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Unread 12-01-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
Fast55
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Stillen review at 10K

At 90K, I ordered a complete set of Stillens from Nick. All was well for the first thousand mikes or so, then I start getting this chirping or "tweet" from the driver's front at any speed until you're down to 10 mph and quiet from there to a complete stop. It drove me crazy for a couple months and Nick suggested pulling things apart and cleaning everything. I did that and nothing. I even asked if he'd ship me another set of pads or something. Nope, the suggestion was I take it all apart again, and sand the pads. Degreased the rotor, hit the pads with 320 and,,,,,,,,probably made it worse.

After that, I never heard back from Nick.

This past week I tried the last thing I could think of and bought another set of pads similar to OEM replacements. No improvement. All that is left is to replace these spendy front rotors with something else.

I sent Stillen an e-mail, no response. Picking up the phone I noticed 2 things:

1. They don't even answer their 800 number. It rang 15+ times, no answering machine.
2. After calling the 714 number and letting it ring at least 10 times, a guy who sounded annoyed picked up the phone and basically told me they have never heard of Kolak Off Road and they can't (or won't) help me.

Now before someone helpfully chimes in with the "drilled rotors suck" line, be sure to tell Porsche and AMG that the next time they build a car with them. My guess is Stillen doesn't supply rotors to either of them.

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Unread 12-01-2014, 05:03 PM   #2
caddydaddy
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Have you tried some Disc Brake Quiet on the back of the pads? That usually works for me! Are the pads chamfered? If not, that might help as well.
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Unread 12-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #3
luckyse7ens
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That is unfortunate. Has changing the rotors fixed the problem?

I am not much of a fan of drilled rotors myself.

The noise is not bearing related? Is for certain the brakes?
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Unread 12-01-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
Fast55
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There is no other noise at any time other than when the brakes are applied, and no vibration. It seems to be isolated to the driver's side, but I can't see any issues with wear or discoloration from either rotor.

The rears look the same and make no noise that I can hear. The vibration from the old front rotors is gone, but I do not see any noticeable increase or decrease in performance over the stock brakes beyond that. I also just flushed the brake system, not that I expected that to change anything. The Stillen pads were chamfered like stock as are the new auto parts specials I just I installed. These are a little smoother stopping and yes, they came with "silencer" for the backs of the pads that I used. Drilled rotors are stock on my E55 and no issues. I even put them on the Avalon when Toyota said the rotors weren't "warranty".

Obviously the noise sucks but I'm sure the brakes are OK, no worries on driving it. I know there are a lot of people who have bought these and are very satisfied but sometimes I guess you get this. FWIW.
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Unread 12-01-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
caddydaddy
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I've had brake pads with the silencing pads on the backs still make noise. Some brake quiet worked for me.
I've used drilled/slotted rotors on my car and my truck for a combined 130,000 miles with no problems. Not sure where the hate here comes from.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 02:59 AM   #6
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There's nothing intrinsic about drilled rotors vs plain undrilled rotors that would cause the kind of "chirp" you're talking about.

They could be glazed - not sure what process you used to deglaze them. You mentioned "degreased" in your post. What does that mean precisely?

Have you considered that this could be a caliper issue? If one caliper is hanging up upon release, they can make noise.

If you lightly apply the brakes while you're hearing the noise, does it stop?
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Unread 12-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #7
luckyse7ens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caddydaddy View Post
I've had brake pads with the silencing pads on the backs still make noise. Some brake quiet worked for me.
I've used drilled/slotted rotors on my car and my truck for a combined 130,000 miles with no problems. Not sure where the hate here comes from.
I don't know anything about the 'hate,' I just don't buy in to drilled rotors personally.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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got 40k on my stillen roters and brake pads and they are starting to get a little rough. Drilled roters can be quited down by running a burr grinder on both sides of the roters. They will build up with brake pad over time and cause chirping noises and some brake vibration.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #9
Kolak
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That's something else I was going to mention to the OP. Examine the holes to see if anything is caught up in any of them.

This sounds like more of a continual noise though, even when brakes are not applied. I suspect caliper or runout issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSteelJP View Post
got 40k on my stillen roters and brake pads and they are starting to get a little rough. Drilled roters can be quited down by running a burr grinder on both sides of the roters. They will build up with brake pad over time and cause chirping noises and some brake vibration.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 02:37 PM   #10
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Everything is perfectly quiet until you hit the brakes. A little or lot doesn't matter, you immediately get the chirp or whistle that sounds nothing like traditional brake squeal. There is no pull, no vibration. It follows the speed of the truck down to about 10 mph then is quiet down to a complete stop. There is no indication that the caliper is hanging. No abnormal wear, no discoloration, no problem with actual performance. I'm not aware of anything that will "deglaze" a rotor besides turning it, but since they're drilled, that's not happening. I've heard you can try sanding them, but I'd guess it's nearly impossible to take a perfectly even layer of anything off the rotor by hand. I used regular brake cleaner to clean and degrease them every time I've had it apart. There is no obvious difference between that rotor and the other 3.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #11
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I've had mine on (Stillens) for 52,000+ miles so far and haven't had a single issue.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 04:12 PM   #12
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Sounds more like a bearing issue, which you say it's not.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #13
Fast55
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Bearings don't make noise only when you hit the brakes and stop when you let off. They also don't go bad while you're swapping old brakes for new. I looked at every bushing, ball joints, everything, while I had it apart to put in the Bilstein 5100's a couple months after it started. Other than the stock shocks/struts being trashed, everything was/is still looking good and tight at 100K. Until I bought it, it had never been off road, just a commuter. The local shop that did my exhaust manifold leak fix agrees that there is no obvious mechanical problem, just a noisy brake that they would be happy to fix by selling me another set of pads/rotors.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 06:57 PM   #14
Omelet
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Do you still have your OEM rotors? Have you tried swapping the fronts back on temporarily to see if the sound goes away? You said you swapped pads, but not rotors?


I've been running Stillen rotors on mine for nearly 80k miles on this Jeep without issue. They have been great and I've very much enjoyed them, so I hope you can figure this issue resolved and get back to enjoying your Jeep.
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Unread 12-02-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
Fast55
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No, they were pretty worn with a big lip at the edge but I didn't measure them. The pads had maybe 25-30% left but I had the vibration and pulsing and really just wanted to make everything new again. It's annoying, but everything seems to work like it should. With the windows or radio up, you don't even hear it. I'm just happy the rears seem to be fine since the stock pads were still at 50% and the rotors were hardly worn. Probably should have kept those...........
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