2003 Suburban New Pads Old Rotor Question

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Mar 17, 2011
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990
Location
Florida
Just finished replacing front brakes on 03 Suburban. At least 160k miles on my Perfect Stop pads that came with the car when I bought it at 66k miles.
Also changed front hubs/bearings.
Raybestos Specialty rotors paired with Hawk LTS pads.
I thought the fronts would be more worn than the back and assumed I had more life in the rears, but as I was bleeding system to refresh my brake fluid, I see the rears were equally as worn as the front. Almost identical wear, just slightly more on the rears and the squeaker is just ready to make contact with the rotors.
As much as I would love to do the same setup in the rear, I just don't have the budget for it right now, plus some rear end work will be in my future next year, so I would do rear brakes and bearings at the same time.
I am thinking to throw on a set of medium grade pads - Element 3 pads on the existing rotors on the back for a year. (Don't want to get into turning them either, if I did that, I would just get new rotors).

On the outside face, there is no major grooves or scoring. Couldn't see the inside without removing calipers.
Braking is smooth, no vibrations or pulsations and stopping is straight. Haven't measured for runout.
Florida vehicle so only rust is surface rust in not contact areas.

Any tips or advice when re-using rotors with new pads...aside from turning them, or is this just a bad idea? Again, to replace pads only, I could do this for 40.00 and a couple hours of my time, I will be 250+ if I did the Hawk and new Raybestos specialty rotors.
How about mixing pads between front and rear, could this pose any problems?
I was always under the impression that the majority of the braking happens from the front, but based on wear, this does not seem to be the case with my Suburban.
 
I am assuming this truck has always been in Florida? If the rotors are clean and look good, go for it. I would do the same if it weren't for the salt in NY eating rotors/pad friction material rust jacking off before the brakes are worn out.

Have a picture of the rotor to share?
 
Open to other pad recommendations as well.
Was just reading some mixed reviews about the E-3's.
Could even bite the bullet and throw on a set of 85.00 Hawk pads.
I didn't like that they don't come with new shims, but my originals were cleanable.
 
I am assuming this truck has always been in Florida? If the rotors are clean and look good, go for it. I would do the same if it weren't for the salt in NY eating rotors/pad friction material rust jacking off before the brakes are worn out.

Have a picture of the rotor to share?
Yes, always in Florida, except for a couple winter projects and trips in NY area.
I didn't take a picture of the rears, but here were the fronts before replacing. Rears were in similar condition.

2024-04-27 15.38.37.jpg


2024-04-27 15.39.24.jpg
 
Slightly off topic but I think with modern electronic brake control systems, they can modulate to make the rears work harder for anti-dive without worrying about rear wheel lockup in slippery conditions. On my 04 Cadillac the rears wore out before the fronts.
 
Even BMW caved and now offers a pad only job from what I understand (used to be pads and rotors only). Sometimes when using old Rotors the lips may make a scraping sound until the new pad gets cut by it. Sure it’s ideal to do rotors and pads—imho this is the only way to be sure it will be squeal and groan free esp with semi metallic. But pads only is 70% good imho…
 
Just go over the rotor surface with a disc to remove any glaze and for proper break in.

51B0QhCoBqL._SL1000_.jpg
If you have a lathe or something that allows for the rotor to be rotated, sure. Otherwise, it will be difficult to evenly remove material across the surface.
 
If you're truly JUST pad-slapping it and know you're gonna redo everything in a year, I'd get the least expensive set of semi-metallics you can. Should be able to find something under $20, although it would be nice to have new abutment clips if applicable.
 
I saw on another post that the quality of the E3's has diminished.
Someone recommended the EBC Ultimax 2's.
These also have a surface that is apparently designed to abrade the existing rotor surface to bed the brakes and clean the rotors.
Would these be a good choice? Occasional towing with my Suburban. Anyone have any experience with them on an SUV?

EBC Ultimax 2 Bedding Compound
 
I run a DA sander w/120 grit sandpaper around the old rotors to break the glaze. Don’t think it removes any significant metal but could be wrong.
Thanks,
Andy
 
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