Went for a drive down by river yesterday with the wife and put on about 200 miles of normal driving, nothing spirited. When I got home and got out of the car I noticed a LOT of brake dust on the left rear rim. It was late and decided to investigate today. Well, upon further investigation, there's a bunch of brake dust on all 4 corners with the left rear being the worst. I've owned this car for 6 years now and have never noticed this problem, even after spirited driving. The only recent brake work was new pads up front a month or so ago but again, this is the first time I've noticed this problem.
When I first noticed it, I thought maybe the rear calipers were possibly partially dragging and was going to do the Grand Am upgrade but now seeing it on the front also I'm not so sure. I haven't touched the rear brakes on this car but now have noticed the rear pads are getting down there.
Any ideas that I should investigate first??
[This message has been edited by fastblack (edited 08-04-2014).]
"The only recent brake work was new pads up front a month or so ago but again, this is the first time I've noticed this problem."
What was the quality of the pads on the front? Sounds like the rear pads are shot - If your cutting into the rotor that may be the dust you are seeing on the rear. If the fronts are working to hard that can cause excessive dusting. Also check you hoses -----
Forgot to add earlier that my parking brake is not hooked up. Wasn't hooked up when I bought the car (don't know why) and I've never taken the time to fix it. Been in quite a bit of back pain lately but I'm hoping to take a closer look at it this afternoon. Thanks for the replies!
Just a guess from what your saying....you didnt notice it TILL after you had new pads. If a shop done them, Id hope theyd have lubed the slides and mounts. Ill think youll find your new problem is the pads. Use different ones this time and see if it goes away.
Roger: I did the pads myself. Now I'm "sure" I lubed them just because I always do but dang it...now I'm second guessing myself.
Just to clarify, I only did the front pads but this wasn't the first time I have driven the car since replacing the fronts but is the first I've noticed the brake dust. Again, hopefully I can get around to looking at it more closely this afternoon. I didn't get a wink of sleep last night and the back/neck are still feeling kind of tweaked today but I've felt worse.
Right now I'm leaning towards taking the fronts off and lubing them just in case and just doing a Grand Am brake upgrade in the back.
Originally posted by fastblack: Forgot to add earlier that my parking brake is not hooked up. Wasn't hooked up when I bought the car (don't know why) and I've never taken the time to fix it. Been in quite a bit of back pain lately but I'm hoping to take a closer look at it this afternoon. Thanks for the replies!
Cover this in my cave...
unhook cable won't matter if: Caliper still has lever and spring. Piston is good.
No spring can let lever move around cause pad drag. Bad piston won't self adjust. Any method of manually adjust work then need new caliper. Bad piston from iffy rebuild can have internal failures and internal spring will cause pad problem. You often tell this because can't fully retract the piston. Need new calipers.
I did notice that in your Cave when I finally read through it. I didn't get to the car yesterday but feeling much better today so should get to it this afternoon. Thanks again everyone for the replies.
I could understand it being a certain type of pad up front since they're new but the rears are the same pads that were on the car when I bought it 6 years ago.
As for an update, I need the room in the shop to change the tie rod ends on my truck so I can't have a half torn apart Fiero sitting in the way. Trouble is, the local Napa couldn't get my tie rod ends in until Friday so the Fiero gets sat on the back burner. Rest assured, I'll update this thread as soon as I have more info or have found the problem. If there's one thing I hate, it's searching for a certain topic and finding an archived thread on that exact topic and then the OP never finishes it up
If you dont drive it much, are the rotors in good shape or maybe getting a little rusty and chewing up the pads ? It could just be the surface rust getting ground off and just looks like brake dust......I also assume you have the same wheels.
[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 08-07-2014).]
Took the fronts off and greased the slides just to be safe, everything looked normal up there. When referring to my original problem, the fronts had brake dust on the rims, just nowhere near what the rears (especially left rear) had.
Took the rears off and they were tight. When unbolted the caliper was tight enough on the rotor that they moved as one and it took quite a bit of force to remove it from the rotor. That was the left side, right side was not as bad. The slides did move but had more resistance than normal. I did find it a bit odd that the rotor was that loose from the hub since it seems any other time that I've had to replace a rotor, it's taken a bit of persuasion to separate the two. Pads had about 30-40% left on them I would guess.
To answer your questions, I drive the car once or twice a week and the rotor are in decent shape. I've had the same rims on the car since I bought it. They are aftermarket American Racing 16" rims but again, nothing new.
With all of this I'm just going to put Grand Am brakes on the rear and call it a day. The price of GA brakes is cheaper, parts are more readily available, and they're a better brake...win, win, win situation if you ask me.
Originally posted by fastblack: UPDATE: With all of this I'm just going to put Grand Am brakes on the rear and call it a day. The price of GA brakes is cheaper, parts are more readily available, and they're a better brake...win, win, win situation if you ask me.
No, GA rear only is not better. Is a popular Myth that Many believe. Will be big problems and car is never safe to drive when you do rear only. Carefully check state's laws. Many states, Even w/o inspections, no E brake then car is not legal.
Are the problems due to brake bias being off after the swap or are you referring to the lack of e-brake?
Grand Am caliper and rotor are approximately the same price as just the Fiero caliper. I figured since the GA rotors are vented, parts are cheaper, and it's a direct swap it would be a no brainer.
As stated before the e-brake has been inoperable since I bought it so nothing new there and Iowa is pretty laid back in terms of what they'll allow on the roads. I'm sure there is a law out there stating that a car must have an emergency brake but I imagine it's hardly ever enforced. If a cop wants to check mine and writes me a ticket for not having one, I guess I'll buck up and pay the fine.
EDIT Well, I went through everything The Ogre wrote up in his cave about the GA brake upgrade and now I guess I have decided against it. Thanks Ogre for the write-up, I didn't understand half of it but you got the point across
I'm going to get some "new" (probably rebuilt) Fiero calipers for the rear. I may even get my parking brake working, which would be amazing!
[This message has been edited by fastblack (edited 08-12-2014).]
Originally posted by fastblack: Are the problems due to brake bias being off after the swap or are you referring to the lack of e-brake?
Both are issues/problems but you saw cave page.
Order rebuilt at local store w/ good warranty because you can get bad pistons in rear rebuilt. Any savings by order online are wasted if you have to return them, wait for shipping both ways, etc. Get new "pro" rubber hoses... see cave brake service page.
Restoring OE brakes w/ using pro rubber hose and premium ceramic pads, like Wagner TQ pads, does cost but does allot too. New ceramics will take more heat before you see fade problem. (Fade problem for normal driving most time points to caliper problems even when using "old" semi-metallic pads.)