Installed all new brake hoses, rotors, calipers and brake pads, bleed the system, took the car out several times and the brakes still soft or spongy. Is this the nature of the beast or can I improve them.
I bleed them in this order -- Passenger rear, driver's rear, Passenger's front' and driver's front. As far as how they feel. I can place my foot on the pedal and apply the brakes, the pedal does not go to the floor, I would say there about 2" between pedal and floor. But I want to pump them because they seem to go to far down. I drive a truck with power brakes and after driving it then drive the Fiero it seems like the brakes go down further than they should, maybe it just me. Am I thinking they should be more like the power brakes or all I really want is the brakes to be more full. In other words apply the brakes and the pedal goes ONLY half way to the floor.
down on the bottom center of most PFF pages, there is a small pile of links. one of them is "Ogres Cave". go there and look into rear brakes or rear brake adjustment.
excessive pedal travel is usually a sign you need to use your hand brake more. and many folk dont have working handbrakes, so you may need to get back there and hand crank the hand brake lever a few times to spool it up
What pads did you use? Pads can have a surprising effect on pedal feel, leading to a feeling of excessive travel or sponginess. In my experience, the generic "lifetime warranty parts store brand pads" are about the worst for this, making otherwise nice brake systems feel terrible.
I don't remember the bleed order off hand, but the driver's side rear is the furthest away from the master cylinder.
yes, it is. but, it does share the line to the rear, and TEE off at the passenger rear wheel. so, yes, ideally, it would be drivers rear, then passenger rear. being a shared line, for full confidence do them twice, to make sure common air pockets near the TEE do go back 'n forth.
I think the idea that using the parking brake somehow adjusts the rear calipers is a myth. However, I can say with full confidence that having the parking brake cables properly adjusted DOES affect brake performance. Make sure those cables are there, adjusted, and working!
Bleed order: Driver Rear (furthest because the brake line goes back to a T and runs across the trunk to the drivers side) Passenger Rear Passenger front Driver front
Since you did the hoses... Did you use new crush washers and torque to spec? It is possible that you aren't getting a good seal and sucking air back into the caliper.
After that I would say possibly the master cylinder.
I had a blue 87 GT that I could not bleed to save my life. Sold the car at a loss because I was so pissed. New owner said that he just bleed them and it was fine. Started driving the car right away. Makes me scratch my head when I think about it...
Are you getting vacuum at the booster, and does it hold vacuum? How old is the brake fluid, did you flush the lines? Cheap pads or good metallics?
After all that, is your bleeding allowing air back in? I use a quart jar to catch the fluid when I flush the system. I remove the bleeder screw, coat it with copper anti-seeze, reinstall it and hook a hose from the bleeder to the bottom of the jar. After you get some fluid in the jar, it stops the air from being drawn back into the wheel cylinder when you let off the pedal pressure. It works for the clutch too.