I recently installed a new set of Wagner OEX brake pads and AC Delco coated rotors. Here are my initial impressions after a couple hundred miles. Iíll be updating this as I get more miles on the combo.Why I bought these pads:
-GG rated. The factory pads were FF.
-Made in the USA. The company says all the OEX pads are made in the USA.
-They use a traditional brake pad shims. I have read about some issues with the integrated insulators on the Wagner Thermoquiets, so I decided to try these.Some notes about the OEX pads:
-Theyíre mainly aimed at trucks and SUVs, for some reason, but they do have applications for some cars.
-They fit fine. I didnít need to file the pad ears or anything.
-The included hardware all fit well.
These pads are performing well, but the friction material shape is gimmicky and isnít as tall as the OE pads (see pics below). Iíve read the smaller swept surface could lead to larger rust ridges at the edges of the rotor. That may not happen in my case, as I bought fully coated rotors where the coating is only worn off on the swept surface. I would prefer a normal friction material shape. The rotors:
I wanted fully coated rotors, so I went with these AC Delco Advantage coated rotors. These rotors are fully coated, including the inside of the hat and down in the vanes. Theyíre made in China.
The machine work looks good and the installation went fine. We will see how the coating holds up. The zinc-based coating on these (at least I believe itís zinc based) does not appear as tough as the paint used on some rotors, but these rotors are fully coated vs. the partial painting used on some other rotors.Rotor installation:
I cleaned both hubs with a wire brush and a wire wheel on a grinder -one side more thoroughly than the other, as youíll see later- and installed the rotors. I used my clamp-on HF runout gauge to check the runout. The factory spec on this vehicle is .002Ē runout max.
The passenger side, which was more thoroughly cleaned, came out .001 runout right off the bat, so it was good to go. The driverís side came out .0025. I took off the rotor and cleaned some additional rust I had missed off the hub. I checked the hub runout and it was .001 or less. I reinstalled the rotor 180 degrees from the initial installation point and got .001 runout.
Then I did a mild break-in, about a half-dozen mid-pressure decelerations, and then drove on normally. Some of the oft-quoted bedding methods online can be too aggressive for street pads. A mild bedding and normal driving is what works for me.Overall impressions:
The performance so far of this combo has been very good. This combo has a strong initial and overall bite. They stop better than the OE pads. As of right now thereís no increase in noise over the OE pads. I canít comment on the dust right now, as I only have a couple hundred miles on these.The Pads: This is the total difference in height between the friction material on the OEX and original pads. There is not this much gap on the top and bottom. This is the total gap at the top and bottom added together.
The rotors: Checking the runout: