The tale of my brakes: a 2006 wrx's reflection on wear and replacement
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This is a discussion on The tale of my brakes: a 2006 wrx's reflection on wear and replacement within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I'm at 95k miles now and done a few brake changes on my car. FWIW, I don't autocross or ...

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    The tale of my brakes: a 2006 wrx's reflection on wear and replacement

    So I'm at 95k miles now and done a few brake changes on my car. FWIW, I don't autocross or track day this thing, I drive it spiritedly to and from work and sometimes to Vegas and other far off destinations.

    Some bullet points:

    * My brakes were not bled properly at the factory, pedal was spongy
    * I bled the brakes in the incorrect order the first two times, and found out it makes a difference on 3rd
    * Replace the rear pads in kind with the front pads
    * Replace the rear rotors

    It all started at around 30k when my front factory pads were done and had eaten the rotors with them. I inspected the rears, they looked great, so Off I went to buy parts. I bought a Stoptech branded front and rear kit with stainless lines all around, Axxis Ultimate pads and Brembo front cross drilled rotors. I installed the front rotors, pads and lines. Tried to install the rear lines, but the damn monkey at Subaru who installed every bolt on my car far too tight, struck again and foiled my plans. So to this day it rides on rear rubber lines. I flushed and bled the brakes the way I always have, (Brakes are brakes right?) and had the same spongy pedal I had before. "Huh must be normal" I thought to myself.

    Tip: Buy one of these, you'll like it Motiv brake bleeder gets my seal of approval

    The Axxis Ultimate pads, dust like no other. Now to be fair I have had big brake kits on other cars, ran most of the major pad choices, but the Axxis take the cake as the most self loathing pad. They dust like crazy and wear worse, without the benefit of a striking increase in braking ability of other choices. So at 50k miles the front Axxis were D-O-N-E.

    The Brembo cross drilled still looked fine, and the rear still had a considerable amount of life. I shrugged, and rolled on a set of PBR pads, flushed and bled the brakes (the wrong way again, Surprise same pedal feel!) and motored on down the road.

    At around 80k miles the PBR's were toast and the rears were getting close too. Front rotors were shot as well. Happy with the feel and wear of the PBR's, I bought another set of those for the front, a new set of stock replacement front rotors (thought I was gonna sell the car why put on cross drilleds?) and remembered I had the Axxis ultimates from 5 years ago sitting on a shelf for the rears. Now about this time I was convinced something was amiss with my pedal feel. During hard stops it felt like the rears were doing very little and the pedal was spongy. It was then I RTFM'd and discovered my bleeding sequence had been all wrong....facepalm.

    I set about changing the brakes, no big deal here, and tried to change those rear lines again.....no luck....goddamned Subaru monkey. Now since my previous experience with the rear brakes is that they didn't seem to do much, I worried NOT about the dissimilar pads I was about to put on (PBR front, Axxis rear). After-all, I had run all manner of pads in front with the stock rears and no difference. I bled the brakes (correctly this time) and Surprise I have a firm pedal! Brakes felt strong like bull! Hooray....or so I thought.

    Fast forward 15k miles, and I have been dealing with dragging, droning rear brakes all this time. Not when you are just driving on the freeway, but when you are slowly creeping to a stop and then go to take off it sounds like Ray trying to get out of a chair. A close inspection of the rear brakes nets a pad that has worn about 70% in this time frame while the front rotors still have the hash marks visible with little noticeable pad wear. Other important details, for the last 15k miles when braking firmly but not panic stop, the rear ABS kicks on every once in a while while the front is unaffected. When performing a panic stop, the rear ABS "clamps and unclamps" harshly a few times and the car damn near stands on the nose while again the front end is unaffected. Worried, I stumbled on an interesting read on Nastysocks, regarding brake line pressure of EBD equipped cars and it got me thinking.

    So today I will be picking up new rear rotors, rear pads that match the front. I will attempt for a third time to install my stainless brake lines in the rear....I will not be beaten you ****in Subaru Monkey.

    So my conclusions are this:

    * RTFM and use the correct brake bleed procedure.
    **If your brakes feel spongy, there probably is a problem....trust your gut.
    * Replace the rear rotors and pads in kind with the fronts
    Last edited by 06wrx4me; 02-12-2013 at 10:34 AM.
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Wow you went through pads quickly...I have my stock pads still and I am at 45K.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    The tale of my brakes: a 2006 wrx's reflection on wear and replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    Wow you went through pads quickly...I have my stock pads still and I am at 45K.
    Many factors affect brake life.

    Driving style being a major one.

    That being said, I seem to be within the normal realm for an 06. Remember 2006-2007 wrxs came with a different braking setup than everything else. I also believe the lack of proper brake bleeding from factory on up to 80k probably accelerated brake wear. Couple that with my poor pad choice on the Axxis and this is where I'm at.

    The first 60k miles I drove very spiritedly . Then I bought a house in a different area, and the daily commute doesn't allow much spiritedness.

    Also the rear brakes lasted 80k miles.
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    Wow you went through pads quickly...I have my stock pads still and I am at 45K.
    On an STI?????


    Impossibru!
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    On an STI?????


    Impossibru!
    Possibru and tru.

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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11blackSTi View Post
    Possibru and tru.
    You must never drive over 40mph...and must use Flinstones braking methods.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    You must never drive over 40mph...and must use Flinstones braking methods.
    My perferred method of stopping is opening the passenger side window. My girlfriend is usually talking enough to cause enough resistance to stop the car.

    But seriously...I don't get it either...I have driving habits that have caused some people to say they will never drive with me again (although I consider myself a very safe driver). Maybe I take corners fast enough that the brakes don't get used that much! I never track it, so it is 90% city driving. On my 2.5I I drove it for 80K miles and never needed to change the pads either.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    So my conclusions are this:

    * RTFM and use the correct brake bleed procedure.
    **If your brakes feel spongy, there probably is a problem....trust your gut.
    * Replace the rear rotors and pads in kind with the fronts
    Do you bed the pads in after an install?
    Bed-In Theory
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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    The tale of my brakes: a 2006 wrx's reflection on wear and replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    Do you bed the pads in after an install?
    Bed-In Theory
    Yes, every time.
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