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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'87 Ford E-150, Many Brake Pads and Rotors

Q: I replaced the pads and rotors three times and I'm at a loss to stop the vibration. Each set worked OK for a month, then start pulsing when hot going down hill. When cold they are fine. No driving through water or any other cause can be found. Ready for fourth set of rotors and pads now. Any suggestions?

- Don C.

A: I have more questions then suggestions. Why do you keep replacing the brake pads if the rotors are the problem? Are the brake pads wearing out quickly too? If this is the case then you should inspect your rear brakes. Before I go on to explain. Are you using the right brake product, not discount pads and/or rotors? The discount stuff doesn't cut it, it's cheaper for a reason. Heat and/or incorrect installation procedures are the most common cause for braking related pulsation or vibrations. The most common installation problem is incorrect torquing of the wheel nuts. Uneven torque on the lug nuts will cause a brake rotor to warp. It does not happen instantly it takes a little time for heat from braking and the uneven pull of the lug nuts to disfigured the brake rotor. Heat plays a big role in braking and the greater the heat the more likely the rotors will warp and the faster the brake pads will wear. That's why the rear brakes have to be in good working order. If the rear brakes are out of adjustment, wheel cylinders sticking or the proportioning valve that controls brake fluid flow is not functioning correctly, the front brakes will over work. Overworked just means a lot more heat which will eat up brake pads and rotors. So before you slap another set of rotors and brake pads on, you should look closely at the old part for the cause of their early failure.

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