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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a lot of pulsating in the rotors. Truthfully, I like to drive "spirited" in everything I own and I tend to be really hard on brakes, therefore everything I own gets a brake upgrade.

I know there is Honda Pilot rotor conversion but I was wondering if anybody had good results with some decent aftermarket rotors and pads.

I was thinking about getting these Rotors from Tirerack StopTech Sport Slotted Cryo-Treated Rotor

Has anybody had good results?
 

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I installed these right at a year ago, noticed an improvement immediately. Bedded them day of install, had no issues so far.

Front Rear Drilled Slotted Brake Rotors Ceramic Pads 2006 2011 Ridgeline | eBay

Still look new when rotating my tires a couple of weeks ago, have around 7k miles on them now. Have the solid rotor set up on the front of my Jeep Cherokee with larger than stock BFG tires, held up great so far there too.
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Pulsing in the pedal can be caused by either a glazing on the pads/rotors or by warped rotors caused by uneven torque on the lug nuts. If you're hard on the brakes, there will be a lot of heating and cooling going on in the materials which will exacerbate the warping. Whatever rotors and pads you get, just ensure you have the proper 93lb/ft of torque on the lugs at all times.

From what I've heard, the combination of OEM Akebono rotors and a performance pad such as EBC or Hawk will increase stopping power. Also, ensure your brake fluid is clean and properly bled. Old fluid or air in the lines will cause a soft pedal and reduced clamping force.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fastdrvr, that's good to hear. has the feel or the bite changed at all?

IanRTL, I had the stock rotors turned once, they felt fine for a couple of weeks and the pulsating came back. I totally agree with using a torque wrench and properly tightening the wheels (especially aluminium) , I don't think that gets mentioned enough. Good clean brake fluid, good pads, lubed sliders, etc. Brakes are the easiest part of the car to work on and IMO the most important.

My problem with the Ridgeline brakes or almost any passenger car brakes is you should be able to abuse the crap out of them without having any trouble. It think it's the one thing on any car that should be over engineered. However, I can't tell you how many times I have been able to fade brakes, warp rotors, boil brake fluid while only going moderately fast. These are all easy problems to fix with just better components.
 

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No direct Ridgeline experience with aftermarket performance brake components, but I do have experience with drilled/slotted/cryogenic treated rotors and ceramic pads on a previous 06 Dodge Ram and a bunch of drum-to-disc brake conversions in older American vehicles.

IME: "high performance" rotors have mixed real world braking results. As brakes, they work fine but... the presence of slots and pass thru drilling does little if anything to "improve" braking. What they do accomplish is improved pad dust dispersion and enhanced cooling.

But those things only matter when a vehicle is pushed close to limits. In the RL, that would be more related to fully loaded towing and downhill braking than it would unloaded navigation and spirited driving on city streets and highways. We aren't driving our RL's like F1 where brakes are subjected to absolute limits at all times.

As you probably already know: the pulsing.shaking you feel is likely the result of warped rotors. Warping is not the result of temporary heat/cool cycles experienced under spirited driving. "Usually" warping is caused by sustained heat generated by constant/excessive pad contact with a rotor surface. The root of that is *normally* contaminated and/or dry caliper slider pins. Sometimes it can be one or more caliper pistons hung in the clamped position.

Slotted/drilled/cryo treated rotors are not warp proof. So needless to say, whatever you choose for brake parts, a caliper tear down and rebuild is mandatory to protect you investment in new parts. And its only a little more work since everything will be apart.

In my opinion, performance brake rotors make mechanical sense, but it's doubtful the full benefits of their design would be realized by all but the most heavily truck like use conditions.

Having said all that, since when is overkill a bad thing? Max brake cooling and dust dispersion is never a bad thing. If I were operating the RL at or near weight/towing capacity, I would seriously consider performance discs. The extra margin afforded by improved cooling and dust management would be reassuring if nothing else. In some cases, performance rotors can be had for less dollars than OEM. Be aware that slotted/drilled rotors are reported to eat pads more rapidly than smooth surfaced. Not be me, but by drivers over the long term.

IMO: performance parts often carry a mystique that attracts buyers. And when that buyer installs said performance parts, they are 100% convinced they feel the difference.

Butt dynos often confirm the benefits of cold air intake systems. Real dyno's say something different altogether.

Human deceleration G force detectors often report 100% improvement in braking after installing performance brake parts. What do measurements say? I dunno. Probably doesn't matter. There's something to be said about admiring brake hardware thru the slots in wheels. Eye candy usually translates to good stuff. Even if that good stuff only exists in the mind.
 

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Fastdrvr, that's good to hear. has the feel or the bite changed at all?

IanRTL, I had the stock rotors turned once, they felt fine for a couple of weeks and the pulsating came back. I totally agree with using a torque wrench and properly tightening the wheels (especially aluminium) , I don't think that gets mentioned enough. Good clean brake fluid, good pads, lubed sliders, etc. Brakes are the easiest part of the car to work on and IMO the most important.

My problem with the Ridgeline brakes or almost any passenger car brakes is you should be able to abuse the crap out of them without having any trouble. It think it's the one thing on any car that should be over engineered. However, I can't tell you how many times I have been able to fade brakes, warp rotors, boil brake fluid while only going moderately fast. These are all easy problems to fix with just better components.
If you beat on anything for too long, it will break and/or wear down. That's just physics. If you're expecting OEM materials on any modern vehicle to stand up to heavy abuse, you're fooling yourself. "Performance" parts are mostly a myth with varying levels of actual performance and longevity. Most brake rotors are made of cheap steel these days. Pads have vastly differing levels of performance for specific applications. The bottom line is that if you brake heavily all the time, you're going to eat pads and warp rotors. I brake very little in general and maintain my brakes regularly. I still have the OEM rotors on after 10 years and 155k miles with a couple of pad changes.

As far as slotted and cross drilled rotors, OhSix is spot on. They're only truly effective for TRULY heavy braking when towing or on a track. Even then, the slots and drilled holes take away some of the pad's effective contact area with the rotor. Not only that, but cross drilled holes can lead to premature cracking and weakening of the rotor. Most high performance carbon ceramic rotors found on supercars will only be slotted or may have dimples rather than fully drilled holes.

I read recently where one member had fantastic results in simply changing his rotors and pads to OEM Akebono parts. He states the braking performance was vastly improved in regular driving and while towing. If you're looking for something a little more aggressive, Centric makes a slotted-only performance rotor available on Rockauto.com. The Raybestos and Akebono performance pads, also found on Rockauto, would be a great pairing although you could do some EBC or Hawk pads, as well.
 

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This is a timely thread for me. I ski a lot. My family are up and back on I-70 here in Colorado every weekend for 2-3 months a year. I am old (almost 50) and drive pretty conservatively. If you leave the appropriate amount of space between you and the car in front, that lasts about 30 seconds before someone fills the gap. Lots of stop and go on steep grades coming down from the mountains. I also have a 45 minute daily commute in heavy traffic. About every year and a half to two years, my rotors warp (pedal pulses). The dealer turns them, and I am good to go for another 18-24 months. I am pretty sure I will need to replace rotors this year verses having them turned this year.

I am very mechanical and would do the replacement in a second - but the parts options seem endless. The last thing I want to is end up with an issue due to picking up bad parts. OEM aside, is there a brand I should stay away from?

I am currently looking at the Power Stop kit KOE2430 “daily driver” kit from Rock Auto (More Information for POWER STOP KOE2430). It includes all four rotors with pads and hardware. Anyone have any experience with this brand?

I have done a pile of searching, and there seems to be a great deal of discussion on performance upgrades (slots/drilled/etc) verses just a good quality option to OEM.

Thanks –
Scott S
 

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After about 190,000 miles using EBC slotted and drilled and zinc coated rotors and their Yellow Stuff pads, I can say that I will keep on using them in my daily driver. I believe I get better performance with them and I know that they are made in Europe and the USA. If I could find rotors and pads to fit my RTL that are made exclusively here in the USA, I would be using them. I probably pay more but for me it's worth it.
 

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Fastdrvr, that's good to hear. has the feel or the bite changed at all?
Sorry that I just realized you asked this. I noticed immediately after install that they had increased initial bite for my usual amount of brake pressure. I know they lowered the pedal effort to stop in my situation (which will vary for everyone obviously) and seem to be much more fade resistance in my half way quick driving. I raced autocross for 3 years in college and got really good at ruining brakes between weekend races, lol. In that stage of my life, solid brembo rotors and hawk pads seemed to be the best combo, this was on a 1990 Mazda Protege LX with 4 wheel discs. Lots of hard driving everywhere, high speed interstate runs, hard hard back road runs, etc. The drilled and slotted rotors in that instance never got along with the pad choices I used, created huge amounts of dust and a really grabby/wobbly braking experience.

Commuting every week day I take the same interstate off ramp that's fairly short and curvy, so 75mph to a stop in around 300yds. My RL had the original Honda rotors and pads when I got it at 107k miles. Initially on my commute they were ok, after about 2 weeks I noticed they were taking more pressure than before. Within a month or so, they were starting to warp and were less effective than they were in the beginning. Turns out the pads still had plenty of meat, but were quite glazed (especially on the front) so decided to replace.

These pads and rotors, as of 2 days ago, with 118K look new, no rusting (gotta love the zinc coating) and the pads look great. I really only decided to get the slotted setup in this case because they were about the same price as stock replacements, that and my RL feels as heavy as a hippo when slowing down, coming off the highway at speed. It's been hitting that off ramp for a year now with no issues at all.

:)
 
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