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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At 53,000 miles on my 2021, it was time for another tire rotatation, so I figured I'd do the brake pads. A few months back I returned the online pads because I felt i had good success with Nissan pads, so...

First removed the driver-front pads and found they looked nearly as thick as the new ones, though the inside pad had a bit more wear. The tabs on the original shims didn't align correctly with the notches of the new Nissan pads, and the new pads didn't come with shims. The original rear shims could not be used with the new Nissan pads due to a metal nub on the backing plate (whereas the originals had a recessed circle). I decided to replace the rears without using any shims, but did not replace the front ones since they were very meaty and might last another 40,000 miles..

With my 2003 MO I recall abandoning the shims at some point without any noise problems. But since we're now talking many models later, I was just curious if anyone had experienced noise issues by not using the shims. I don't recall ever having any noise issues with any vehicle after eliminating them, but I wanted to check before tossing them since I could easily use tin snips to modify them to fit. I just found it weird that Nissan pads would not accept the original Nissan shims. One tab was off by about 1/8" on the front shim.

Attached are pics of the old rear pads that were still fine. All rotors looked and felt fine with no scoring, and I didn't replace them, and the parking brake shoes looked fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I also recall the Nissan pads on my 2003 didn't seem to create much in the way of brake dust that would transfer to the wheels. The Durlast Gold pads I went with around 2016 produced a very light amount of dust that was noticable on the wheels. That's mainly the reason I decided to return the online-bought pads for my 2021 and stick with Nissan. So far, no squeaks in D or R.

As a side note, I almost had a heart attack when removing the lower caliper bolt on the front, since it kept turning really hard and all I could envision was that the bolt was fractured and the metal was getting ready to snap (the upper bolt loosened normally). After about three complete, difficult turns of the ratchet the lower bolt finally loosened, and when I removed it I was surprised at how short it was - I thought for sure it had broken. I finished removing the upper bolt and breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it was also a short bolt. The bolts almost felt like some kind of composite material that's brittle. Definitely be very careful when retightening them. I'll probably get a spare set of caliper bolts just in case. The rear caliper bolts were longer and looked like regular steel.
 
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