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I've been replacing the brakes myself on my cars since I had my first car in high school ('89). Since the, I had a few cars that had terrible brake wobble after some amount of miles, some cars seemed worse than others. I think my 2006 4 Runner was the worst of the bunch, the only bad thing about that car. I've always either replaced or turned the rotors. (Now I just replace)

I replaced the brakes and rotors on my current car, a 2012 Toyota Sequoia last November. They were pulsing on and off at times when stopping at highway speeds, but I just noticed (11 months later) the brake pads were completely worn and the rotors visibly worn too.

I found a post here about measuring the rotor runout after installing the rotors, I have never done this for any of my brake jobs, but the poster said it elimited his rotor issues. For the brake job I did this weekend, I bought myself a dial indicator and measured the runout after putting on the new rotors. I cleaned off the hub with a wire brush on my drill and then nuked it with brake cleaner. I put the rotor on with all 5 lugs and measured the runout.

On one wheel I had about .002 inches of movement, I removed the rotor turned it 180 degrees and then it was nearly 0. For the passenger side, I could not get it below .002 inches.

Two easy questions:

  • Is .002 acceptable?
  • How tight to the lugs need to be on the rotor? I put then on and then tightened with a socket wrench.

I know I'm asking after the fact, but I'd like to know for next time.

And just for clarity, the lugs were torqued to spec when the rims were put back on.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 15 '18 at 22:53
  • Wheel nuts need to be tightened to spec. when measuring runout. – Ben Oct 16 '18 at 0:31
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2 thousandths is nothing. I doubt you will be able to feel this.

There is no real spec on the lug torque when checking runout - what is more important is that they are tight and evenly torqued. So you might as well do as Ben suggested and torque to spec.

The only real way to reach "perfection" is to use a rotor lathe that cuts the rotor while still on the vehicle. The cost is usually insanely prohibitive for these machines.

I don't cut rotors anymore, unless it's a very special circumstance. Brand new rotors of high quality are available for cheap. And cutting "warp" out of a rotor is a bit of an art and usually takes too much time to be viable.

  • 2
    Totally right @SteveRacer, unless you have a very special and expensive rotor it's not worth resurfacing. If you resurface a warped rotor you end up taking a lot off and then you have very little wear left, and then they heat up much faster, warping easier. – GdD Oct 16 '18 at 9:42

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