Piston Slap: High Caliber Aftermarket Stoppers?

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John writing :

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve owned a 2009 Dodge Caliber SRT4 for a few years and it’s getting its first full brake job at 50,000 miles/80,000 km (I drive like a grandma). I work at a dealership (different brand) but can get parts for a little lower price. Still, the OEM brakes + pads on this thing are $980 + Canadian tax. From what I’ve seen, I can get parts for a quarter of that. One of the mechanics here suggests that he fit OEM pads and aftermarket rotors.

What do you recommend? Are there good aftermarket manufacturers that meet or exceed OEM standards? I know with this car you have the weird fake differential that uses braking to adjust wheel slip, could non-OEMs do that? In next year’s private sale, will having spare brakes affect resale value with the kind of people who buy these cars?

The car has been surprisingly reliable, but I only do 8,000km a year. Debating employee prices over something else…Swedish.

Any opinion will be welcome!

Sajeev answers:

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I’d be surprised if Chrysler made the brake shoes found in their branded boxes. Brakes, like many other parts, are typically built to OEM specifications by a third-party vendor. Which is fine, except when it’s not. Some ideas drawn directly from my experiences:

  • Brake Pads – High quality ceramic street pads from any parts store (meaning not the cheapest ones) stop, leave similar amounts of dust, and are quiet as an OEM pad. Also, if you know a little more about materials, you can choose the composition of an aftermarket pad (organic, ceramic, semi-metallic, all-metal, etc.) to tailor the brakes to your particular needs. I prefer metallic carbon pads because I’m soft on the brakes (Houston is flat and metals get hot quickly here) and they do an amazing job when I need them. If not, maybe ceramics is more your style, so to speak.
  • Brake rotors: Although the guys at the parts counter swear that American-made rotors are better, I’ve had incredible luck with the cheaper ones made in China. Maybe it’s partly due to a friend who tows for a living; he mentioned that everyone is the same too. In my opinion, products made in the USA have better machining around the center, but that’s about it.
  • Brake Rotors II: Avoid aftermarket split/drilled (cracked) rotors and stick with conventionally vented units. Performance cars may have factory drilled/slotted rotors and if so, stick with the OEM just to be sure.
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With that in mind, let’s answer your questions:

1) What do you recommend?

Your car’s rear brakes are just like any other caliper, so I’d recommend any high-quality ceramic pad over a cheap replacement rotor. Since the fronts lift off Chrysler LX cars, get an inexpensive LX rotor and your choice of bearing. · I personally? Get semi-metallic (carbon metallic) hubs everywhere, especially since a common upgrade for the SRT-4 seems to be the same semi-metallic hub used in the LX Cop Cars.

2) Are there good aftermarket manufacturers that meet or exceed OEM standards?

I am not interested in endorsing one major tampon manufacturer over another for tampons. They are all good and I still have no regrets about having cheap rotors.

3) I know with this car you have the weird fake diff that uses braking to adjust wheel slip, could non-OEMs do that?

I seriously doubt it. But that’s a question for the forums: do your homework, ignore me.

4) At a private sale next year, will having spare brakes affect resale value with the type of people buying these cars?

I think saying it switched to semi-metallic hubs like the LX Cop Car is a huge plus considering the intended buyer. So maybe you should listen to me.

[Image: Dodge/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Send your questions to [email protected]com. Don’t skimp on the details and ask for a quick resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


Source : thetruthaboutcars.com

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