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Old 06-08-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
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Default Changing the brake pads...?

How long after brakes start squealing do you have to get them replaced?

Here'* my dilemma, my brakes just started squealing last week on Tuesday (only the front driver side brake is squealing now). I got a full brake inspection at Sears and they told me the repairs would be $812, I got quotes from shops who used Sears report and all ranged from $700-$800 bucks (I need a full brake job new pads, rotors, calipers, and drums front and rear ).

Money I don't have because I have not been able to find employment up until yesterday (June 7). I start working on the 12th, and this job requires driving to different sites and the main office is out a distance from my home (3 miles). I have been taking it easy by driving only when I have to and on surface streets and not speeding. What I want to know is with light driving will my brake hold out until I get that almighty first pay check?

I currently only need to replace my front pads just to get me by until that paycheck. Then I can get everything else fixed. I will just take it to a side mechanic or chain repair shop and instead of showing them the Sears report just tell them I want some front pads, rotors, put on.

NOISE: Currently only an annoying squeal, not a grinding noise, and it takes the car few more seconds to slow down.

Have any of you changed pads yourself? Is it a hard task?
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:45 AM   #2
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Pads should be changed as soon as possible after you hear the squeal. Better yet, it is best to check the brakes every so often and change them before any squeals or grinding noises occur. The squealing is caused by a small metal blade that contacts the surface of the rotor as the pad wears down to the point of needing to be changed. It is not doing your rotor any good to have this small metal blade gouging into it constantly. The blade can be bent back so that it doesn't squeal at all, helping to preserve the rotor. Just remove the wheel and check it out, it should be obvious how to do it. The downside to this is that you will have no warning until the pad starts to crumble and fall apart, leaving just the backing plate to grind into your rotor. Since you say only the driver'* side is squealing now, you might consider only bending back the squealers on that side. That way, if you forget to fix your brakes once you get paid, the squealer on the other side will still be there to remind you, hopefully before the driver'* side leaves you walking.
I recently changed the front pads on my 1990. My rotors looked perfect, so I only did a pad swap. It was very easy to only swap pads. As I recall the only special tool required is a torx bit that I already had. These are usually available individually. I forget the size, I can find out for you tomorrow. I also used a clamp to retract the piston into the caliper after opening the bleeder screw to vent the excess brake fluid. If you do it yourself, you will need to buy some brake fluid.
A full service brake shop wants to sell you stuff. Quite often, the rotors are reusable, but to cover their warranty they want to use new ones. Very few shops like that, in my experience will turn a rotor anymore. The time spent on labor to machine a rotor or drum is more valuable than a new rotor so it winds up cheaper for them to replace them.
It is your call whether or not your pads will hold up until payday. It is hard to make that determination without seeing the exact thickness of the remaining pad material. The squealer is there to warn you of needed maintenance, whether or not you actually do the maintenance is up to you. Once it starts squealing it means it is time to change pads.
Good luck with your job.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:04 PM   #3
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The Pads are easily changed..

You will need a T45 or 50 Torx... and you will need to be able to carefully compress the piston.. I either use a tool or a C clamp for this..

Rotors for our 87-91 Bonnevilles are usually $14-$17 and Pads are usually $20-40 depending on what you buy..

If you do the Pads, At the very lease break the Glaze off the rotors...

Also get a Can Of Autozone or Advance auto parts Brake Cleaner, and a Packet of High temp brake lube( usually at the counter ) to lube the slide pins..

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Old 06-09-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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Well now, lets see here. You will need a T50 or 55 IIRC, its not 45, I know that (Although this is on an 89) When I did mine, I got bendix rotors and bedix pads, cost me about $140 total, now you may wonder why, but I like warranties, and these had the best warranty over any other brake brand. As long as you don't buy your stuff from auto zone, go cheap. But don't use cheapy cheap $20 pads, I did that and oh boy...bad idea, they turned my wheels BLACK and ruined the rotors and the pads were cracked in about 10 different places each. Be sure to remove your rotors and inspect them for pits and such if you're not planning on replacing them.

here are my old ones for an example. pitted like heck.

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and these are what i put on
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having brakes like that really gives you some confidence when driving. and they never gave me a reason to feel insecure about them.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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Sounds like they were trying to take your money. It is highly unlikely that you need callipers, and even still that price is ridiculous for just those parts. You likely need new pads on the front, and if you feel any shaking or the rotors are grooved you'll need to front rotors. I also doubt you need rear brakes at all, but you just need to check the wear on them.

Squealing can mean many things, if it is when you are not braking you pads are worn. If it'* when you brake, then it could lots of things, including just lubrication.


First pull your wheels off and take a look at the condition of your pads and shoes.
Check out these two write ups:

http://www.lesabret.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2494
http://www.lesabret.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4060
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:05 AM   #6
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update


I went to a side shop and he installed the new pads for 50 bucks. So this will at least get me back and forth to a job. Also, after checking out that job I decided to pass, so still unemployed Thanks for the replies
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