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Brakes are fading fast


maitai11's Avatar
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12-03-03, 06:23 PM   #1  
Brakes are fading fast

Aloha,

1988 Camaro, 5.0, Vin E Throttle Body Injection........131k mi

Brakes have gotten VERY spongy and are unreliable at times. I know I have a bad caliper in the front.......Have had it now for a couple months. I do have two new calipers that I will install over the weekend, but I'm wondering if this sounds more like a master cylinder failing. As I said, the problem is intermittant and generally occurs at slow speeds. I have a full master cylinder and there are no leaks that I can detect. Not sure if its just me, but I do hear a more pronounced "Whooosh" when I hit the brakes. If I stab quickly, it takes time for the brakes to finally do their job.

Should I replace the calipers first, then see? Or are my symptoms more pointing toward replacing another components?

Please help!!

V/R

Maitai

 
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billys68ss's Avatar
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12-03-03, 07:16 PM   #2  
First..... What do you mean you have a bad caliper? Why is it bad? You say you have no leaks and you hear a swishing sound. Sounds like power booster to me. With brakes you need to repair the obvious first.... If you know you have a bad component then replace that first and see if it corrects your problem. It is very important to repair brakes as soon as you notice a problem or sooner for that matter. Regular maintenance is important to keep components from premature failure. You dont want to be driving along and they fail.
Billy

 
maitai11's Avatar
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12-03-03, 07:21 PM   #3  
Billy,

Thanks for the reply and I know, it's embarrassing to not have taken care of the problem sooner........

I believe I have a stuck driver's side caliper because everytime I hit the brakes I hear a knocking sound coming from that area. My front end components are completely new and I can reproduce the sound by applying the brakes lightly or heavily....

Does this help?

Maitai

 
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12-03-03, 08:22 PM   #4  
Maitai,
Usually when a brake caliper locks up it does so with the brake pads against the rotor. This will not cause a knocking noise, but eventually a grinding noise as you will not have any brake material left on that side. (I did a brake job like this this morning as a matter of fact) Plus the car will pull to one side, providing the suspect caliper is on the front. The knock sound is probably coming from a suspension component. See if you can reproduce the sound by bouncing or rocking the car. If you can put it up on a lift or a jack..... tug on the wheel and see if you can see any abnormal movement. The only movement you should get will be the side to side of the steering mechanism.
Hope this is helpful to ya,
Billy

 
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12-04-03, 03:55 AM   #5  
Sounds like your diagnosis could be jumping top some conclusions. Many different things could be happenning here. The knockind sound could very well be an extremely distorted rotor. Now, why is the rotor distorted? That could have come from overheating due to a sticking caliper. The mushy pedal could be from boiling brake fluid in that caliper. There are quite a few things that should be examined by a professional. Brakes are not something that should be diagnosed with advise from a forum. Someone knowledgable should take a look. You may be able to make the repairs after that but lets get the diagnosis right first.

 
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12-04-03, 09:31 AM   #6  
second that...

...brakes are nothing to SWAG over the internet...take it to a pro and get a complete brake system inspection and evaluation and then decide if you can tackle all or part of it

 
maitai11's Avatar
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12-05-03, 08:58 PM   #7  
Thanks.......

Thanks to everyone who provided input. The problem was a bad brade booster, which was a b**ch to get in and out.

Let me clarify on this caliper thing. I can reproduce the sound from a dead stop, in park.....only it's a little less pronounced. These are most probably original calipers, and ALL the front end components have been replaced. I did attempt to replace the old with some rebuilt ones; however, BOTH sides leaked like sieves despite replacing the copper colored seals provided with the calipers on both sides of the banjo fitting. The hoses are not the problem (6 mo old), and did not leak a drop when i reluctantly put the old calipers back on. In spite of having all new components married up to the caliper, it seems that the mating surface on the new calipers are somehow not able to seal, even though I increased the recommended torque by 5 or 10 lbs.

I appreciate your concern. Just so you know, I do have a mechanic friend who I seek advice from. Personally, I've pulled engines and trannies and done a lot of other work in between.

Maitai

 
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12-05-03, 09:01 PM   #8  
Also.......

When I said "Dead stop" in the above post, I was referring to sitting in the car, in park, and pressing the brake pedal with the car running.

 
cheese's Avatar
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12-05-03, 11:19 PM   #9  
I agree, that doesn't sound like a bad caliper...it sounds like missing anti-rattle clips or something like that. Maybe worn caliper bolt bushings.


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