I have been researching brakes for my 88 base. I am getting a little confused though, all the auto parts stores list the front and rear pads as different. Mostly they have decent brands for the rears and econo-crap brand for the fronts. Then while reading on the fiero store it says that the front and rear are interchangeable what is the truth? Are the pads the same or not?
'88 Fiero pads and rotors are the same, front and rear. "All the auto parts stores" around here list them correctly. The premium Wagner Thermoquiet part number is MX378, and a lot of other manufacturers seem to include "378" somewhere in the part number. '84 through '87 are different.
[This message has been edited by Marvin McInnis (edited 07-03-2012).]
Originally posted by Swampthing: Weird, so all 88s use the same pads and rotors front to back? That seems really strange
They use same piston size too but rear has less performance because GM uses a "True" proportion valve to bias the system. (Many have the myth that 88 have no bias...) see my cave, combination valve and other articles in brake section.
------------------ 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. (Jurassic Park)
In regard to brake pads, I found the Hawk HP Plus pads (HB100N) work great. The thing is you have to drill out the retaining holes a bit and shave the backing plate sides about 1/16" It gives us 88 guys another source for great pads. I Autocross the car and this pad is by far the best around. Good initial bite when cool and terrific when hot. Not much dust, excellent modulation, no fade, and rotor wear was good. The car has been on a diet too, down to about 2200# but I have them on a street car (86 GT) and they perform well. The rotors can be turned if within spec. New rotors are available. I bought a set from the Fiero Store and they were not too costly. Advance Auto Parts carries them. I will look for the part number later.
I believe the front/rear pads for the 88's used to be different. Shape/size they are the same, the only difference front/rear was that the rear had the little nubs that engaged the piston to keep it from spinning when the parking brake was used. Most of the sets I have purchased that were listed for front & rear were missing the little nubs. Never had any issue with them, but I do suspect that at one time they were different front/rear.
As for specific brands/compounds... entirely personal preference.
Just so i am completely clear the front and rears use the same pads despite the different appearing calipers?
The 88 calipers (front and rear) look the same through the wheels and share the same bridge. The piston housing is different (one has parking brake, one is piston only) and the bleeder screws are in slightly different locations/angle. Since the 1988 pads sit within the bridge, and the bridge is the same front to rear, the overall shape of the pads ends up being the same as well.
Now if you are talking about the 84-87 fieros, those years do have different shaped pads front and rear.
[This message has been edited by fieroguru (edited 07-04-2012).]
I just bought the EBC Greenstuff (DP2325) but they don't have the bumps / nubs on the inboard pad for the rear calipers. Reading through the archives here indicates that those alignment nubs keep the piston from spinning so that the parking brake works. Without the nubs then the parking brake wouldn't work correctly. Possibly the "self-adjusting" wouldn't work either.
Does anyone have experience with this? Did your parking brake work fine after installing pads without nubs? I'm trying to decide whether to install these pads today.
[This message has been edited by Jay-ID (edited 07-25-2013).]
Right now on my 88 I have EBC Greenstuffs on the rear , and Delco Durastops on the front. The EBC's do not have the nubs on them, and my parking brake works just fine. It will hold the car at a stop when in gear.
It is not the parking brake that is the problem if you don't have the nubs. It is the auto adjusting for the rear brakes that is affected by not having the nubs. When you actuate the rear parking brakes the nubs hold the piston from turning and then the parking brake actuator can self adjust the position of the brake caliper. The brakes will still work and so will the parking brake, but if the adjusters don't work right there is a little bit more of a lag when you push on the brake pedal as the rear caliper has more room to take up before touching the brake rotor.
I have used some pads that don't have the nubs on the rear and the brakes will still usually adjust, but it takes more effort to get them to do it. Like actuating the parking brake several times until the caliper piston catches properly.
Originally posted by MadMark: I have used some pads that don't have the nubs on the rear and the brakes will still usually adjust, but it takes more effort to get them to do it. Like actuating the parking brake several times until the caliper piston catches properly.
Exactly. After I installed the EBC pads I noticed on the first few drives that the pads made an audible scratching noise whenever I applied the brakes. As it turns out, the pistons did not adjust and they were not applying enough pressure on the rear rotors when I applied the brakes. I had to adjust them using the parking brake. The first few pulls on the parking brake gave no resistance, but after a few more pulls, the pistons got properly positioned. Now the rear brakes work quietly and the parking brake will hold the car.