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Information I have learned about a Grand Am Brake Upgrade and Blazer Master Cylinder by zkhennings
Started on: 07-09-2013 08:46 AM
Replies: 17 (1619 views)
Last post by: zkhennings on 08-20-2013 02:04 PM
zkhennings
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Report this Post07-09-2013 08:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So I recently completed my grand am swap. I used calipers and rotors from a 87 grand am, and the master cylinder from a full sized chevy blazer (I think it was a 94 but I will check). I bought AC Delco Heavy duty rotors, and Performance Friction brake pads. I also bought Russel SS Brake hoses.

First off, when buying reman calipers, check to make sure the surface that the compression washer crushes against is still grooved or at least flat. I had to exchange a caliper that would not seal because of this. This is especially important with iron calipers which rust and wear away, where our fiero calipers are an alloy and hold up much better.

So paint your calipers. There is this G2 kit on ebay, an epoxy brake caliper kit for 35 dollars shipped. I am going to get it to paint my calipers, because at the moment they are painted with rustoleum caliper paint which is horrible and I don't recommend it, it chips and takes 24 hours to dry before you can add a second coat. G2 kit takes 4 hours to dry once mixed and is good to around 1000 degrees F.

When installing SS brake hoses, be careful about kinking, and move your mounting brackets around for the brake hose/ bend the brake lines to accomplish this so the hose is not being bent at a small radius when installed. I also bought "cushion clamps" from summit to hold the lines in place, they have rubber cushions that won't ruin the braid of the hose.

Brakes work great, they are at all 4 corners. Haynes manual specifies 39 ftlbs on the banjo bolts, I did 49 ftlbs just to ensure the washers crushed fully. With copper washers you can anneal them to make them softer if they have been sitting for a long time (which they probably have) by heating them up with a torch and then cooling them in water. This will make them seal better. I used the aluminum washers that came with the russel lines, they worked great as is.

Regarding the Master Cylinder, put it in a vice to pry off the reservoir. You need to swap blazer reservoir with the fiero one because of the fluid amount allotted to front vs rear. The blazer reservoir will fit under the hood, it is not a fitment issue. I used a huge flat head to pry it off. It seems like it will break but it doesn't, it is decently flexible. Then, the seals on the outlets will come up with the reservoir, they pry off easily with a smaller flat head. Put the new seals in the new MC, and then press the fiero reservoir in. It is really easy compared to putting the seals on the reservoir first and then trying to insert into the MC.

I bench bled the MC in the car. It was really easy with the provided plugs. I am not sure how necessary it even is if you gravity bleed like I did. Around 3 hours of gravity bleeding total.

The Blazer MC is a little too big for the grand am brakes. I have around an inch of pedal travel until the pedal stops moving. I will be getting a smaller MC, I will edit later once I find out which one. (Edit to say that ones the pads settle and everything is broken in the Blazer MC is fine)

This thread is not a how to, just tips and tricks and info I picked up that I did not see on the forum when I was researching for the brake swap.

[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 08-19-2013).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post07-09-2013 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have the Fiero MC. The piston sizes are not all that different.

The biggest improvement is the S10/Blazer brake booster.

Good post

Arn
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zkhennings
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Report this Post07-09-2013 12:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When you see them side by side the blazer MC appears significantly larger. I am sure my lack of pedal travel is accentuated by the hoses.

I just wanted brakes that don't fade, at the moment with the stock booster I can lock up the brakes if I push hard, I have never driven a car with the booster upgrade, but I would not want the pedal to be TOO easy. When I heel toe in the fiero it is nice and smooth, in the 98 Honda civic we have, it is never smooth when I blip the throttle, I always give extra brakes by accident too. Now I am not sure if it is just because I am used to the fiero or a difference in pedal heights, but it feels like part of it is just because it is so easy to push the brake pedal because the brakes are super boosted in the honda.

[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 07-09-2013).]

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Arns85GT
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Report this Post07-09-2013 01:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Arns85GTClick Here to Email Arns85GTSend a Private Message to Arns85GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry I wasn't more exact in my response. I was referring to the caliper piston sizes. The GA's are a bit bigger, but in my experience you don't need the bigger MC.

The bigger MC in theory should give you less pedal travel.

The bigger booster though, makes it more of a power brake feel, but it is not twitchy or sudden "on" feeling.

Arn
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Boostdreamer
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Report this Post07-09-2013 02:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BoostdreamerClick Here to Email BoostdreamerSend a Private Message to BoostdreamerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had to file and polish the sealing surface on my aluminum calipers to get them to seal. No problems now.

Be VERY careful about how much torque you put on the banjo bolt. I thought extra torque would help the sealing but all it did was strip the caliper threads. Had to return that caliper and start over.

Here is a pic of my caliper after smoothing it down.



From this thread:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/127129.html

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olejoedad
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Report this Post07-09-2013 03:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The preferred master for the GA brake setup is the early 90's S-10 Blazer, not the full size. Pedal travel and feel is similar to stock, good brakes, very little fade under hard use conditions.

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 07-09-2013).]

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Report this Post07-09-2013 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yea using a torque wrench it is about 1/2 turn further than the 39 ftlbs setting. I need to find a machine shop and get them all milled down. When I remove the calipers for painting again I will look into this. It should be cheap. Maybe could even do it in the drill press with a milling bit.

And I was always under the impression from the search function on the forum when I bought the parts that it was the full size blazer master cylinder you need, specifically not to buy the 2wd s10 blazer one.

Now I know that information is wrong (DO NOT USE FULL SIZE BLAZER WITH GRAND AM) and just wanted to share it in a thread that should come up in many searches. I might keep the blazer one for now, it is interesting to push so little on the brakes (distance wise).

Edit to say Full Size Blazer WORKS FINE

[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 08-19-2013).]

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crgkstnr
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Report this Post07-09-2013 07:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for crgkstnrClick Here to Email crgkstnrSend a Private Message to crgkstnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
"I used the aluminum washers that came with the russel lines, they worked great as is. "

I did too. A Michigan winter or two and there was a leak. The aluminum washers had corroded. I replaced them with copper.
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Report this Post07-09-2013 07:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Maybe you did not read the very first post here? http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/128879.html


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Report this Post07-09-2013 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:

The Blazer MC is a little too big for the grand am brakes. I have around an inch of pedal travel until the pedal stops moving. I will be getting a smaller MC, I will edit later once I find out which one.

With the Blazer master cylinder, there shouldn't be any slop in the pedal. Also, if the master cylinder were too big, there wouldn't be any slop in the pedal. Instead, the pedal effort would be increased. The slop in the pedal suggests either the master cylinder bore is too small, or there's still air in the system.

I went a similar route with the brakes on my Fiero... Grand Am hardware on all 4 corners with braided stainless lines. I didn't swap out the master cylinder until later, though. With the Fiero master cylinder, there was a lot of slop in the pedal. The brakes were also pretty "grabby". After the slack was taken out, the brakes would suddenly grab really hard. I accidentally locked up the brakes a couple times, because of this. It made me nervous. So I decided to swap in another master cylinder.

People in the forum suggested the S10 Blazer unit, so I tried that. I'm not sure if the parts store gave me the wrong part or what, but the S10 Blazer unit they gave me looked and acted just like the Fiero unit. So I swapped that out for the full-size Blazer unit. That got rid of the slop, but increased the pedal effort too much. So I installed the S10 booster. Now I'm finally comfortable with the braking system.
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Report this Post07-10-2013 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Hudini:

Maybe you did not read the very first post here? http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/128879.html



Haha no I read it, it was just way too late by that point, I bought it in May from rockauto for 27 bucks so I figured I would try it out. I like it, it just might not be for everyone. I am still getting used to it.

Blacktree, you misunderstand me, I have 0 slop. My pedal moves maybe an inch and a half from brakes off until brakes locked. I might do the booster upgrade because pedal effort is definately increased.

[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 07-10-2013).]

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Report this Post07-10-2013 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

zkhennings

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quote
Originally posted by crgkstnr:

"I used the aluminum washers that came with the russel lines, they worked great as is. "

I did too. A Michigan winter or two and there was a leak. The aluminum washers had corroded. I replaced them with copper.


Ill swap to copper when I remove the calipers for paint I guess, thanks for the info
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Report this Post07-10-2013 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by zkhennings:

Blacktree, you misunderstand me, I have 0 slop. My pedal moves maybe an inch and a half from brakes off until brakes locked. I might do the booster upgrade because pedal effort is definately increased.

Oops, my mistake. In that case, you should be good to go after the booster swap.
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Report this Post08-18-2013 11:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for InfernoClick Here to Email InfernoSend a Private Message to InfernoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So the route to go here would be S10 MC and Booster? To increase breaking? Would this be a good upgrade for a Stock Fiero GT? If so what model year S10?

Thanks
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Report this Post08-19-2013 02:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
No, the S10 master cylinder is not for the stock Fiero brakes, only the Grand Am brakes. However, the S10 brake booster will work for ANY brakes, stock or upgraded. check this thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/072173.html .

Also, if you don't like making the changes to the booster manually you can buy it already converted:
http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum4/HTML/060500.html
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zkhennings
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Report this Post08-19-2013 10:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Also I have to update this by saying the Blazer MC works great once the pads settle in. I get around an inch and a half of travel which feels like plenty, effort is definitely increased but pedal feel, movement, and pedal height is all great, and an S10 booster would probably fix the pedal effort.
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Report this Post08-20-2013 01:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hdryderClick Here to Email hdryderSend a Private Message to hdryderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
zkhennings,

Do you have a part number for the Russell SS brake hoses you used?

Thanks for the write-up.
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zkhennings
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Report this Post08-20-2013 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zkhenningsSend a Private Message to zkhenningsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by hdryder:

zkhennings,

Do you have a part number for the Russell SS brake hoses you used?

Thanks for the write-up.


http://www.summitracing.com.../pontiac/model/fiero

Here you go
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