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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll tell you! I did this experiment in my own laboratory (Ohio to Vegas) and the result is that the brake calipers will continue to grind the pad into a wedge and eventually the pad will get stuck into the caliper and the car won't move at all in reverse.

Was it unsafe? Sorta, I had all of the parts and tools with me on the drive to change the entire braking system and wasn't worried about any danger since I understand the way the braking system operates. Should you do this? Absolutely not, when the brakes start grinding you're already past due and should replace both the pads and rotors. I did this for science and hopefully you got a laugh seeing how destroyed the pad got. I was fully aware of the issue on the drive but as it was January and freezing cold out I felt it was a unique opportunity. Was it stupid? Oh absolutely, I don't condone any behavior such as this and you should never drive cross country with a car that isnt 100% mechanically sound. It ended up lasting about 3000 miles past the original grinding sound, but I personally wouldn't put more than 1000 miles on grinding brakes in an absolutely dire emergency situation. The pad ear grinded itself off over the last few hundred miles of careful low speed city driving around Las Vegas, so for the majority of the drive it was fully intact.

On to the pictures. #flamesuiton!

DISCLAIMER: Seriously don't ever do this, when your brakes start grinding just change them. Pads are like $10 on RockAuto if you're tight on money.


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Wow! What does the rotor look like?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't have it anymore (I actually flew the pad back in my luggage just to post this) but it seemed mostly fine, aside from obvious damage it was intact since they're made of pretty thick metal. If I replaced the pads I probably could have mechanically used the rotors again (with insane braking vibration).

The wedge occurs from one of the pistons (stock 2 pots) gradually wearing down one side over a period of time to the point where the rotor won't spin in reverse as the pad has wedged itself into the space between the brake shoe slides and rotor. The entire braking system was replaced upon arrival on the West Coast.
 
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