Initial review: Wagner OEX pads & AC Delco rotors

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3,431
Location
USA
I recently installed a new set of Wagner OEX brake pads and AC Delco coated rotors. Here are my initial impressions after a couple hundred miles. I’ll be updating this as I get more miles on the combo. Why I bought these pads: -GG rated. The factory pads were FF. -Made in the USA. The company says all the OEX pads are made in the USA. -They use a traditional brake pad shims. I have read about some issues with the integrated insulators on the Wagner Thermoquiets, so I decided to try these. Some notes about the OEX pads: -They’re mainly aimed at trucks and SUVs, for some reason, but they do have applications for some cars. -They fit fine. I didn’t need to file the pad ears or anything. -The included hardware all fit well. These pads are performing well, but the friction material shape is gimmicky and isn’t as tall as the OE pads (see pics below). I’ve read the smaller swept surface could lead to larger rust ridges at the edges of the rotor. That may not happen in my case, as I bought fully coated rotors where the coating is only worn off on the swept surface. I would prefer a normal friction material shape. The rotors: I wanted fully coated rotors, so I went with these AC Delco Advantage coated rotors. These rotors are fully coated, including the inside of the hat and down in the vanes. They’re made in China. The machine work looks good and the installation went fine. We will see how the coating holds up. The zinc-based coating on these (at least I believe it’s zinc based) does not appear as tough as the paint used on some rotors, but these rotors are fully coated vs. the partial painting used on some other rotors. Rotor installation: I cleaned both hubs with a wire brush and a wire wheel on a grinder -one side more thoroughly than the other, as you’ll see later- and installed the rotors. I used my clamp-on HF runout gauge to check the runout. The factory spec on this vehicle is .002” runout max. The passenger side, which was more thoroughly cleaned, came out .001 runout right off the bat, so it was good to go. The driver’s side came out .0025. I took off the rotor and cleaned some additional rust I had missed off the hub. I checked the hub runout and it was .001 or less. I reinstalled the rotor 180 degrees from the initial installation point and got .001 runout. Then I did a mild break-in, about a half-dozen mid-pressure decelerations, and then drove on normally. Some of the oft-quoted bedding methods online can be too aggressive for street pads. A mild bedding and normal driving is what works for me. Overall impressions: The performance so far of this combo has been very good. This combo has a strong initial and overall bite. They stop better than the OE pads. As of right now there’s no increase in noise over the OE pads. I can’t comment on the dust right now, as I only have a couple hundred miles on these. The Pads: This is the total difference in height between the friction material on the OEX and original pads. There is not this much gap on the top and bottom. This is the total gap at the top and bottom added together. The rotors: Checking the runout:
 
Messages
13,464
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Hi, I don't see the coating on the rotors. I am used to the BLACK E-Coating on some painted rotors. Are the rotor hats & vents painted? Is it a clear coat paint? Or a silver paint that isn't showing up in pics? smile Just asking, CB
 
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1,540
Location
Warner Robins, GA
Looking good to me. The Acdelco Advantage rotors aren't painted you have to get the durastop (I think that's right) level rotors to get painted centers. I've had good luck with both. Also those are nice looking pads. All the thermoquiet ceramics I've gotten have been GG rated and Made in USA as well so I'm not surprised the OEX is the same. Good choices all around.
 
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26,453
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Good thing you checked the run out. Too many people just slap the rotors on then complain they got garbage warped rotors. The coating last quite a while but be careful with wheel cleaners and never use something like purple power, it will damage the coating quickly. Checking the run out and caliper and bracket alignment are the most important part of the brake job as far as keeping vibration due to uneven piston knock back, pulsation and noise to a minimum. Many times on reman calipers with brackets included are reground on the mating surface and sometimes not vary accurately so the bracket does not sit square and needs to be corrected, if its not too bad a quick dressing with a file or thin shim will usually correct it other times the bracket needs replacement. Interesting pads, post again as they get some miles on them.
 
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294
Location
MN
Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Hi, I don't see the coating on the rotors. I am used to the BLACK E-Coating on some painted rotors. Are the rotor hats & vents painted? Is it a clear coat paint? Or a silver paint that isn't showing up in pics? smile Just asking, CB
The zinc coating ACdelco uses for some rotors does have a silver look to it, it's much more durable and longer lasting than the gimmicky black paint other rotors have that doesn't last very long.
 

stephen9666

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3,431
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USA
Originally Posted By: nwjones18
The Acdelco Advantage rotors aren't painted you have to get the durastop (I think that's right) level rotors to get painted centers.
ACDelco now offers both plain and coated rotors in the Advantage line. They still offer the painted rotors in the Professional line.
 
Messages
1,540
Location
Warner Robins, GA
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
Originally Posted By: nwjones18
The Acdelco Advantage rotors aren't painted you have to get the durastop (I think that's right) level rotors to get painted centers.
ACDelco now offers both plain and coated rotors in the Advantage line. They still offer the painted rotors in the Professional line.
Ahh interesting. I didn't know that.
 

Tomioka

$100 Site Donor 2021
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1,192
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Penske Truck Rental
I've been wanting to get a runout gauge to step up my brake service game. I maintain several vehicles and so far neither a complaint after doing a brake job.
 

stephen9666

Thread starter
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3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: Kibitoshin
I've been wanting to get a runout gauge to step up my brake service game.
This one from HF works, but isn't great. It took some finagling to get it secured well enough to get an accurate reading. I still got a little needle shake, but it worked. I only paid $28 after a coupon for it, so not a bad deal. http://www.harborfreight.com/clamping-dial-indicator-93051.html If I had to do it over again I might try the kind with a magnetic articulated base, instead of this segmented kind. http://www.harborfreight.com/multipositional-magnetic-base-with-fine-adjustment-5645.html
 

stephen9666

Thread starter
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3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: JamesBond
Can you describe the tools that were used and the process of cleaning the rust off of the hubs?
I used a hand-held wire brush and an adjustable speed angle grinder with a cup brush. That's not the ideal tool for the job, but it's what I had and it worked. There are specific kits you can buy for this job with abrasive disks that are donut shaped and fit over the stud. A lot of people also use a pneumatic angle grinder with an abrasive disk.
 
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4,257
Location
Central Maryland
I use the magnetic base articulated arm, besides the magnet sometimes I C-clamp the base to something to get it to hold still. Mine isn't HF but might have come out of the same factory. I actually have my Grandad's Starrett indicator and a bunch of holders for it, but don't get it out for dirty stuff like brakes. Cheap stuff is good enough.
 

stephen9666

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3,431
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USA
I have a few thousand miles on these and they're working great. Smooth, quiet stops and plenty of braking power. For people who were confused by the rotors, here's what they look like now. The pads scrub the zinc coating off the rotor on the braking surface.
 
Messages
3,323
Location
West Michigan
Still happy with these? Currently running Wagner TQ's on the truck with good results for many thousands of miles. Looking at options for my Wife's Explorer Sport and these have peaked my interest.
 

stephen9666

Thread starter
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: buck91
Still happy with these? Currently running Wagner TQ's on the truck with good results for many thousands of miles. Looking at options for my Wife's Explorer Sport and these have peaked my interest.
Yes, I'm really impressed with these. I have 6,000 miles on them so far. Very good and consistent braking with good initial bite. No noise that I can detect. So far, so good. I'll update this more as I continue to add-on miles.
 
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