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vanamp

Smooth/Slotted/drilled/dimpled rotor options for tow vehicle

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vanamp

Looking to do the brakes on my tow vehicle '04 Ram 1500. I'm not a car guy but can do brakes. Are these variety of rotors just snake oil? There are a lot of varying opinions about them online.

I do a lot of towing with my boat and have had to get on the brakes pretty hard a couple times for deer. It would not take much to get me to spend a little more on parts if they will work better.

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Wayne

Just do OEM rotors or a "OEM specification" aftermarket from a well known company. For street duty slotting/drilled/dimples or what ever they are charging extra for is a gimick. The brake interface surface is not where the cooling happens, heat is dissipated to the full mass of the rotor and the cast in vents do the cooling. A long time ago pads used to out-gas when very hot causing the pad to "float" on the rotor. Modern pads don't have these issues so modifications to the friction surface are no longer necessary until you get into extreme racing applications with some exotic pads.

How many heavy commercial trucks do you see with slotted/dimpled/drilled rotors? None. They have huge brakes with a lot of mass and surface area.

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skyskier

I'm jumping in here to add my concerns that may help the OP as well as myself. I do A LOT of towing. My last 3 vehicles have had the same issue. ( 1986 Chevy truck, 2005 Dodge Dakota, 2014 Ford F 150 *swoon!*) Soon after replacing pads and rotors I get a pulsating kind of vibration through the brake pedal and steering wheel whenever I step on the brakes.......especially at slower speeds. I bought the Ford new and it was doing it before it hit 15K miles. Genuine factory parts have lasted longer than after market. Like the OP, I'm wondering if spending more on parts gets better results.

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kx250frider617

Ive installed a set of those powerstop drilled and slotted rotors with their pads. They are pretty cheap and they work exceptionally good. They feel stock with everyday driving, but once I have to slam the brakes on, they stop on a dime. A lot of people with probably say how cheap they are but I have had really good luck.

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MotoGPTy

I run the Ford Super Duty version of my brake pads on my F150 and I assume Dodge has a similar part (the Ford part # just has SD at the end). Lots of people blame rotors for vibration but it's generally the pads from what I understand. From what I've read and seem to have experienced, regular duty pads are leaving deposits/"hard spots" that are causing the vibrations...there is no rotor warpage. I replaced with SD (or commercial version) pads and resurfaced the rotors at 10k when I started feeling some vibration. I'm at 25k now with no issue with several pulls over the mountains and daily city driving. Sometimes when I haven't driven the truck in a couple of days I will hear a squeak coming from the SD pads until they warm up but that's acceptable for no vibration. The SDs actually do a better job of "cleaning" the rotor (at the expense of wearing the rotor obviously). You don't want your rotors to last forever though.

Edited by MotoGPTy

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WakeGirl

Just do OEM rotors or a "OEM specification" aftermarket from a well known company. For street duty slotting/drilled/dimples or what ever they are charging extra for is a gimick. The brake interface surface is not where the cooling happens, heat is dissipated to the full mass of the rotor and the cast in vents do the cooling. A long time ago pads used to out-gas when very hot causing the pad to "float" on the rotor. Modern pads don't have these issues so modifications to the friction surface are no longer necessary until you get into extreme racing applications with some exotic pads.

How many heavy commercial trucks do you see with slotted/dimpled/drilled rotors? None. They have huge brakes with a lot of mass and surface area.

This. The slots & holes do nothing for heat dissipation.

I will add that paying attention to the pad that you buy is just as important. I replaced my pads & rotors last spring & did a lot of research on this (surprise surprise) before buying. I ended up going with R1 Concepts rotors & Hawkes LTS pads based on the things I read here & in a few other places. I really, really like the combination. The pads have much more bite than stock, & you can feel them bite harder as you add braking pressure & they heat up. The harder you brake, the better they seem to bite. Big improvement over OEM IMO.

Remember that when you first install, you should bed them in. Hawkes has a bed in procedure on their site that they recommend doing right after installation.

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MotoGPTy

Remember that when you first install, you should bed them in. Hawkes has a bed in procedure on their site that they recommend doing right after installation.

Bedding them in is key. My problem is that it's hard to find a place to get up to 60 then go down to 5mph a few times. When I put Hawks on my wife's car I waited until after midnight and hopped out on the interstate when no one else was on the roads. Was super nervous that I was going to get pulled over for erratic driving. Her brakes were flawless after that though.

Edited by MotoGPTy

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WakeGirl

Yup, exactly the kind of thing that I did. Awesome pads.

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oldjeep

Oem rotors and Wagner thermo quiet pads are what I use on the truck. Drilled and slotted are a joke anywhere you have actual winter, just a snow, ice,sand and rust collection point.

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jk13

EBC and Hawk make great pads with a bit more bite like Wakegirl stated. EBC tend to create a bit less dust.

Any slight gas eradication or cooling benefit a slotted or dimpled rotor may claim to have would be more than offset by their lesser of surface area. In other words they are mostly a cosmetic feature for a street driven vehicle at stock diameter.

Edited by jk13

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Nitrousbird

I run EBC Yellow Stuff on my Avalanche. I have their Red Stuff on my wife's Audi.

They have good customer support as well. Once you use good brake pads, you'll never go back to the Auto Parts store crap again.

As for cross drilled/slotted rotors - don't waste your cash. I got a super deal on a seat from Summit a couple years ago when redoing the entire brake system on my Avalanche. They make zero difference and ended up not wearing evenly as some of the areas wore down more quickly (and corroded) than other areas, causing intermittent warped rotor feeling (depending on how hot they are) and reduced pad contact. My rears had it worse than the fronts (which is odd on this truck, though I did upgrade to the larger GMT900 brake setup for the front when I did the swap); I'm about to just replace them with some decent blanks.

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saidainc

great thread but it is definitely in the wrong discussion.....ya'll gonna miss a lot of pertinent contributions by not moving it to the TOW VEHICLE category

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nyryan2001

I just replaced my rotors and pads on my Tundra last weekend.... To R1 Concepts slotted rotors with ceramic pads.

HUGE difference!

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martinarcher

Another thing on brakes I've learned as I saw mentioned above getting "vibration" in the wheel and pedal....

The rotors usually aren't actually warping from heat or abuse. If you ride brakes hard all the way to a stop, there will be pad material built up on the leading edge of the pad as the rotor slows the car. If you ride the brakes hard all the way to a stop, the pad will "print" lightly on the rotor and leave a small deposit of brake pad material on the rotor. Over time if this repeats what you actually get is sections of the rotor with excessive pad material that has been bakes onto the rotor and causes that vibration. I usually come to a stop and lift my foot just before the car actually stops to keep the pad from printing on the rotor and causing this issue. It works great and keeps the car for getting that vibration of the life of the brakes which was one of a pet peeves with brakes.

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nyryan2001

^^^^ Does not drilled/slotted rotors solve this? Allowing the material to scrape off and escape?

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vanamp

^^^^ Does not drilled/slotted rotors solve this? Allowing the material to scrape off and escape?

Yes that's what the slotted Claim prevent. I'm just not sure if they actually do help.

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martinarcher

They don't help with what I described. They are actually designed to wipe away pad glazing (when the surface of the pad glazes due to excessive heat). They won;t help at all with the pad printing on the rotor when coming to a full stop. The best thing I've found to change my driving when coming to a stop. It's made a huge difference IMO.

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mainekneeboarder

Another thing on brakes I've learned as I saw mentioned above getting "vibration" in the wheel and pedal....

The rotors usually aren't actually warping from heat or abuse. If you ride brakes hard all the way to a stop, there will be pad material built up on the leading edge of the pad as the rotor slows the car. If you ride the brakes hard all the way to a stop, the pad will "print" lightly on the rotor and leave a small deposit of brake pad material on the rotor. Over time if this repeats what you actually get is sections of the rotor with excessive pad material that has been bakes onto the rotor and causes that vibration. I usually come to a stop and lift my foot just before the car actually stops to keep the pad from printing on the rotor and causing this issue. It works great and keeps the car for getting that vibration of the life of the brakes which was one of a pet peeves with brakes.

Some good info!! Adding to this, alot of brake pulsation comes from over/uneven tightened studs, aluminum wheels amplify this since they expand more/diferent with heat! Most of the time people torque a wheel to be sure its not TOO tight.

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martinarcher

^^ Very true! Use a star pattern as well are a torque wrench to do it right!!

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