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Brakes on Midsize with Camper

Mid Size brakes Nissan frontier

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#1 Josh41

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 03:15 PM

43K on my Frontier with a Fleet, the stock brakes were good, I only wanted more braking power a few times.  We travel lots of gravel, have been through the Rockies a few times and plan to continue the same.  

With that said, it is time to replace front brakes, and with some research my head is spinning.  

At this point, my thoughts are OEM rotors and EBC Yellow stuff.  Any thoughts on braking with loaded midsize is appreciated.

If I went with slotted and drilled, will I be sorry after a huge mud hole?

Josh


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#2 Dphillip

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 04:46 PM

I’m no expert but I considered putting slotted rotors on my Jeep to increase braking when traveling off road in low gear. I researched slotted rotors and came to the conclusion that slotted rotors are for race cars. There may be disagreement from others but that’s my humble opinion.

Edited by Dphillip, 25 November 2018 - 04:47 PM.

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#3 moveinon

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 06:30 PM

I have a Tacoma and Fleet and feel the same way about my breaking as you describe.  I think that obviously a quality big brake kit increases braking the most, but they are just too expensive.  I have been happy with slotted rotors and green pads that I ran on my previous truck and plan on changing over the current truck to them when I need a brake job.  I think drilled rotors weaken the disc too much and can lead to cracks.  In my experience the slotted rotors clean faster than OEM after mud and water.  Green pads do wear faster than OEM but also break better so are worth it to me because they are easy for me to change out myself.


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#4 Vic Harder

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 09:34 PM

Brake upgrades are interesting.  I've done this on a few race-focused cars, and changed my truck to get better braking with the camper, so I know what you are talking about.

 

Slots/drilling are cool looking, and intended to help with pushing water out faster, so the initial "bite" happens more predictably.  They also weaken the rotor.  

 

Rotor thickness (new, vs turned) is critical to dumping heat and preventing warp.  SOME cars have lousy OEM rotors that warp fast and swapping for after market heavy cast iron rotors can make an improvement there.  The Frontier doesn't seem to have that issue.

 

Pad material determines initial bite vs high heat tolerance.  

 

If you can tolerate replacing rotors more often, get a more aggressive pad.

 

Stainless brake lines also help with "feel" and brake control when you are pushing it to 9/10 of yours or the vehicles ability.

 

When are you noticing the lack of "enough" brake?  My brakes tend to last a looong time because I use the transmission to do a lot of braking.

 

Beyond that, some trucks allow for swaps from similar and bigger rigs.  That does not seem to be the case with the Frontier though.  The only reliable option out there is very expensive

https://www.stillen....ipers-30-6300r/

 

That's my $0.02 on brakes.


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#5 oldhotrod

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 05:49 AM

The factory pads are made as cheap as possible, I would recommend trying to source a better pad front and rear and even slotted rotors. The slots when done properly reduce the buildup of heat and disc brakes in general are not effected by water. That is my plan for my 1500 gmc sierra which stops fine under most conditions but I want to shorten the stopping distance and everything currently is stock...
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#6 ntsqd

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 01:39 PM

Despite having worked in designing racing brake components for two years I'm nowhere near being an expert on the topic. Though I did learn a few things along the way.

 

The need for holes in rotors vanished in the mid 80's somewhere. Holes now exist for marketing only. And to prematurely cause the rotors to crack. Yea, I know some new high-zoot performance cars come with holes in their rotors from the OEM. It is marketing and nothing more. The original reason for holes was to vent a gas that was a product of hot brake pads out-gassing. This caused a pad fade of the brakes (as opposed to a boiling fluid fade). Pad compounds haven't out-gassed like that for decades.

In some extreme cases holes are used to accelerate getting a 'cold' pad rapidly up to operating temperature. I'm not convinced that you can safely drill enough holes in a rotor to do this, but some swear by the technique.

 

Slots can be a plus as they can 'clean' the face of the pads of any foreign material. Their original purpose was to vent that pad generated gas without prematurely causing the rotors to crack, but other benefits have been found from them.

 

None of my 5 vehicles have slotted or drilled rotors. I never have them turned, ever. The most that I do at pad replacements is to use a body work long board and a strip of 80 grit to rough up the pad surfaces. Current pad compound design actually transfers a thin as to be invisible layer of pad material to the rotor faces. The sanding is to break up the previous transfer layer and promote the new pad's transfer of material.

 

If the pad comes with a break-in/bedding recommendation, do it! In the way old days we used to do what was called a "green fade" with new pads. Using Tempilaq temperature indicating paints on the edges of the rotors we would go through an arduous process of bedding those Ferodo DS11 pads. Thankfully those days are nearly gone.


Edited by ntsqd, 26 November 2018 - 01:41 PM.

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Thom

Where does that road go?

#7 klahanie

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 03:48 PM

The most that I do at pad replacements is to use a body work long board and a strip of 80 grit to rough up the pad surfaces. Current pad compound design actually transfers a thin as to be invisible layer of pad material to the rotor faces. The sanding is to break up the previous transfer layer and promote the new pad's transfer of material.

.

 

I think you meant "rotor", yes ?

 

I used this suggestion from you for my truck's parking brake surface (drum design inside rotor "hub"). Went from: no hold with a heavy truck, to: the parking pawl thanks you ... as do I.


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#8 ntsqd

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 02:10 AM

Pad surfaces of the rotor, yes. You're both welcome!


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Thom

Where does that road go?

#9 Vic Harder

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 03:37 AM

Despite having worked in designing racing brake components for two years I'm nowhere near being an expert on the topic. Though I did learn a few things along the way.

 

Slots can be a plus as they can 'clean' the face of the pads of any foreign material. Their original purpose was to vent that pad generated gas without prematurely causing the rotors to crack, but other benefits have been found from them.

Oh, I stand/sit corrected.  I forgot about the pads off-gassing!  

 

P.S. I've been known to off-gas when having to hit the brakes hard and saying "oh sh!t"  ;-)


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Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#10 smlobx

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 08:20 PM

Good comments so far. It looks as though a few of us have had some racing experience and I will whole heartedly agree that drilled rotors are just for bling and actually underperform standard rotors...

To bring another item into the discussion when was the last time you had your brake fluid changed?
On our race cars we did it every other weekend and on many street performance cars they reccomend flushing your brake fluid every two years. I would think for our applications every three to five years would be fine but it is something you should take into consideration.

I recently upgraded the stock pads on F-350 not because they had worn out but because I almost hit someone who thought it was ok to come to a complete stop in the middle of the interstate....anyway, I upgraded to Hawk pads and after properly bedding them in I would estimate that I have at least a 30% improvement in breaking.
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