Author Topic: new brake pads and possibly rotors?  (Read 7024 times)

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shummer

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« on: September 09, 2003, 08:35:27 PM »
My last few laps at SCR (going counterclockwise) yesterday brought to my attention my brake issues. I was entering the "snake pit" turn when my brake light started to flash and the word "STOP" appeared where the temp and mpg is displayed. So I pulled over in the dirt and the lights went off. I drove slowly to the pits and looked at my brake fluid. My brake fluid is at the MIN mark, but as far as I know, there is no leaking. This means my pads are getting thin, and after visually inspecting them and comparing them to others in the pit area, it seems they need replacing. This morning at work, braking very lightly produced a fairly loud squeal. So there's another sign that my pads are thin.

Summary - pads that need replacing caused brake fluid to appear low which moved around its reservoir when I drove crazily which caused the brake light to flash because the sensor thought I was really low on brake fluid.

So I get to finally upgrade my brake pads, but I'd also like to kill two birds with one stone and get some pads with as little dust as possible. Winston mentioned his mintex pads had worst stopping power than the stock pads - not good. I'm happy with the stopping power of the stock pads, but not the dust. Is there a pad out there that will provide the same or better stopping power as stock and produce less dust? What about rotors? It's not time to do a "big brake" upgrade or anything, although prices for aftermarket rotors are not too much higher than stock rotors. Does one just measure the rotors to see how much life is left in them or do they need replacing the same time the pads are replaced?

ColoradoB5

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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2003, 03:05:14 AM »
Andrew,

I noticed that mine are quite a bit lower than they were, but they are only a year old.  Track sure does wear them down.  I see nothing wrong with what you have described though.  The brakes are self adjusting, so the fluid should be a little lower.  Your sensors sound like they just hit the wear limit.

So, I'm looking for pads too and I know Alan is thinking the same thing... :lol:

So...[note to self]...track day wears pads pretty good.  I still have my stock ones, but the sensors are kaput, since I cut them as I didn't need them.

I checked APR and they have these for their Stage II brake system:
http://www.goapr.com/VW/products/brake_suregrip_pads.html

Front - $125/pr
Rear - $100/pr
Fluid - $15

They use the same ones for their APR Stage III kit as well, so they sound pretty good.

Hartmann Motorspors has the APR rotors cheaper:
http://www.hartmann-motorsports.com/pasbrakes.htm

Neuspeed Rotors, don't know much about them, but SPP sells good stuff:
http://www.supremepower.com/category/brakes/brakes-neurotors.htm

Hawk Brake Pads (same as above...don't know about them):
http://www.supremepower.com/category/brakes/brakes-hawk.htm

Some new ones from Mintex:
http://www.autotech.com/ctech.htm

Willwood:
http://www.rpi-equipped.com/braking.htm

Rick Snyder recommended these pads and our sponsor, www.parts4vws.com has them:
http://www.parts4vws.com/catalog/product_detail.asp?PartNumber=FCP590S

Pat has Pagid pads:
http://www.volksparts.com/pagid.htm

Of course, there are the big puppies:


http://www.stratmosphere.com/stoptech_vw.htm
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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2003, 03:05:14 AM »

Jess

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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2003, 04:51:19 PM »
I have to agree with Winston that the Mintex pads are no good for track days. My 11" brakes with stock pads were way better than the 12.3" A8 rotors and Mintex. Ultimately I'd like to at least upgrade to the Boxster calipers, partly because of the reduced unsprung weight but mostly because it's really easy to change out the pads.

The pads really make all the difference in your braking. Rusty seemed to have good luck with the Hawk HP pads but they seemed a little dusty.
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Chas

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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2003, 06:31:24 PM »
Nice list of suppliers and great info there Winston. You should kept that permanently posted into an info section. No need to let all that work go to waste.

Well, as some of you know, my pads were for SHIT! I could only get about two, maybe three hot laps before the pads were useless. I did have one "off track" experience at the end of the front straight because of my pads. No big deal really. I just thought that would be the safer route to take than to try and make the corner. But I believe I am also in need of new brake fluid as well. I'm going to be researching this one closely because of the stories I have heard about ATE Super Blue Racing brake fluid making 5 spd cars have a squeeky clutch. The brake and clutch systems in 5 speed B5's share a common resavoir. And it has been reported that ATE brake fluid (a very good fluid BTW) causes some cars to have a squeeky clutch. And I won't have that. So I search.
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ColoradoB5

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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2003, 06:49:19 PM »
It looks like we need to do a brake garage day!
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2003, 07:00:46 PM »
I am in definite need of new rear brakes after the track day.  I don't want to risk machining my current rotors and have them end up being too thin in a year or less.  I'm just gonna replace them with some cross-drilled Zimmermans.  8)

I'd love to do the work myself this weekend, but I'm probably gonna have to work.  So I'll be dropping my car off at Champagne tomorrow morning so they can do it for me.  I don't remember the type of pads they said they would install, but nothing fancy since it's just the rears.  I'll probably upgrade the fronts to something better when it's time to replace them.

Let us know what pads you go with Andrew and how they work for you.  If you guys get a brake garage day together, let us know the time and I'll try to make it.
lan
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shummer

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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2003, 09:22:56 PM »
Well I got quite the education from Will aka "The Swami" at clubb5.com. Not sure how reliable he is, but this is what he told me:

***************
1. Replace rotors and pads at the same time.

Something to do w/ how they bed to one another. Just upgrading to more aggressive pads (i.e. mintex, ebc, etc) with used stock rotors will most likely cause some noise (i.e. squeal) and worse-than-stock brake performance.

Can't machine used rotors because, for some reason, rotors on German automobiles are significantly thinner than say Japanese or American automobiles.

2. Pads - better braking power or less brake dust - take your pick (not both!)

There are very few low brake dust pads out there. Two of them are Mintex red box and EBC greenstuff. Of those two, he recommended the EBC greenstuff in terms of better stopping power (improved over stock) for low brake dust pads.

Now I've heard comments about the greenstuff pads turn to "blackstuff" once they get on the track. I would not be happy with that. I also heard that they chew up rotors real good. Not sure how accurate that comment is either.

3. Vented rotors are no gimic.

Venting help cools the surface of the rotor. The cooler the surface, the more track time you get before you experience brake fade.

Prefer slotted over drilled simply because some vendors drill through a solid rotor instead of casting a rotor with holes in it. Some folks may have seen photos of drilled rotors with cracks in them. Not good. I hope those with cross-drilled don't experience this.
***************

So the cheapo part of me says just do pads, but I don't want brake squeal or decreased braking performance just for the sake of clean wheels. So this is what I'm thinking guys:

ATE power disc slotted rotor (front) - $56/ea.
OEM rotor (rear) - $29/ea.
EBC greenstuff pads (front) - $99/pair
EBC greenstuff pads (rear) - $49/pair
-------------------------------------------
Total = $318

I want to avoid the mintex based on Winston and Jessie's experiences. I've also heard good things about Porterfield R4-S pads, but can't find where to buy them.

What do you guys think about having to replace pads/rotors at the same time? I'm guessing some of you did this and some did not.

velo

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2003, 09:29:48 PM »
Sounds like a good setup Andrew, and good prices.  My Haynes manual says you must replace the bolts which hold the pads in place every time you remove them.  I forget the exact name for them, but look into this and make sure you get new bolts of that type if you are going to do the work yourself.
lan
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ColoradoB5

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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2003, 11:44:53 AM »
Andrew, that sounds good.  I know the swami has 2 passats, and one he races a lot, so I think he can be considered pretty experienced.  I am thinking of going with the Ferodo DS2000 pads but I haven't decided on rotors yet.  I'm thinking of Zimmerman, but I'm going to find out if they are drilled or cast with holes first if I decide to go the cross drilled route.
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shummer

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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2003, 01:32:21 PM »
Just called McDonald VW to see how much a brake job costs:

$425-$450 stock parts
$350-$375 labor

That included a brake fluid flush which I've never had done to my car (3.5 years, 43k miles  :oops: )! I guess I was supposed to ask to have that done after 2 years of ownership. It's not part of any of the scheduled maintenance visits.

How much brake fluid do I need to purchase?

jayryan

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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2003, 02:00:44 PM »
Well, I know that from my recently replaced stock with Mintex front pads, I've seen no difference with stopping power, but then I don't do the track either. I never replaced any bolts but should have replaced my rotors.
I believe Chas was telling me to order the brake fluid from the dealership as it's a special kind or something. I know that's the case with the hydraulic fluid.
I would be interested in a brake day closer to the end of the year/next spring. I should have the money to do a full upgrade.
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92UrS4

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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2003, 02:18:46 PM »
Quote from: "shummer"
It's not part of any of the scheduled maintenance visits.



Yes it is, they were supposed to do it at your 20K.

ColoradoB5

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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2003, 04:12:31 PM »
Quote from: "gietl"
Quote from: "shummer"
It's not part of any of the scheduled maintenance visits.



Yes it is, they were supposed to do it at your 20K.


I actually have heard from several sources that this should be done every two years regardless of mileage.  It cost me $60 at Ed Carroll up in Fort Fun a while back, but I would be interested in going in with someone on the Brake bleeder on parts4vws.com  We could make it a club purchase.

Any takers?  It's $42 with our discount, $44 regularly.  Other than that the pads and rotors are pretty easy to change.  We can lend you a hand if you want Andrew.  It will be easier than the DV change, I can tell you that!
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2003, 05:08:56 PM »
i replaced the front rotors with zimmerman cross drilleds on my A4,
(got the pair *new* for only $70 could not pass it up...reg $140)
 and the differance is not that much without better pads. but it is a little less spoungy and slightly more responsive in feel and stopping power.

at the garage day thati came up and installed them, i got to drive our current car of the month, and i would have to say that his A8 brake upgrade was 1000% better than mine!!!

i am looking into that upgrade (audi TT caliper carriers, A8 rotors and pads) , next once my supention is done (which will be next month)

my philosophy on modding cars is this...
first get a suspention and wheels,
pick up all the small things you can get a good deal on along the way.
then as things wear out, (brakes, clutch, cabels, hoses) upgrade those things then....why spend money when you have good parts in the first place.

IMHO car handling, braking and looks should come first cuz, they are the most important, and will be the first things people notice...
 once your car stands out from the crowd make it FAST!
your car can be really fast and be ugly...but in the end it is only fast and ugly...
OT DISH?-----> nope!
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2003, 05:11:40 PM »
Just got a call from Larry at Champagne and he says my rear rotors are still within spec and so he's just gonna replace the pads.  I guess I won't be getting those cool looking Zimmerman cross-drilled after all.  I talked to him a little bit about cross-drilled and he said he's not a fan of cross-drilled rotors for various reasons.  If they were cast with holes, that might be a different story, but he was pretty sure the Zimmerman's were drilled.

If I was having the front brakes done I'd probably change the rotors just so I could get a better, maybe bigger, rotor.  But since it's just the rears I guess keeping the old ones will be ok.
lan
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Chas

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« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2003, 02:26:37 AM »
Well A couple of things I saw in this thread that I will comment on/add to.

1) Mintex pads are completely fine and very good brake pads for street use. Which is more than 95% of all of our Passat driving time. They make a great pad for the street. And we all hate that brake dust. Mintex Red box pads are fine. Now on the track is a different story. At last years event I ran with them on my car. I did experience brake fade (nothing like this year) but then again, so did everyone. It was really hot last year!
I think I am going to get a sepperate set of front race pads for track days.
That way I'll have the best of both worlds. Race pads are very noisy on the street because you never get them up to the temperature they were designed to be at. So they squeal.

2) As for the Zimmerman rotors, well all I can say is that was the only thing going for me as far as brakes were concerned this past weekend. I have had them on my car for almost a year now and they work great. they may go through brake pads a bit more prematurly than non-drilled rotors, but that is really the only down side to them that I have seen. Boris has had them on his car for more than three years now and still no cracks coming from the holes. Yes, some drilled rotors will crack out from the holes, but just because they are drilled and not cast in doesn't mean that they will automatically crack. Of course if you can afford Brembo cast hole rotors then get them. They are great. But they are not the only way to go with X-drilled rotors. Again, mine are fine and I have run two track days on them and still no cracks.

3) Brake fluid should be changed every two years regaurdless of milage. Air seeps into the resavoir. And even here in arid Colorado we have moisture in the air. Water is made up of Oxygen and Hydrogen. Once heated sufficiently the water breaks down into it's component parts. Oxygen and Hydrogen are gases. Gases will compress, fluids compress to a much lesser extent. This is the law of fluid dynamics. The the end result of having gases in your brake lines is mushy pedal feel. This will happen over time to the best of vehicles. And this is probably the reason that JR's pedal feels mushy. It could also be from having the brake fluid boiled in the lines. Much like mine was on Monday. I too now have a mushy pedal. :cry:  

4) As for replacement brake fluid, that is something I am investigating right now. I have used ATE Super Blue Racing brake fluid in the past. And it is a great product, but it may not be the best thing in 5 spd Passats or Audi A4's. There is some stories that it causes the clutch pedal to squeak when depressed. The clutch and brake fluid shares the same resavoir. If you are going to be tracking your car any at all, it pays to get a high boiling point brake fluid. It won't hurt anything other than your wallet. :roll: Use at least a DOT 4 or better fluid for race applications.
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ColoradoB5

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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2003, 11:56:46 AM »
Good writeup Chas.  I think I will go with the Zimmermans as soon as I can scape up the cash.  Thanks for the info!
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2003, 03:42:44 PM »
My two cents:

1.  Dub- excellent post.  I concur with Chas about making it permanent info.
2.  I think the biggest variable in the system is pads.  With our stock brakes, I think upgrading the pads will make the biggest difference.  This goes double for the track.  Yeah, bigger and/or drilled/slotted rotors are cool and provide a larger swept area.  Yeah, they are heavier and therefore work better becuase they are basically heat sinks.  The heat sink thing only matters if the brakes get to the point of overheating, though.  However, I've noticed a nicer improvement going from the A8/Mintex combo to the A8/Pagid combo than from the OEM setup to the A8/Mintex combo.  Both were improvements, but I'm slightly more pleased with the change in pads than the change in rotors.  I really think pads are where you'll see the most bang for your buck.
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shummer

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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2003, 03:54:14 PM »
All right dudes, just placed my order through www.parts4vws.com:

ATE power disc front rotors + Ferodo Premier street front pads = $190
OEM rear rotor + Mintex Red Box rear pads = $85
------------
Total $275

Mike at www.parts4vws.com talked me into the Ferodo street pads. Not only were the DS2000 back-ordered, but they are being discontinued and replaced w/ the DS2500, which are also back-ordered. Said he's been waiting 8 mos. for these pads, which he thought might be overkill for me. He also did not recommend the Mintex Red Box for the track and recommended these Ferodo (which are supposed to be equivalent to the Mintex Red Box) over them. Being the budget family car racer that I am, he also liked that I didn't upgrade the rear rotor and went w/ the low dust street performance pad in the rear.

Thanks to Rick Snyder for all the technical info. Thanks to Mike for a good deal on brakes.

I'll let you cornjulios know when I get these because I'll need help on installing them. Still need to look into the brake fluid also.

DenverPat

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« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2003, 04:12:34 PM »
Quote from: "shummer"
All right dudes, just placed my order through www.parts4vws.com:

ATE power disc front rotors + Ferodo Premier street front pads = $190
OEM rear rotor + Mintex Red Box rear pads = $85
------------
Total $275

Mike at www.parts4vws.com talked me into the Ferodo street pads. Not only were the DS2000 back-ordered, but they are being discontinued and replaced w/ the DS2500, which are also back-ordered. Said he's been waiting 8 mos. for these pads, which he thought might be overkill for me. He also did not recommend the Mintex Red Box for the track and recommended these Ferodo (which are supposed to be equivalent to the Mintex Red Box) over them. Being the budget family car racer that I am, he also liked that I didn't upgrade the rear rotor and went w/ the low dust street performance pad in the rear.

Thanks to Rick Snyder for all the technical info. Thanks to Mike for a good deal on brakes.

I'll let you cornjulios know when I get these because I'll need help on installing them. Still need to look into the brake fluid also.


Rock on, mah short-stoppin' bruthaman.  That sounds like you got a great deal!
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« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2003, 04:51:13 PM »
Not a bad deal!  I would like to watch when you install them, if that would be ok.
If it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it!

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« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2003, 05:46:51 PM »
Sure Dave.  Maybe next weekend we can do this.  Andrew of course has to get them delivered, but I will let you know when we can do this.  It is pretty straight forward on the B5 and B5.5.  

The B3 was a lot more difficult, but the newer models are not too bad...especially for the rotors.
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« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2003, 07:18:14 PM »
If I can swing it, I'd like to watch as well.
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Chas

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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2003, 02:25:16 AM »
Hey guys. Well, I finally got all my brake stuff I ordered two weeks ago.  :evil:  :x  :roll:  I got a set of Zimmerman X-drilled rotors for the rear, Mintex Red box for the rear and a new set of Mintex Reds for the front. $161 for the stuff. I have the Zimmermans for the front already.

So I did all my work this afternoon. I couldn't wait any longer. My brakes sucked. And here's why...

So I dived into my brake job this afternoon. Brakes on the Passat are really pretty easy and I can tear them appart and put them back together very quickly. I learned a new trick for the rears today. I don't have the "correct" tool to push the rear pistons in. I have the "Cube" thingy. And on my left rear it has always been a pain to depress that rear piston. the right rear is way easy. After I tore appart the rear calipers and removed the heavily thrashed rear rotors (reason #1 why my brakes sucked!) I bolted the caliper back onto the carrier. This helps hold the caliper in place and makes it easier to press and turn in the piston. Then just unbolt it and put the new parts back on. WAMMO!!!  :lol:  :wink:  :roll:

But once I removed the old Mintex rear pads I found something very disturbing with the surface of the rear pads. I had never seen anything like this before. And I have done many different types on brakes on many cars in the past. The surface of the Mintex rear pads was almost crystalised. It flaked off very easily and just crumbled to peices. I rubbed the two rear pads together and it was as if I held one pad against a belt sander. The stuff was just falling off way too easy. I must have totally cooked those pads. (reason #2 why my brakes sucked.)

So why did the rears look so bad? Easy, because the front pads were so horrible. The rears had to work extra hard to try and make up for the lack of front braking going on. In recent days my pedal feel was very mushy and untrustworthy.  :cry: So after the rear was taken care of I turned to the fronts. I had bought some new Mintex pads for street use for the front of the car too. Once I removed everything I needed to I found some heavily glazed Zimmerman front rotors.  :cry: (reason #3 why my brakes sucked so bad)  And the there was one little "trough" that starting to be dug in the left front. So I tore them off and ran them over to the local NAPA Auto parts store (Havanna Auto Parts) that does some very nice machining work believe it or not.  :D
They cleaned up the rotors very nicely and didn't have to take too much off, just "kissed" them with the grinding stone. An hour later and I was back in business and putting my new brakes on the car. The whole affair took about 1.5 hours of actual work time to complete, but I had some drive time and waiting for the turning to be done. So really it was more like 4 hours in total.  :roll:

Once it was all back together and buttoned up I took her for a little brake test and beading in proccess. All I can say is "WOW!" and "NICE!" Now I have holes in all my rotors!!  :lol:  :lol: And as a side bonus to getting new rear rotors is that the park brake handle doesn't have to be pulled into the back seat to set the brake anymore.  :lol: I hadn't realized how deeply grooved my rear rotors had become. The car just freaking stops now.

Of course I will look into some front "track" pads for those fun days we all love so much. Maybe the Pagid or those DS2500 if they become available again.

Almost all of the mushy pedal feel has been removed, but I will still be looking into new brake fluid. I did a little looking today at local supplies from the normal every day outlets. All I could find was some NAPA brand name DOT 5 fluid that had a boiling point of 550 degrees. Not bad, but I want something in the 600 degree or better range. It doesn't hurt to have a higher boiling point fluid. We do live in mountainous Colorado.  :)  8)
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Chas

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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2003, 02:35:06 AM »
Quote from: "ColoradoB5"
Good writeup Chas.  I think I will go with the Zimmermans as soon as I can scape up the cash.  Thanks for the info!


Winston, I don't think you'll be sorry at all. And they do look oh so cool!! I especially love the way the rears look. Cool and funky.

As a side note. The other day I was at a Checker's Auto Parts store returning those extra set of brake pads I had got just in case I totally trashed my pads at track day. Anyhow, their were these two kids doing something to a Mitsu. Eclise out in the parking lot right next to my car. As I was exiting the store I saw them looking over my car. Checking out the FMIC and then the X-drilled rotors. Pointing and nodding their heads. Of course I stood back for a moment and just grinned to myself then I hit the keyless remote to open the doors and they stood up from the front wheels and stepped back.  :lol:  8) They asked about the FMIC and then the rotors. The kids said that he didn't know that Passats had a Turbo too. And that might be why he was always getting spanked by them!  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

But like I said, there is a "cool" factor to X-drilled rotors.  :roll:  :lol:
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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2003, 07:25:17 PM »
WOW, great comments.  :D   It is encouraging to know that changing brakes is not rocket science.  I will probably need to do mine sometime next year.

Well if it is of any mention, I changed my plugs today.  I was getting cylinder 1 & 2 misfires.  They were the originals and they were rather fouled up.  Not as hard but almost as satisfying. :D
If it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it!

jayryan

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2003, 02:28:02 PM »
Chas, it sounds like you're hooked up now!
I think for next year along with Dave, I'm gonna do a full-four wheel brake upgrade. I'll aquire the parts this winter....
'03 A4 1.8TQM
'68 MG C
'06 4Runner

Chas

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2003, 02:38:47 PM »
Yeah, finally I have brakes.  :roll:  A weekend too late. :evil:  :roll: I could have used them before track day.
2003 Audi A6 2.7T
Some Sedans haul families,
this one hauls ASS!

shummer

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2003, 04:53:55 PM »
Does Saturday, September 20, work for you guys (especially Winston)? I'm expecting my parts on Wednesday. Not doing the brake fluid yet, just rotors and pads. I'm thinking Winston's house, this Saturday, maybe start at 9am.

Chas

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new brake pads and possibly rotors?
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2003, 02:54:29 AM »
Andrew, we'll have to GTG some time for a brake fluid drain and refill party. I still want to do mine too, but for now I'm OK.

Has anyone found any great info on brake fluid for Passats? especially 5 spd Passats.
2003 Audi A6 2.7T
Some Sedans haul families,
this one hauls ASS!