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Old 09-18-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Brakes no longer locking and sticking

Ever since I bought this gorgeous car last October, I've been having intermittent problems with the right rear brake locking up. Started the first Monday morning I had it on the way to work. Had to stop sort of hard and that tire locked up. (I don't have ABS). Then about a week later it locked solid on me in the parking lot as I went someplace to eat. Got in the car went to leave and NOPE! That wheel locked. I pressed hard on the brakes and even set and released the E-Brake numerous times. Finally it let loose but the brakes were dragging the whole way home. Luckily I was only 4 miles from home. I looked in the reservoir and the brake fluid was this nasty black gray color. OK THEN! Time to change the fluid!

Changed the brake fluid, bled the brakes all by my self (I used Jose Jalapeno'* Idea.. "On a steeeeek"). Let'* just say I got my excersise for the week.Push the brake pedal, wedge the stick between the brake pedal and using a towel so as not to tear the seat cushion, I wedged the other end of the stick on thw towel pushing on the seat, ran around to whatever brake I was working on, open close get up and repeat. Whew!
Anyway, I THOUGHT that solved the problem.... until last Tuesday. As I pull into the parking lot at work I can feel that right rear brake dragging again. That afternoon I try to back out of my parking space. NOPE! Pump the brakes set and release the E brake.. and it finally lets go but drags most of the way home. I come to a stop light and stop. That brake shoe now shutters and shakes the whole car!
Anyway, This past Friday, I left work early. Stupid computers kept freezing on me and then get the Blue Screen of Death (inserts lots of bad words to call the computers) anyway. I can feel the right rear brake dragging again on the way home. This isn't good since I'll be traveling the highways to get home faster..side streets will be jamed with people driving aimlessly causing me lots of headaches.
Ok so I get to the off ramp of the last highway which has a red light. I stop.. brakes shutter and shake the car. I got to go when the light is green and that stupid wheel locked on me again! So screeching tire.. I make it through the intersection, make my right turn and it FINALLY releases. I'm so embarrassed now!
I get the damn thing home, and let me tell you I made up some new and interesting words that day! Yesterday I had other things to do around the house and ignored the car. This morning I got up at 5:30 (since it'* 68 degrees in the morning but by 10 am it'* 90 and my driveway is on the east side). Take the wheel off and am expecting the drum to stick. Nope.. pops right off. Lots of dust and crap in there, but the seals look almost new.
Luckily I have the FSM and like a surgeon, I studied it last night before I went to perform the surgery this morning. Take off the seals carefully, no problem. get the pistons and caps out no problem but I see crap on the pistons. I get the spring out and it has a little crud on the ends but not bad. I look inside the cylinder is full of black crap. Ok so I get that all cleaned out with a crocus cloth and alcohol. Temps are still decent.
I go to put the springs back on and run into trouble. First of all whoever did the brakes put the top spring on backwards which threw me off. Second of all I must have twisted the adjusting head on the left side because the little tab that keeps it from backing off kept coming out of place. Finally figured out that GM made it so it will only go on with that adjusting head on one way. Got everything back together, and bled the brake on that side. Took it over to an empty parking lot and adjusted the brakes (drive backwards and push on the brakes with moderate force but don't slam on them). WOW what a difference!
Fuel up, take it on some highway driving as well as some streets with lots of stop signs and lights. Didn't lock up.
One thing that I have stated before in other posts was that the car was a special make for the customer. His wife hated the car so the car sat most of it'* life in the air conditioned garage. Most of this stuff is all due to age. otherwise the car looks like a car that came off the showroom floor. Still smells new.
Anyway, I thought I would share with you how my Sunday morning went. I'm still ironing out the kinks I've run into as far as the cluster swap but I haven't given up yet.
Hope to read some good comments!
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