Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

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Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby YungJulio » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:56 pm

Hey guys, new to his forum and was hoping to gain some knowledge about upgrading my brakes. From this forum, ive come to the conclusion that i have 'warped rotors' and was hoping to upgrade most of my braking system. But going through this forum, there is so many different options, that im feeling kinda lost. To one side, i was thinking of replacing my rotors, pads, brake lines, and fluids with brand new ones. on the other side, im looking at the possibility of salvaging some used brake parts from an sti or something.

if you guys recommend upgrading all those parts with new non-OEM ones, which brands do you guys recommend?
if trying to find used parts from subarus with better brake systems is recommendation, please give some info and notes i should be aware off.

please keep in mind this is my first car and ive just got my license so if ive said some dumb stuff, forgive me lol.

P.S. In case of rotor sizing, my Wheels are 17x8" 53offset from 2011-2014 WRX with RE003s I just picked up today
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby LibertyTragic » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:37 pm

Unless your Lib is highly modified (250kw+ atw), I would recommend:
- Replace your front and rear rotors with dba T2 or T3 slotted
- Replace your pads with street performance oriented type e.g. dba XP, Intima SR etc.

That is all. Only replace brake lines if you track the car regularly and brake fade/ heat is becoming an issue. You just won't need it for the street in most cases.

The above list should cost ~$800 for parts and will give a noticeable improvement in brake performance and feel.

Brembos and other big brake kits are a nice bling factor, but the extra performance will not be cost effective or necessary. The 290mm stock rotors and 2-pots can do a decent job with some good pads and rotors.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby YungJulio » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:44 am

Thank you for your reply.

If ive got warped rotors and my cars at 150k kms, can it be anything else other than the rotors thats causing it. For example, could it be the calipers that has caused the warped rotors and hence cause it again even if it put new rotors?
Also, isnt the stock rotors at the front 316mm for the 2004 LGT?
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby LibertyTragic » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:53 am

If your symptoms are steering shudder under braking then yes it is likely a warped disc. There can be other causes of steering shudder but this would be the most common.

Brake disc warping is caused by heat, not an issue with the calipers. I did the exact same repair to my Gen5 and the upgrade to boot. The dba discs will be much less prone to warping as they are designed to run cooler and handle higher heat loads than OEM.

You’re correct, 316mm front and 290mm rears. Got my front and rear mixed :)
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby YungJulio » Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:39 am

Would it be ok to put the T3 at the front and the T2 at the rear? ive read that it should be orite. the different is 200$ and ive heard the front does most of the braking anyways.

For the brake pads, i was thinking the Hawks HPS 5.0. however, for some reason, i cant find the hawks hps for the rears of the 04 LGT.

Currently, im thinking:
Rotors:
front - DBA t3
rear - DBA t2

pads:
front - hawks HPS 5.0
rear - ??cant find anywhere??

Thank you for your patience.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby LibertyTragic » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:11 am

YungJulio wrote:Would it be ok to put the T3 at the front and the T2 at the rear? ive read that it should be orite. the different is 200$ and ive heard the front does most of the braking anyways


Yeah no issues at all, that’s what I did :)

The T3s offer a benefit of being less prone to surface rusting I found. Not that this affects the disc performance at all, just maintains a better look.

There are plenty of brands of pads that will work well. My advice is to ring the manufacturer to double check part numbers and go for a pad that is:
1. Not race oriented as it will be too harsh and noisy.
2. Doesn’t put out tonnes of dust - pain to clean wheels ;)
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby bigBADbenny » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:44 pm

Deposition aka warping, is symptomatic of either a mechanical or driver technique fault.

The former includes:
A caliper or calipers requiring replacement or service, eg new seals, grease sliders etc.

Manufacturer fault with pads or discs, maybe try oem or RDA discs.

A faulty wheel bearing showing runout at the hub, uneven rust on the hub and disc mounting surfaces, eg replace or clean the hub/machine the disc.

Worn suspension bushes, particularly the front rear LCA bushing.
Oem lca bushes are of the relieved type for better nvh at the expense of durability and are known to be used up around 60k km from new.
Replace with oem or a solid aftermarket higher durometer items if you want them to last.

As regards driver technique, try to be aware of cooking your brakes, and if you suspect they’re hot, use the handbrake when they’re hot and you’re stopped.
Personally I use gear selection and engine braking where possible, and my brembo setup has lasted 7 years 80k km.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby YungJulio » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:48 pm

Thank you for your lengthy reply.
In regards to the calipers service, how much would it cost to have it done by a professional? Would it be possible to have the hub and bushings replaced along with the calipers service? And how much should that cost? Would it just be better to go to a mechanic and have him check everything?

I’ve just bought the car 2 months ago. I’m the second owner and the warping feel was already there when I originally bought it. I’ve just bought new tyres and wheels and thought along with a brake upgrade, my driving feel should improve a lot.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby LibertyTragic » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:45 pm

YungJulio wrote:Would it just be better to go to a mechanic and have him check everything?


If it were me, I would do the brake disc and pad upgrade from a mod perspective (bonus performance!) and see how the car feels. While the replacement is being performed, it is a perfect time for a health check by your preferred mechanic, or yourself if you are handy with tools and can follow Subaru service manuals (see bigBADbenny's signature for details on those). Replacing the discs and pads will require the calipers to be removed and hubs exposed anyway, so you're saving on labour if paying someone.

Then test the new setup, and if it is feeling solid and back to normal you're all good. Otherwise, take it further with a mechanic.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby Yowie » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:34 pm

Another perspective - the Liberty GT 316mm front brakes are a very popular upgrade for Foresters (@ 1600-1700kg depending on load) because they are excellent brakes AND they don't require a change of rims just to fit them.

I concur with the other comments recommending getting your current brakes (316mm) to factory spec or undertaking only minor tweaking with direct-substitute rotors/pads.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby Ric » Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:46 pm

As Ben mentioned, the problem may just be worn Lower Control Arm bushes.
An inspection by Pedders would be informative.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby bigBADbenny » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:23 pm

If you think of a diagnostic tree, start with the fundamentals of the assembly, eg where it attaches to the body, and work your way through the components to the affected items.
GT brakes are massive and thus fairly resistant to heat soak in normal driving.
Thus the rear LCA bush on the control arm, the service condition of the caliper sliders etc would be primary suspects in a repeated failure situation. Plus some parts of your car are approaching 16 years old...
There’s also diagnostic advice in the FSM workshop manual, link in my signature.

Or if you have an auto or just bad braking technique & habits you might get away with getting that disc machined, inspect hub etc and be done.
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby YungJulio » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:56 pm

thank you very much for your reply.
unfortunately, ive already ordered dba t2 rotors and xtreme pads and some dot 4 brake fluid.
i will be taking the car to Pedders suspension for a check and report tomorrow.
if there are problems with the LCA bushes, i will be having them replaced along with the brake rotors, pads and wheels for a complete upgrade to the braking system. that way i can justify it from a mod perspective as LibertyTragic stated lol
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Re: Brake upgrade for 04 Liberty GT - Non-OEM vs 2nd hand

Postby LibertyTragic » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:10 pm

YungJulio wrote:that way i can justify it from a mod perspective as LibertyTragic stated lol


The mod bug always wins 8)
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