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#4638545 - 01/18/18 08:50 AM Semi Metallic Brake Pads
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1519
Loc: wv
My 2003 Suburban 4wd 5.3L came OEM ceramic pads. From what i can tell it was fitted with these for quietness and long lasting in day to day driving.

My use of the vehicle is mostly towing and mountain driving so i am thinking that semi metallic pads are better suited for my needs.

Semi metallics are usually last to pop up when looking at Napa, Advance..and dont even show up at O'Reillys.

The price at NAPA etc is almost too cheap $16 Proformer for the front. Then the next choice i have is $70 for the Ultra Premium Semi Metallics.

Advance has about 5 or 6 variations from Silver to Gold to Platinum to Frontline Severe Duty.

For $30 i can get Wagner Thermoquiet Semi Metallic from Amazon.

I am most likely looking at an FF friction rating in most of these semi-metallics..but by going with the wagner thermoquiet ceramics i can bump it up to GG.

Most of the reviews i see on amazon are either great or bad with the bad being that they sent the wrong pads or had the wrong pads listed.. so i would prefer to buy at NAPA where i can get a very good discount or Advance where I can use coupon codes. I know the manager at OReilly so i can get deep discounts there too..but i would have to go with a ceramic.

So am i thinking wrong that semi-metallics are the way to go for me?

My current setup is the rear rotors are OEM and rusted badly in the vanes the pads look to be semi metallic and at least 10 years old, the front has new rotors and the cheapest ceramics from the previous owner. It stops ok and braking isnt magnificent..but i think a better pad front and new rotors and better pads in the rear will give me added safety and stopping power for sure.

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#4638555 - 01/18/18 08:58 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 2010
Loc: VA
Stay away from AAP Silver ones... telling from experience.

I have no experience with towing, but I recently went with Wagner TQ(front, have not installed) and Centric ceramic for rear. For my application and driving, it's great. YMMV.
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2006 Civic EX 200K/AT
2006 Acura TSX 177K/AT

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#4638564 - 01/18/18 09:06 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4740
Loc: MTL, CANADA
New rotors and pads all around seem to be a good idea. Yes, I think semi metallic is the way to go for you. Maybe flush and fill the brake fluid too.
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2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
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#4638634 - 01/18/18 10:09 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
Jimzz Online   happy


Registered: 10/03/14
Posts: 1148
Loc: NoVA
Raybestos has their Hybrid pad. I have used them on several trucks for customers that wanted better high temp braking but not to much more dust/noise.
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#4638649 - 01/18/18 10:27 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4372
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Semi metallics are usually last to pop up when looking at Napa, Advance..and dont even show up at O'Reillys.


The retailers seem to be pushing the usually more expensive ceramic pads. Personally, I also prefer semi-metallic pads as well.

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#4638684 - 01/18/18 11:12 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 5613
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Quote:
For $30 i can get Wagner Thermoquiet Semi Metallic from Amazon.


I've used the Thermoquiets several times on my minivans, I don't tow but Grand Caravans are heavy and need good pads. They don't last as long as the ceramics, but I usually change the pads when they are still good, around 30k to 40k. Happy with them.
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#4638698 - 01/18/18 11:25 AM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11970
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Ceramic? Why do you want sandpaper for pads?

I just put some midgrade on the rear of my rogue. Terrible no bite. I was rushed , I didn't take time to chamfer leading edge and saw cut some gas vent sipes in the pad.

Still I imagine Aluminum oxide is just a small part of the garbage that goes into the friction material.

Just like Synthetic oil is a minor ingredient in our Major Synthetic in the U.S. smile

Sad - True.

I only had good luck with Raybestos in the distant past. Who knows these days.


Edited by ARCOgraphite (01/18/18 11:27 AM)
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#4638727 - 01/18/18 12:06 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
muddawgs Offline


Registered: 01/14/05
Posts: 203
Loc: midwest
FWIW when my wife delivered mail the only pads that didn't leave deposits on the rotors(vibration) was the semi-metallic.

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#4638760 - 01/18/18 12:36 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: Rolla07]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 4116
Loc: KY
Originally Posted By: Rolla07
New rotors and pads all around seem to be a good idea. Yes, I think semi metallic is the way to go for you. Maybe flush and fill the brake fluid too.


Agreed; semi metallics and definitely flush the brake fluid- you don't want the pedal going to the floor on a steep downhill grade...
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2014 M235i
1999 Wrangler Sahara
1995 318ti Club Sport

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Son's
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#4638763 - 01/18/18 12:37 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3909
Loc: California
I don't think you'll see anything above an EE on a domestic semi-met pad, the ThermoQuiet Ceramics I installed for a friend's 1998 Tahoe are either FF/FE rated and he doesn't forsee towing anything.

I'd get a "severe-duty/fleet" semi-metallic pad. It will hold up better than a "ceramic" pad for towing and heavy usage. Can't hurt to get new rotors but I'd also flush out the brake fluid with fresh stuff - ATE Type 200 would be the best, Castrol Synthetic would also be good. High-end DOT4 fluids have a vastly better dry/wet boiling point and since you tow and drive in the mountains that can help stave off brake fade.

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#4638904 - 01/18/18 02:47 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7159
Loc: Marshfield , MA
I've seen 2 responses so far advising to replace pads and rotors. I don't change a rotor unless it is damaged. If I catch the brake pads while they still have mat'l, why change the rotors? Seems like a waste to me.
_________________________
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2

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#4638941 - 01/18/18 03:45 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: nthach]
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1519
Loc: wv
Originally Posted By: nthach
I don't think you'll see anything above an EE on a domestic semi-met pad, the ThermoQuiet Ceramics I installed for a friend's 1998 Tahoe are either FF/FE rated and he doesn't forsee towing anything.

I'd get a "severe-duty/fleet" semi-metallic pad. It will hold up better than a "ceramic" pad for towing and heavy usage. Can't hurt to get new rotors but I'd also flush out the brake fluid with fresh stuff - ATE Type 200 would be the best, Castrol Synthetic would also be good. High-end DOT4 fluids have a vastly better dry/wet boiling point and since you tow and drive in the mountains that can help stave off brake fade.


This post https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3830353/Wagner_Thermoquiet_friction_ra says that the Thermoquiet ceramics are GG for a few applications.. i guess the only way to know is to go into a store and look to see if its labeled on the pad.

Yeah im looking at the severe duty/emergency vehicle/police type pads but a few reviews say they really need warmed up well to do the best job.


I have seen a few posts on various forums where guys swap out the rubber brake hoses for stainless steel braided...not sure if its worth the money and hassle.

I recently changed all brake fluids for DOT3 Prestone due to having a gallon on hand.. would DOT4 make a difference?

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#4638945 - 01/18/18 03:50 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: andyd]
ZebRuaj Offline


Registered: 10/14/16
Posts: 153
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: andyd
I've seen 2 responses so far advising to replace pads and rotors. I don't change a rotor unless it is damaged. If I catch the brake pads while they still have mat'l, why change the rotors? Seems like a waste to me.


Flame on, but same here. If the rotor has no damage and wasn't exhibiting signs of damage prior, I just swap pads, follow bed in procedures, and move along. Given, none of my vehicles are driven spiritedly.

The only times I order rotors is on family/friend's cars when they show up and ask "why does my car sound like something's grinding?"
_________________________
~Shade tree mechanic for friends and family.

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#4638980 - 01/18/18 04:17 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: ZebRuaj]
andyd Online   content


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7159
Loc: Marshfield , MA
The only times I order rotors is on family/friend's cars when they show up and ask "why does my car sound like something's grinding?"

"zactly grin2
_________________________
'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2

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#4639009 - 01/18/18 04:52 PM Re: Semi Metallic Brake Pads [Re: krismoriah72]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3909
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: krismoriah72
Originally Posted By: nthach
I don't think you'll see anything above an EE on a domestic semi-met pad, the ThermoQuiet Ceramics I installed for a friend's 1998 Tahoe are either FF/FE rated and he doesn't forsee towing anything.

I'd get a "severe-duty/fleet" semi-metallic pad. It will hold up better than a "ceramic" pad for towing and heavy usage. Can't hurt to get new rotors but I'd also flush out the brake fluid with fresh stuff - ATE Type 200 would be the best, Castrol Synthetic would also be good. High-end DOT4 fluids have a vastly better dry/wet boiling point and since you tow and drive in the mountains that can help stave off brake fade.


This post https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/3830353/Wagner_Thermoquiet_friction_ra says that the Thermoquiet ceramics are GG for a few applications.. i guess the only way to know is to go into a store and look to see if its labeled on the pad.

Yeah im looking at the severe duty/emergency vehicle/police type pads but a few reviews say they really need warmed up well to do the best job.


I have seen a few posts on various forums where guys swap out the rubber brake hoses for stainless steel braided...not sure if its worth the money and hassle.

I recently changed all brake fluids for DOT3 Prestone due to having a gallon on hand.. would DOT4 make a difference?




Wagner tends to be all over the place for friction ratings(co-efficients) - I've installed a set on an old car I drove that were GG rated, while the ones I've installed on a friend's car were FG or GF rated. The semi-met TQs I installed in another friend's car were EE, and the most recent ones I've installed, ceramic QC369 were FE or FF.

Semi-metallic pads do need to be warmed to work best - there's good reason why you hear about racers having to warm their brakes up, some semi-met compounds work better than others when it's cold. I recall using PBR Metal Masters once and I didn't feel too much of a difference between hot and cold stopping, but there is a distinct difference.

Braided stainless/Teflon lines do help with brake feel - they don't compress or flex like rubber lines do. Not all lines are created equal, I'd trust a Goodridge or Aeroquip braided line more than a Chinese one. I think you drive a GMT800/900 and GM made some much needed braking improvements over the GMT400's brakes.

DOT4 compared to DOT3 buys you more safety margin from vapor lock when the absorbed water boils out of the fluid - DOT3 fluids have a 400*F/280*F dry/wet boiling point. The newer DOT3 formulations do advertise a higher dry boiling point, but it's the wet one I feel that matters more. DOT4 is also more hygroscopic but are formulated to handle that moisture better.

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