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Old 07-24-2011, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2008 outback replace rotors and brakes...i think.

I have a base model 2008 outback, automatic. 91,000 miles on original rotors and brake pads. i would like to change them myself. i have no shuddering or anything, but I am hearing the beginnings of a grind.

My question is this; Do I need to replace the rotors or just the pads? They are not warped, or at least I assume not due to no shudder or vibration when braking. I will be using Subaru parts to keep it as stock as possible.

I'm hoping I can just slap some pads in there and call it a day but with the mileage I have, I think maybe not.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can sometimes get two sets of pads out of one set of rotors. But you need to measure the rotor thickness at several points to ensure it is within spec. An Outside caliper measurement device will help: 2003864

It is not sufficient to just measure the edge of the rotor cause the inner portion can wear quicker than the edge. The thickness of the front rotor is critical - you don't want it too thin otherwise there is not enough heat capacity and your brakes may overheat and fade when you need them most. Also when the brakes are too thin, it is more likely that you'll bake pad material onto the rotors causing "warped brakes". Even if the rotors are in-spec now, there is a chance they will wear too thin before the 2nd set of pads is worn out.

The rear brakes are a lot more forgiving and you're almost always OK just slapping a 2nd set of pads on the rear and swapping rotors the next time.

To keep things simple, I would just swap the front rotors and pads and just get pads for the rear. Keep track of what you changed in a logbook for next time.

Flushing the brake fluid at the same time is highly recommended. Any DOT4 fluid will do.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by phatvw View Post
To keep things simple, I would just swap the front rotors and pads and just get pads for the rear. Keep track of what you changed in a logbook for next time.

Flushing the brake fluid at the same time is highly recommended. Any DOT4 fluid will do.
I second this.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Rotors usually last a long, long time. If you're at all concerned, you can take them down to a brake shop or other auto repair shop to get them resurfaced. They will measure them to make sure they are thick enough, then they will put them on the machine to resurface them. If your rotors are glazed (shiny) or have any grooves at all, this is the way to go. Most shops that I've been to charge no more than $10 per rotor.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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this won't be well received but truth is, you can pad slap it and they'll be perfectly fine. might take a couple extra stops for the pads to seat into the slightly imperfect rotors. the slight imperfections of a used rotor aren't a big deal. granted "slight imperfections" could vary wildly and turning or replacing rotors is usually my recommendation, so use your own discretion!

i've seen people pad slap stuff that is totally ridiculous and uncalled for....but i have to admit they did work and brake totally fine, and it makes sense that they would from an engineering stand point.

it's just a turning piece of solid metal, not rocket science...slight imperfections would increase coefficient of friction and surface area...so maybe you'll have improved braking.

you'll be fine either way.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What brand of pads do you suggest? I live near Autozone and O'Reilly's autoparts stores. I can also go to the dealer. I would like a long lasting pad that doesn't squeak. I don't want a ton of pad dust but I know some is inevitable.

Thank you.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ceramics are supposed to be less dusty. However i do believe they require a little more warm up than other types of materials. So generally when backing out of the driveway on a old winters morning they may feel like they have less bite. No pad should squeak if clean and above the wear indicator line. I would just tell the person at the desk or call the store and see what they suggest. If you call you can post their suggestion back up here before going in to see what others think if you wish. If you aren't a performance oriented or overly spirited driver just about any pad from the store will do so just ask what meets your criteria. And be sure to clean everything out with some brake cleaner and apply the anti squeal paste when installing the new pads and you should be good to go.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why not back to OEM pads? They lasted very well and performed well enough that you didn't want to change them early. Nothing at all wrong with OEM pads.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rykertest View Post
What brand of pads do you suggest? I live near Autozone and O'Reilly's autoparts stores. I can also go to the dealer. I would like a long lasting pad that doesn't squeak. I don't want a ton of pad dust but I know some is inevitable.

Thank you.
At 91k DEFINITELY replace the front rotors assuming they are in fact originals. Inspect the rears and consider having them trued up at a minimum if not too bad.

"DO NOT" buy anything but genuine Subaru rotors and pads unless you plan to unload the car soon. Go online. There are several dealers who offer a 20-25% discount by ordering online. The extra money you spend will be well worth it if you plan to keep the car. I'm not an expert but I have been working on my family's Subarus since 1980. Various brands of brakes and rotors have been tried and nothing compares to the quality of OEM especially the China crap the chain parts stores sell. Subaru spends scads of money engineering rotor steel alloys to work well with a specific pad material. When you buy aftermarket rotors you may get a part that is physically the same size but the steel alloy is not the same as OEM nor was it specifically engineered to work with the pad you buy. Price competition is fierce on brake parts between the chain auto supply stores. This drives down quality because the manufacturers are trying to keep their percentage of the market. They know the consumer generally looks at selling price and little concern is placed on longevity. Grinding, dusting, squeeling, and premature wear are all very common in aftermarket brake parts vs OEM.
Having said that, you can't just look at the upfront cost when it comes to brake parts especially on a Subaru. There is cost and there is value. Value is based on longevity and performance.

When doing the brakes make sure the pads aren't too tight in the caliper bracket liners. They should be snug but be able to move by hand with some resistance. The bracket can rust tightening the clearance and will not allow the pad to move freely causing premature wear. May not be a problem on your 08 but something to watch out for. After replacing brakes, its a good idea to check each wheel after driving 20-30 miles to see if the temps are about the same between wheels. If one is hotter than the others its a sign something isn't right and needs addressed.
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