89 LE - Dragging Brakes - Ohhhh, boy, here we go again! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 06-21-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default 89 LE - Dragging Brakes - Ohhhh, boy, here we go again!

Ok, now if anyone can tell me, I need to know what I should do about what happened today with my severely dragging right front caliper. What can I do so that I don't have to replace anything (don't have the money). Should I just take the assembly apart, sand off the rust, clean it all off with brake cleaner, regrease the slider pins and then reassemble? Maybe the caliper won't stick so much then. Something is making it drag, I'm not sure if its a collapsed line or just a bad caliper, but its not a good thing. I can probably afford to get either one line or one caliper, but not both, and certainly not a pair for either side. If the line is definitely bad, would it DEFINITELY have a bulge in it? or not? And is it possible to disassemble a caliper and clean it? or is it better just to get a replacement rebuilt/reman one? I'm thinking about just having the rotors turned and cleaning it all up. And hope for the best. All a good idea? Just running it by the pros for any other ideas that might come up.

As most of you know, these were very expensive brakes, so I'm not real happy about having to replace them, but if its necessary, its necessary. We'll see.

I wish I had a camera to let you know whats goin on, but I can't afford to replace my stolen one.

thanks alot
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:39 AM   #2
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Turning rotors and cleaning exterior rust isn't really going to help your problem. You can probably lube up and free up the sliders as best you can via disassembly, but it will be a stop-gap measure at best if your caliper is seized, you're still going to have to replace it eventually.

Now time to determine if it'* the line or caliper.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:45 AM   #3
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And what would be the best way to do that? Because it releases to a POINT, so maybe if I compress it all the way back, regrease the slider pins and try again then if it still does it, its the line, and if it doesn't then its was just the caliper?
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #4
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Well I just drove it about 30 miles today. The after the first ten miles, there was major visible smoke and then I had to do some city stop and go stuff, after all that I went into a store and allowed it to cool, came out, drove to another place and it seemed like it had gotten a little better, so I had to do alot more driving, so I drove about 10 miles around town, tons of stop and go. Then made a last stop, let it cool completely, and then drove home about 12 miles. On the trip back it felt completely different, like very little to no drag at all whatsoever. When I got home, drove into my parking lot and noticed that it was squeaking REALLY loud with no application of the brakes. Slow rolling, say 5 mph. Well when I parked, the car rolled back with no resistance (like it does when you put it in park), so I went to the back and pushed it forward to see if it was dragging, and really noticed no resistance. Braking feels normal, not fantastic, but normal, and actually, when I got home, after driving 13 miles at about 60 mph, then some hard braking on some tight corners, both wheels felt equally warm. EXCELLENT. So maybe it wore itself down enough for now to work. For now at least. I guess I can put off taking it all apart for a little while. I'll probably do it this weekend. I'm probably just going to take it apart and clean it all up, maybe have the rotors turned, bleed out the front a bit more and hope for the best. I am thinking since so much air got pumped into the lines, alot of moisture got in there and rusted up the caliper or something. Maybe I can get away with just replacing one caliper or one brake hose and have it work again. The left side is still perfect.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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Just read your other post and it sounds like the repair shop is reponsible since you just paid them for brake work.
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:58 AM   #6
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Ok, went and replaced the right front caliper today. After running around places I had to go, I finally got her finished at midnight. Bled and then noticed that the pedal was not as hard as it was with my old caliper on. Took it out for a run, did about 6-8 normal and emergency 60-0 stops on regular road, then did about 4 on a dirt road to test out the brakes for lockup/grabbing and equal braking at lockup. I got off the dirt road to do one more stop before heading back and noticed the pedal had gotten softer than it already was. Travel was about 3/4 TOTAL pedal depth and THEN it would catch and feel normal. So I get her back in the parking lot and get down on the ground and take a look to see what might be going on. I notice that there is a stream of brake fluid lining the right front wheel, right where I put that new caliper on. Not from the line and not from the bleeder valve, but further outboard, looks like its coming from the piston seal itself. I did not take the wheel back off because its almost 1 am and i'm sore as heck, so I'll tear it all back apart tomorrow morning and give you guys the low down. But currently, i'm just a TAD pissed.

Are you supposed to let the calipers break in or something? I mean, I wasn't stopping that hard, I only did one full emergency stop (idiot deer), and the pedal went all the way to the floor for that one. Like, absolutely, to the metal, but then felt ok when I did the dirt lockup stops. Definitely refused to lock em up tho on regular road.

Ugh.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:17 AM   #7
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You may have a new bad caliper. Or it could be a bad brake line, cross threaded brake line, cracked caliper not pressure tested, etc. Was the caliper rebuilt or new? If your pads got wet with brake fluid, they should be replaced.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:51 PM   #8
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well the line was in straight and tight with a new copper gasket. The OE caliper didn't need a gasket, but this new one didn't have the same matching lines and all.

this was a reman caliper. I am going outside right now to tear it all apart AGAIN and see what in the hell happened. this is getting really old, really, Really fast.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:37 PM   #9
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Ok, so I just went out today to see what the heck is going on. I took off the right front wheel again and noticed no brake fluid residue. Plenty inside the wheel, but none on the caliper, rotor or pads. I got in the car, and continued to pump the brake (car off), now without the brake booster assisting you, that thing SHOULD feel rock hard. I pumped it, hard, and then it slowly keeps slipping, and then so I pumped it again, and it felt MUCH easier to let it slip this time. Now WITHOUT the brake booster, it feels like there IS a brake booster (rather soft pedal) it feels like it would as if it was leaking somewhere. No leaks...anywhere...confirmed. The right front caliper is NOT leaking, it is NOT blown. So thats fine. The pedal is travelling about 3/4 the way WITHOUT brake booster and THEN it gets hard. When it stops I can still fit my shoe underneath it, so its still pretty far from the floor. The fluid level in the MC res is NOT dropping. What does this mean? Master cylinder now?! The cheapest MC is $40 and a $12 core! This just isn't HAPPENING. I have no money left for that. Please, someone tell me what it might be OTHER than the master. I really don't wanna deal with that!
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:38 PM   #10
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Did you bleed all four brakes.
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