semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 06, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads

I had something rather "interesting" happen to me today. My daily driver Lumina has Wagner semi-metallic brake pads on the front, which I use because it came with semi-metallics from the factory. On the way to school this morning, I started getting a nasty grinding sound out of the drivers side from wheel area. Its about a 20 mile drive so I got to drive about 30 miles with this awful racket up front every time I hit the brakes (which is a LOT in Overland Park). I got back here and yanked the wheels...the drivers side pad was completely gone, but there was still quite a bit of meat left on the passenger side. The car has never, ever pulled like the driver side was grabbing harder than the other side. The pads have always been changed on both sides at the same time too. Why do you think one side would be so much worse than the other?
I also wonder what you all's thoughts are on semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads. I didn't have much money on me, and I can't use out of state checks, so I ended up getting the cheapest set of brakes O'reillys had. I also got them because the drivers side rotor was pretty gouged up, and both rotors was getting kinda rough looking and thin, so I am going to replace both rotors when I get home this weekend (where most of my tools are), as well as do a full brake job all the way around. Anyway, these cheapy non-metallic pads are the first non-metallic pads I have ever had on this car, and immediately I noticed a much better brake pedal feel and the brakes feel noticeably stronger than they ever have since I have owned this car (6 years and 120K miles). The car has always had mediocre brakes, and they still aren't great but they feel stronger. Is this normal? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either type?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 06, 04:13 AM
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Re: semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads

I would suggest the pass caliper is not doing its job, either by its stuck or the hose is internally "hosed." I had a Dodge truck, same problem, replaced the hose and problem went away.

Semi's are used by OEM's because the heat is the damaging problem to brakes. Heat is the result of stopping energy. After some time, the non's will be cooked and require more pedal force. The semi's keep working the same.

Yes, semi's & full metallic's wear the he!! out of the rotors, look at any new BMW, Audi, Jag, etc. They require new rotors and pads at 30K, if you're lucky. But they will stop on a dime and leave 7 cents change.

Non's don't wear out/gouge the rotor as semi's do, but, it takes forever to stop when compared to semi's.

Its 6 to one, and half a dozen to the other.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 06, 06:05 AM
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Re: semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads

The best pads out are the ceramic's. akebono's are the only brand we install here at the shop, we've tried other don't last as long and make nosie, alot of newer cars and trucks use them , the chevys get 80,000 plus out of them, and you can't use semi metallics in there place, the brake system isn't designed for them , they won't stop nearly as quick and causes the abs to kick,

on to your problem, I would check to make sure you don't have a frozen slide, and then try to push the piston back in, if its hard to push back in, open the bleeder and see if it goes in easy that way, if it does i would put a new hose on it.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 06, 06:17 AM
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Re: semi-metallic vs. non-metallic brake pads

We only use semi-metallic on our squad cars. We also use "frozen rotors." These suckers last forever. They are cryogenically frozen which supposedly aligns the molcular structure making them stronger. It must be doing something since we have rotors that get abused to no end and keep on going.

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