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'95 Stopping Power and Funny Noise



Still new to vettes. Have owned this one since last Aug. 17,000 miles now. I'm whittling away at little problems one at a time. Just fixed the rear manifold leak well, thanks to you guys advice. Here is the next one I may have to tackle:

When I apply my brakes, just how touchy-feely should the pedal be? With easy around-town driving I notice nothing unusual about stopping performance. Not as cushy as my Bonne SSE, but I don't expect them to be. I've noticed that if I want to haul down quickly from say.... 40mph or so (like pretending to panic-stop), I really have to mash the break pedal to stop quickly. I have yet to lock the wheels up, or activate the ABS even on wet roads. Don't get me wrong, the thing stops reasonably quickly, but I thought the vette brakes would be race-track strong compared to the couch-mobiles I'm used to. Why, I can actually apply both feet to the brake pedal and press as hard as my 165 lb. can and I can not get the wheels to lock up, even in rain. Is this unusual? I've checked the power booster vacuum and it seems okay, no leaks. The front and rear disks look hardly worn. They are smooth as glass. Funny thing though, I notice I'm getting reddish brake dust on the rear wheels, but almost nothing on the front wheels. Another funny thing, I noticed that when I back up and tap the breaks, I can hear a loud click from the front calipers each time I tap them. The other day I had my wife tap the breaks while I rotated the front wheels ccwise (up on jacks of course). The pads were grabbing and moving rearward and downward against the caliper stop pin, even with easy taps. I believe that is what is making that noise but I do not understand why. Can all of this be related?

I hope this is enough info for you guys to help me resolve this. PS - I have not had the front pads off yet to see if they are glazed.

As always, thanks in advance vette-lovers.

Ok,,, lets start from scratch! Check your fluid resovours. If you pull the caps off and the fluid is anything other than CLEAR,,, then it must be changed. Suck out the old stuff, wipe the cups clean and add new fluid. Use a good quality DOT-4 from a new sealed container. Then bleed each wheel cylinder until good clean fluid comes out. (Make sure that you re-fill your resovours frequently so that they dont go dry and suck in any air into your brake system!) (DON'T GET ANY FLUID ON YOUR PAINT) It will stain the finish!!!

If you pump your pedal and fluid squirts up and out of the fluid resovour, you probably still have some air in the system. Keep bleeding. Auto Zone sells a one man bleeder that makes the job easier. ($4.00)

When you have all of that completed, your brake pedal should be nice and firm. No spongieness. A good way to see if the pistons are free in the caliper is to use a pry bar and push the pad and the piston back into the caliper. Then have someone pump the brake pedal and it should smoothly push back out each time the pedal is pumped. If you can't pry the piston back in easily the piston is frozen in the caliper. When the piston is pushed back into the caliper you should be able to push and pull the other side of the caliper and it will (float) from fide to side smoothly.

It shouldnt rattel and shake!!!

Let us know what you find out!

Bill C :)

The noise that you hear is not normal. Its a floating caliber but you seem to have some worn or bad parts. I have an 85 and I think your set up is different than mine.

SEE THE POST "why do I have to pump my brakes" for some other information :)
Thanks BillC-

1. Brake fluid is as clean as baby oil.
2. Both front pistons move cleanly in their bores.
3. Never did have spongy pedal. The pedal is very firm.
4. The noise is due to the back end of the pad bases moving about 1/16" rearward each time pad grabs disk moving the pads rearward against that caliper pin I described to you. When I release the brakes the pads spring back to their original position.


My brakes seems to be stopping fine, but I did run into the same situation with the antilock. The only place I can get them to lock up is on snow. But it does stop fast enough to give me a head rush when dry, with no actuation of the ABS. Also I do not have the original goodyears on the car. I now have BFGoodrich; that may make some difference as to when the ABS will kick in.
For what its worth.

Thanks for the reply Bob. Kinda makes me feel a little better. My car seems to haul down okay, I just thought those double piston brakes would lock the thing up pretty quick. Maybe it is those steam roller wide tires (orig equip).

Do you notice more brake dust on your rear wheels than your front?


All of the disk brake cars that I worked on or have seen normaly have more dust up front. The front brakes have most of the stopping power and nornally wear twice as fast as the rears. Are you sure you have the correct brake pads and correct brake pad compound. If you have too HARD of a compound the pads will last forever, the rotors will wear down before the pads and it will not fade as fast as most but it wont stop as quick either as softer pads... You also stated that the rotors looked shiney. Again I would say you have pads that are TOO hard.
A quick rotor reface and a good set of pads may cure all of your woes.
The last person who changed the pads could have boched up the job and put the wrong pads on, thus contributing to the sloppy pad fit and noise. Maybe you can pull the pads off one side and take them to the parts store and see if they look like what suppose to really be there.

Bill C
Thanks Bill-

I agree with your assessment and recommendations 100%. I'm going to pull those guys off this weekend. I suspect the linings. I talked to original owner and he said he never had brakes apart. Only 17,000 mi. I'm going to scuff them up a bit. I will also compare with a retail set. Thanks for that hint, especially.

Bill C - just had the brake fluid change out this past Wednesday - just as you described. Was charged $120. What do you think? A little high? :confused

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