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Warped Rotors?

Posted by Kelly 
March 17, 2009 04:05PM
Did you mean to say "As a vessel is warfed to a pier" ?

As to the mechanic who says my rotor is warped...he is more often than not trying to sell me something I don't really need. sad smiley
March 17, 2009 04:06PM
Whenever people notice a pulsation in their brake pedal the mechanics automatically diagnose that as a "warped" brake rotor so they can charge you lots of money to replace them.

I've never seen a warped rotor. But I do know that uneven deposits on the rotor surfaces can build into high and low spots, in effect unevenly changing the thickness of the rotor at those points. You'll eventually feel that through the brake pedal, especially if your calliper slide pins or even the piston itself is sticking due to lack of maintenance, which in itself is probably what caused the localized hotspots that initiated the unequal transfer of material between the pads and rotors.

You'd have to have done something really really extreme to ever get a "bent" rotor, or wobbling "warped" rotor.
March 17, 2009 05:01PM
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Earendil
And THAT is the reason I stay out of these arguments, because it's quite obviously a word definition that you are all arguing about, and not the actual state of the rotor.

[Diverges and is no longer directing his comments at Archeo, but is instead launching off into his own tirade]

Merrian Webster says that the word means "to turn or twist out of or as if out of shape ; especially : to twist or bend out of a plane". So Archeo is referring to a deforming of the material in order to cause an uneven plane, and obviously a build up of external material on the surface does not constitute as deforming of the original metal rotor material.

Now, that said, warped is a word used in a variety ways. When it comes to this topic, all of your opinions are a bit warped after so many years of discussion, and in fact the entire course of the conversation often times is warped. As a vessel is warped to a pier, these discussions need to be hauled back in, perhaps if you all just bought some yarn and went about warping it you'd find that put your mind at ease, or if you sat down and watched a little Star Trek, as they warp off to new frontiers. In any case, since humans have not yet found a way to effectively warp time, we should try and avoid conversations that revolve around English definitions of words, as the entire language is warped.

For a mechanic to not stick to the scientific meaning of the word as it applies to material objects does not sound strange to me, as the common english use of the word, as well as the theoretical use of the word, do not restrict themselves to quite the same bounds. I've never thought of my mechanic as a scientist ;-)

G'Day smiling smiley

(continuing the tirade) And language is an evolving beast. Dictionaries are only indicators of this, not the law. Words only have definitions when enough people use it to describe the same thing. If people started describing engine noise as "the icecreaming" then I guess they would have to update the dictionary and wikipedia! Like "warped rotors" perhaps...
March 17, 2009 06:06PM
Once language looses it's structure and words lose their meaning...there will be no more language sad smiley

Unfortunately, we're already getting close to the point where people have a hard time understanding what the others are trying to say...substituting wrong words doesn't help eye rolling smiley
March 17, 2009 06:41PM
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Archeo-peteriX
Did you mean to say "As a vessel is warfed to a pier" ?

As to the mechanic who says my rotor is warped...he is more often than not trying to sell me something I don't really need. sad smiley
'

Actually, it's not what I mean :-)
I actually mean to warp a ship as to anchor it.

Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Once language looses it's structure and words lose their meaning...there will be no more language sad smiley

I'm going to assume that you mean "Once words change their meaning", as that is what we are discussing. Obviously if a sound has no interpreted meaning, the word language can not be used to describe that sound.

Perhaps this is the start of a brand new topic, and should be carried over to the community forum, but I have to strongly disagree with you there Peter, but only in the most calm and friendly manner possible :-)
Language has never been a static entity. Even tracing the romantic languages back to their roots should demonstrate this.
The word "Warp" in and of its self can not trace it's roots back to the definition that you want to attach to it, but is instead from "Middle English werpen, from Old English weorpan, to throw away."

In any case, spoken/written language is terribly inaccurate most times at describing the ideas that reside in our heads. We have a thought, and we try and ascribe a sound to that thought, and hope to get the other person to translate that sound into a thought of their own, that is similar to ours. It's absolutely terrible. However, until we master telepathy, we are stuck using the ever morphing "idea" that is language.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2009 08:59PM by Earendil.
March 17, 2009 08:37PM
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Earendil
In any case, spokane/written language is terribly inaccurate most times at describing the ideas that reside in our heads.

someone is used to typing Spokane an awful lot... smiling smiley


March 17, 2009 08:51PM
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Earendil
The word "Warp" in and of its self can not trace it's roots back to the definition that you want to attach to it, but is instead from "Middle English werpen, from Old English weorpan, to throw away."

Both of which come from the German "werfen", which means to throw.
March 17, 2009 08:58PM
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daniel
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Earendil
In any case, spokane/written language is terribly inaccurate most times at describing the ideas that reside in our heads.

someone is used to typing Spokane an awful lot... smiling smiley

god I hate this city...
apparently it has seeped into more than just my pores...
Perhaps I meant to do that as a demonstration of how poor language is? Would you buy that? No? It's too late?
damn...
March 17, 2009 09:02PM
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nomis3613
If people started describing engine noise as "the icecreaming" then I guess they would have to update the dictionary and wikipedia!

That reminds me of one of Terry Pratchett's little gems, author of the brilliant "Discworld" series of novels.

The heroes in the story are surrounded by a gang of bad guys and are about to get the crap beaten out of them. One of them says, "Oh man, we're gonna get cheesed1."

At the bottom of the page, the footnote says, "1 - It just like getting creamed, except that it goes on for much longer."
March 18, 2009 12:33AM
Interesting...to warp a ship...I hadn't heard that one before. We learn something new every day thumbs up

Root origins aside and any other interpretations of the word warped...when anyone tells me his rotors are warped; there is only one way to take that; he/she is telling me the rotor is bent or twisted(warped) out of shape. That is not the reality and until someone can provide documented proof; it's just an incorrect description of some other problem.

If the language changes such that icecream becomes the word to describe a bent/twisted rotor then that word too will be the incorrect one.
It's the condition of the rotor that is being erroneously described. For right now; 'warped' is the word being used so it is the one that is being used incorrectly.

People can dance around this with all the smoke and mirrors, word spins and distractions they want...warped rotors do not exist eye rolling smiley
March 18, 2009 04:31AM
It seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong Archeo, that when we talk to are mechanics, and they tell us our rotors are warped, we should ask them in what fashion they are warped. If they proceed to tell us that our metal rotors have scientifically warped out of plane that we go find a new mechanic. If they tell us that we sat at an intersection at the bottom of a steep hill with our foot on the break, and our only option is to buy new rotors or have the current ones machine planed, that we can trust the guy, knowing he is using a looser definition of the term "warp".
No matter the singular english term to describe any car problem, it seems a more in depth conversation might be a suggested course of action, no?
March 18, 2009 04:32AM
PS
I had just learned that about "warping a ship" in the last few days as well. I don't know when I'll ever need to use it, but it has been stored away in the "neeto" category of my brain :-)
March 18, 2009 10:25AM
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Earendil
It seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong Archeo, that when we talk to are mechanics, and they tell us our rotors are warped, we should ask them in what fashion they are warped. If they proceed to tell us that our metal rotors have scientifically warped out of plane that we go find a new mechanic. If they tell us that we sat at an intersection at the bottom of a steep hill with our foot on the break, and our only option is to buy new rotors or have the current ones machine planed, that we can trust the guy, knowing he is using a looser definition of the term "warp".
No matter the singular english term to describe any car problem, it seems a more in depth conversation might be a suggested course of action, no?

You and I would most likely question that diagnosis but the average car owner wouldn't even know that he/she should. They pay the man for the repairs, needed or not, and the myth lives on as soon as they tell someone they just had their warped rotors replaced sad smiley

Even indepth conversation doesn't help sometimes...there are folks right here on this forum who firmly believe that rotors do warp; even though there is not a shred of proof; even though I and others have shown documents and testimonials many times by people; highly respected people; who are in the brake design and manufacturing industry.

This discussion nearly always descends into folks playing word games when they can't provide proof or don't want to believe the real experts. Until the dictionary defines a warped rotor as one that is tied to a dock or one that has a strange sense of humour or one that is part of a tapestry or one that steps outside of time; there is no ambiguity about what the term is describing.

Sadly; like any myth; this one will never die...but when the button is pushed; I have to try sad smiley
March 18, 2009 06:29PM
I am replacing my warped rotors this weekend, and will get to the bottom of this.


March 19, 2009 11:32AM
Word definitions aside, this was quite an informative thread. That's why I enjoy this forum so much. Thanks to all who contributed!

Andy
1987 325ic
March 19, 2009 11:50AM
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akstraw
Word definitions aside, this was quite an informative thread. That's why I enjoy this forum so much. Thanks to all who contributed!

The topic usually provides some good entertainment and as always, it's a good venue for education winking smiley
May 03, 2009 03:17PM
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akstraw
Word definitions aside, this was quite an informative thread. That's why I enjoy this forum so much. Thanks to all who contributed!

This thread has returned now with another question to provoke thoughtful discussion...

My Brother returns to SF soon. In an effort to redirect his energy away for the perfectly functioning Instrument cluster, I thought it might be time to replace my vibration producing brake rotors. The tapping ang vibrations are slowly becoming worse during highway braking. Happly the brakes' deceleration abilty is not affected. Mainly the driver is mildly distressed by the rap tap tapping through the steering wheel.

Given the mech said the brake pads were 70% reamaining I assume they do not need replacement. Just the rotors.

Question - which rotors should I buy for hilly city and highway driving e30? (Maybe downhill braking and then holding the brake pedal down to prevent rolling caused my vibration problem.)

If necessary during the rotor change, can I just add addional brake fuild to make up for losses? Or does the fuild need a complete change also (even it is still good)?

Thanks for the lively dicussion thus far, Kelly
May 03, 2009 04:45PM
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Kelly
Quote
akstraw
Word definitions aside, this was quite an informative thread. That's why I enjoy this forum so much. Thanks to all who contributed!

This thread has returned now with another question to provoke thoughtful discussion...

My Brother returns to SF soon. In an effort to redirect his energy away for the perfectly functioning Instrument cluster, I thought it might be time to replace my vibration producing brake rotors. The tapping ang vibrations are slowly becoming worse during highway braking. Happly the brakes' deceleration abilty is not affected. Mainly the driver is mildly distressed by the rap tap tapping through the steering wheel.

Given the mech said the brake pads were 70% reamaining I assume they do not need replacement. Just the rotors.

Question - which rotors should I buy for hilly city and highway driving e30? (Maybe downhill braking and then holding the brake pedal down to prevent rolling caused my vibration problem.)

If necessary during the rotor change, can I just add addional brake fuild to make up for losses? Or does the fuild need a complete change also (even it is still good)?

Thanks for the lively dicussion thus far, Kelly

if in fact the vibrations are coming from your brakes, it might be from having the lugs on the wheels overtightened. it will not happen just because you are braking going down a hill. what recently happened to me was i had tires mounted on new wheels at les schwab, and they overtightened the lugs, screwing up my rotors, and subsequently causing vibrations when braking. unfortunately, loosening and then retightening to the correct amount (i believe 72 ft lbs +/-5) doesn't fix this. (i have new front brakes now).

there are not special rotors for hilly driving or anything. i'd recommend buying brembo rotors, which can be found cheap here: www.bmaparts.com. for 5% off use the coupon code "specE30". to make sure you get all the stuff you need, you can call them too. they are nice guys (although online orders over $50 get free shipping). i would also recommend getting new brake pads even though your current pads are ok. they are not very expensive. you CAN use your old pads, but since your pads are currently used to other rotors, there is something about how the brake pad "seats" itself into the rotor that is important.

as for your fluid question: when you are pushing the caliper piston in to fit the new pads, some fluid may travel backwards and leak out of the top of the brake fluid reservoir. it wouldnt hurt to buy a can of dot4 fluid to top off the reservoir once the car has been driven a little bit, but you will have a lot left over that you can save for next time.

a couple things to note:
you will want to get a new rotor set screw for each rotor, which may or may not come with the new rotors. (these are often a pain in the rear to remove, by the way, so prepare to get some of that spray that helps loosen the screw.. i cant remember the name right now)

for the first 100 miles you don't want to do any panic stops if you can avoid it. gentle braking is the key to making the pads seat into the rotors properly.

are you going to do the rear brakes also?


May 04, 2009 02:37AM
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Kelly
I thought it might be time to replace my vibration producing brake rotors. The tapping ang vibrations are slowly becoming worse during highway braking. Happly the brakes' deceleration abilty is not affected. Mainly the driver is mildly distressed by the rap tap tapping through the steering wheel.

I had a very similar problem, however it wasn't the rotors so much as the entire front end suspension pieces needing an overhaul. Before replacing the rotors, you might get the front end of your car off the ground (both front wheels), grab the tire, and try and turn it. See how much play you have without the steering wheel turning. For me, it was quite substantial and scary. This was the cause of my highway deceleration shaking, and breaks as smooth as butter now.
May 11, 2009 05:47PM
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daniel


are you going to do the rear brakes also?

Hi Daniel - thanks for the loads of info. I'll give bmaparts a call.

Earendil - I had some front end work (new control arms, bushings replaced) 2 years ago - ah yes, I remember the mech's bill well. I am not sure of the tie rods' condition. Shocks are fine. We will try the wheel turning procedure that you recommend above.

At the present, I think The Bro and I should just concentrate on the front brakes. :-)

Thanks a bunch!! Kelly



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2009 05:48PM by Kelly.
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