rebuild one, then there will be an imbalance in braking; not a good thing.
come in sets of 4. You'll pay for all 4, but only get to use the one that's
If the rotors are flat, and not too wavy, there's not reason you can't
and reuse them. But if the pad has gouged big grooves in it, it should be
not matter what the micrometer says.
If you shop at Autozone, parts are a lot cheaper.
Loaded Calipers $90 pair
Rotors $66 each
Thanks for the reply. The front caliper does move, I forgot to mention
that, I think it just got stuck too close on the back side. The rest of
the front pads have about 1/4 " left on them. The back is a little
The mechanic seemed to think that the pad on the back of the rotor was
dragging for a while and now that I've seen the result, I remember
thinking to myself recently that one wheel seemed to be getting dirtier
than the other.
I've never seen a set of rotors come off a lathe that were still in
spec for thickness.
If money is the issue, fix it yourself. Calipers: $20 each (+core),
Pads: $25 set, Rotors: $42 each. $149 total for new rotors, calipers,
and pads on both sides.
Change the brake fluid!!! It sucks up water over time and causes
caliper pistons to seize in the caliper bores. If it looks dark in the
master cylinder then it's time.
Keep an eye on the rear cylinders.
Observe whats happening before servicing brakes!
One pad worn way more then the other usually (always) means the caliper is
When you use a clamp to push the piston back, pay attention to how much
turning force it takes & compare it to to the other side.
Do both sides close to the same time so you have a frame of reference to
compare. Open the bleeder 1st so old fluid does not
back up into the system. If you can`t get the bleeder loose, you will have
to replace the caliper anyway.
On the rear, take off the brake drum, have someone apply brake while
watching movement on both sides of each wheel cylinder.
If they both move & you have no leakage you don`t have to rebuild or replace
(but its a good idea to)
Rotors can only be legaly turned by a shop to the min. for the vehicle. Min.
is OK , thats why they have a limit.
"Lifetime guarantee" is applicable only when wear is "normal" or due to
defect. (ever tried to prove a manufacturer defect??)
Guarantee is void when wear is proven to be caused by defective parts
the gauranteed part.
Fact, not fiction.
though.....I personally have often, and most likely in every case will,
warranty the covered part if the customer agrees to repair all
defects on the vehical that are acting upon the warrantied part.
Now, given all that, I think the price he got was low if in fact the
is definately bad. And, I'm not convinced by a long shot that that's
Not only low.....
but way low.
fact, not fiction.
~sips his crownroyal~
Regardless of what EVERYONE else has posted "up till now"........
If, and I do quote YOU, "all" the other pads were good, then the
is not definately the problem.
If you consider the facts of your post, that the other pads were
and apply basic brake theory of operation to the diagnosis
of ONE "worn to metal" inner pad, then I wouldn't be jumping the gun,
shooting from the hip, or otherwise making a "guess" that the caliper
is causing the one pad to wear out. Consider the fact that the
pad was still "just fine".
Brake rotor "run out", wobble, warp, whatever name you feel you need
to apply, causes the pads to pulsate away from the rotor making a minor
clearance. Though it is fact that the seal design of the caliper
is such that the piston is retracted inward to the caliper, this alone
enough to "pull" the inboard pad away from the rotor in that it's a
minimal amount of retraction taking place.
The caliper piston is not only applying the inboard pad, but the
pad as well. With only an inboard pad wear scenario, further diagnosis
should be given to why the outboard pad was NOT wearing as
as the inboard pad. Consider that the if the piston is binding,
otherwise restricted from retracting as to wear out an inboard pad to
metal backing plate.........then the outboard pad should not be "just
if your post is factually correct............
recheck the system and pointedly scrutinize the guides and pad
yer post is'nt factually correct.....then disregard all my rambling.
as to yer back brakes......
fix the front, do a repost if you have any further problems,
or...if you left something out,
~takes a hit off his joint......wonders what yer definition of "jest
Doing a complete break job on the 1500 RAM today, and that means replacement
of everything. The drums, rotors, rear wheel cylinders, springs, seals, new
pre-loades front calipers. Total cost for all parts $330.00 and about 4
hours of work.
120K on the Ram original rotors and drums turned once by self and a break
job done at 56K. Present breaks have than a 64th of an inch material left
On vehicles 20 years ago you could get 50K to 80K on a set of breaks but not
today for the following reasons.
Todays breaks last 30K to 50K this is the average.
The average break operating temperature on older vehicles (20 years or more)
was 350 to 450 degreed.
On newer vehicles the break operating temperature runs reom 500 to 650
You can only get the rotors and drums turned once reguardless of vehicle.
It is better to buy new drumbs and rotors.
2- new rotors $55.00 charge to turn two rotors $40.00
2- new rear drums $74.00 charge to turn two drums $50.00.
All said and done check your breaks every six months when rotating tires and
there will be fewer surprises.
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