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I replaced a rear rotor and pads and also just pads on other side. I didn't replace rotor on other side as first caliper carrier had to be cut off and I didn't have time to do same of other side hence I just changed the pads on one side.

The rotor I didn't change was in fairly bad shape, the old pads were worn to the metal, it had a lot of putting, scoring , grove etc.

Also the pads were pretty tight fitting into the shim, I had to grind them down on one side but weirdly not on the other although pretty tight fit.

Now I'm sure my cars handling is a bit wobbly, it slightly pulls to the right also.

Why would this be, pads too tight or the bad rotor that's still on not liking the new pads it has?

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    If the two sides aren't equal, how do you expect them to behave equally? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 25 '20 at 17:40
  • After the end of asbestos pads, disks wear faster than pads. So if you had to grind down the pads to fit, something must be wrong. (Maybe the pistons were partially seized and you couldn't retract them fully?) In any case, you just learned why you should always replace rotors and pads in pairs! – alephzero Dec 26 '20 at 0:10
  • Your right about replacing in pairs but it's not the piston, it wound in fine. It's fitting the pads in the shims in the carrier, they just wouldn't fit, like 2mm off, it's weird but I tried over and over, I cleaned every bit of rust and dirt off everything but they wouldn't press in. – Andy S Dec 26 '20 at 1:22
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    @alephzero - Where are you getting the idea that disks wear faster than pads? Pads are meant to wear faster than the disks. They create the friction and the disk collects the heat (to dissipate it). Just common sense should tell you the pads wear faster ... they start out three times as thick as the disk does and yet when the pad is gone, the disk still remains. Maybe you mistyped? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 26 '20 at 1:28
  • Pad on metal is going to produce mlm more friction than metal on metal on the bad side, so I would expect a slight pull towards the good side. Should resolve when you get round to the other side. – Chris Dec 26 '20 at 15:16
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Sometimes there are burrs left on the pads from manufacturing that need filing off. I live in a rust belt and many times I'll take my wire wheel and clean the carrier and it appears to be clean, but when I take a file and start scraping I'm surprised at how much corrosion is left on. Or you may have the wrong pads.

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  • Well the carrier that the pads didn't fit into had its bolts cut at their head then a good 20mins of pounding with a hammer to turn and remove it, the bolts were rusted inside the hub housing section. So is it possible all this pounding actually put the carrier out if shape, it was being hit in the extract area you would choose if you were to try and make it smaller in the pad distance from shim to shim. Is the carrier cast iron, is it possible to change the shape of cast iron piece like this through hammering, all I can think of? – Andy S Dec 26 '20 at 14:42
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Well the carrier that the pads didn't fit into had its bolts cut at their head then a good 20mins of pounding with a hammer to turn and remove it, the bolts were rusted inside the hub housing section.

With this kind of information, your procedure could be wrong and making it altered.

I replaced a rear rotor and pads and also just pads on other side.

Never change the rotor to only one side, preferably both sides either both rear or both front or all of them. Because it will make your car imbalanced.

Also the pads were pretty tight fitting into the shim, I had to grind them down on one side but weirdly not on the other although pretty tight fit.

All pads manufactured as exactly as it is, either you have wrong parts or you get the cheapo sold it as the original one (likely the case on my 3rd world country). If you must grind it, do not use it.

Now I'm sure my cars handling is a bit wobbly, it slightly pulls to the right also.

If your car is slightly pulling to the right then your brake is slightly touched on the right side, please adjust a bit.

TLDR :

  • If you need hammering too much, grinder, grooving for working on new pads or new rotor please don't use it (call the seller or bring back the parts to the seller and tell it does not match).
  • If you need to change the rotor or drum brakes please change it on both sides.
  • If needed go to the tire shop and do the balancing.

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