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Caliper rebuild or buy remanufactured? by rednotdead
Started on: 04-06-2016 04:07 PM
Replies: 25 (923 views)
Last post by: Silicoan86 on 04-15-2016 01:58 AM
rednotdead
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Report this Post04-06-2016 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looks like the rear calipers on my '88 have both been leaking for some time, rotors and pads have all been soaked. I'll be replaceing it all.

I ordered two $66 apiece rebuilt calipers from Car-ID, but didn't see that they have a 6-8 week wait time - I can cancel that order anytime so now I'm rethinking my options. I have a couple seal kits on hand as well, I may return these too depending on what I decide.

http://www.carid.com/1988-p...lipers-76592539.html
I got these thinking that having rebuilt pistons is better than just using new seals on my potentially damaged old pistons.

I don't have the compressed air necessary to blow the pistons out, but in theory I should be able to manage the rest of the rebuild. Nevertheless my experience level is extremely low and have no dedicated work space (will be doing all repairs in the street if I do it myself). I've replaced the rear struts myself, do oil changes and did the front pads on my '91 Civic hatch but that's about it.

The mechanic Ive contacted that's willing to do this job, is charging 15 to blow out the pistons, 60 to rebuild the calipers only with my kit, or 160 for the works (including pads and rotors). I'm leaning towards having him do the entire caliper rebuild, then putting it all together/brake bleed myself on the street (or maybe the autozone parking lot). I've heard some people have issues getting it all back together, and it wont do to have the car sitting on jackstands out in the street all night while I slowly figure it out.

Finally, is there a reason why the rebuilt calipers on the FieroStore are so much pricier? If there's a difference in quality, is it enough to warrant going from 66 bucks to 110 per caliper (I think it was)?

Thanks in advance, pardon yet another complete novice question.
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Report this Post04-06-2016 05:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Likely rear pistons are bad... You can't rebuild them. (Ignore web site say you can.)
When piston doesn't leak fluid thru front plug... Most are rust frozen. When manually adjust the rear pistons works, example Rear Brake Adjustment notes, the pistons will fail again and likely very soon in most places.

Get rebuilt and buy local if at all possible.
Rebuilt units have problem too and you don't want to deal w/ shipping.

88 uses same piston design as older Fiero but different sizes. (IOW can't use 84-87 pistons.)

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Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
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Raydar
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Report this Post04-08-2016 05:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check out Calipers Online or Fiero Store.
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css9450
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Report this Post04-08-2016 11:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
For an '88?

Rock Auto has several kinds listed.... AC Delco, Raybestos, etc.

I bought mine over the counter at Advance Auto. Worked perfectly, and I didn't have to ship the cores.
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Report this Post04-09-2016 12:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Listen to theogre.... I just went through the shipping both ways with Rockauto. Buy locally and inspect the calipers before you walk out the door.
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fierogt28
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Report this Post04-09-2016 11:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt28Click Here to Email fierogt28Send a Private Message to fierogt28Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Likely rear pistons are bad... You can't rebuild them. (Ignore web site say you can.)
When piston doesn't leak fluid thru front plug... Most are rust frozen. When manually adjust the rear pistons works, example Rear Brake Adjustment notes, the pistons will fail again and likely very soon in most places.

Get rebuilt and buy local if at all possible.
Rebuilt units have problem too and you don't want to deal w/ shipping.

88 uses same piston design as older Fiero but different sizes. (IOW can't use 84-87 pistons.)



Ogre, are you saying that most re-builder caliper shops don't re-build 84-87 & 88 fiero calipers well or properly?

If so, what are they doing wrong??

Thanks,

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fierogt28

88 GT, Loaded, 5-speed.
88 GT, 5-speed. Beechwood interior, All original.

[This message has been edited by fierogt28 (edited 04-10-2016).]

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Report this Post04-10-2016 11:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierogt28:
Ogre, are you saying that most re-builder caliper shops don't re-build 84-87 & 88 fiero calipers well??
If so, what are they doing wrong??
Big problem Many are cheap as possible. Not just calipers.
Many here alone have bad rebuilt parts and when order them online you have often to ship it back, wait 1-3 day min to process, wait ship it back. Try again. have DOA unit or often last a few day or months. If still under warranty then repeat that BS.

AZ and some others order online but can return to any local store. You don't have shipping but many stores don't keep much inventory on 25+ years cars.

Main problems are many rebuild co's:
reuse/"rebuild" the rear pistons, about same as internet directions you find, but rear piston where never to be fix by anyone.
reuse the caliper shell and do little or no work to fix problems. Just clean, Maybe install bleed fix, and the install a seal kit.

Cardone is manufacturer and tries harder but can have problems too.
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rednotdead
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Report this Post04-11-2016 03:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the responses guys - I'll give Advance Auto Parts a shot and see if they have anything in stock for 88 rears - haven't had any luck with brick and mortar stores yet though.

I did check out the FieroStore but their prices are significantly higher than other options Ive seen online. Just wondering if that premium is worth it.
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css9450
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Report this Post04-11-2016 04:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rednotdead:

I did check out the FieroStore but their prices are significantly higher than other options Ive seen online. Just wondering if that premium is worth it.


Remember, Fiero Store does not rebuild calipers; they get them from a rebuilding house just like every other parts store, so they're no better or worse than the others. But buying locally might save a lot of aggravation if one turns out to be bad.

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Report this Post04-11-2016 04:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by css9450:


Remember, Fiero Store does not rebuild calipers; they get them from a rebuilding house just like every other parts store, so they're no better or worse than the others. But buying locally might save a lot of aggravation if one turns out to be bad.


Yes - my hope was that maybe FieroStore demanded an increased level of quality from their suppliers, or their suppliers were better versed in the specific issues with Fiero products (and could thus rebuild them better).
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Report this Post04-11-2016 06:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Fiero Store and Calipers Online both offer NOS "loaded" 88 front calipers.
I have purchased from Calipers online. Got great pieces, but their shipping was kind of haphazard. They seem to be a small, family-owned operation. Not that that's a bad thing.
I would suspect that the Fiero Store "new" calipers come from Calipers Online, but they may already have them on hand. The price may be a bit higher, though.
(I bought some rear 88 poly bushings from Fiero Store. Their shipping time was very quick, compared to Summit Racing. Paid a few bucks more, however.)
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Report this Post04-11-2016 07:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm currently working on this same project myself, and after disassembling the calipers I discovered that fluid leaked past the internal seal on one of pistons. It seems that these seals have been unobtainable pretty much forever since they "weren't meant to be rebuilt".

I was going to wait and post this in a new thread after they arrived to confirm, but I may have found a solution. I spent quite some time browsing various parts websites, and ultimately was able to find a kit on RockAuto's site that shows the internal seal as part of a kit to rebuild pre-88 rear calipers. From what I can find, the piston bore diameters are very close. Depending where you look, the pre-88 is either 1.875" or 48mm (1.890"). The '88 is 48mm (1.890"). There's a good chance that internal seal is the same between the two of them. Others have told me that the internal piston parts between pre-'88 and '88 are the same, only the outer diameters are slightly different.

The seal kit is Centric part number 14362008. This was the only kit that I could find on any website that actually shows the internal seal, and it's actually shown in a couple of pictures on RockAuto as well as the picture on Amazon's website. I ordered a couple of them and they are set to arrive on Wednesday. I'll confirm then whether or not the seal was actually included in the kit and if it is the same seal as the '88. If it turns out to be the real deal, '88 rear calipers will be fully rebuildable and we'll no longer have to rely on poorly remanufactured units.

I'd post a screenshot showing the seal on RockAuto's website, but as usual, PIP is terrible.
Edit: Found a free hosting site, let's try this:

gif hosting

[This message has been edited by Silicoan86 (edited 04-11-2016).]

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Report this Post04-12-2016 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofrenzyClick Here to Email fierofrenzySend a Private Message to fierofrenzyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just bought, and installed, 88 front calipers from Oryles. They work perfectly and were only 30 some a piece. So if they have the fronts, they probably have the rear too.
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Report this Post04-12-2016 06:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rednotdeadClick Here to Email rednotdeadSend a Private Message to rednotdeadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierofrenzy:

I just bought, and installed, 88 front calipers from Oryles. They work perfectly and were only 30 some a piece. So if they have the fronts, they probably have the rear too.


Yeah that's what I thought too - in fact initially I was just going to get them at Autozone, but as it turns out rear 88 calipers are very hard to come by and nobody seems to have them in stock anymore. Maybe the front calipers are a common part found in other vehicles?
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Report this Post04-12-2016 08:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FTF EngineeringSend a Private Message to FTF EngineeringEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Silicoan86:

a kit on RockAuto's site that shows the internal seal as part of a kit to rebuild pre-88 rear calipers.


Wow. If that really turns out to be what it looks like, then that's an awesome find. That might just be a stock pic though and the real kit might not look like that, but I think it's worth buying one or two just to find out!

It's been a number of years since I messed with the piston internals, but IIRC, you nailed it. The outside diameter of the 88 piston is a little larger than the pre-88 pistons, but the guts are the same. I think I've got parts around here that I can use to double check that, but that's what I remember.

You gonna order some?
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Report this Post04-12-2016 09:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FTF Engineering:


Wow. If that really turns out to be what it looks like, then that's an awesome find. That might just be a stock pic though and the real kit might not look like that, but I think it's worth buying one or two just to find out!

It's been a number of years since I messed with the piston internals, but IIRC, you nailed it. The outside diameter of the 88 piston is a little larger than the pre-88 pistons, but the guts are the same. I think I've got parts around here that I can use to double check that, but that's what I remember.

You gonna order some?


Four of them are arriving tomorrow. I'll post an update one way or the other, but If it turns out to be the holy grail, I'll likely post a new thread that's easy for others to find in the future.
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Report this Post04-12-2016 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FTF EngineeringSend a Private Message to FTF EngineeringEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Silicoan86:

Four of them are arriving tomorrow.


Cool. I'll see if I can find my old box of brake parts tomorrow and see what's still in there. I know I've got some 88 stuff and some of the recall stuff, but I'm not sure I have any pre-88 guts anymore. The recall stuff was for pre-88 though, so it should be a suitable stand-in for the pre-88.

If they really do include that internal piston seal, that would be awesome. Won't fix pistons that are all corroded inside, but if the insides of the pistons are just gummy and not corroded, they could be refreshed with that seal.
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Report this Post04-13-2016 01:54 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FTF Engineering:
Cool. I'll see if I can find my old box of brake parts tomorrow and see what's still in there. I know I've got some 88 stuff and some of the recall stuff, but I'm not sure I have any pre-88 guts anymore. The recall stuff was for pre-88 though, so it should be a suitable stand-in for the pre-88.

If they really do include that internal piston seal, that would be awesome. Won't fix pistons that are all corroded inside, but if the insides of the pistons are just gummy and not corroded, they could be refreshed with that seal.
Rebuilding the piston is not just inner piston seal availability... the back "cover" pressed into outer piston. Thin sheet metal won't like being pulled out and reinstalling. Worse, DIYs are using pump pliers and so on to pull them that does damage to the part.

Any issues w/ this cover can cause big problems because of the spring(s).
Inner spring could/will drag the pads when the cover fails... I had "minor" pad drag problem that wrap the rotor in a few weeks w/ these dead one. http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...HTML/134054.html#p21 <ETA--> And that just driving to work ~20 mile round trip that warp the rotor.<end>
If bad enough can cause fluid boil or fires. (Some rear axle fires in archives but I'm not searching right now. Is part of why I dig into rear brake problems.)

Many covers are pushed out when two pistons are frozen. Hydraulic doesn't care when pistons won't self adjust, tries to apply brake, Inner spring can't compress and "blows" cover out.
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...ML/134054-2.html#p44
Spring has what? ~0.3" max? Normal Pad clearance is ~0.015 but when pistons won't adjust and get low pedal problem... Inner spring pressure has to go somewhere else. Weaken covers on "rebuild" piston can fail sooner.

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 04-13-2016).]

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Report this Post04-13-2016 02:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree that you should NOT be removing that cover with a pliers as that will damage it. I have seen this method used online.

The best way is to press it out using the flat end of a 3/16" drill bit inserted through the small hole in the face of the piston. It presses out rather easily in a standard bench vise this way and should not damage or weaken that cover. It's not that tight of a fit.

[This message has been edited by Silicoan86 (edited 04-13-2016).]

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Report this Post04-13-2016 10:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FTF EngineeringSend a Private Message to FTF EngineeringEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Back when I was taking those pistons apart, I used a pin through the hole in the face pressing on the inner piston. I did not use pliers on the pressed in retainer in the back. Even with the pin through the face method, however, I have identified two problems:

1) The recall pistons do not have a hole in the face, so if the pistons are pre-88 pistons that have been replaced through Pontiac's recall process, there is no hole so you cannot use that method. And...

2) The force applied to pop the guts out can crack the thrust washer(s) for the bearing. Didn't happen to all of them, but I had a few washers that cracked. The post recall bearings are better.
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Report this Post04-14-2016 02:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It does exist!

The new seal fits perfectly and is noticeably firmer than the old, I suspect the old seal softened with age. The new one seals beautifully in the piston and I'm confident this will solve the leak. I finished rebuilding both pistons and calipers tonight, and I plan to reinstall them tomorrow. I took a lot of pictures and will create a new thread once everything is finished and back together.

For now, here's a picture.

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Report this Post04-14-2016 02:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Silicoan86

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quote
Originally posted by FTF Engineering:

2) The force applied to pop the guts out can crack the thrust washer(s) for the bearing. Didn't happen to all of them, but I had a few washers that cracked. The post recall bearings are better.


I could definitely see that happening, especially if everything wasn't perfectly aligned as it was pressed out...
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Report this Post04-14-2016 08:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FTF EngineeringSend a Private Message to FTF EngineeringEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow. It's got to be a mistake. I'm sure they don't really know what it is they have in that bag. I wonder if that's a rebuild kit previously available only to a limited audience of rebuild shops and not available to the general public. Because nobody wants the general public taking those pistons apart. I wonder if it's going to disappear again in the future.

Is that a new part number for the rebuild kit, or is that the same old number that Centric has been using for years? In other words... Did they change the rebuild recommendation to a different kit, or did they start including that internal seal in the same part number kit that we had been buying for years?

On the technical side of things, I found some of my old brake piston parts and have verified that the ID's of all the years are the same, but the 88's are larger on the OD. So that internal seal and the parking brake sealing washers in that kit will work for any years, but the dust seal boots won't work for 88. Here's some piston measurements. Note that I didn't calibrate my instruments to a NIST standard before measuring things, so I won't guarantee to a sub thousandth, but these should be good enough:

Outside Dia Pre-88 - 1.872"
Outside Dia 88 - 1.888"
Inside Dia all years - 1.688"
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Report this Post04-14-2016 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FTF EngineeringSend a Private Message to FTF EngineeringEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Silicoan86:

I could definitely see that happening, especially if everything wasn't perfectly aligned as it was pressed out...


I built some disassembly and reassembly fixturing, so it wasn't an alignment issue. Everything was square and held in place straight. I think it was either just too much pressure from the balls against the race when the spring bound up, or maybe the deceleration snap once things gave way and the guts came out.

Just make sure you inspect the washers very carefully. Hairline cracks can be difficult to see. Magnification would be good.
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Report this Post04-15-2016 01:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by FTF Engineering:
Wow. It's got to be a mistake. I'm sure they don't really know what it is they have in that bag. I wonder if that's a rebuild kit previously available only to a limited audience of rebuild shops and not available to the general public. Because nobody wants the general public taking those pistons apart. I wonder if it's going to disappear again in the future.
Could be... Centric made a kit for rebuild firms but not anyone else. You have to figure someone made that seal...
Could be close to running them out and just won't make the kit. RA loves to buy NOS and Closeouts from manufacturers. Closeouts at their level can mean Thousands of units. Could take weeks to months, even years, for RA to sell to the public.
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Report this Post04-15-2016 01:58 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Silicoan86Click Here to Email Silicoan86Send a Private Message to Silicoan86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't know if it's a new kit or not, but it is available from both RockAuto and Amazon (I ordered two kits from both sites...don't ask) as well as a few other places so it's not like RockAuto just bought a bunch of leftover stock from somewhere. It is widely available, at least at the moment.

RockAuto also cross references it to third gen F-bodies as well so hopefully that will add enough demand to prevent these kits from being discontinued any time soon. I actually discovered the kit by browsing for Pontiac 6000 seals since I had read online somewhere that some 6000 models share caliper parts with the '88 Fiero. Turns out that the pre-88 Fiero actually shares parts with the '88 Fiero.

[This message has been edited by Silicoan86 (edited 04-15-2016).]

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