ForumsCorollas2019-21ToyotasTech


Brake Pads & Headlight Aiming



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first, i have been using hawks hps on my 2000 corolla, they have improved braking power over the cheap metallic padsi had on. to be honest i haven't tried toyota oem pads for years (i think since 2006). i have heard they are same as Akebono Street Performance Pads? so how do they compare to toyota's pads, do oem pads provide more initial bite and firmer brake pedal? im basically looking for the best pads out there. also someone suggested to me to use oem pads with slotted rotors. is this a good combo?

second question, i have taken out some hid kit from the car and replaced it with philips x-treme vision halogens since my son doesnt drive the corolla any more. i noticed the lights have been pointed down, i have no clue how to aim it back up. i see a screw on the sides but after playing with it didn't change anything? how do i raise it up a bit?

thanks

first, i have been using hawks hps on my 2000 corolla, they have improved braking power over the cheap metallic padsi had on. to be honest i haven't tried toyota oem pads for years (i think since 2006). i have heard they are same as Akebono Street Performance Pads? so how do they compare to toyota's pads, do oem pads provide more initial bite and firmer brake pedal? im basically looking for the best pads out there. also someone suggested to me to use oem pads with slotted rotors. is this a good combo?

 

second question, i have taken out some hid kit from the car and replaced it with philips x-treme vision halogens since my son doesnt drive the corolla any more. i noticed the lights have been pointed down, i have no clue how to aim it back up. i see a screw on the sides but after playing with it didn't change anything? how do i raise it up a bit?

thanks

I'd love to know about brake pads as well. I don't have much meat left.

Your son pointed the headlight down because of HID glare issues. HID capsules in regular halogen bulb housing will throw light everywhere, including way up. To mitigate this issue people using these kits aim the headlights down.

There are two screws for headlight aiming. The one you can easily access adjusts horizontal aiming. The vertical aiming screw which is what you need is hidden by the corner lights. You'll need to remove the corners to get at it. Correct aiming is 2" down from headlight housing center, with car level, 25 feet away from a wall.

The new OEM pads are now a ceramic composite design - low noise, low dusting, long life. Akebono is a big OEM supplier of ceramic composite pads - not certain if they supply Toyota with pads, but I know they are the OEM of Nissan. I still find the OEM pad to feel "soft" compared to the HPS pads. I would gladly give up the lower noise and dusting levels of the OEM pads, to get the greater initial bite and fade resistance of the Hawk pads. For a mild street pad, Hawk HPS ferro-composite pads are tough to beat.

OEM pads (or cermaic pads in general) with slotted rotors is looking like a decent combination - though in some cases, more of a personal preference. Depends on how you drive the car and how much you pound the brakes. Hawk HPS can turn very aggressive if you get their temperatures up too high, they will start eating the rotor like crazy. OEM ceramics can still fade, but when they do, they are not very aggressive (can't stop either, but that is another matter).

Slotted and/or drilled rotors generally have less mass than OEM brake rotors (assuming same diameter rotors), by that design, they tend not to absorb as much heat as they normally could (heat reduction claims are dubious at most - under the best conditions, a drilled rotor can see 20% reduction in heat, assuming it is drilled correctly, most slotted rotors don't see any heat change). By not absorbing as much heat as they should - puts more of a heat load on the pads. Once the pads heat up to a certain point, the binder material deteriorates and you are left with basically an abrasive brick. The pad cleaning effect of the slots, just cleans off more of this abrasive brick to eat up more of your rotor. Of course, the pad material, the rotor material, how the brakes are used, and the driving conditions all play a role in here. Could have several nearly identical setups and see one where the owner tracks their car on weekends and see a good 10K-15K miles of pad and rotor life, another could grind their rotors down to the vanes/pillars in a couple of weeks, and another where they had zero issues in 30K-40K miles of normal street driving.

thanks guys for great info. burin I just can't adjust the vertical aims I dont know how this works?! is there diagrams images somewhere?

fish, I thought oem pads have greater initial bite? anyway I'm very happy with hps fronts and oem rotors. the brake pedal feedback is excellent. I have heard some good things about racing brakes et300...any idea how the pedal feedback is on them? stiff/soft. I only want to try something else because I noticed a big difference in braking when I switched to hps from oem and maybe more difference if I switch to something else? I personally like sensitive brakes with stiff brake pedals

The OEM would have a smooth, initial bite, but I wouldn't say they are greater or have more initial torque than the Hawk HPS. It is true, as far as performance pads are concerned, Hawk HPS are considered having a relatively low initial bite - and like more performance pads, that initial braking event of the day will be weak until the pads clean off the rotors. OEM will brake the same way from day to day. But compared to OEM ceramic composites - the HPS does grab the rotor faster, with more follow up torque. The OEM smoother bite might make it "feel" like greater torque. This will quickly change once you get the brakes smoking hot or trying to brake from high speed.

A racing compound pad would even be more aggressive, bite-wise, assuming the pad was up to temperature. Some race pads aren't effective until they start to get up to temperature, before then, they squeal and have poor pedal feedback (ie, can't tell how much bite there is, can lock up the brakes with little to no warning, pedal is spongy where you can't vary the amount of pedal force or too stiff like you are stepping on a bag of concrete but with zero brake feel).

As for Racing Brakes pads - from what I've heard, they've actually worked with Hawk on some R&D aspects - so they would be very similar products. Their ET300 would be equivalent to the Hawk HPS, their ET500 would be more like Hawk HP+, their ET700/800 series are considered more competition than streetable pads (ie, very agressive street pad) which would be equivalent to Hawk Black or Blue pads, their ET900 is a full fledged race pad, like the HT and DTC series of Hawk pads. I have not used RB pads myself, but they come highly recommended. Not sure if they have fitment for a Corolla - last time I checked, they did not.

I think you'd probably stand to gain some better braking performance with a quality DOT 4 brake fluid like Castrol SRF, Motul RBF 600 or ATE Super Blue for higher boiling temp capability and stainless steel lines for less brake line flex/expansion. The other parts - sliding calipers, brake pedal, and master cylinder - will make up the rest of the slack in the braking system. But by doing fluid, pads, lines - you got 70%-80% of the possible "slop" in the system taken care of.

ya i was thinking of switching brake fluid to dot 4 such as ATE super blue and changing brakelines to smt like stainless steel phantom series. i have OEM fluid now, its not dot4? pedal feeback right now is somewhat soft but its also sensitive and brakes grab easy.

ya i was thinking of switching brake fluid to dot 4 such as ATE super blue and changing brakelines to smt like stainless steel phantom series. i have OEM fluid now, its not dot4? pedal feeback right now is somewhat soft but its also sensitive and brakes grab easy.

Original fluid is most likely DOT3--at least that's what my manual calls for.

ok i figured out how to aim a headlight. basically you just drop in a philips screw driver and turn clockwise to aim low or counter-c to aim high. however in the process of raising the low beams on passenger side i crushed this teethed screw (so its missing a few teeth and i cant turn it). its completely loose and cant be turned anymore. the headlight aim is stuck too high about 30'deg up! what on earth do i do? im guessing 100$ to be spent at dealership to have them replace the screws, right? why was this screw made of plastic

I seem to recall that plastic toothed gear is backed by a hex nut - might be able to turn that nut on the back to aim. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much clearance if any back there. Still worthwhile to check it out before dumping some cash on replacement assemblies.

ya seemed to me that would have been the only way but there is no room for a wrench in there. I ended up taking it to a mechanic they charged 55$ to aim the lights. these new philips x-treme visions are very white ans bright but the light beam seems to be much thiner, like a horizontal line on low beam. im not sure if thats a bad or good thing. lights seemed to be aimed at 0 to a few degrees up at the moment. also my drivebelt was cracked and they replaced it for 100$. the headlight aiming adjusting screw was not replaced.

I'd double check that there isn't a "cut-off" shield (looks like a thin metal slit, some are metal plugs, some are just a piece of metal flashing) still on the car from the HID kit. Those block off the range of the HID beam pattern to prevent oncoming drivers from getting blinded by the HIDs. This is also assuming that the OEM reflectors were not cut or modified for the HIDs. Could always shim the mounting tabs, if it is not adjusted enough.

no the hid cut off shield was taken off with the xenon bulbs. there is only the factory shield. i doubt this has anything to do with the shield, when i hit high beams the light beam turns into a square and when i hit lows it turns into a nice thin rectangle. overall there seems to be less glare, but the lights are brighter and whiter.

after a test drive last night i noticed that the lights are too high. i had people high beaming me! i decided to fix things my self and figured a way to access the screw from the bottom (since it has some teeth left). i would turn the screw from the bottom and when i got to the broken teeth i would turn it again from the top. i kept doing this until i got the proper aim. while looking under the car, i realized that the stupid technicians from canadian tire ripped up all of the plastic underbody. they did not even care to remove the bolts and take the paneling off like normal human beings, they just tore through the thing! im somewhat pissed off because firstly the paneling usually directs airflow away from under the body for better aerodynamics and secondly it prevents damage/scratches if i bottom out or drive on gravel. is there a way i can fix this? thanks

I fixed it by drilling a new hole an screwing it to the chasis. also the lights seem a bit titled counterclockwise. is this because of the shield?

That's nuts - similar thing happened to me on another car I had. They just ripped the under body shields off instead of unbolting them when they did an alignment!? They refused to replace the shields, saying they where already damaged and they were doing me a favor - couldn't even give me the old ones back, as they already chopped them up and threw them out. Eventually, I got credit back from they "job" and bought new shielding myself.

As for the light being shifted - doubt it has anything to do with the shielding, hard to say what is causing that without looking at it myself.

ok here is a shot of the Philips x-treme vision +100% on the wall. sorry about bad quality, cellphone pics...also you can notice the tilt i was talking about. at short distance it doesnt seem too obvious but the farther you get the more triangular the light beams become. so glad i took out HID, that thing was all glare. this is about 60-70% as bright with 0 glare.

low exposure

darker than it actually appears but notice the improvement on sides

Wow! Pretty bright lamps. Might have to check into those Philips X-Treme Vision bulbs as a future replacement.

How much were these, if you don't mind me asking? Quick check online has them running about $50-$60 a set. Seems to hold up longer, life-wise, according to many reviewers compared to other "higher light output" lamps.

well they claim the x-treme vision has more life than the x-treme power. i used x-treme power before, but they only lasted me around 8 months with 5 days a week driving 30 km a day. of course my car has DRL which zaps bulb life. i got them for 32 UK pounds off powerbulbs.com. forgot shipping cost...anyway expect them to last just a bit under a year compared to say 7-8 years with oem. i remember reading somewhere they last under 300 hours compared to 1000 hours or something. also don't expect anything like HID...its not that bright but it is an improvement over stock. i am also using silverstar ultra on my other car's high beams and they are whiter and as bright but obviously the high beams have no glare shields.