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How much should a brake job cost?

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:52 PM
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How much should a brake job cost?

A while back the mechanics that did an alignment to my '94 F150 said that my front brake pads were getting thin and I should consider replacing them. Since I think the front bearings need to be repacked anyway, I thought I'd get the front pads replaced and the rotors turned if necessary.
The question is, how much should it cost to have this done at a shop? The guys down the street said $225~$275 but they thend to be high on their prices and I don't particularly trust them. There is a "Just Brakes" place nearby and they said $99.95 or something like that.
However, I did a search on the web and there are a lot of complaints about rip-offs from those guys as well as from Meineke.
I would do it myself, but the truck parts are pretty big and heavy plus there is the hassle of getting the supplies (grease, buckets, solvents, etc.) for cleaning and repacking the bearings and then getting rid of the waste. So it would be worth it to me to pay a fair price for a shop to do the work. But I don't want to get ripped off.
What do you guys think? Oh yeah, if I do do it myself, what brake pads are recommended for my '94 F150 XLT supercab?

Thanks
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:05 PM
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Wow...100 bucks just for brake pads..? really?! dude, if thats not a big rip off...idk what is..If I were you, I would just do it myself..I use just plain old duralast brake pads from autozone. They always do the job well for me and last a while.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:14 PM
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buckets? solvents? brakes are pretty easy, and doing just the pads would be a breeze. have you ever done something like this before? i know you said you want the bearings repacked, but if you do just the pads you dont even have to remove the bearings. autozone pads arent bad, but dont get their rotors unless your totally broke. the rotors warp in a few months from my experience. the pads should be about 30 bucks, and then if you need grease you could get a little tub of it for like 6 bucks to repack the bearings if needed. go for it!
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:19 PM
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F150 parts aren't that big or heavy, maybe if it was a DRW F350....

Anyways, I work for Midas, and here's what we'd charge you:

Pads $39.99 (Wagner Quickstop) + $99.99 to install
re-surface rotors (if in spec) $37.98 per rotor
repack bearings $29.99 per side

may want to consider having the rear brakes inspected and adjusted, drums re-surfaced (to remove rust ridge) at that time so your new front brakes don't get overworked.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:24 PM
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looks like youre a 2wd? 2wd is an easy brake job that should be similar cost to a car. . .if it were 4wd i would understand a high price tag if rotors were needed (free lockin hubs are always a pain in the johnson when doin brakes). i dont pay for anyone to work on my vehicles so i dunno exactly, but i know shops charge (rape) a lot of money for anything.

btw, nice car. . .
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:26 PM
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Saving money and learning how to take care of your own vehicle and adding another
skill to your belt is not a hassle.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:57 PM
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Seriously just save the money and do it yourself. Its only a couple bolts. You could get new pads AND new rotors for less then those shops want to just swap pads and machine rotors.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:59 PM
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Thanks guys, I have changed brake pads and brake shoes in the past in several cars. Just changing the pads should be fairly easy. The hassle part is repacking the bearings. I really want to do that or have it done to take the play out of the steering. I hate to have to buy the grease and solvent & bucket(s) just to do this one job (I seriously doubt I'll be repacking bearings again in even the distant future).
The truck is heavy as hell, I jacked it up with my crappy "toy" hydraulic jack but it was actually hard to pump! It's a little scary to trust those crappy jackstands that came with the jack too.
Anyway, I will probably end up doing it myself to save $$. I realize that people who work need to make a living and the shops have overhead and all, but It seems that the job shpuld be simple and fast for a well equipped shop.

BTW, the pads at Advance Auto parts are around $40, the grease about $10, and a box of cotter pins is about $5 (I only need 2),I don't know what solvent and how much to buy to clean the bearings before repacking.

The pads come in 3 grades: silver, gold and premium or something like that. The guy in the store said that the cheap pads ($19) are not worth installing, so I would prolly go with the best pads.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:11 PM
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I think you may be making the bearing packing into a bigger deal than it is (not to be harsh)

Buy a little tub of grease which will probably run like 4 bucks. Buy a can or two of brake cleaner. Get some pads and rotors if youre doing those, brake lube, cotter pins and that should be everything you need.

Use the brake clean to clean all the components and lube up the slider pins on caliper and back of brake pads. Good to go.

For the bearings, take them out and clean them off with a little bit of gasoline or something and then blow them off or whatever to dry them. (thats how I do it). Scoop some grease into the palm of your hand and use your other hand to push the bearing into the grease to pack it. It is the old school way of doing it but this new stuff with bearing packer cups is just a waste of money in my opinion. Afterward you will need some torque specs for putting it all back together.

Hopefully that helps. Its a fairly easy procedure and shouldnt take you too long. And in doing so, you will get the satisfaction of doing the work yourself. Also, if you needed to cut your rotors you can usually take them in to places and they will do it for a small fee.

But I do agree, stay away from Just Brakes and Meineke. Also, I have seen people at a Just Brakes in Florida who would intentionally tear boots on brake parts just to sell. Shady people.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:15 PM
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Play in the steering is usually caused by worn tie rod ends or idler/pittman arm. Grab the tire at 9 and 3 and shake side to side to see where your movement is. Bearings will have play in that direction and when grabbed at 12 and 6.

Shouldnt need solvent to repack the bearings, some brake parts cleaner and a box of blue shop towels will get most of the old grease and crud out. Place a small dab of grease in your palm, and force it between the rollers on the bearing. Be sure the inner seal isn't trashed and it goes in straight. Going to need a torque wrench to properly set the preload on the bearings so they don't burn up or have too much movement.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:18 PM
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You should go into infommercials. You make repacking a bearing sound like a very daunting task.

You don't need a bucket or solvent. You just put a blob of grease in the palm of your hand and press the grease into the bearing. Wear some of the vinyl hospital type gloves to minimize mess. The tub of grease is about the size of a small tub of car wax. I think you'll have room for this laying around.

NAPA or whoever can turn the rotors for 10-15 dollars a piece. Install them, torque the wheel bearing according to the manual, install calipers and pads, and clean everything with brake parts cleaner.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:26 PM
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First off, Advance Auto brakes SUCK!

Second, I agree with Volvo on this one...DIY....The calipers use 2-13mm bolts, undo them, and the caliper swings way....The pads literally clip into/out of place...

The bearings, they are EASY....Just do as Volvo said, clean everything, and get a gob of grease in your palm, and pull/push the bearing through it till the grease is sqeezing around all the roller pins....

Also, clean the spindle off, and apply new grease...And CLEAN THAT hub assembly, and as before, add new grease.....Just make sure the wheel seal goes on even....

And there ya have it...a 2 beer/1-1/2 hr job...
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:28 PM
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Well, maybe I am making too much of the cleaning of the bearings, but I do remember from messing up way back in the past when I rebuilt my carburetor in my '59 Bonneville and washed out the parts in gasoline.. Big mistake. Of course, bearings are not carburetors so I will probably be OK with gasoline or parts cleaner. The packing of the grease seems simple enough.
In the past I've changed the pads without resurfacing rotors with pretty good success because the rotors were not warped. It seems that the pads bed themselves pretty quickly into the rotor grooves and work fine (unless they are severely scored). If I need the rotors turned, where should I take them?
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladez51 View Post
Well, maybe I am making too much of the cleaning of the bearings, but I do remember from messing up way back in the past when I rebuilt my carburetor in my '59 Bonneville and washed out the parts in gasoline.. Big mistake. Of course, bearings are not carburetors so I will probably be OK with gasoline or parts cleaner. The packing of the grease seems simple enough.
In the past I've changed the pads without resurfacing rotors with pretty good success because the rotors were not warped. It seems that the pads bed themselves pretty quickly into the rotor grooves and work fine (unless they are severely scored). If I need the rotors turned, where should I take them?

Nearly all the Midas/Meineke, etc places can turn them...Some small shops can too....
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:34 PM
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I am too young for carburetors so I have no idea what you speak of, haha.

As for where to take the rotors, as zxwut? stated, you can take them to Napa or Autozone or wherever. I think even a shop may do it for you. However, I am unsure what the cost would be. I have always been fortunate to have the stuff available.

But your are right, you do not always need to cut them.
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