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Brake issue(s) on my new '86 GT by Rsvl-Rider
Started on: 03-29-2015 04:14 PM
Replies: 32 (590 views)
Last post by: theogre on 04-14-2015 11:33 AM
Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post03-29-2015 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just picked up a really nice 86 GT last week. It has some problems but the priority is the brake issue. Or issues, since I'm not sure how interconnected they might be. First off, the brakes feel mushy and have a lot of travel. Braking action and pedal resistance seems fine and then the pedal continues past a certain point where they get soft and find some more travel. They work OK and I drove it 2 hours to get it home without incident. The other issue is the emergency/parking brake. The hand lever travels nearly to the limit before encountering resistance and still does not hold the car.

I've never worked on brakes before but I was confident I could deal with the parking brake issue since it seemed more mechanical than hydraulic. Perhaps not? Anyway, the equalizer looked kinda mangled and I thought I could deal with this issue before tackling the power brake issue. I installed a new Fiero Store equalizer last night and have been working on the adjustment using the many references here since then without success. I can get slight improvement in the brake drag when turning the wheel by hand but not near enough to hold the car.

I have not addressed the hydraulic side other than checking the brake fluid level. There is a ton of info here, and in the cave, but I'm not sure what, if any, interconnections there might be between the two problems and which should be addressed first and where to start.

Since I was sure the parking brake problem was mechanical I tried Cliff's adjustment trick http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...110502-2-101506.html but it was all or nothing. Moving the lever by one position resulted in full engagement so that the lever had no more range of motion causing the hand brake lever to max out before pulling on it. But even so it still did not improve the holding ability.

Since there is an almost overwhelming amount of info posted on this topic I really don't know where to start, or where to go from here. All suggestions appreciated...

Here's a pic of the car.




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Gall757
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Report this Post03-29-2015 04:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
wow

your 2 issues are probably connected. Make sure you have good brake pads in the rear to start with.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 03-29-2015).]

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sardonyx247
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Report this Post03-29-2015 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sardonyx247Click Here to visit sardonyx247's HomePageClick Here to Email sardonyx247Send a Private Message to sardonyx247Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post03-30-2015 01:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sardonyx247:

try this
How-To Adjust your E-Brake by sardonyx247



I didn't see that in my search. Thanks for linking it. Might try it next weekend, but might have to hit you up with some questions first...
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Report this Post03-30-2015 01:42 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
"First off, the brakes feel mushy and have a lot of travel. Braking action and pedal resistance seems fine and then the pedal continues past a certain point where they get soft and find some more travel."
May have air in the system, rear caliper problem, or both. Could be iffy MC.

Fix hydro problems first then parking brake mechanical. Not other way around.
Make sure levers at the rear calipers return to their stops.
Like you have more problems then rear pad clearance issues that adjust rear calipers solve by doing any method. If they help, likely need new calipers very soon.

See my Cave, Brake Service and Rear Brakes

"before tackling the power brake issue." Exactly why? As posted above, problems are not the booster or vac line to it.

You need to figure out brake are all stock or PO have "upgraded" the brakes. A lot of "upgrades" causes problems.

------------------
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)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave (It's also at the top and bottom of every forum page...)

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tshark
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Report this Post03-30-2015 07:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You lucky guy. So that's who got that car. Congrats!
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post03-30-2015 12:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by tshark:

You lucky guy. So that's who got that car. Congrats!


I wasn't aware it was offered anywhere. This was a private sale and to my knowledge was not listed anywhere.

I got it from the sellers in the SF Bay Area. Where did you see it?
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thesameguy
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Report this Post03-30-2015 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Did the car sit for a while, or has it been driven? Sounds like you may have some sticky or seized calipers.
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post03-30-2015 02:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Did the car sit for a while, or has it been driven? Sounds like you may have some sticky or seized calipers.


It has 59K original miles so the original owner probably let it sit for a while. The seller I got it from only had it a year but probably got it that way. I think he was overwhelmed with the issues and got ripped off by a mechanic that charged him for brake repairs that never fixed the problem. He also got stranded once with a bad ICM and never trusted it again after that, so he just wanted out.

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Report this Post03-30-2015 04:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'll bet the brake pistons are stuck in their bore. That would explain the funky handbrake phenomenon and might explain the pedal travel issue. I'd start there. Fortunately Fiero replacement parts are cheap!
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Report this Post03-30-2015 06:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

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Report this Post03-30-2015 07:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think you know what I meant and still actually took the time to name some parts fueled by scarcity to upset my statement. Nice.
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Report this Post03-30-2015 08:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

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Report this Post03-31-2015 01:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You replace trailing arms and steering knuckles often, then? Maybe I've been lucky.
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Report this Post03-31-2015 02:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
..,

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

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mmeyer86gt/gtp
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Report this Post03-31-2015 02:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mmeyer86gt/gtpClick Here to Email mmeyer86gt/gtpSend a Private Message to mmeyer86gt/gtpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
you know there is a small gathering of fiero guys here in the sac area btw the 7 of us we have about 30 running fieros.

[This message has been edited by mmeyer86gt/gtp (edited 03-31-2015).]

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Report this Post03-31-2015 02:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have ten myself, but only one of them is a Fiero.
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post03-31-2015 08:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by tshark:


Are the brakes still having issues?


Yep. As I described in the first post. I installed the new equalizer on Saturday and fiddled with the adjustment of it most of Sunday. So there seems to be more to it than just the equalizer. I've gotten a few suggestions from this post so I'll be getting back to it again this weekend.
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Report this Post03-31-2015 08:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Rsvl-Rider

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quote
Originally posted by mmeyer86gt/gtp:

you know there is a small gathering of fiero guys here in the sac area btw the 7 of us we have about 30 running fieros.



Then it's true that it's not which Fiero you have - but how many Fieros you have!

I've only ever seen a few here in Roseville. Do you guys get together as a group sometimes, or make a run now and then?
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Report this Post04-05-2015 09:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's an update...

Sunday afternoon and finally got a chance to work on the brakes today.

I went out and got a brake bleed kit and after going through quite a bit of brake fluid I was finally able to clear the lines of air. Although I had never done it before I was surprised at how much air was in the lines. By the time I was done the brake pedal felt great. No more mushy feel and the pedal felt good with no excessive travel. I was feeling great!

But it had no affect on the parking brake issue so I decided to press on and tackle that too. Unfortunately there was no change even after making the necessary adjustments.

I pressed on and disassembled the left rear caliper and was checking the operation of the piston and following the process detailed by Sardonyx247 in this link...

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...2/HTML/134054-2.html

While I was attempting this procedure the assembly fell apart in my hands. I had used the c-clamp to bottom the piston (but I'm not sure if it had actually bottomed) The c clamp was tight and I assume the piston was at it's limit. After I removed the c-clamp and was attempting the adjustment procedure the piston suddenly popped out of its position forced out by the large spring.

I guess I don't understand what holds the piston inside the caliper with that big spring pushing against it. I don't see anything that holds it in position.

And I don't know how to tell when the piston is fully seated when using the c-clamp.

Any help or observations are much appreciated.
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Report this Post04-06-2015 07:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CajunClick Here to Email CajunSend a Private Message to CajunEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just completed Getty my '86 GT's brakes sorted. That was a 20 plus month project. Lots of good suggestions fom a number of Forum members. None of them really worked in my particular case. I bled the system multiple times, replaced right front caliper, and a master cylinder. Bear in mind I had pretty good brakes but just not to my liking!

About two ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and attack the rear calipers in an effort to resolve my brakes issues. In my case I followed instructions found in Ogre's Cave. Sure enough, the driver side rear caliper was not working correctly. Replaced that caliper, followed Ogre's instructions, problem gone.

Oh, by the way, my GT is Red also.

Good luck with your brake issues. Patience in dealing with Fiero brakes is necessary.
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Report this Post04-06-2015 07:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CajunClick Here to Email CajunSend a Private Message to CajunEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cajun

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I just completed Getty my '86 GT's brakes sorted. That was a 20 plus month project. Lots of good suggestions fom a number of Forum members. None of them really worked in my particular case. I bled the system multiple times, replaced right front caliper, and a master cylinder. Bear in mind I had pretty good brakes but just not to my liking!

About two ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and attack the rear calipers in an effort to resolve my brakes issues. In my case I followed instructions found in Ogre's Cave. Sure enough, the driver side rear caliper was not working correctly. Replaced that caliper, followed Ogre's instructions, problem gone.

Oh, by the way, my GT is Red also.

Good luck with your brake issues. Patience in dealing with Fiero brakes is necessary.
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Report this Post04-06-2015 07:56 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
If you read my cave... It tells you how to know when compress the piston fully.

The piston can pop out w/o the lever and nut on the screw. Can try reinstall but careful or seal(s) will leak after.

The piston can pop when piston is bad. Smaller spring inside piston can to that when back cover on piston is weak.
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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post04-06-2015 09:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

If you read my cave... It tells you how to know when compress the piston fully.


Yep, my bad. I was under information overload with so much advise and so many sources to read, and I was anxious to press on before the weekend was over.

So, another lesson learned...
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Report this Post04-06-2015 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So now that I have fallen on my sword, maybe someone can explain this to me.

There is the piston in the caliper that has a big strong spring pressing it outwards with no retaining hardware keeping it in there. So what was keeping it in there after the parking brake nut and lever were removed and before it popped out? Was it some kind of suction created by the brake fluid that kept it in place?

[This message has been edited by Rsvl-Rider (edited 04-06-2015).]

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Rsvl-Rider
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Report this Post04-13-2015 11:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OK, I got the LR piston back in fine with no damaged seals or leaks. Got the rear brakes bled and parking brake adjusted but still no joy. The brake pedal felt great and the parking brake had added resistance to the pull but once it came off the jack stands it was as if nothing had changed.

On the chance that the soft pedal and long travel is due to the front brakes I plan to bleed them as well. All the guidance indicates it's more efficient to bleed the brakes when the rear is on jack stands. So here is my question. Can I have confidence that I can eliminate air bubbles when the front of the car is on jack stands?
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Report this Post04-14-2015 12:12 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
Jacking etc on level ground doesn't matter to bleeding.
Just jack only enough to remove tires.

Please use [img thumb] on big picture.

The seals and boot usually will keep piston in place while you work. If you leave then put seal level and nut or the spring can push out. You don't need full torque of nut but enough to stop the spring. New/rebuilt calipers usually have nut and big washer to hold part in place.

If the piston will push out easy then the seals might be bad even w/o leaking issues.

Air in front? maybe.
Front calipers won't cause low pedal. spongy/soft pedal yes w/ air in system.
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Report this Post04-14-2015 12:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Jacking etc on level ground doesn't matter to bleeding.
Just jack only enough to remove tires.

Please use [img thumb] on big picture.

The seals and boot usually will keep piston in place while you work. If you leave then put seal level and nut or the spring can push out. You don't need full torque of nut but enough to stop the spring. New/rebuilt calipers usually have nut and big washer to hold part in place.

If the piston will push out easy then the seals might be bad even w/o leaking issues.

Air in front? maybe.
Front calipers won't cause low pedal. spongy/soft pedal yes w/ air in system.



The piston did not push out easily. It was my first experience with brakes and calipers and I think I pushed it out while fiddling with the parking brake lever.

What is {img thumb} ?????

I was concerned about the level after reading in the cave that it's best to bleed in a nose down attitude due to the angle of the master cylinder. But, I just went out to check and it looks level to me.

http://fierocave.home.comca...ierocave/brakes3.htm
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Report this Post04-14-2015 01:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LaFierteSend a Private Message to LaFierteEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Do you have the rubber piece that goes in the master cylinder seated properly? It is there to prevent sloshing back and forth that can introduce air. I accidentally didn't have mine seated correctly and I had that problem. Also, a little off topic, have you looked into the brake hoses? If they are original they are bound to be a little mushy-er than new. I'd recommend the stainless steel aftermarket ones for a really nice stiff brake pedal. You'll also have more of a consistent stiffness over the travel since they don't flex nearly as much as the rubber ones (hydraulicly).
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Report this Post04-14-2015 01:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LaFierteSend a Private Message to LaFierteEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

LaFierte

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Also when you are bleeding the brakes, you should be doing the pass rear, drivers rear, pass front, and drivers front. Basically, farthest from the master cylinder to the closest, otherwise you can just be pushing around air.
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Report this Post04-14-2015 02:18 AM Click Here to See the Profile for SlammedClick Here to Email SlammedSend a Private Message to SlammedEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
WRONG

Driver rear is farthest from the master cylinder in a Fiero
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Report this Post04-14-2015 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LaFierteSend a Private Message to LaFierteEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Right off the ogre's site "The preferred wheel sequence for bleeding is Right Rear, Left Rear, Right Front, and Left Front." also suggested in the manual.
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Report this Post04-14-2015 11:33 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 Slammed:
Driver rear is farthest from the master cylinder in a Fiero
Correct... But Bleed Order often does not = farthest from MC. GM Bleed order is to give fastest time to bleed.
 
quote
4. If it is necessary to bleed all of the calipers, the following conventional sequence should be followed:
a. right rear
b. left rear
c. right front
d. left front
Source: 87 FSM, page BRAKES 5-9


 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:
What is {img thumb} ?????

I was concerned about the level after reading in the cave that it's best to bleed in a nose down attitude due to the angle of the master cylinder. But, I just went out to check and it looks level to me.
MC is not level when car at normal ride height on level ground. Jacking might help if MC suck air, like MC ran out of fluid, to bleed the rear because Air can get trap in the Fiero MC as shown in "MC Pain."
Should not be needed in front bleeding because MC front outlet is high point of MC.

Normal bleeding doesn't need jacking for MC to be level.

If MC didn't run out of fluid then could be have bad MC and big seal is leaking air into system when you release pressure and MC return to rest.

What is {img thumb} ????? You now have [img] Add thumb to shrink picture. If people want to see big picture then they just click on it.
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