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Old 11-10-2022, 11:27 PM   #1
spock345
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Default Solid to vented front rotors, worth the upgrade?

I've got a 1980 car with solid front rotors, would it be worth the upgrade to vented rotors? What would I need to do the swap?
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Old 11-10-2022, 11:46 PM   #2
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My 242 has solid front rotors and I've yet to heat them up too bad doing quite spirited driving. Pretty sure it's just rotors and calipers but someone else can correct me if I'm wrong.

My 76 will be getting vented but that's because I have the whole stut assembly to swap out
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Old 11-11-2022, 12:56 AM   #3
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If your 242 is running solid rotors then my wagon would probably be fine with them given that is is just a B21F. At this point the question is really do I put more cash into nicer rotors and pads, or go with more pedestrian pads and rotors but shell out for a set of the right calipers for vented rotors?
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Old 11-11-2022, 08:26 AM   #4
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Changed mine on the V8 wagon years ago [ '91]. You will need rotors and calipers, I cross drilled them also, I have put 275K miles on them since.
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:59 AM   #5
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Literally all you have to do is just get the different calipers and vented rotors. I put vented rotors on my car a while ago, if you have a commando chin spoiler and 15 inch alloys Volvo recommends vented rotors. Vented ones also don’t warp as easily so there’s that
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:35 AM   #6
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Literally all you have to do is just get the different calipers and vented rotors. I put vented rotors on my car a while ago, if you have a commando chin spoiler and 15 inch alloys Volvo recommends vented rotors. Vented ones also don’t warp as easily so there’s that
This car has no chin spoiler and runs steelies. Mostly I just want to know if there is a miraculous difference or if it is more marginal. The calipers are good so I am tempted to just slap new rotors and pads on and call it a day.

The only thing I am worried about is whether there will be a difference hauling stuff with the car.

Last edited by spock345; 11-11-2022 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 11-11-2022, 12:55 PM   #7
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If it ain't broke..... Also you run the risk of getting air the system and you know how TBers complain about getting all of the air out on a caliper change.
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Old 11-11-2022, 12:56 PM   #8
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If it ain't broke..... Also you run the risk of getting air the system and you know how TBers complain about getting all of the air out on a caliper change.
Yeah, I really just wanna do a brake fluid flush, slap new wear parts on it, and go. Introducing air to the system would be a pain.

But if there is better enough braking to be had it might be worth the hassle.
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Old 11-11-2022, 01:50 PM   #9
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Can’t say I noticed a difference in braking performance as in shorter stopping distance but my brakes we’re definitely less squishy after a long drive and solid discs warp much more easily than vented disks. If you’re going to be hauling those brakes will see a lot more heat so I’d just swap to vented rotors if I were you, just to be safe, all you gotta do is find a set of calipers and you’re set
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Old 11-11-2022, 02:52 PM   #10
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Whilst we're on the topic, how can you tell if the calipers you find in a box, off the car, are for solid or vented rotors?
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Old 11-11-2022, 04:09 PM   #11
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I don't know the measurement. But the opening in the caliper for the vented rotors is slightly wider for the vented rotor. Also the pins holding the brake pads are longer than the solid rotor version.
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Old 11-11-2022, 04:20 PM   #12
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There is a notch in the cast iron that prevents the caliper from fitting over vented rotors. You literally could not mix them up when installing. The furthest edge of the opening where the caliper runs will be significantly narrower on the solid disk version. I can measure the opening on solid disk calipers tonight, I’ve got an extra set
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Old 11-11-2022, 06:19 PM   #13
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Please do, thank you
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:02 PM   #14
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Non vented calipers
Opening for disc, should barely be able to see behind the caliper how the metal is notched


Opening for pads


Almost forgot to mention when you decide to swap calipers also buy the pad hardware because like Dave said the pins in the caliper for vented rotors are longer so they wont reach all the way across.

Last edited by Radtap; 11-11-2022 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:20 PM   #15
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Here's the thing, you can't have brakes that work TOO WELL.

The solid rotors were adequate for street use in 1975, playing bumper cars in traffic while waiting for your daily ration of fuel.

The cool thing about vented rotors is their ability to manage heat. Heat is a big factor for brakes, and keeping your brakes in a target temp zone for the specific pads and rotors you selected. That keeps your pads and rotors happy, and you don't experience fade, or boil fluid, or reduces the risk of warping a rotor.

If you drive like a grocery getting granny, like 100% of the time, then sure, just replace your wearables and keep going down the road. Otherwise, it's a VERY minimal investment to pickup a used set of less undesirable vented calipers, and buy yourself the benefit.

It really just takes one marginally spirited drive on a hilly/twisty road, or a LONG descent down a mountain pass. Next time you come to that stop at the end of the hill and start smelling what might be your brake pads, you'll think about it.

OP, you live close to Mines Rd. Yeah, get the Vented setup.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:01 PM   #16
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Here's the thing, you can't have brakes that work TOO WELL.

The solid rotors were adequate for street use in 1975, playing bumper cars in traffic while waiting for your daily ration of fuel.

The cool thing about vented rotors is their ability to manage heat. Heat is a big factor for brakes, and keeping your brakes in a target temp zone for the specific pads and rotors you selected. That keeps your pads and rotors happy, and you don't experience fade, or boil fluid, or reduces the risk of warping a rotor.

If you drive like a grocery getting granny, like 100% of the time, then sure, just replace your wearables and keep going down the road. Otherwise, it's a VERY minimal investment to pickup a used set of less undesirable vented calipers, and buy yourself the benefit.

It really just takes one marginally spirited drive on a hilly/twisty road, or a LONG descent down a mountain pass. Next time you come to that stop at the end of the hill and start smelling what might be your brake pads, you'll think about it.

OP, you live close to Mines Rd. Yeah, get the Vented setup.
Mines road is where the Amazon goes out to have fun. This car is just a grocery getter and furniture hauler. It all makes sense though.
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Old 11-11-2022, 10:43 PM   #17
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Mines road is where the Amazon goes out to have fun. This car is just a grocery getter and furniture hauler. It all makes sense though.
Even better!

I'd love to see a Amazon out there...well even more so, get vented brakes on your 240. There's just little sense in spending the money for pads & rotors for a lesser setup. You're a trip to the yard and about $75 away from having better calipers. The money for pads and rotors is constant no matter what you do.
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Old 11-12-2022, 12:00 AM   #18
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Even better!

I'd love to see a Amazon out there...well even more so, get vented brakes on your 240. There's just little sense in spending the money for pads & rotors for a lesser setup. You're a trip to the yard and about $75 away from having better calipers. The money for pads and rotors is constant no matter what you do.
There is one yard near me with an '89 240. Let's hope those calipers are still there.
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Old 11-12-2022, 12:42 AM   #19
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There is one yard near me with an '89 240. Let's hope those calipers are still there.
odds are in your favor
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Old 11-12-2022, 12:42 AM   #20
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There is one yard near me with an '89 240. Let's hope those calipers are still there.
You're in the most privileged part of USA when it comes to RWD Volvos in junkyards.
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Old 11-12-2022, 01:10 AM   #21
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You're in the most privileged part of USA when it comes to RWD Volvos in junkyards.
The 740s and 940s seem more common these days within a decent driving radius (less than an hour). 850s and early S70s are stupidly common.

240s have been less and less common. I remember when I could always find one in the yard a couple years ago.

Good number of 240s up near 122Power though.
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Old 11-12-2022, 01:16 AM   #22
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The 740s and 940s seem more common these days within a decent driving radius (less than an hour). 850s and early S70s are stupidly common.

240s have been less and less common. I remember when I could always find one in the yard a couple years ago.

Good number of 240s up near 122Power though.
the volume of Volvos in the Bay Area is astonishing.

There hasn't been a RWD volvo here, in the desert, for months. Then, a 164 lands the other day
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Old 11-12-2022, 01:23 AM   #23
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the volume of Volvos in the Bay Area is astonishing.

There hasn't been a RWD volvo here, in the desert, for months. Then, a 164 lands the other day
Less than there used to be though. Same with the older W123 Mercedes. I remember tons of 240s and 740s when I was growing up in the south bay. Many now sit unused waiting for the crusher.
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Old 11-12-2022, 01:31 AM   #24
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Looks like some good pickin's to me...

https://www.picknpull.com/check-inve...ip=94901&year=

I relish in the days I'd walk past a dozen 240's in Windsor...could of had your pick of nearly any usdm headlight/grill setup you wanted.
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Old 11-12-2022, 10:47 AM   #25
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Looks like some good pickin's to me...

https://www.picknpull.com/check-inve...ip=94901&year=

I relish in the days I'd walk past a dozen 240's in Windsor...could of had your pick of nearly any usdm headlight/grill setup you wanted.
That's a lot, I'd be picking those every week.
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