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Old 05-10-2008, 05:35 PM   #1
mk43
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1992 SL2
Default Front Brakes Not Working

My front brakes stopped working (or at least doing anything noticeable) after replacing a wheel bearing and cv shaft. Both sides had been taken apart. I don't see any kinked hoses, and both calipers were bleedable after I cleaned the bleeder screws. (Isn't there supposed to be a cap on these?) The whole system was bled after replacing the wheel cylinders on the back today.

This was already discussed a bit in my thread about the rear brakes. Should I try unbolting the calipers and flipping them or something? Squareback had mentioned this. I'm not putting the car back up on stands until tomorrow because I've been outside all day today between the Saturn and the drag truck.

Any ideas or info on kinked front line(s)?

...
92 SL2 auto - 93 engine/transmission

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Old 05-10-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
udderslate
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

Just a guess here , but it happened to me long ago .
Likely you pushed the caliper piston in to remove the caliper .
It may have been old/rusty , and siezed .
This happened to me when removing worn out pads .
Squeezing the caliper piston in , for the new fat pads , and the
caliper seized .
You then get either a stuck ON caliper , or a caliper that don't move .

Another thought , is those caliper pins , maybe they are full of crud , and no longer slide ?

Have someone push the brakes , with the wheel off the ground .
You'll know soon enough if they work .

Wayne

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Old 05-10-2008, 11:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

Hmm...I didn't push the piston in, but your comment about the pins makes me wonder... Is brake grease very slippery compared to anti-seize?

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Old 05-11-2008, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

-Well...the brakes sort of work. They seem to move at least a little when the pedal is pressed. They certainly don't grab and stop the car, though.

-The problem is with both front brakes.

-I really doubt that both pistons seized at the same time.

-The hoses are definitely idiot proof upon watching what the hose does when you flip the caliper. Thanks for the suggestion anyway, Squareback.

-I don't know exactly how the caliper pins work, but the top two broke off in the bracket last time they were taken apart, then they were removed using a torch to heat it up. Is it possible that the torch deformed the walls of the cylinder the pins go in and now they can't move? Like I said, I don't quite know the role of these so I don't know if thise could be a problem or not.

-The whole system was bled after I replaced the wheel cylinders in the back.

I really need to get these brakes figured out because it would be quite reckless for me to drive the car as is. If someone ran out into the road in front of me, I wouldn't be able to stop in time. I have the car up on stands right now. I'd be thrilled to check out any suggestion!

...
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

If you let the master cylinder go empty of brake fluid then you need to get the air bled out of the master cylinder. Not fun or easy.

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Old 05-11-2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

Well I don't think it did, but that was going to be my next step. I tested the calipers, cleaned out the holes in the caliper brackets, made sure everything was in right, all that. I took it for a ride, and while I'd say it's definitely driveable, it doesn't quite have enough pedal to stop if it was an emergency. It's raining today, so I'm done outside after having put the brakes back together.

Tomorrow I'll bleed the brakes again. And rather than the X-pattern that is suggested by alldatapro.com and autozone.com, I think (after possibly bleeding the master cylinder) I'm going to try the conventional working your way toward the master cylinder, unless someone says otherwise.

...
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

This part below needs to be understood .

**************************
I don't know exactly how the caliper pins work, but the top two broke off in the bracket last time they were taken apart, then they were removed using a torch to heat it up. Is it possible that the torch deformed the walls of the cylinder the pins go in and now they can't move? Like I said, I don't quite know the role of these so I don't know if these could be a problem or not.
*****************************

My reply to you:
Short story: buy two calipers with brackets .
Does anyone recommend Cardone ? ( $27 ea at rockauto )

Long story:
The caliper bolts pass through the caliper , in a rubber sleeve ,
that is pressed into the caliper .
The caliper bolts ,bolt into the caliper bracket .
This allow the caliper itself , to slide .
Actually the rubber sleeve of the caliper , slides on the caliper bolt ,
that is screwed into the caliper bracket .

When you press the brakes . the caliper piston moves out ,
squeezing the INSIDE brake pad on the rotor .
This causes the caliper to slide on those caliper pins ,
until the OUTSIDE pad pushes on the rotor . Now both pads squeeze .
This is how both sides squeeze the rotor , using ONE piston .
Really cool cars , have dual piston calipers , squeezing on both sides .

SO...those pins need to slide freely on the rubber sleeves on the bracket ,
or you don't get brakes on both side of the rotor .
"Sil-Glide" is a useful lubricant .
But you torched your pins/sleeves...and/or they are rusty ,
and/or your rubber sleeve is toast .

Don't fix them ...replace them .

The rubber sleeves and pins are available for replacement .
called "caliper bushings" at rockauto dot com , $8 each .
..but maybe you need pins too , more money .

Me...I'm going to replace the caliper and bracket
( under 43 each , at my NAPA)
The caliper bracket comes with new pins/sleeves .
I'll get hoses too , to make the install smooth .

Be safe ,Don't skimp on your brakes , so you can post here for a long time .

Last edited by udderslate; 05-11-2008 at 08:02 PM..

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

One thing no one asked but, it matters. Does the car have ABS?

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Old 05-12-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

Well... it's a '92 and I mentioned wheel cylinders in the back, so it can be inferred that since I have drums on the back I don't have ABS, unless I had attempted some weird 98+ (or whatever the year is) drum + ABS swap.

But for simplicity's sake, no I do not have ABS.

Now about these rubber sleeves (talking about inside the bracket, not the dust boots) the caliper bolts go in...is there one for the top (larger bolt) or just one on the bottom? If there was one on the top, it has since been melted into nothingness, and could be the problem.

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Old 05-12-2008, 10:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

There's no rubber sleeve for the top bolt which is the one that tends to rust and seize if not properly lubricated. Have you pumped the brakes to reseat the pads onto the rotors. I always do that after doing anything to the front corners because the piston has a tendency to get pushed in when doing any work.

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Front Brakes Not Working

I pumped the brake about 20-30 times and also drove the car about a mile. Now my rear brakes are making a noise like there's a tight spot every time they go around, like it's out of round or something. (At first they were fine, then after several blocks of driving, they, seem funky.) I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. The car will go back on jackstands yet again today.

Before a pad on the left side in the front would rub every time the wheel went around (after the cv shaft, before the rear brakes) and chirp. That doesn't happen anymore. I'm getting close to the point of stumped but if after bleeding the system thoroughly today it isn't better, I might have to replace the calipers or something.

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