Did my brakes today! Next stop: Mid-Ohio tomorrow.

My Corvette up in the air just before digging into the rear brakes.
My Corvette up in the air just before digging into the rear brakes.
Photo: Brian Stoeckel

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon wrenching in a nearby parking lot with some buddies... turns out between us we had four cars in serious need of brake work. Our motley crew consisted of a 2007 H3 with a leaky caliper, a 1989 325 that’s slowly becoming a race car, a 2003 Honda Accord 5 speed that I sold to a friend years ago that he’s been neglecting for ages, and my 2009 C6.

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The Hummer’s caliper replacement went easily enough. We only got hung up during the bleeding procedure when we failed to realize that we needed to turn the thing on to actually get hydraulic pressure to the rear rotors. Apparently on those beasts, you can bleed the fronts while it’s off but not the rears.

The BMW was unfortunately sidelined by a broken handbrake shoe return spring, and my old Honda is slowly turning to a giant pile of Fe2O3 under the stewardship (read: neglect) of it’s new owner. The left rear rotor was so worn down that it had completely rusted over due to the rotor being so far beyond the minimum thickness that the pads don’t even contact it anymore. He also encountered several bolts that just stripped right out, requiring us to run out for new parts midway through the job. Anyways, we got that one buttoned up enough to get it back on the road.

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My car was the newest and in the nicest shape, but it still needed new rotors and pads on all four corners. I think it still had the original rotors on it after 62,000 miles, judging by the size of the lip at the edge of the pad wear area on the rotors. The fact that it has never seen snow or salt made the job pretty straightforward, except for the fact that the caliper bracket bolts really didn’t want to let go unless I used my buddy’s VERY big breaker bar.

Shiny new rotors!
Shiny new rotors!
Photo: Brian Stoeckel
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I probably should have gone with some nicer slotted rotors instead of replacing with another set of drilled OEM rotors, but the cost difference was enough that it didn’t seem worth it to me. Plus, my old rotors never cracked so bad they gave me any safety concerns, so I’m going to hope these perform the same. After getting the stubborn bolts loose, everything was pretty easy and a couple hours later I had some nice shiny new metal on all four corners!

Last step was a few hot-laps on the local service drive to complete my pad-bedding procedure. Now I’m all set for my HPDE at Mid-Ohio tomorrow and won’t have to worry about burning through my pads!

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Brand new, soon to be dust-filled rotors!
Brand new, soon to be dust-filled rotors!
Photo: Brian Stoeckel

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