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Is the Grand AM brake upgrade worth it? by Threedog
Started on: 09-14-2015 07:14 PM
Replies: 51 (3591 views)
Last post by: Frenchrafe on 06-29-2023 12:26 PM
spirit
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Report this Post10-13-2015 07:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spiritSend a Private Message to spiritEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have the Grand Am brakes on just the rear (Haven't got to the front yet) and it helped some. Replaced the booster with a S-10 and it really helped. next is the Grand-Am up front. Just waiting for the front pads to give out.
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solotwo
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Report this Post10-13-2015 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by spirit:

I have the Grand Am brakes on just the rear (Haven't got to the front yet) and it helped some. Replaced the booster with a S-10 and it really helped. next is the Grand-Am up front. Just waiting for the front pads to give out.


My question to you is, have you changed the master cylinder?
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spirit
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Report this Post10-15-2015 08:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for spiritSend a Private Message to spiritEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
No I haven't changed the M/C. Would it help? and what would I change it to?
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olejoedad
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Report this Post10-15-2015 08:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Steve, the G/A calipers are from the late 80's.

Since you have an 87 Fiero, use 87 G/A calipers so that you can remember what year....
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solotwo
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Report this Post10-15-2015 09:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for solotwoSend a Private Message to solotwoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Steve, the G/A calipers are from the late 80's.

Since you have an 87 Fiero, use 87 G/A calipers so that you can remember what year....


Ok for the front . Car has 88 cradle.
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olejoedad
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Report this Post10-15-2015 10:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well, yeah, duh!

If you ever go to larger diameter rotors, use 88 calipers all around, as they would require adapter brackets anyway.

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 10-15-2015).]

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82-T/A [At Work]
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Report this Post06-27-2023 01:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Old thread, but wanted to add my two cents. It seems like you can no longer get the Grand Am brake upgrade. They used to sell a kit on the Fiero Store, and this is what I purchased years ago and installed on my Fiero:




I've never used them, as this is literally how it sits right now in a storage unit where it's been ... basically since the date on this picture (essentially, about 13 years), lol.

The reason WHY I got them though, was that I had really significant overheating problems with my 87 Fiero SE / V6. So, the last time I routinely used my Fiero was in the late 90s and early 2000s. It's largely been in various states of disrepair since then as I went on with life. But during that time, I was in my late teens and early 20s, and I drove like an irresponsible version of someone that age would. By the time I got home, my brakes would be literally smoking in the front.

I had a relatively stock V6, with a bunch of general upgrades (exhuast, port matching, throttle body, blah blah). So maybe a solid 150hp.

I went through about three sets of rotors from 1996-1999, where they would often warp. It got to the point too where sometimes they would glaze over when hot, and I almost couldn't even stop... like my stopping distance increased two-fold. It was really, really bad. Like at one point, I'd have both feet on the brake trying to get it to stop and the car would casually roll to a stop the brakes had so much brake fade.

Then I switched to cross-drilled rotors (not vented). The Fiero Store offered these a while back, they had literally commissioned someone (if I remember correctly) to take factory stock rotors (AC Delco or whatever it was), and had them cross drilled per the specific side. After this, IMMEDIATELY all of my problems went away. I never had brake fade again, ever again. Note, they never made vented rotors because the rotors simply aren't thick enough to support a vented option with these brake calipers.

There are plenty of aftermarket kits now on the internet that offer cross-drilled rotors (not vented), and for nearly any application that doesn't involved a significant motor swap, you should be just fine swapping out the front rotors with cross-drilled.

EDIT to say, I ended up switching to the Grand Am brakes when I started restoring my car, but I haven't yet put it back on the street... so I can't say how good they are. I also replaced the brake booster with the one from the Chevy S-10. I did not have to beat on the frame with a hammer. It just fit.

[This message has been edited by 82-T/A [At Work] (edited 06-28-2023).]

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Dennis LaGrua
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Report this Post06-27-2023 09:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just refresh the braking systems on my Fieros, using all new calipers, rotors, S10 booster and Master Cylinder. The car has good braking action.
As for the Grand Am brake upgrade. It raised too many questions about its suitability. Say if you put GA calipers on the front and not the rear, this might offset the braking balance. If I did all four then the MC would probably need to be upgraded as well.You would also lose the parking brake and I wanted to keep that. For safety sake to keep my insurance coverage active and the state happy I just go with new stock parts and add the S-10 booster. I am not saying that the Grand Am upgrade would not work but it posed too many unanswered questions for my comfort level.

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PhatMax
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Report this Post06-28-2023 06:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PhatMaxSend a Private Message to PhatMaxEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My 85 has the grand am fronts. Have been on there for 15+ years. It’s not bad but not sure it’s better than the stock set up. Car did not get driven hard. Seems to stop pretty well. Just replaced with new Grand am parts. Put around 35k on the first set up….only changed the calipers because both bleeders snapped off….Rock auto had them for $60 delivered for the pair.
As they work well…not sure it was worth the effort.
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Frenchrafe
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Report this Post06-28-2023 04:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FrenchrafeSend a Private Message to FrenchrafeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have Grand Am calipers up front and Seville calipers on the back. All discs are Grand Am (Slotted + cross drilled.)
Plus the S10 booster. The system was done several years ago with the objective to use the stock wheels. (Not easy to pass non stock wheels on inspection - contrôle technique.)
No, it doesn't stop all that great; you have to push hard with your foot.
But it does not brake fade or overheat as much on trackdays.

If I was going to do the braking system again today, I would probably make a whole load of custom parts and try to fit Subaru brakes or something equivalent, that I can source more easily in Europe.

------------------
"Turbo Slug" - '87 Fiero GT. 3800 turbo. - The fastest Fiero in France! @turboslugfiero
https://youtu.be/c4Cu7_2OgYc

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82-T/A [At Work]
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Report this Post06-29-2023 10:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Frenchrafe:

I have Grand Am calipers up front and Seville calipers on the back. All discs are Grand Am (Slotted + cross drilled.)
Plus the S10 booster. The system was done several years ago with the objective to use the stock wheels. (Not easy to pass non stock wheels on inspection - contrôle technique.)
No, it doesn't stop all that great; you have to push hard with your foot.
But it does not brake fade or overheat as much on trackdays.



Hey TurboSlug... would you say that braking power was increased / stopping distance decreased over and above the stock brakes? Or was the only real benefit a reduction in brake fade? Would you say the braking performance (except for fade) decreased over stock? Or was there at least a moderate improvement in performance?


Thanks!!!
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Frenchrafe
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Report this Post06-29-2023 12:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FrenchrafeSend a Private Message to FrenchrafeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi @82-T/A [At Work],

Slightly less stopping distance, but not what you call remarkable...
I hardly ever lockup the wheels in dry conditions. As well, I have to anticipate my turns on the track.
It was the fact that I'd overheated the solid rotors/discs on the first track session after the 3800 swap that I decided to go with vented discs.

On every day driving, one doesn't use the brakes as much, so between what I've got now and what it was like before, I can't really say that there is a difference.
It's just the S10 booster and master cylinder that makes it a little easier to push. (Less force needed?)
That kind of makes up for the increased weight of the car with a 3800 and a turbo hanging off the back!

Like I said before, if it wasn't for keeping the stock wheels, I'd go with bigger calipers and the largest discs that I could fit behind the wheels.

Regards,
Rafe

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"Turbo Slug" - '87 Fiero GT. 3800 turbo. - The fastest Fiero in France! @turboslugfiero
https://youtu.be/c4Cu7_2OgYc

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