View Full Version : Brake pad recommendations for big RWD. Ceramic? 1979 Deville

03-28-13, 02:30 PM
The front brake pads on my '79 Phaeton are due to be replaced, the passenger side pads have started to squeal while driving, especially when making a left turn. I wanted to know if anyone had opinions from experience with different products, as to what I should replace them with. The currant pads are a cheap old set of semi-metallic from (I'm guestimating) 2007-08. That was back when I took my cars to a mechanic, I don't know what brand they are. I would like to get ceramic pads to cut down on brake dust & noise, but have heard they shouldn't be used on heavier cars, and that they might not stop as well as traditional pads.

Anyone have experience with ceramic pads on a RWD Cadillac? I'm planning to buy from Advance Auto, which narrows it down to Wagner or Wearever. I've heard good things about Wagner.

Here are two sets to give an example of what I'm looking at.

Any opinions welcome, thanks!

03-28-13, 03:09 PM
Ceramic pads outperform semi metallics in all catagories except price. But for something that only gets replaced every several years, an extra $30 or so really diesn't matter. No reason not to use them on heavy cars, actually quite the opposite.

Why are you limiting yourself to one store?

Here's my recommendation:

Smooth, powerful, low dusting. Better than any "normal" ceramic pad you'll find at a parts store.

Pep Boys carries EBC, but probably not for ^^that^^ price.

03-28-13, 03:30 PM
I was told by a few people that the ceramic pads are not too good for the heavy RWD Caddys.

On my 90 I got a set of 'the best' semi-metalic pads from Napa & my 85 got a set of again, 'the best' semi metalic pads from Pep Boys.

I replaced all rotors, new pads & bearings, so far so good with both cars.

Heads up though I don't drive these cars daily, from time to time (weekend crusers).

03-28-13, 04:08 PM
What would make them not good specifically on RWD Cadillacs?

The pads I listed will provide more stopping power than any off the shelf semi metallic. And since ceramic pads dissipate heat faster, there's less fade.

03-28-13, 04:13 PM
EDIT: moistcabbage, we posted at the same time, I hadn't seen your last post when I wrote this:

The reason I'm leaning towards advance auto is because they're like three blocks from my house, so I go there all the time for everything, and they always have nice online discounts, fast shipping, and most everything is always in stock. I'm an admittedly impatient man, so this works for me. Right now the Phaeton is a semi-daily driver, so I need this job done yesterday.

Through all the online research I've done, it looks like the world is on the fence about ceramic. I want to end brake dust and noise, but if they're going to take longer to stop, or fade away while I'm driving, I can not have that. People have been pulling out in front of me constantly lately, I need something that will stop this behemoth as fast as possible.

Will ceramic pads disappoint me on stopping distance / fade away(due to weight of the car)? If so I'll have to go semi-metallic & buy stock in Bleche Wite.

03-28-13, 05:43 PM
Yeah, you'll be happy with performance ceramics.

The Ape Man
03-28-13, 07:14 PM
Brake systems are usually sized in proportion to vehicle weight. A blanket statement of don't use this or that on a certain size car makes me ask why. There might be another reason besides size.

03-28-13, 10:34 PM
I've been using ceramic brake pads on my Brougham for probably over 10 years now. No noise, no mess, no problems.

03-28-13, 11:05 PM
Thanks for all the input! Decided to give these a try, Wearever Platinum. Seems like a solid product. The guy at Advance has them on his trailer-pulling Silverado & loves them. His front wheels looked pretty nice too! Can't wait to dig in & get these installed, will report back.



03-29-13, 10:44 PM
Good luck! :)

03-31-13, 01:44 AM
Got the new pads put on today! Can't say much about how they feel, only got to go for a short test drive before the weather turned nasty. The project went smoothly, though. Old pads were awful, I can't believe it stopped as well is it did. While I was poking around, I noticed my flex hoses are looking pretty old, and now I'm getting spongy pedal feel. So, new flex hoses & a bleeding looks to be the next step. (that will be another first)

Pretty much how my Saturday looked. :rolleyes:

03-31-13, 02:09 AM
Looks like a day well spent!:yup:

The Ape Man
03-31-13, 05:51 PM
Did you repack the front wheel bearings?

Majority of pedal feel on this line comes from rear brakes.

03-31-13, 11:19 PM
Didn't repack the bearings, checked how they felt with the wheels still on; no play & smooth spinning. Why, am I supposed to do that every time I change the pads? I know they were repacked a few years ago. Didn't really think about it since they felt ok. My initial thought when the brakes first went bad, was that a bearing was unhappy & skwaking, which is why I thought to check.

So, I didn't have time yesterday before the rain hit to recheck the brake fluid level. Topped it off today & have better pedal feel... Flex hoses are still getting replaced asap.

If I have time tomorrow, I'm going to take the rear drums off & have a look around on both cars. Trying to decide if I want to tackle a full bleed myself, or just have it done this time. Also, I have a few tools to acquire if I want to start doing my own drum brakes, which I'm sure I probably will now.

Oh! My service manual says I shoud never need to manually adjust the rear brakes unless doing major servicing, is this true? Or should I try to adjust them myself?

03-31-13, 11:37 PM
As long as the star wheel adjusters are working, and you haven't changed shoes/pads, you don't need to adjust the rears (unless you can't get the drums off!).

Bleeding is easy to do if you have a helper. It will take awhile to get new fluid all the way to the back. Siphon out most of the old from the master, fill it up with fresh, get to the RR wheel bleeder, and bleed until you get fresh clean fluid. Repeal LR, RF, LF. Top up as you go so you don't get air in there!

04-01-13, 12:29 AM
On a related note, would there be any benefit in getting drilled & slottel rotors on these cars? ...Do they even make them? Maybe Impala parts or something? Just a thought.

04-01-13, 01:07 AM
I think drilled and slotted would only be good for people that take long trips cross county or use it for more sport then casual driving.

04-01-13, 12:45 PM
Drilled and slotted are a downgrade. If you remove material from the stock rotor, you are reducing its mass, and thus, its ability to create friction (which gives you braking).

04-03-13, 02:20 PM
Question: Since they're separate reservoirs, can I bleed the front brakes separately from the rear brakes? I'm getting new flex hoses & hardware & installing them myself asap. Also getting a replacement for the center hose over the rear axle. That's all of the rubber lines, right? Read through the procedure in the service manual, sounds easy enough. Anything I should know before I start? Thinking of waiting on the rear brakes because I'm trying to make it up to my parents' house this weekend, and have limited time to work on the car before then. Will have plenty of time while I'm there however.



Noticed in my service manual I'm supposed to have some kind of tool for the brake combination valve since I have drum brakes? part # was J-23770. Do I need to have that? The service manual doesn't say what it is, just that I'm supposed to put it on the combination valve before flushing. I'm new to this..


EDIT: found this thread on a chevelle forum that mentions the tool. http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186934 There were still contradictory opinions at the end as to the necessity of holding the combination valve open...

04-03-13, 05:29 PM
As long as you don't get any air in from the master, yes, you can just bleed the fronts if you are doing flex lines up there. Yes, three rubber lines. Note that the rear flex line (frame to rear end) is difficult to change. Not impossible, but tough to get to. I've never used a tool on the prop when bleeding. Just bleed, then roll backwards, stomp brakes HARD. This will reset the valve (if bleeding didn't).