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My Sky only has 39,000 miles on it and the brakes are good, but when it comes time to have a brake job, I am considering going with drilled and slotted rotors and upgrade the calipers. My Sky is an N/A, and my days of drag racing and road racing are a distant memory, so the upgrade is more for cosmetics than it is performance driven. I am sure that I will get a ton of different opinions but is there a brand that stands out for either price, quality, and/or ease of installation, or are they all about the same? Or, on the flip side, is there a brand that I should definitely not consider? Thanks for all input in advance!
 

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Most of us will tell you that the brakes really don't need upgrading except for a change to better than stock pads, and that drilled & slotted rotors aren't of much practical value for a street car.

That said, DDMWorks is a pretty well respected vendor, and they offer "Performance Rotors" and a "Big-Brake Kit" along with performance pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most of us will tell you that the brakes really don't need upgrading except for a change to better than stock pads, and that drilled & slotted rotors aren't of much practical value for a street car.

That said, DDMWorks is a pretty well respected vendor, and they offer "Performance Rotors" and a "Big-Brake Kit" along with performance pads.
Thank you John!
 

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I went with DDM recommended Hawk pads. Made a huge difference in both feel and performance. The stock brakes are well matched to the platform for everything but sustained track time.
Make sure your brake fluid is up to snuff. One common issue with older cars is the fluid is well beyond its replacement date and full of water. This can result in spongy feel and brake fade.
A brake fluid flush is about $80 locally and well worth the cost.
 

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One common issue with older cars is the fluid is well beyond its replacement date and full of water. This can result in spongy feel and brake fade.
A brake fluid flush is about $80 locally and well worth the cost.
Very common issue is neglect of the brake fluid. Easy project is just a pain without lift. Most older vehicles it was recommended every 3 or so years
 

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Especially for manual transmission, but also for automatics, I recommend flushing the brake system twice, 1000 miles apart. This is surely an unusual recommendation but I have a good reason for it.

For the m/t, the clutch fluid system is integrated with the brake fluid system, but it cannot be flushed. With use, the old fluid within the clutch system circulates around, contaminating the fresh fluid in the brake system.

For both the m/t and a/t, you cannot remove all the old fluid in the master cylinder reservoir so you have old contaminated fluid mixed with fresh fluid when flushing the braking system.

I purchased my manual trans Sky with 119,000 miles and the brake fluid was very dark. I assume the brake system was never flushed. I sucked out what brake fluid I could from the fluid reservoir which was roughly 50%, then refilled and bled the system a number of times. When finished, the fluid in the reservoir looked a lot cleaner, but not looking new. As I drove the car, the old clutch fluid circulated in the brake system and the fluid is once again dark and dirty looking.

If someone here has a proven process to replace 100% of the old brake fluid without introducing air into the system or tearing the car apart, I am all ears.
 

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Interesting RR (y)

What is the official procedure for changing the brake fluid ?
When I changed mine I disconnected the hydraulic line from the clutch master cylinder and was able to drain the master cylinder and all of the reservoir.

I have had very little residual contamination.
 
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When I changed mine I disconnected the hydraulic line from the clutch master cylinder and was able to drain the master cylinder and all of the reservoir.

I have had very little residual contamination.
I am not comfortable opening up the system up high introducing air in the area of the master cylinder. I ran into trouble years ago on other vehicles getting air out of the m/c after replacement. It is something I prefer to avoid except when there is no other option. But I appreciate the input.
 

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I am not comfortable opening up the system up high introducing air in the area of the master cylinder. I ran into trouble years ago on other vehicles getting air out of the m/c after replacement. It is something I prefer to avoid except when there is no other option. But I appreciate the input.
The master cylinder holds a reasonable quantity of fluid, so you have to drain it if you want to truly clean the system. Unless you are in a swamp, or it is raining on you as you are working, the chances of introducing enough moisture to cause a problem is minimal to non-existent.
 

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The master cylinder holds a reasonable quantity of fluid, so you have to drain it if you want to truly clean the system. Unless you are in a swamp, or it is raining on you as you are working, the chances of introducing enough moisture to cause a problem is minimal to non-existent.
Maybe I will try that come spring....if we still own the car.
 

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I went with DDM recommended Hawk pads. Made a huge difference in both feel and performance. The stock brakes are well matched to the platform for everything but sustained track time.
Make sure your brake fluid is up to snuff. One common issue with older cars is the fluid is well beyond its replacement date and full of water. This can result in spongy feel and brake fade.
A brake fluid flush is about $80 locally and well worth the cost.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Vehicle

This is what I flushed out of my brake lines at 100,000! Apparently mom and Firestone didn't bother to do any more than top it off. Harbor freight sells a kit to bleed em yourself. I drained it and flushed it several times with fresh fluid
 

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moms car,

That looks like the brake fluid in our Sky when we bought it in 2020 with 119,000 miles, but I did not "visually" see water, just dirt.
 

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That looks like the brake fluid in our Sky when we bought it in 2020 with 119,000 miles, but I did not "visually" see water, just dirt.
Thing is that brake fluid is closer to alcohol in nature and will not separate like oils. There is a simple test strip to detect water.
 

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Thing is that brake fluid is closer to alcohol in nature and will not separate like oils. There is a simple test strip to detect water.
I think that what looks like water in that picture is just the light shining through a smaller "depth" of fluid.
 
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I am not a fan of drilled rotors. The holes can promote rotor cracking. Go for dimpled instead.
For the street all of that is unneeded and amounts to bling so one can look racy.

And the issue with old pad compounds that gave rise to the drilling (outgassing) no longer pertains anyway. It did back when I started racing in the 70s and some of the guys drilled their own discs - one of them had a rotor break up on him in a race, which jammed the wheel and had him spin out at speed. That was the point where I decided against doing that!
 

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I think that what looks like water in that picture is just the light shining through a smaller "depth" of fluid.
Ah yes! (y)

Back to drilled and slotted rotors......

I feel that SOLID rotors are best for everyday driving around town under a multitude of conditions, primarily related to rust formation and brake dust collection. Drilled and slotted rotors are nice for serious performance track-driving and also for showing off your car at cruise meets, but they require some maintenance to show nicely all the time. I personally prefer rotors that are solid and painted everywhere the pads do not make contact like this which provides a very clean look with the least amount of maintenance.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber

We tow our Jeep Liberty behind our motorhome as shown.
Wheel Tire Automotive parking light Vehicle Automotive tire

With a secondary braking system installed, the Jeep's brakes help slow down both vehicles which is a high-demand condition. When it was time for our Liberty's first brake job, I thought it would be a good idea to install drilled and slotted rotors specifically with towing in-mind. The brakes when new performed exceptionally well, but that was short lived. Once rust formed beyond the tapered drilled holes and slots, braking performance suffered. So what started out being better than solid rotors, soon became worse than solid rotors.

With this personal experience along with never performance driving, I since stay away from drilled and slotted rotors on all my vehicles.
 

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Yeah I agree. Intense track driving conditions is where you see a need to allow gas to escape. Even today's solid ventilated rotors with good pads are up to the job for the weekend track driver.
The risk is with these slotted and drilled rotors is quality. Last thing you want are the rotors cracking or shattering after some heat cycles due to compromised structure.
Best to invest in good brake pads and change out the brake fluid consistently.
 

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LOL - I bought my rotors drilled and slotted in the early 70's because in that era the brake pads were mostly asbestos and on my C3 it needed bigger/more brakes - The issues with stock brakes were the asbestos stuck on the rotors so you lost your braking power - the pads pushed the stuff into the slots to hopefully bleed off as it filled up.. The holes were to keep it cleaner and lol - cooler - But if you DIY'd your rotors - you got about 85% chance of failure - I saw a few failures on other vehicles - I use the bigger Wilwood brakes on my Sky because I have more HP and Torque than stock - so when you are on the peddle and suddenly you gotta brake - it's far harder and slower with more HP on stock brakes - so you travel farther than you would if just cruising. I've missed deer, huge snapping turtles, trees fallen down and a big rig out of control - :) I like my HP and my big brakes - I stop really fast when I have to. Saves the front end every time! My local is filled with great country roads winding and snaking and ups and downs - great for fun driving - but also filled with mother nature - that gives the need for quick braking.. My big brakes are not slotted or drilled as I agree that today with the new pad materials like Hawk HP's you have no issues. Having been on the track with 2 and 4 wheels - it's not a track thing for bigger brakes - simply stop in shorter distance and save my life a few times - keeps the wife happier!
 
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