Performance Brake Pads and Rotors for 2001 4Runner

The rotors on my 4Runner need to be replaced because when they heat up they warp and the brakes chatter. This occurs only when driving in the
mountains where there's more harder braking than in city driving. The original rotors have been resurfaced once. and that's about it for them.
Are there any higher performance rotors that are less likely to warp or fade than the stock Toyota rotors? What are the advantages and disadvantage of drilled versus slotted versus drilled and slotted versus plain? Do all slotted rotors have a left and right?
Online I've found:
Brembo Sport Rotors (drilled and slotted) $110 each Disc Italia (drilled and slotted) $115 each Disc Italia (slotted) $115 each Power Disc (drilled) $90 each Power Disc (slotted) $90 each X Brakes (drilled and slotted) $62.50 each Power Stop (drilled) $96 each Power Slot (slotted) $99 each Power Slot Cryo Slot (slotted) $130 each
JC Whitney no-brand listed (drilled) $66 each
What about brake pads? What should I get?
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I'm confused.
Once the rotors warp, they remain warped until they are machined or replaced. Warping is not a transient condition where the experience is on a mountain road but not on other roads. And, braking on a mountain road should be lighter and more evenly applied on a mountain road than in other places. The brakes might be used more often, but the braking ought not be "harder". It you are driving into a turn and mashing the brakes, your passengers are probably on the verge of puking.
Having said that, slots and crossdrilling are done to help extract heat. The pads also act, in a manner, as a heat sink when they are still thick. The problem is, you allow the pads to get thin and htey do not act as a heat sink any longer. Coupled with aggressive driving, they build up heat and this helps warp the rotors.
One thing to consider with slotted and crossdrilled rotors is that they can not be machined on a lathe. I bought some bargain-basement rotors for my car, and the front rotors were warped from the get-go. I called the company, they shipped another set that was also warped. I kept the original set, got the new set ground on a flywheel grinder and installed them, then got the original set ground too, and put them into storage after coating them and wrapping them in plastic wrap. I'm thinking that I can use them later, when the rotors on the car wear out ... I can't recommend the bargain basement place I bought my brakes from -- only because I had to buy additional service before I could use them -- but I'm reasonably happy with the performance so far.
I bought 4 rotors and both sets of pads for the light side of $200, then they shipped two more front rotors for free. I did a search on eBay for my brakes.

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On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 09:20:39 -0700, Jeff Strickland wrote:

This is interesting. I replaced the brakes on my '85 Celica with the cheapest (spelled "C-H-I-N-A") rotors I could get. At about 15,000 miles I started getting a pulsating through the pedal. Since I blew out the cartilige in both knees doing them, I said..."NAH!".
5,000 miles later they stopped pulsating...
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Not quite. The slots and cross drilling on the rotors allow the gases that the pads generate when heated to escape more easily. If the gas can't be cleared from between the pad and rotor quickly enough, the effect is kind of like an air hockey table, reducing the contact between the pad and rotor and creating brake fade. The slots in some pads serve the same purpose.
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Ray O
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Ray O wrote:

Obviously I can't see what's happening, but it feels like the brakes chattering against the rotors. I never notice it in normal freeway driving where the brakes are lightly used, but coming down a steep grade (like Old Priest Grade road near Yosemite) where the grade is up to 14% and engine braking isn't sufficient, I feel it.
Supposedly this is referred to as disc thickness variation. "As the rotor gets hot, it is much more likely to increase thickness variation, thus increasing pedal pulsations as well as steering wheel and other vehicle vibrations." Of course I read this on a web site that also promotes Amsoil, so I don't know how true it is.
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The disc thickness variation is what is causing the pulsation when the rotor gets hot.
If engine braking is not sufficient, try dropping down one more gear range, and instead of riding the brakes, try giving them a good stab to bleed off speed, then let the speed build up a little, then give it another stab. The time between brake applications allows the rotors to cool a little.
I've driven on Old Priest Grade and also coming down Donner Pass. The lower gear range and stabbing the brakes works.
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Slots allow the gas to escape, crossdrilling increases the exposed surface area so that cooling can be distributed more evenly and quicker.
Slots and crossdrilled holes are typically only made on high performance brake parts, except pads. Low performance brakes don't care, and the pads may or may not have a slot cut into them, depending on the whim of the parts-maker. Granted, OEM parts may specify a groove cut into the pad, but as a practical matter, replacement parts might or might not actually have the same gorrve, and life isn't going to change if the groove is missing.
It is probably not worth the cost-up to change rotors from a standard rotor to a slotted and/or crossdrilled rotor if viewed from the perspective of increased performance. I made the change on my BMW solely for the looks of the holes and slots, but my driving style does not require holes and slots and my car does not have holes and slots available from official BMW sources -- I had to get mine from an aftermarket source.
If anybody has a car that is fitted with standard rotors, making an upgrade to slotted and crossdrilled rotors is not going to make much difference in braking performance or reliability.
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The advantage of drilled and slotted rotors is that they allow the gas that the pads generate to escape. If the gas builds up between the pad and rotor, the effect is a little like an air hockey table so friction is reduced. The disadvantage of slotted and drilled rotors is that they cost more and are not easily resurfaced.
When you resurface rotors, you reduce their ability to dissipate heat so they are more likely to warp.
Some things that can reduce brake fade and rotor warpage are selecting a lower gear on long downhill grades, and if you have rear drum brakes, making sure that they are adjusted properly.
I used to do a lot of driving in the mountains and did not experience brake fade or rotor warpage on any of the Toyotas I had as company cars.
The only aftermarket brand you listed that I'm familiar with is Brembo. They should be OK but before you go that route, try checking the back brakes and shifting to a lower gear.
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Ray O
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Check/adjust the back brakes for what, Ray?
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Even though the front brakes do most of the work, the rear brakes are there for a reason and they do provide some braking action.
The rear drum brakes should be checked periodically to make sure that they are adjusted properly. If they are too loose, they do not brake as effectively and the front brakes end up doing even more of the work than they normally do, resulting in more rapid front brake lining wear and more front brake heat buildup.
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Ray O wrote:

I already use lower gears while descending, though perhaps more than I should these days simply because I'm trying so hard to keep the brakes cooler. The back brakes are fine in terms of remaining material, but I thought they were self-adjusting and I didn't have to do anything in that regard.
It may just be that the original rotors should never have been resurfaced in the first place, and once they were thinner they warped from the heat. I don't recall ever having a problem when the vehicle was newer. So maybe I'll just go with OEM rotors since if you can't resurface the slotted/drilled rotors then there's no point in the extra expense. It's getting close to the need for a front brake job so I want to select the parts now.
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Although the rear brakes are self adjusting, they probably self-adjust when you apply the parking brake. If you seldom use the parking brake, the rear brakes don't self-adjust or they are so far out of adjustment that the self-adjuster mechanism can't adjust enough.
To check your rear brakes, raise and properly support the vehicle so that the rear wheels are off of the ground. ("properly support" means having the wheels on the ground chocked and the vehicle supported by jack stands). Give the back wheels a spin like Vana White on Wheel of Fortune. The wheel should rotate once to one-and-a half times. If the wheel rotates freely with little or no friction, they are out of adjustment.
In my experience, I've found that rotors that have been resurfaced almost always warp within a year so I don't resurface rotors, just replace them.
If you do the front brake job yourself, make sure that the caliper slides are not sticking.
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On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 08:50:13 -0700, SMS wrote:

What Ray said.
Also check Endless. They specialize in Toyota brakes.
I don't use drilled/slotted rotors because they wear the pads faster, however, in your case they might solve your problem.
As for the rears, most Toyta rear drums (if you have drums) are adjusted by actuating the e-brake lever/handle. On models with the handle between the seats, lifting the handle and lowering repeatedly adjusts the rear shoes. The 4-Runner I am not that familiar with.
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Rear Drum brakes self-adjust by using the parking brake? Are you sure?
Back in the days of old, drum brakes self-adjusted when the brakes were applied while the vehicle was backing up.
The idea is(was) that the primary and secondary shoes exchange roles in reverse, and the movement of the shoes pulls a cable that moves a lever that cranks a cog that holds the shoes spread apart. If the brakes needed to be adjusted, one simply drove backwards and applied the pedal as needed. Perhaps one had to repeatedly apply the brakes in Reverse if the brakes were significantly maladjusted.
I was not aware that the rear shoes adjust because the parking brake handle (or pedal) gets used.
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On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 14:09:46 -0700, Jeff Strickland wrote:

On my 2 Tercels. Pulling the e brake (parking brake?) lever actuated the adjusters.

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Hmmm ...
I've never heard that before. I musta been sleeping.
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Wake up! Hachi is correct.
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Ray O wrote:

That's not something you can say very often!
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On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 22:12:17 -0700, SMS wrote:

Well, more often than not!
No one is ever really correct with politics. And I try to be when it comes to cars!
As I said, I'm not familiar with the trucks as well, and I never had to do the rears on my '85 2 wheel drive truck, but all the cars I've done the rear drums on, the adjuster works with the brake handle
Your mileage may very...
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I believe him (and you), but I have no platform from which I can test what you guys are telling me, so I can't confirm or deny.
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