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Best way to fix warped rotors on 2004 Titan....

2610 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  grndslm
Just bought this truck yesterday, and the first two things I want to do is hopefully get some rotors that stop the steering wheel from shaking while baking... and also to flush the differential with synthetic oil, but the truck already had 260k miles, so I'm thinking of the differential isn't shot yet, then it can't be all that bad.

But anyway... What are the best rotors to put on that will prevent future warping? Are there any other components I should be changing or modifying (besides brake pads)?? Perhaps some new calipers would be in line to prevent future warped brakes??

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Due to the mileage you have, I'd be real careful spending my money. Powerstop is good stuff, EBC..good. Hawke...good. I'd be after value, bang for the buck rather than the cool factor of the best and greatest parts (spelled more 'expensive').

Due to the miles your dealing could be much more than brake rotors causing your steering wheel wiggle. First...if the steering wheel is shaking but the foot pedal isn't pulsing, then there's more going on than rotors..but to be sure....go to Harbor Frt and get a dial indicator and an indicator stand. Jack the truck up and put the indicator set up so that you're checking each rotor, one at a time for run-out. More than 5 thou is a warp.

Now, before I replaced anything, I'd pull the rotors and take them to the auto supply that has a machine shop and have them check the rotors for cutting and dressing to see if they can take the warp out. They can do that at the counter...for free. Prob about 10 bucks rotor and one day if they can be refreshed. Re-install after they are back in spec. Toss if not.

Check the pads .... wearing on the inside pad faster than the outside pad....piston seize. Outer pad wearing faster....guides and pins worn out. Same in and hardware with new pads.

Now...stop and inventory where you are at.....if you need to buy rotors because the ones you have can't be dressed...the best bang for the buck...Brake Motive on Ebay. Their rotors will last longer than you'll own that truck. Drilled and slotted F&R. Don't buy their pads if you want to stop on a dime. Get to Autozone and buy the semi-metalics they have for the Titan. Cheap and they have as much bite as Hawkes do. If you need calipers, I haven't seen anything that beats the ones Brake Motive has (bang for the buck again). It's all about the cost of the stop. They sell kits or bits...your choice, but I can't say I've found more value. Are there 'better' out there....probably, but what I've told you to do will stop better than stock. Buy the expensive stuff if you are going racing, or have more money than you need.

A tip that most fleet managers know from experience....rotors don't warp from heat. They warp from incorrect wheel torque and/or improper mount. Use a torque wrench and clean the crud from the hub before mounting the rotor. I've seen wheels come off miles down the road after mounting.....the rust breaks down and the lugs come loose and's not pretty.

Lastly, when you're all done....bleed the brakes!!!~!~

Go for a ride and run in the pads so they're set to the rotors. There should be NO flutter sensation in the brake pedal. Once you've done that...if you still have wiggle....control arm bushings are most like likely the culprit. Possibly upper ball too. If so..replace the whole arm with new bits pre-installed.
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Bleeding Brake System EFS003O4
While bleeding, pay attention to master cylinder fluid level.
1. Turn ignition switch OFF and disconnect ABS actuator and electric unit (control unit) connector or battery
negative cable.
2. Connect a vinyl tube to the rear right bleed valve.
3. Fully depress brake pedal 4 to 5 times.
4. With brake pedal depressed, loosen bleed valve to let the air out, and then tighten it immediately.
5. Repeat steps 3, 4 until no more air comes out.
6. Tighten bleed valve to the specified torque. 69 ft lbs.
7. Repeat steps 2 through 6, with master cylinder reservoir tank filled at least half way, bleeding air in order
from the front left, rear left, and front right bleed valves.

Hmmm.. so it's back right, front left, back left, front right. Ok then...
Item 6. Shouldn't that be inch pounds?? Even that seems really high to me. Between 48 to 74 in lbs (5.9 ft lbs) should be enough. ( I use feel...about 24 in lbs.) Most torque wrenches that are calibrated in ft lbs aren't too accurate below 30 lbs...use an inch lb wrench if at all possible. Nothing sucks more than breaking off a 70 cent bleeder and then replacing with a $114 caliper!.

Also, there is a school of thought on bleeding high mile vehicles that haven't been well maintained: Don't press pedal all the way to the floor during bleed. Why? Well, if you've ever rebuilt a failed master cylinder, one with lots of miles or poor maintenance, there's a sufficient amount of trapped **** (technical term) that is black, abrasive and behind the piston seal in such a way that full depressing of the pedal will push that **** into the seal and put enough cuts in it to cause a leak that only makes a bad master worse. Half to three quarters might save some cash.

One more thing to add to your list, flip the caliper once air bubbles cease and you've closed the bleeder. Put them back on the rotor flipped and give one more pedal push to clear additional fluid. The Titan uses top bleeders for convenience, but if a caliper has water in it(brake fluid-hygroscopic etc), it will be at the 'bottom' of the chamber and not passed while the caliper is upright. This is and always has been a problem with top bleeders coupled with bad maintenance/old age.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
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