Changing Pads and Rotors on Dodge Neon

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Nomad, May 22, 2005.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a 2002 Neon with 17,000 miles that has warped front rotors. This is the second Neon I've had and have had similar problems with both. This time the car is almost undriveable. I got the high dollar warranty for a change and of course it covers everything but this problem. Does anyone know where I can look to find out exactly how to change the pads and rotors myself? I got a quote of $185 to have it done which included turning the rotors. I can buy new rotors and pads for $60, so if I can do it myself I'd sure like to try. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Nomad
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Those new rotors may come without the bearings or seals, at 17,000 your bearings should be reuseable, I would replace the seals though.
     

  3. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    Nomad,

    If the other guy is turning (or machining down the rotors) you probably should consider that too rather than replacing them. Since they haven't been turned before (I assume) you probably have enough material on them to allow them to be cut. .

    I'm a little suspicious that pads and rotora are $60. I think I've paid 50 or 60 per rotor on other cars.

    I've never done a neon so I can't explain it here but it's not very difficult to do and if you know your car is going to chew through them you might want to purchase a Hanes or Chilton manual on the car and learn how to do it yourself.

    Good Luck
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Mithc, since a Neon is front wheel drive, the rotors have no bearings like a rear wheel drive car would have. The rotors should slide directly off the lug bolts once the caliper is removed.

    I agree with Ed...get a $10 manual. Swapping out rotors and pads on a front wheel drive vehicle is unbelieveably simple.
     
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The rotors I am quoting have a 3 month warranty. That explains the price. They do have better ones, but I drive that vehicle less than 5000 miles a year and the cheap ones should last a couple years at least. The rotors on there now are pretty warped and probably wouldn't have enough material left to be used after machining. Thanks for the advice. I will get a book before I do anything else. Time is the problem right now. With a full time job, flea marketing and gardening time is very precious. Thanks again.


    Nomad
     
  6. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Very simple job on a Jetta.My rotors warped too.Figured they werent all that good,so opted for new rather than turn inferior OEM rotors.I think mine were about 25/each at carquest,pads like 10 per side,put on the semi-metallic pads.
    Whatever,they were cheap.Very reasonable

    Get a repair manual,its a crazy simple job actually,at least it was on my car.Of course,saved hundreds over having VW do em.

    All I did was remove tires(Jack up and jackstand one side at a time),then 1 screw holds on the rotor.2 bolts to remove caliper.Open caliper to its widest open positon with channellocks.Pads slide out(remove a retaining clip if present),slide in new ones.Screw on new rotor,replace caliper and tighten hold on bolts on caliper.Replace tire.Step on brakes a few times,check brake fluid and wipe up any that may have spilled.Took me 2 hours,but I take my sweet time,no hurrying here.

    Repair Manual lays it out to your car specific process.

    SIMPLE!

    Everything even better than new now.Thats how I like my brakes,factory new specs,with better than factory parts.

    YMMV,good luck.

    BooBoo
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Replacing the pads and rotors on this car are pretty simple and borrowing or buying a manual would be the way to go.
    Doing the job correctly will help prolong the life of the pads and the rotors. After you disassemble the brakes you will have to reposition the caliper piston to the fully retracted position. You can usually use a C-clamp or another type of screw press to gently push the piston back. Before pushing the piston back open the bleeder screw to allow the fluid you are pushing against to escape and not push back into the system. this will prevent pushing contaminents backwards in the system possibly causing problems with ypur ABS or master cyl.
    Next be sure all of the caliper mounting hardware is clean and in good condition and properly lubed before assy. One of the things that causes brake pulsation is a caliper that will not slide freely on it's mountings. The caliper must be able to move with the rotors slight irregularities or it will all be transferred back thru the system. since there is only one piston the caliper has to slide as the pads war to maintain adjustment and wear both pads evenly.
    Now clean all of the rust from the hub that the rotor slides on. if reusing an old rotr clean all rust from it's mounting surface. Any rust or dirt clamped between the rotor and hub will cause the rotor not to sit flush and make it wobble slightly. The amount it deviates from true will be multiplied by the diameter of the rotor and in turn transferred to the caliper. It will also cause a permanent warping of the rotor when the wheel is tightened clamping the rotor to the hub.
    Okay, last but not least we come to installing everything. I always like to use a torque wrench to be sure the caliper bolts are torqued properly and allowing proper caliper installation if it has bolts retaining it. The other very important thing is to use a torque wrench to tighten the wheels. If the wheels are not tightened uniformly the rotors have a tendancy to warp faster. the wheel nuts are what clamps the rotor, hub and wheel together like a sandwich. The brakes generate plenty of heat and if the bolts aren't tightened uniformly clamping it all in place the rotors can warp when cooling. Also check the operation of your rear brakes. Many times rear brakes that aren't adjusted and performing properly will cause frt. brakes to wear out faster.
    Some of this might sound overkill but if you're going to do something why not do it right? you can surely do a brake job without doing this and it will work. The proof is in time. If you do everything properly you will get more life out of your brake job.
     
  8. Northman

    Northman Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised My last neon had 70,000 plus miles on the original pads and rotors. usually the biggest problem is the rotors getting rusted from little use.

    I stick to a simple rule of thumb if rotors are of plate or composite construction I always replace them with new if they warp. if you machine them the just get thinner and warp easier the next go around.

    I would check out those calipers and slides if you are warping rotors this quickly and don't ride the brakes while driving you may have issues of hanging up.

    also inspect the caliper hangers they can develop a wear spot where the pad meets the hanger this can be repaired by brassing or welding then filing smooth. very common problem on alot of vehicles.