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  #1  
Old 09-13-2019, 03:37 AM
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Upgrading to 4.6/4.8is brakes - problem for early cars

Finally getting around to putting the bigger brakes on my '01 3.0i 5MT, and I ran into an interesting problem. Apparently, there was a running change where production dates up to 9/2000 have these locating dowels/nubs on the front hub flanges. Since all is models were produced after 9/2000, the rotors don't have holes for them. Anyone run into this before?

It looks like they're pressed in to the flange. I have a press, but it seems like a lot of work to remove the hubs and press them out. Maybe I'll just grind them flat or combo grind and drill them out on the car. Nothing is every easy!
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:19 AM
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I'd machine the holes instead...

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Old 09-13-2019, 11:32 AM
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I'd machine the holes instead...

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I'm assuming you mean drill the extra holes in the new rotors. I could do that, but I'm not sure how precisely I could locate them. And, not that I go through rotors that often, but I'd have to do it to each new set in the future while it would be only once for the hubs.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:43 AM
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You have the old set to make a cardboard pattern from and if you wanted you could make a permanent template from a sheet of thin plywood for future use.

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Old 09-13-2019, 10:16 PM
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If they're pressed you may be able to use a 6" cutoff wheel to remove the "nub" and then punch the "body" out of the spindle, may not need to drill.


Call me paranoid, but if you're taking a grinder, cutoff wheel, drill, etc to that spindle, I would probably keep it cool during the process, just to be safe.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 AM
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If they're pressed you may be able to use a 6" cutoff wheel to remove the "nub" and then punch the "body" out of the spindle, may not need to drill.


Call me paranoid, but if you're taking a grinder, cutoff wheel, drill, etc to that spindle, I would probably keep it cool during the process, just to be safe.
The problem is that tin backing plate is very close to the hub flange and cannot be removed without removing the hub. Otherwise, I could put a big c-clamp style press and pull them out.

I did end up using a metal cutoff wheel and finishing up with a die grinder. Took like 5 minutes per wheel and seemed to work well. I didn't think of heat -figuring brakes can get pretty hot anyway, and there's a lot of metal there.

The cutoff wheel was fast. I did it in about two 5 second passes of cutting per nub. Then I ground smooth, trying not to take too much off or warp the flange. I could touch it with my finger as I was checking for flatness; so, I don't think heat was an issue. Haven't test-driven yet, but everything looks like it spins true.

Another FYI - I also had to clearance the brake dust shield every so slightly (about 3/32") at the bottom as the big brake caliper bracket was hitting it. Will test drive tomorrow.
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Old Yesterday, 04:14 PM
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Nice work! And good thought on the brakes getting hot themselves... I go back to paranoid, lol... I never thought about the brakes themselves getting scorching hot - doh

Keep us posted on the test drive, Iím sure youíll be fine


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Old Today, 03:18 AM
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Test drive went well - boy, do these new binders haul the 3.0 down fast! Very sports-car like; a lot more grip than before, although I think I had some kind of hard dustless pads on there before. I always felt like I had to stand on it to get any stopping power.

The pedal is a little soft so I may re-bleed the system. It's been a while, and it wasn't until I was on my 3rd caliper that I remembered the old trick of tapping the caliper with a hammer to dislodge any small bubbles that may have adhered to the rough casting inside. It's not so important when you're just flushing old fluid, but it can make a difference when starting with an empty system. I also replaced the front brake hoses and am not happy with the way one is oriented where it joins the hard line. It may rub on the fender liner in certain conditions - have to double-check that.

Anyway, geek's notes - I looked up the specs on the M/C and caliper pistons to see if the swap should change brake pedal travel. It shouldn't. The same master cylinder is used across the 3.0/4.4/4.6is and 4.8is. The rear calipers all have a single 42mm piston. The fronts on the 3.0/4.4 have a single 60mm piston. The fronts on the 4.6/4.8 have dual 42mm pistons. The piston area of the 3.0/4.4 fronts are 2,827.4 mm^2 while the 4.6/4.8 are 2770.9 mm^2, only a 2% difference. That shouldn't affect pedal travel noticeably, and if anything, the 4.6/4.8 setup would be shorter.

All in all a good upgrade and not very costly (about $500 for new rotors, pads, used calipers + rebuild kits). A set of good pads on the stock brakes will go a long way, but I occasionally tow a 2-3000lb trailer (w/o trailer brakes), and that's where I felt the standard brakes a little lacking.
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