99 Lumina LTZ rear brakes-ceramic or semi-metallic

JP

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This is probably the last rear brake job I do on this vehicle due to age, rust etc.

Rotors need replacing. Ceramic or Semi-metallic pads?
 

JP

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Oops. Forgot to ask. Are AC delco pads and rotors worth the extra $10-15 over, say, Monroe or Raybestos?
 

Transman

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What pads are on the front? If you already have ceremic on the front the you should keep the quality the same. Lots of people think there is no benefit to installing ceremic as an upgrade but all my customers that have upgraded just rave about them. Less dust & better stopping make them happy. If you get ceremic then spend the bucks on good ones, some places sell pads that either have little or no ceremic but call them ceremic. Rays are good pads, not too much exp with Monroe. OEM are a pretty sure thing for quality though. If the rotors are only $10-$15 difference then take the Dealer. I don't like Napa pads but their rotors are ok, just remember to torque the lug nuts to proper spec. DON'T use an impact gun or you most likely will warp the rotors and cause pedal pulsation. Just my opinions, Good Luck, Transman
P.S. Never put less then the OEM spec pads on any vehicle, if it calls for ceremic then no choice use ceremic.
 

JP

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I decided to go with ceramic.

*#&$ing calipers needed to be replaced...again...each time I've done the rear brakes, the piston turn-in thingy that is supposed to turn back in with the special tool is corroded and won't go back in. Whoever designed that thing deserves 40 lashes. :mad:

Oh well, I don't plan on replacing them ever again, as I only need to get about 30K more miles before retiring this car.
 

NickD

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Ha, I won't even buy a GM car with rear disks on it, had my belly full, Supra has rear disks, but with conventional calipers and separate shoes for the parking function. I did take them apart, start by soaking them in a 50% solution of hydrochloric acid, if you don't, will break off the bolt that holds the level, plus a good blast of PB blaster first. Could buy the rubber, but not sure anymore, a coating of anti-seize on that thread helps. But even when you are done, still won't hold the vehicle if greater than a 2% grade by applying a ton of force on the parking brake.

Only about 20% stopping power with the rears, believe GM puts on disk brakes on the rear, so you can just say, I have four wheel disk brakes at your local bar.
 

Transman

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Although most places don't and amateurs hardly ever do, there is a special grease to lubricate the calipers and slide areas. Some cars are more susceptible to corrosion then others (watch your ground wires). On an annual service, even if the pads are ok, we will take the brakes apart and re-grease if needed. Rear drum systems have been around a long time and are much more resistant to corrosion, but I still prefer rear disc systems. The biggest problem is the self adjusters that never work properly, Disc systems are always "There". Transman
 

Gus

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If I had my choice, I'd have drums in the rear......I really don't see a significant difference in braking between the two, in a passenger car....

I do know this, you will be changing pads, 2-3 X's more than you will be replacing shoes....as for the adjusters, just pop them out every other year for a rear brake inspection, lube them and the "lands", clear out the brake dust, and adjust the shoes accordingly....a lot less costly than replacing pads, rotors, and sometimes calipers....

However, since most cars are 4 wheel disc, more work for me! ;D
 

jasonn20

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I might be on my own but I do not like ceramic pads. These are very over rated. Yes they may not have brake dust and no noise but they are too hard of a pad. They will eat the hell out of a set of rotors or drums. I like semi-metallic. I worked for a buisness that serviced police cars and the ceramic pads gave nothing but trouble with rotors. Good Luck
 
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