: Found brake pads to 1987 Cad Are they asbestos?

06-11-10, 09:14 PM
We were just cleaning out my dad's garage after he died and found a set of disc brake pads by Raybestos. My dad had wrote on the front of the box " '87 Cad Lifetime Pads".
He used to have a Cadillac, but sold it probably 10-15 years ago. Can't remember the model.
There's no manufacturer date on the box. There is a caution on the side of the box saying that "firbous materials may present health hazards when working with asbestos or non-asbestos brake shoes". But the box doesn't say whether or not these pads have asbestos in them or not.
But I seem to remember that "life time" brake pads were made from asbestos and it was supposed to be long wearing.
The top of the box has the model number RPD215M and "Made in Canada" as well as "Semi-Metallic" written on the label. We were thinking of selling these at a garage sale we're going to have, but thought we'd try and find out something about them before doing so.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!:)

06-11-10, 10:20 PM
Raybestos produced asbestos brake pads until 1989. Look on the box for the name "Raymark" or a company logo; asbestos pads were produced by Raybestos under the authority of Raymark Industries. After 1989, Raybestos pads were produced, without asbestos but I don't know by what company. They are currently produced by Affinia Under Vehicle Group, which was formed in 2004.

06-12-10, 12:10 AM
Actually, we just found an article online that says Raytech was created in 1982 as a way for Raybestos to disassociate itself from asbestos and that in 1982 Raybestos stopped using asbestos in any of their brake pads. Despite the fact that Raytech spun off Raymark in 1988, Raymark was soon forced to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy that year.
We found it at the website:asbestos . com
under "Raybestos-Manhattan/Raymark Industries"
So if Raybestos stopped adding asbestos in any of their pads in 1982 (including Raymark), then the chance of these brake pads having asbestos in them is probably minimal since they are for a 1987 car, especially since these were replacement pads once the original pads wore out-so they were probably purchased in 1988/1989 or later.
The part that I can't figure out is the "lifetime pads" part. I remember way back you used to be able to buy brake pads that lasted a lot longer than the ones that you can buy now-but other than asbestos, there must have been some other component that brake pads used to be made of that wore much longer.

06-12-10, 01:24 AM
And one has to wonder why in 1987, one would keep the name so obviously "asbestos" themed, even after removing the asbestos from the production. Poor marketing certainly didn't help prevent bankruptcy.

Good stuff asbestos. My one-legged, father with lung problems, stints in all his major arteries, and only a few stubs left where his fingers were would agree.

Neil Clarke
06-12-10, 06:13 AM
Raybestos was a registered name everyone knew
Change the name... lose market share

Here in Australia Ferodo (Federal Mogul) used to be market leader in brakes till they went to non asbestos technologies
With all the experimenting to get it right they lost alot of customers due to noise issues , higher rotor wear etc
So Bendix took over as top dog and kept producing asbestos brake pads till the laws changed here

No no-one uses asbestos at all anymore
The high carbon content in pads and metallic and ceramic technolgy has replaced asbestos

May years ago I fitted some semi metallic lifetime brake pads to a Fiero
They were guaranteed never to wear out during the purchasers lifetime with the car or they would be replaced
Since people don't keep their cars too long... its a good marketting ploy since very few will claim back on the lifetime warranty
The thing wouldn't stop very well... and the metallic wore the disc out alot faster
But thats all that was available in Australia to suit that car ... so we had to fit them and the owner had to adjust his driving style

Thos pads fit Buick and Pontiac too .... I guess they were a common GM shape the 215's

06-12-10, 01:16 PM
Well, I know it was a registered name that people knew, but so was AIDS, and they changed their name.