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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a way to make the brakes grab better?

When normally stopping I have to push the pedal more than half way down and when I have to stop in a hurry because some genius decides to cut in front of me and slam on his brakes (this happens too often living in Orlando) I have to stand on the pedal. The brakes just don't feel like they grab at all. When stopped at a light I have to keep the pedal almost as far down as it will go to keep the truck still.

I changed the pads last weekend, I've driven about 150 miles this week. The pedal doesn't feel any softer than with the old pads (would like for it to be firmer but I know that's just how frontiers are), fluid is good-When I put the new pads on it brought the level up to the max line without adding any fluid. I used OEM pads.

Does anyone have any suggestions? have I just not driven enough for them to break in?
 

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What year truck?

My 1998 and 2004 Frontiers grab and stop great.

My 1988 Mazda B2200 not so good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
13 sv 4x4, thought I had it in my sig. The old pads grabbed better than the new ones

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Discussion Starter #6
What exactly does that mean andy?

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What kind of pads did you get. I forget what is OEM but in general, organics suck, semi metallic grab the hardest but wear rotors, ceramics grab decent and are easy on the rotors and dust. You might have went from a SM to a Ceramic.

When bedding new pads you should basically stomp on your brakes till the pads smoke. 50 mph to 5, 10x, is what you will find as proper break in/bedding. I find this too aggressive, and will probably do it 5x.

A couple of other things to look for. Rotor condition. Especially the back side of the rotor. Sometimes they will wear unevenly with the old pad. When you get new pads, the flat surface does not match the worn contours of the old rotor. Another thing to look for are the pins. Did you pull, clean and grease. Sometime on of the pins can be seized and the caliper will not function properly any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What kind of pads did you get. I forget what is OEM but in general, organics suck, semi metallic grab the hardest but wear rotors, ceramics grab decent and are easy on the rotors and dust. You might have went from a SM to a Ceramic.

When bedding new pads you should basically stomp on your brakes till the pads smoke. 50 mph to 5, 10x, is what you will find as proper break in/bedding. I find this too aggressive, and will probably do it 5x.

A couple of other things to look for. Rotor condition. Especially the back side of the rotor. Sometimes they will wear unevenly with the old pad. When you get new pads, the flat surface does not match the worn contours of the old rotor. Another thing to look for are the pins. Did you pull, clean and grease. Sometime on of the pins can be seized and the caliper will not function properly any more.
Oem is semi metallic iirc. The ones I put on are. I bedded the brakes, at least attempted to, figured the stop and go traffic would kinda do it anyway

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If the brake rotors had any detectable ridging on them they need to be turned or replaced. That ridging will cause the pads to migrate a little so as to possibly cause a slight angular misalignment of the pad to rotor as the pad adheres to the rotors form of ridges. Will cause a pulling to left or right and excessive brake pad wear along with less braking grip. Bedding the brakes could help, but all those issues will pop up if that is is the case of a rotor in need of service. If the rotor is out of true (warped), you might also have similar issues.

If the rotor is not an issue the next place to look is bleeding of the brake fluid. Brake fluid will 'absorb' water over time and become less efficient. Always use a new unopened (seal not broken) brake fluid can to bleed the brakes. Preferably you would do this to all four brakes in one session as it is plausible that the low pad condition was allowing air into the brake lines.

Speaking of air in brake lines, all four of the flexible rubber hoses near the brake assembly could also be deteriorated, micro pin holes allowing air into brake system lines, if they have not been replaced in the last 4-6 years. On occasion the bleeder valve could also be problematic if ball bearing in it is stuck slightly open (or rusted so as to cause it to crack open from running in water).

Driving on the beach or through water (street flooding, or creeks) can also cause brake performance issues after a period of time. Particularly brake line corrosion and brake components getting stuck.

If all the above is replaced and or check out as good, then it would likely be the brake master cylinder, the brake vacuum booster or the hose or check valve to the manifold failing. However if brakes worked good (did not go halfway down) prior to the pad swap, these things are less likely- unless you have done other work in that area of the engine compartment.


Additional Brake info:
The Rear brake parking break should be reset every once in a while by driving > 20 mph in reverse, then stopping hard several times. If pads and components were replaced here, and that does not improve the parking hold, then the parking brake lever needs to be adjusted, if still not holding, then the parking brake cable is known to stretch over time and may need replacing also.
 

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After installing new pads make 6 to 10 stops from approximately 35 mph with moderate pressure. Make an additional two to three hard stops from approximately 40 to 45 mph. Do not allow the vehicle to come to a complete stop.When completed with this process, park the vehicle and allow the brakes to cool completely before driving on them again. Do not engage the parking brake until after this cooling process is compete.
That's Hawk's bedding procedure. I used that when I got my truck and I felt like it made a small difference. I would suggest also bleeding the brakes.
 

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Is there a way to make the brakes grab better?

When normally stopping I have to push the pedal more than half way down and when I have to stop in a hurry because some genius decides to cut in front of me and slam on his brakes (this happens too often living in Orlando) I have to stand on the pedal. The brakes just don't feel like they grab at all. When stopped at a light I have to keep the pedal almost as far down as it will go to keep the truck still.

I changed the pads last weekend, I've driven about 150 miles this week. The pedal doesn't feel any softer than with the old pads (would like for it to be firmer but I know that's just how frontiers are), fluid is good-When I put the new pads on it brought the level up to the max line without adding any fluid. I used OEM pads.

Does anyone have any suggestions? have I just not driven enough for them to break in?
Assuming pads are same type. Sounds like you did not bleed/flush the brake fluid when you changed your pads. Sometimes you can get away with not bleeding, but what can happen is old, gunky fluid will be in your caliper. When you force it back into the bore to fit the new pads, that gunk is now re-introduced to the lines & reservoir. This is bad, mmkay? When pushing teh piston back into the bore, crackopen the bleeder nipples on teh caliper. That grunge can result in a sticky caliper.
Also, have you ever flushed your brake fluid? Over time it goes bad (absorbs moisture) and needs to be replaced. IIRC FSM says 2 yrs. 4 yrs is Absolutely longest you should ever go, assuming it doesn't sit in a garage for 90% of its life, like a show car.

I'd wager you have a fluid or sticky caliper issue. Flush teh fluid, clean & grease the caliper pins very well, and double check there are no tears or in the piston skirt too
 
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