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post #1 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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To run dust shield or not run dust shields

So I did my lower ball joints and based on my buddies "race cars don't run um" theory I didn't put the dust shields back in when I reassembled everything.

Do they serve any real purpose? I know they could help keep mud and rocks away from the rotor but on the flip side they can also trap mud and gunk against the rotor.

Any imput?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 02:52 PM
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Just about every manufacture spends time and money to install them. That all costs money, I'd imagine they certainly serve a real purpose figuring how much they knock pennies out of each car everywhere they can.

If it's to keep water off hot rotors through puddles, mud from getting inbetween the pad and rotor, whatever it may be...I choose to leave 'em!

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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I lean toward some sort of liability issue with why manufacturers all use them, until someone gives me a good reason to think otherwise.

Offroad race trucks don't use them, can't get much more extreme service than that.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 03:37 PM
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They also only run for limited periods. I doubt they are too worried about rotor life.

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 04:02 PM
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Off-road and race vehicles also tend to get new sets of pads and rotors after each race- does your rig?
They don't run them to ease maintenance, and to reduce unsprung weight. Unless you plan on servicing your brakes regularly (think weekly), or live in an area with no rain, snow, ice, dirt, etc. (A.K.A. NOT CO ), they're worth it.

The purpose of dust shields is to keep crap (debris, water, mud, sticks, etc.) out of your rotors and calipers. If you're off-roading, they are absolutely worth it. After a big wheeling trip, it's not awful to pull the rotors and calipers off (not disconnected, but removed from the hub) to get all of the crap out of there.

As a former race mechanic (more on the driving side, but I often had to perform my own services when I was racing on my own), I can tell you- when minutes count, yes, it's fine to live without dust shields and other non-essentials. For my daily driver, I wouldn't dream of living without them, especially on something I wheel- Mark W.

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 04:17 PM
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I've never run them on any of my Jeeps. One of the first things I take off.
I feel that they do more damage when they get bashed on a rock and bend against the rotor, or when a bunch of mud gets trapped between there and grinds against the rotors...
Never had any problems without them.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 04:36 PM
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I hear your point, but have to say, it's easier to bend them back, or swipe out the mud than to deal with the damage that can be done to the rotor and caliper by a rock with nothing in the way. They're not MUCH in the way or armor, but every bit helps! Especially when you're a big dummy like me out there Mark W.

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post #8 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 04:45 PM
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I think it's gonna come down to what you prefer. Personally, I see more cons then pros. And I've never damaged a rotor on any Jeep. But that's just my opinion.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still not sold. There isn't a shield on the outer side, just as much mud and debris can come through from that way when I go through a mud hole. I still think it likely to do more harm than good, traping mud, sticks, rocks or what ever up agains the rotor until it wears/falls out. And really, who, unless somethings making a noise or drawing attention, is going to pull it all apart after a wheelin trip to just check.

As far as offroad race trucks, a baja 1000 truck sees more abuse in one race than a normal wheeler sees in a year or more.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 05:05 PM
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That's because you have the rim spinning to keep things out on the outboard side. As far as having them inboard I would suspect to keep water and oily nasty splash water from getting as much on the rotor and reducing braking ability. As far as it goes I'm keeping mine on as I lost enough brake performance bumping up to 35's and don't want to chance it.

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post #11 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrider View Post
I'm still not sold. There isn't a shield on the outer side, just as much mud and debris can come through from that way when I go through a mud hole. I still think it likely to do more harm than good, traping mud, sticks, rocks or what ever up agains the rotor until it wears/falls out. And really, who, unless somethings making a noise or drawing attention, is going to pull it all apart after a wheelin trip to just check.

As far as offroad race trucks, a baja 1000 truck sees more abuse in one race than a normal wheeler sees in a year or more.
And again, as I stated, those trucks get new pads and rotors after nearly every (if not every) race.
As for not checking, laziness or dilligence is up to the end user. Sure, I'm not the best about checking every nut and bolt, but it takes all of a minute to check for crap between the rotor and dust shield. Taking the rotor and caliper off after a big trip is all of another five minutes per axle. That's only if you want to be 100% sure there's nothing back there. 99.9% of the time, a hose-down and visual inspection will tell you all of what you need to know.

Obviously, what you end up doing with your rig is up to you. I simply, as always, post based upon my own personal knowledge and experience. I tend to baby my rig in terms of maintenance, and aim for overkill in terms of protection and prevention. As was stated above, the OEM's put them on every car that comes down the line, from Ferrari to Kia, from Rover to Suzuki. They're there for a reason- Mark W.

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post #12 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 06:46 PM
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I like to live life on the edge.... running without my dust shields tells people that I am a dangerous man.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 06:50 PM
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^Like a man without stem caps Mark W.

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