Hey guys. I have bought them, hey are great. I live just about 7 miles from their office. I posted this on the Edmunds site. It was in response to a guy who was quoted about $1000 (US) to fix his brakes.
lok888: The cost of $1000 for brakes is way beyond riduculous. I obtained from r1concepts in Anaheim Hills, CA, drilled and slotted, OEM grade, front (2) and rear (2) rotors and ceramic brake pads for the front and rear for $325.00-including tax. I installed them myself (2 hours). The reason I went with drilled/slotted is that when on a trip to Death Valley last winter (cool weather) with no towing the steering wheel began to shimmy from brake heating when descending the long steep grade from Towne Pass to the valley floor. The rotors did not warp. Now, the Sorento brakes are pretty well spec'd as far as rotor diameter and thickness with double piston calipers up front. So what's going on? From the reading I have done, the shimmy phenomenon is caused by hot gas coming off the pads and pushing the pad away from the rotor intermittently to vent the gas. Holes drilled through the rotor stops this problem-the slotting is said to give a better bite to the pads, although they may wear a bit faster. At r1concepts it costs $5 extra per rotor for just drilling OR just sotting. Here's how good the new set-up worked: Towing a 3000 lb trailer (no trailer brakes) to Lake Mead in late May with an air temperature of about 100F (there was a heat wave) I used the brakes a LOT harder than at the Death Valley grade and there was absolutely no brake fade or wheel shimmy. The brakes did smell after descending the boat launch ramp at Hemmenway Wash due to heavy brake usage (the lake is about 90 feet below max so the drive down the ramp is long) and, more importantly, low road speed which didn't allow much air flow over the rotors. Others were having the same problem with smell but again actual performance was flawless-the brakes grabbed more as they heated up. It took less pedal effort to stop the Sorento towing that boat than it did to stop the 2003 Dodge 2500 I used last year to do the same job-although its brakes never smelled. All brakes, when used toward their maximum capabilty (power), get very hot and a good brake still performs well when running at the limit. With the drilled and slotted rotors, the disappointing original performance under stress has been completely eliminated.
As for Off-Road, the stock set-up is pretty good. I did the same suspension thing as phoenixrider (OME struts/springs, Toyota front spring spacer kit, LT265/75/16 tires with some wheel well trimming-thanks for the help phoenixrider!). He pioneered the OME kit on this site. The Sorento can now go places that I probably shouldn't.
The Sorento's front drive axle, transfer case, rear axle and the body on frame construction is basically a copy of a Toyota Tacoma pick-up 4x4-thats good. A strange thing is that a Sorento 4x4 has no badging at all to indicate it is 4x4.
I have the OME kit sitting in my room as I type this..I am saving up for my tires before I put it on! DUDE, it is soo nice to talk to someone else with the same lift. Phoenixrider hasd been a great help "formationwise"as I prep myself to do the install.
okey: PICTURES MAN! if you don't mind I would love to pick your brain on just about every aspect of your Kia! Any pics of your ride and close ups of the lift kit installed are greatly appreciated and (requested )
A word of warning based on experience. If your rotors (brake discs) were drilled after the hardening process as many after-market kits are, they will in time develop cracking around the circumference of each drilling. They will need regular checking.
While we are taking about rotors here. Mine are stock. In the past when I have had other vehciles and the rotors were beginning to warp I would feel a vibration in the brake pedal. In the Sorneto when I hit the brakes I dont feel it in the pedal. What I feel is the whole vehicle kinda bucks a little. It dosnt do it all of the time either. Does that sound like the rotors a beginning to warp to you? Or could it be the gases coming off of the pads?
Jonno: r1concepts does the drilling after the heat treating. I hear you about the cracks. I'll be checking. r1Concepts gives a very generous chamfer around each hole and blanchard grinds both sides after they are done. After my trip that got the brakes really hot I rotated the tires. When I spun the rotors there was perfectly even drag over the entire revolution. Even brake rotors I have had turned have had some drag variation due to runout that you could feel when you rotated the disc. So the finishing by r1concepts is top notch and the rotors have no warpage after being used hard.
04 Sorento: What you describe happened to me. While one could call it "temporary rotor warp", I'm of the opinion the guys (Drilled Rotor Mfr's) who theorize the the out gassing of the pads is intermittently pushing the pads away from the rotor are correct. I think once you warp a rotor it stays warped. What I know for sure is that after installing the r1concepts rotors none of that happened anymore even with really heavy braking. The discs are identical to the Kia originals but lack the word "Kia" cast in them. I had to hammer off the originals. I then wire brushed the hubs and put a coating of silver Anti-Sieze (exhaust manifold bolt dressing) on the hub pilot. I adjusted the parking brakes to one click loose from the point that I could not rotate the rotor by hand, so there is a very light drag on the brake shoes. This way the parking brake holds the vehicle on slight grades (driveway) with one click-although it takes two clicks of you lean on the front. The drag power at either rear wheel wouldn't amount to even .25 horsepower at 60 mph. See response to JONNO above for more info.
I have purchased from R1 concepts. The rotor difference on your Sorento will impress you. I have also installed ceramic brake pads to both front and rear axles. You will notice a much stronger brake response but I have not recorded stopping distance to see if they decrease distance. Hope this helps. Wagvfr 03 Sorento 4x4 EX w/ ABS