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Old 08-27-2023, 12:08 AM #1
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Anyone else have front brake rotor heat issues?

Seeing if anyone else is having similar issues with their 5th gen. Everytime I go to the mountains and am on the way home coming downhill it seems like I get bad steering wheel shake when braking. I have to assume it is a heat issue with the front rotors. In normal driving when not going downhill for over an hour there is no issue.

Has anyone found any good rotors that are not as prone to warping as OEM? I have 45k on the car and OEM pads are still at 30% or so. I would change out pads and rotors at the same time to start new, but I don't want to run into the same issues again.
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Old 08-27-2023, 02:51 AM #2
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You have to help the brakes with engine braking if you are coming down long descents. As far as rotors, OEM works well but they have to bed burninshed or bedded in so they work properly. I played the rotor game on my Tacoma with EBC, DBA and Brembo blanks but could never come close to OEM. I also didn't bed them in like I should have.
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Old 08-27-2023, 07:56 AM #3
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As whippersnapper said, you really need to use engine braking for very long and steep descents that require braking to maintain safe speed. Select S4/S3/S2 as appropriate for the targeted speed.
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Old 08-27-2023, 12:47 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippersnapper02 View Post
You have to help the brakes with engine braking if you are coming down long descents. As far as rotors, OEM works well but they have to bed burninshed or bedded in so they work properly. I played the rotor game on my Tacoma with EBC, DBA and Brembo blanks but could never come close to OEM. I also didn't bed them in like I should have.
It didn't have these issues in the 1st 30k miles or so. I am wondering if there is just excess pad material on the rotors?

Also, what were your results trying other rotors?
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Old 08-27-2023, 12:52 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm-v35 View Post
Seeing if anyone else is having similar issues with their 5th gen. Everytime I go to the mountains and am on the way home coming downhill it seems like I get bad steering wheel shake when braking. I have to assume it is a heat issue with the front rotors. In normal driving when not going downhill for over an hour there is no issue.

Has anyone found any good rotors that are not as prone to warping as OEM? I have 45k on the car and OEM pads are still at 30% or so. I would change out pads and rotors at the same time to start new, but I don't want to run into the same issues again.
Absolutely have this exact issue on mine. I know others have mentioned engine braking but 4Low in 1st gear is way too fast for some of the steep declines I see, so it's unavoidable to ride the brakes, especially in a group situation where you can't just stop and take a break to let your brakes cool.

My current front rotors have a slight vibration because of this, and were squeaking at slow speeds due to glazing from the heat. I've done a temp fix and removed pads and rotors and deglazed them with 200 grit sandpaper, while also servicing my calipers to ensure they aren't partially seized. This has remedied the squeaking, but obviously won't fix the vibration.

I may have my front rotors turned as a short term solution, but this isn't a permanent solution. My plan is to try EDC Red pads and performance rotors at my next opportunity. I've considered Powerstop but have read several reports that they don't do well with offroading and are more for highway emergency stopping performance of a heavy rig.

I'm in the same boat man, looking for some proof of a solution before dropping $$ on an unknown.

best of luck to us both.
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Old 08-27-2023, 01:07 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm-v35 View Post
It didn't have these issues in the 1st 30k miles or so. I am wondering if there is just excess pad material on the rotors?

Also, what were your results trying other rotors?
Usually that is the case and the rotors aren't actually warped. Just an uneven layer/distribution of pad material on the rotor. Get them turned.
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Old 08-27-2023, 01:08 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R_Canuck View Post
Absolutely have this exact issue on mine. I know others have mentioned engine braking but 4Low in 1st gear is way too fast for some of the steep declines I see, so it's unavoidable to ride the brakes, especially in a group situation where you can't just stop and take a break to let your brakes cool.

My current front rotors have a slight vibration because of this, and were squeaking at slow speeds due to glazing from the heat. I've done a temp fix and removed pads and rotors and deglazed them with 200 grit sandpaper, while also servicing my calipers to ensure they aren't partially seized. This has remedied the squeaking, but obviously won't fix the vibration.

I may have my front rotors turned as a short term solution, but this isn't a permanent solution. My plan is to try EDC Red pads and performance rotors at my next opportunity. I've considered Powerstop but have read several reports that they don't do well with offroading and are more for highway emergency stopping performance of a heavy rig.

I'm in the same boat man, looking for some proof of a solution before dropping $$ on an unknown.

best of luck to us both.

The weird thing for me is I am really not riding the brakes, just a constant downhill at 70mph for a long period of time with some intermittent braking to slow down in certain areas.

I am also looking for a more long term solution such as better pads/rotors or even a BBK if it will help.
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Old 08-27-2023, 01:09 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T4R_Canuck View Post
Absolutely have this exact issue on mine. I know others have mentioned engine braking but 4Low in 1st gear is way too fast for some of the steep declines I see, so it's unavoidable to ride the brakes, especially in a group situation where you can't just stop and take a break to let your brakes cool.

My current front rotors have a slight vibration because of this, and were squeaking at slow speeds due to glazing from the heat. I've done a temp fix and removed pads and rotors and deglazed them with 200 grit sandpaper, while also servicing my calipers to ensure they aren't partially seized. This has remedied the squeaking, but obviously won't fix the vibration.

I may have my front rotors turned as a short term solution, but this isn't a permanent solution. My plan is to try EDC Red pads and performance rotors at my next opportunity. I've considered Powerstop but have read several reports that they don't do well with offroading and are more for highway emergency stopping performance of a heavy rig.

I'm in the same boat man, looking for some proof of a solution before dropping $$ on an unknown.

best of luck to us both.
Can't say for certain, but at 4Low/1st gear speeds (<10 mph), you aren't generating that much heat in the rotors. Of course the low speed means you aren't getting much cooling either... Riding the brakes down a mountain highway at 60+ mph is where i usually see serious heat build up.

Turning and then properly bedding should be a good medium term solution. Slotted rotors may help. Yes, i know some swear thats a bad idea for offroading, yet there are plenty who do with no issue. Also, all of my mountain bikes have slotted rotors which are entirely exposed to mud and rocks (unlike car rotors which are well protected by the wheel) and never had an issue. Apples to Oranges.. yea sure, but who says you cant compare fruits.

Hopefully some of the other owners on here with similar drive routes as you will weigh in.

Last edited by Bmnorm2; 08-27-2023 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 08-27-2023, 04:01 PM #9
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Having driven bug rigs in the mountains, I have to +1 the engine braking... the 5th gen does a good job engaging engine braking even in D, but for the prolonged downhills, s4 or s3 are a good choice, but you will need to watch your transmission temperatures... at the end of the day, the energy has to bleed out somewhere, it is just a matter of where you have the best cooling... the trick I learned with the big rig was coming 10 or more mph under the limit and letting it climb back up. This gave good time for each component to take turns doing their job. In the rig, air pressure was another consideration that you won't have to worry about in T4R.

As it goes for slots in rotors and mud... if you're not cleaning your undercarriage and such after getting in water and mud, you'll have much worse problems in the drive line and other areas than having some dusty rotors... pro tip, clean your stuff... it isn't just to make it look good, it keeps the mechanical stuff moving right.
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Old 08-28-2023, 12:11 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm-v35 View Post
The weird thing for me is I am really not riding the brakes, just a constant downhill at 70mph for a long period of time with some intermittent braking to slow down in certain areas.

I am also looking for a more long term solution such as better pads/rotors or even a BBK if it will help.
If your problem is occurring in this situation, it's possible you may have a slightly stuck caliper which is generating heat, even when you aren't braking.

Not a bad idea to pull your caliper and make sure all pins and slides are clean and lubed. Otherwise, as others have mentioned, engine braking will help to minimize the length of time you ride your brakes.

I hope you find a solution.
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Old 08-28-2023, 12:14 AM #11
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Can't say for certain, but at 4Low/1st gear speeds (<10 mph), you aren't generating that much heat in the rotors. Of course the low speed means you aren't getting much cooling either... Riding the brakes down a mountain highway at 60+ mph is where i usually see serious heat build up.

Turning and then properly bedding should be a good medium term solution. Slotted rotors may help. Yes, i know some swear thats a bad idea for offroading, yet there are plenty who do with no issue. Also, all of my mountain bikes have slotted rotors which are entirely exposed to mud and rocks (unlike car rotors which are well protected by the wheel) and never had an issue. Apples to Oranges.. yea sure, but who says you cant compare fruits.

Hopefully some of the other owners on here with similar drive routes as you will weigh in.
I'm not afraid of slotted rotors for off roading myself. In my small circles nobody with a 5th gen has really found a combination that they'd recommend at this point. It seems like we're all still experimenting. Our other problem is most of the trails we run have ice cold rivers at the bottoms of the hill that we need to cross at the beginning and end, so that's always nice on hot rotors too. haha
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Old 08-28-2023, 01:55 AM #12
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had similar issue....tried new rotors from vato zone, they were warped in like 3 months. tossed them and had the OEM ones turned...been solid for a while now. i got like 70k outta the oem rotors before they needed to be turned. next time i'll get new oem rotors. probably wont be able to get them turned again.
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Old 08-28-2023, 10:01 AM #13
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I am wondering if it is also more of a problem because I have a lot of extra weight(supercharger, dual batteries, fridge, front bumper with winch, full armor, rigd ultraswing, 285's, rack etc). And when I camp with the wife I carry a RTT and more gear as well.

Considering wilwood and stoptech BBK as well which mostly seems like a larger caliper, better pads and better quality rotors(though not necessarily bigger).
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Old 08-28-2023, 10:55 AM #14
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The 5th gen's brakes are huge and way more than sufficient, there is no worthwhile upgrade for them. As others have mentioned, downshifting to manage speed is essential on long grades, especially if you have added tons of weight, bigger tires and haven't re-geared to match.

What really makes the pulsating is when you heat up the pads, then come to a complete stop and hold the brakes (like at a stop light after a long grade). This transfers pad material to one spot on the rotors, making a 'bump.' If you can, avoid the situation, shift to neutral and don't hold the brakes after stopping, and/or use the parking brake, which use brake shoes inside the rear rotors.
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Old 08-28-2023, 11:06 AM #15
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The 5th gen's brakes are huge and way more than sufficient, there is no worthwhile upgrade for them. As others have mentioned, downshifting to manage speed is essential on long grades, especially if you have added tons of weight, bigger tires and haven't re-geared to match.

What really makes the pulsating is when you heat up the pads, then come to a complete stop and hold the brakes (like at a stop light after a long grade). This transfers pad material to one spot on the rotors, making a 'bump.' If you can, avoid the situation, shift to neutral and don't hold the brakes after stopping, and/or use the parking brake, which use brake shoes inside the rear rotors.
Do you get any issues coming down i-70 as well? That is where this always happens for me is coming back down i-70 from the mountains. I am wondering if a better pad material than OEM would help with dealing with the heat?

It seems to go back to normal once temps are back down to normal street driving temps so it must be something related to higher heat issues.
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