Well a genuine thank you is in order to the OP and all the others who contributed to this thread. I am a very happy CL member today and love how this community adds to my LS430 ownership experience (slow Wiser’s Clap). I had developed significant pulsating in the steering wheel and brake pedal while braking and so I replaced all brake pads and front and rear rotors today using this guide and a few other threads where rotors and brakes are discussed. The pads were shot and rotors warped, cut and pitting/flaking/rusting in places. Turning rotors and hoping for the best or using aftermarket parts did not appeal to me when Sewell sells OEM at the CL member prices. Each to their own obviously, but the result of a total overhaul has thrilled me and the peace of mind is nice. I have seen some discussion with respect to bedding new pads and rotors and was surprised. When you see how easily even a finger print transfers to the new rotor surface, I would expect everyone would want to do a bedding process. I would recommend doing this at night and on a freeway or highway to avoid having to stop prematurely. The video link below is not my video and I provide the link for those looking for a general look at how the calipers and rotors come off.
The brake pad replacement has been explained and photographed to perfection so I thought I would add some addtional comments with respect to a pads and rotors job.
1. The design of this brake system is very user friendly. I was initially questioning if I should attempt this and am very happy that I did. Totally doable. Study this thread and the watch the quick vid above and you will be good to go.
2. It has been asked a few times whether the rotor is supposed to be affixed to the hub assembly somehow. The caliper holds it in place and once the wheel is remounted and tightened, the rotor is firmly in place. It may seem odd to not have it bolted to the wheel hub assembly and can be a bit surprising how it is "loose" once the caliper is removed, but the engineers knew what they were doing and it works. Trust the engineers.
3. Related to point 2, the rotors can become somewhat seized on the hub through years of exposure to moisture. One of mine was rusted to the hub (I believe they were the original rotors on my 2005) and required me to give it a few strikes with a rubber mallet to free it. In the rear make sure your e-brake is disengaged to remove rear rotors.
4. Related to point 3, I cleaned up the hub with some steel wool and penetrating oil. A disk on a drill would have been ideal. There was some rust mixed with the previous copper anti-seize which mostly came off. I can see it being an area where you can unnecessarily waste time if OCD takes over and you want it sparkling but for me it was good enough to ensure it was flat with fresh anti-seize and the rotor would sit flush.
5. Have an extension pipe or breaker bar handy. I feel many will need it for removal of the caliper bolts. They are indeed beefy bolts and mine were not going to move at all without me using a portion of the handle from my floor jack to give me an extra 3 feet of leverage on my socket wrench. I also used penetrating oil on them and let that sink in to try and encourage them to free up. You will not have the luxury of being able to use your weight on the socket wrench in the position you have to access them from. Order caliper bolts with rotors, as they are intended to be single use.
6. When replacing the pin and cotter pin, rotate the pin so the hole that will eventually take the cotter pin is facing you at say 45 degrees. I found that this allowed for easy insertion of the cotter pin and then from there you can rotate the pin however you prefer.
7. The method discussed above of using the old pad and a c-clamp to suppress the pistons works perfectly. It also protects the plastic seals of the pistons from being damaged. I would highly recommend considering this method, as it uses the intended size contact surface to push the pistons back. My c-clamp was 4-6 inches I believe.
8. My sensors were not worn and they were relatively easy to remove and add to the new pads. Remember to put the pin through the little metal assembly which guides the sensor wire, so you do not have to back track and remove the pin again to do this like I did.
9. There is the potential that this could take significantly longer than some of the times quoted above. I took much longer than times I saw specified earlier and addressing the rotors in addition to the pads is not as good of an excuse as I wish it was, as it’s all easy and in the same area.
10. Do not do this on a July afternoon, while hungover and wearing a black t-shirt (additional adult sodas did not really cure the hangover but merely delayed it, who knew?). I did get a smile from a pretty neighbour lady.
11. Ensure you use your jack and jack stands safely. Further, gloves and glasses both kept debris and whatnot from where it should not end up today. Earlier this summer a 9mm shell casing found its way into the side of my prescription glasses (a freak occurrence because the opening is tiny), burning a small spot about a centimetre from my left eye. Protective eyewear is always a good idea.
Thanks again everyone and if anyone comes across this and has a question I might be able to answer about the rotor aspect, please feel free to send me a PM.