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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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300m Special Vs Base rotors & pads

Hi

Thought I'll ask since I am getting mixed answers.

I want to replace my rotors and pads on a 300m Special. Are they the same as the base? I read that the special's brakes are different but there were no specifics mentioned. It is only the calipers? And if so are the pads the same since online the rotors/pads kit are the same for both the base and the special.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 01:52 PM
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The stock special edition rotors were vented differently as I recall. Either style rotor will fit and work fine.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 02:20 PM
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PHP equipped cars have outside vented rotors. All others are inside vented rotors. Either will work but it's preferable to get the outside vented rotors.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 02:21 PM
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PHP = Performance Handling Package. Check the door label for the tire type. If it's "V" rated it has PHP.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Just bought this so I checked and no V on this and to be honest these rotors look similar from what I remember on my base model.


The rotors are so badly rusted that I doubt there is any venting going on anyway. I haven't even looked at the rear but I can imagine the horror since the footbrake barely functions

Anyway I just made some work for myself by putting PS fluid in the power steering where it should have been ATF4. NO power steering except over 1500 rpm. The hydraulic technician in me realizes the viscosity is very different between the 2 and the pump probably has some wear which make matters worse so I am off to flush the power steering..... I just hope the pump doesn't need replacing as well.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 07:49 PM
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The power steering system will run fine in average conditions with regular power steering fluid. They didn't make the service bulletin till sometime around 2000 if my memory is right. The thicker viscosity does lead to noise at cold temperatures when the system is not up to temp.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bh1992 View Post
The power steering system will run fine in average conditions with regular power steering fluid. They didn't make the service bulletin till sometime around 2000 if my memory is right. The thicker viscosity does lead to noise at cold temperatures when the system is not up to temp.
I just exchanged the PS fluid for the ATF+4 and the power steering is working well. It may be that the pump has some wear and the thinner PS fluid bypassed inside the pump and it is fairing better with the thicker oil.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 10:32 AM
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Here's the rotor vent I'm talking about. This is an outside vented PHP rotor. For an inside vented rotor that opening will be on the other side of the rotor (back).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rotor Vent.jpg (24.6 KB, 6 views)
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 10:33 AM
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And all 300m Specials have PHP. Unless yours isn't really Special.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Saved me a huge headache

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post
Here's the rotor vent I'm talking about. This is an outside vented PHP rotor. For an inside vented rotor that opening will be on the other side of the rotor (back).
You know you just saved me from buying the wrong thing. I was about to order the rotors and just noticed the email. So I quickly went and checked and the vent is on the front as in your image. Thanks!

So now the question.... where do I find those rotors and in a pinch do the base rotors work? Do the special use the same brake pads as the base?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 04:12 PM
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Pretty much any auto parts store will carry them. I think the last set I put on with ceramic pads came from Advance Auto parts.

The only LH cars that I'm aware of that use a different brake pad compound would be the Police/Heavy Duty versions. Otherwise the Special uses the same pads as a Standard 300m, etc.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 04:37 PM
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Basically the pads are the same fit/are physically interchangeable on all our cars - I mean, when you are replacing them, you're going to put whatever pad material of your choice regardless of the pad material that came on them from the factory. IOW - if you like a particular brand of ceramic pad, that's what you're going to get, or if you prefer semi-metallic pads, you'll get a certain brand/part number regardless of what exact brake package your car came with.

To see what the inside-vented rotor looks like, go here: RockAuto
and click the thumbnail on the right of the page to open it up, then repeatedly click the right or left arrow at the top of the photo to flip it around to different views.


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 05:47 PM
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Semi-Metallic compounds have a lot of dust. "Ceramic" compounds have lower dust and in my experience pretty low wear rates on the rotors.

I've had aftermarket outside vented PHP rotors and Ceramic compound pads on my Special for over 3 years now and have no complaints whatsoever.

Note that it's a "Crap Shoot" for aftermarket parts nowadays. I'll bet if I purchased the same part number from the same store today...I most likely wouldn't get the same quality part I purchased 3 years ago. Parts "Made In China" have really eroded the market confidence for a Quality.

Big thing on CheapAzz rotors is the metallurgy where there are "Hard Spots" on the rotor that lead to warping during normal everyday braking. Spending twice as much from the same store doesn't guarantee a better quality part either.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 08:44 PM
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Also just for shits and giggles check the markings on back of wheels to see if offset is listed, might be 37, 40, 43 etc.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 08:58 PM
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