Brake pad quality and performance

SlugSlinger

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A while back I replaced the front axle and installed a high pinion Dana 60 in my daily driver Jeep JKU.

I installed new rotors and brake pads as part of the complete rebuild of the axle. In fact I replaced all the parts inside and outside the axle, but that’s another post.

Not really thinking there was a difference in brake pads, I ordered some off of Rock Auto thinking it wouldn’t matter. I used premium bearings and seals knowing that is where the reliability difference is really made with quality parts.

Fast forward 8,000 miles of driving back and forth to work. I Thought the reason for the brake performance I was seeing was related to the swapped in giant brakes while using the other factory Jeep brake components. The brake peddle felt somewhat spongy, even after multiple brake bleeding episodes. The brakes worked great for the application otherwise.

The main issue with the brakes was the slight squealing when I was applying light pressure to the brake peddle. I thought a retainer clip was dragging the rotor and was making the noise and I tore the brakes apart twice and didn’t find anything causing the noise. I finally decided to replace the pads, thinking they were just noisy, even though they were ceramic pads.

I bought some ceramic Bosch pads and installed them. Wow, what an amazing and flat out noticeable difference. The noise is gone and the braking performance has improved, including the brake peddle pressure it takes to slow the Jeep. The peddle now feels like a factory peddle and not the spongy peddle I had before the pad replacement. I am now a believer in using Bosch pads even over my old go to Wagner pads.

Oh, the Ford Superduty brake calipers and pads are giant! They now
1B16E39D-5A89-4D69-B620-EB22D3D5EA55.jpeg
work awesome in the Jeep!
 

Forgalspop

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A while back I replaced the front axle and installed a high pinion Dana 60 in my daily driver Jeep JKU.

I installed new rotors and brake pads as part of the complete rebuild of the axle. In fact I replaced all the parts inside and outside the axle, but that’s another post.

Not really thinking there was a difference in brake pads, I ordered some off of Rock Auto thinking it wouldn’t matter. I used premium bearings and seals knowing that is where the reliability difference is really made with quality parts.

Fast forward 8,000 miles of driving back and forth to work. I Thought the reason for the brake performance I was seeing was related to the swapped in giant brakes while using the other factory Jeep brake components. The brake peddle felt somewhat spongy, even after multiple brake bleeding episodes. The brakes worked great for the application otherwise.

The main issue with the brakes was the slight squealing when I was applying light pressure to the brake peddle. I thought a retainer clip was dragging the rotor and was making the noise and I tore the brakes apart twice and didn’t find anything causing the noise. I finally decided to replace the pads, thinking they were just noisy, even though they were ceramic pads.

I bought some ceramic Bosch pads and installed them. Wow, what an amazing and flat out noticeable difference. The noise is gone and the braking performance has improved, including the brake peddle pressure it takes to slow the Jeep. The peddle now feels like a factory peddle and not the spongy peddle I had before the pad replacement. I am now a believer in using Bosch pads even over my old go to Wagner pads.

Oh, the Ford Superduty brake calipers and pads are giant! They now View attachment 234248 work awesome in the Jeep!
I have for many years used Wagner ThermoQuiet pads with great results, with them lasting up to 150,000 miles or more. Recently I purchased Wagner ThermoQuiet pads from RockAuto for my wife's Subaru Outback and replaced the front and rear pads. I ordered them from RockAuto because they were much cheaper than from O'Reilly's. Now the brake pads are creating a bunch of brake dust on the rims, I have never had that issue before with Wagner ThermoQuiet pads.

So I am wondering if RockAuto gets pads cheaper from Wagner that are inferior or if Wagner has cheapened up their pads?

The other days I sold a 2,006 Chevy 3500 15 passenger van that I had installed ThermoQuiet pads at 100,000 miles and replaced them at 258,000 miles and they still were only 1/2 worn. I replaced them because I replaced the rotors that had became slightly warped. I also replaced the front hubs at that time. Never had a brake dust issue with those pads.

I have a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup with ThermoQuiet pads and it has no issues with brake dust. So I am thinking it's a RockAuto issue or Wagner not making the pads to the same quality as in the past and living off their past reputation.

I would be curious if anyone else has similar issues with the Wagner ThermoQuiet pads?
 

SlugSlinger

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I don’t think RockAuto sells inferior parts, except maybe for the the cheaply priced parts they sell, but they definitely give a choice on the quality.

I really like the way the categorize the parts in sections like economy, daily driver, heavy duty, etc.

The issue I had with my brake pads were the no-name manufacturer. Something like Durago. They were supposedly ceramic material, but I don’t think that type of material would have made a squealing/ squeaking noise.

The Thermoquiet pads are semi-metallic and will create brake dust. You may be noticing it more now due to the wheel design of the Subaru. It may vent the dust differently and probably does to help cool the brakes better than the other vehicles.

DF442FF4-8CA9-48A4-8D24-A81FD124721A.jpeg
 

Cowbaby

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I have been using Wagner brake parts exclusively for many years after trying most of the rest. If it don't say Wag I'm not touching it. I still have a new set of rotors with a Canadian Maple leaf stamp from before they closed the Canadian plant down in my stash.
I use Thermoquiets on cars and Severe Duties built for ambulances and school busses on my truck. Zero fading no matter the grade or load. They do dust some but that bothers me in the least.
Good stuff and I get mine from Rock Auto usually and never seen any difference other than something like the rotors I mentioned above.
 

Forgalspop

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I don’t think RockAuto sells inferior parts, except maybe for the the cheaply priced parts they sell, but they definitely give a choice on the quality.

I really like the way the categorize the parts in sections like economy, daily driver, heavy duty, etc.

The issue I had with my brake pads were the no-name manufacturer. Something like Durago. They were supposedly ceramic material, but I don’t think that type of material would have made a squealing/ squeaking noise.

The Thermoquiet pads are semi-metallic and will create brake dust. You may be noticing it more now due to the wheel design of the Subaru. It may vent the dust differently and probably does to help cool the brakes better than the other vehicles.

View attachment 234629
Yes, the Subaru wheels do vent a little more than other vehicles I have installed Wagner ThermoQuiet brake pads, however the factory brake pads did not have the brake dust issue. The only reason I did the brake job on the Subaru was the wife was complaining that she didn't feel like the brakes were working as they had been and were feeling squishy and needing to apply more pressure on the pedal. (subjective) The original pads had 130,000 or so miles on them and still were only half worn. I felt the brakes were working fine, but to make the wife happy and ease her mind I replaced the factory brake pads.

Like I said before, I have used Wagner ThermoQuiet pads for years on multiple vehicles and never noticed the amount of brake dust the new ones installed on the Subaru create in just a few days driving. When I rotate the tires I am going to check to see how they are wearing.
 

SlugSlinger

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Yes, the Subaru wheels do vent a little more than other vehicles I have installed Wagner ThermoQuiet brake pads, however the factory brake pads did not have the brake dust issue. The only reason I did the brake job on the Subaru was the wife was complaining that she didn't feel like the brakes were working as they had been and were feeling squishy and needing to apply more pressure on the pedal. (subjective) The original pads had 130,000 or so miles on them and still were only half worn. I felt the brakes were working fine, but to make the wife happy and ease her mind I replaced the factory brake pads.

Like I said before, I have used Wagner ThermoQuiet pads for years on multiple vehicles and never noticed the amount of brake dust the new ones installed on the Subaru create in just a few days driving. When I rotate the tires I am going to check to see how they are wearing.

I suspect the original pads were ceramic vs. the replacement semi-metallic pads. I would expect more dust if that is the case. What year Subaru? I want to see what the OEM brake specs are on the vehicle.
 

Forgalspop

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I suspect the original pads were ceramic vs. the replacement semi-metallic pads. I would expect more dust if that is the case. What year Subaru? I want to see what the OEM brake specs are on the vehicle.
You are most likely correct about ceramic vs. semi-metallic. I will look in the manual. It is a 2013 Outback 3.6R Limited.
 

swampratt

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It may seem odd but every now and then I remove all the brake fluid and replace with new fluid.
That stuff is hygroscopic and needs flushed / changed out every so often.
Some say every 30,000 miles.

Remember when differential fluid and trans fluid was to be changed out every 20,000 miles or so?
Yea no one ever does that do they :)
Every other oil change (6,000 miles) I pull the plug on the transmission and drain and refill.
 

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