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Front rotors: replace or not replace when replacing bearings?

ratdude747

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I seem to have developed some wheel bearing noise at 45-60mph. It's gotten worse over time... it started acting up on a 2500 mile trek to Colorado back in July; the most recent drive with it, it was pretty loud. When it was aligned last fall, I was told the front bearings were a hair loose, and lazy butt here didn't bother confirming the bearing nuts :black_eye:... suffice to say I likely need do wheel bearings on the front.

They rotors (and bearings) were replaced as part of a full front brake job in late 2017 (almost 5 years ago). My question I'm pondering is if it's worth it to replace the rotors while I'm at it as it'd make the repair easier (no need to remove/install outer bearing races) and rotors aren't terribly expensive. I haven't had any front brake issues though... maybe an opportunity to upgrade to drilled and/or slotted rotors?
 


Uncle Gump

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I think if I was replacing wheel bearings... I would even change the outer races in a new set of rotors. I think there is something to be said for keeping a quality wheel bearing and it's race together as a set.
 

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I think if I was replacing wheel bearings... I would even change the outer races in a new set of rotors. I think there is something to be said for keeping a quality wheel bearing and it's race together as a set.
Pretty sure that's what I did last time (but I may be remembering doing this job on my parent's Chevy Astro)... although if the pre-installed race installed came from a quality supplier, likely there wouldn't be an issue with new bearings as they're made to the same spec and I doubt the manufacturers of the new bearings are selectively fitting races (but I stand to be corrected). Used bearings, I agree, keep the bearing parts together as they've worn together.

Either way, the question is still open... is it worth the trouble of hammering in/out races on used rotors?
 

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They aren't that bad if you have the right tools to set the races in place. Harbor Freight sells a kit for doing just that made of aluminum discs and a driver handle (Better to damage the tool than the part). Just make sure the hole is completely clean, bare metal. It takes very little to cause a race to hang up while driving it in. Make sure any gouges you may have caused driving the old race out are cleaned up and completely smooth as well. I also like to put the races in the freezer for a few hours so they shrink and slide in even better.
 

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Not hard to remove the races, if rotors look good and there is no pulsing when braking(warped rotors), I would just do the bearings
 

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Either way, the question is still open... is it worth the trouble of hammering in/out races on used rotors?
Well now you're changing the question... but I will answer again.

Used rotors... without question... drive out old races and install new ones.

And back to my original answer. You buy cheap rotors and then purchase new quality bearings. Why would you chance putting new quality bearings on questionable quality races when you have the matched set? It takes minutes to do.
 

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If I’m going through the trouble of pulling apart 5 year old brakes, I’m replacing the pads, rotors, bearings, seals, etc.

But I live in the rust belt and rotors tend to rust pretty bad in 5 years.
 

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Ive always just done bearings/races.
 

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Drilled/slotted rotors were beneficial in '70s, when the brake pad material off gassed and caused performance to degrade when they got hot. And then every boy racer wanted to match what the Porsches & Ferraris did with drilled/slotted rotors.

But that was 50 years ago. We will note that Ford uses undrilled/unslotted rotors on Mustangs and F-150, because brake pad technology has improved so there isn't off gas issues. And more surface area = more stopping.
But convincing the boy racers will take another 50 years.
 

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Drilled/slotted rotors were beneficial in '70s, when the brake pad material off gassed and caused performance to degrade when they got hot. And then every boy racer wanted to match what the Porsches & Ferraris did with drilled/slotted rotors.

But that was 50 years ago. We will note that Ford uses undrilled/unslotted rotors on Mustangs and F-150, because brake pad technology has improved so there isn't off gas issues. And more surface area = more stopping.
But convincing the boy racers will take another 50 years.
For example, dirt bikes comes slotted rotors, but when racing in wet/muddy conditions, most riders will switch them out for solid rotors to keep the muck out, and more pad surface to stop a mud laden heavier machine.
 

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Holes in the rotors LOOKS COOL :)

You can sell a washed and waxed vehicle with barely running engine much faster than a dirty vehicle with prefect running engine
People are all about the looks, F* the mechanics of it

Its why people still buy BLACK vehicles..................one time, lol
 

Eddo Rogue

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Holes in the rotors LOOKS COOL :)

You can sell a washed and waxed vehicle with barely running engine much faster than a dirty vehicle with prefect running engine
People are all about the looks, F* the mechanics of it

Its why people still buy BLACK vehicles..................one time, lol
Yep, just like they will pay $10k for a paint job but not $2k for a transmission rebuild.
 

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Really hard to "see" the transmission.......................so why spend money on something that really doesn't matter :)
 

Eddo Rogue

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Really hard to "see" the transmission.......................so why spend money on something that really doesn't matter :)
Thats exactly what my transmission shop owner buddy says lol.
 

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So, "quality bearings." One can assume Timken. I've used heavy duty roller and taper bearings made by Timken, SKF, and National. Can't seem to notice any difference, but these are slow turning devices, although under heavy load. Find that proper lubrication is the key with them (some pumpers actually understand that. Just love getting a wrist pin in that has caked old grease with just a bit of fresh as though that was going to fix it.)

However, for wheel bearings, I see also BCA, Centric, FAG and Mevotech brands. Plus whatever 'store' brands one might find locally. Has anyone have experience with these other brands?
 

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