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brake caliper question

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BobbyBJr

Guest
Hello,
The other day I was bleeding the brakes on our Vette because they were spongy and the cars pulls to the left when braking and one of the bleeder ports broke off when I tried to loosen it. My question is, "Can I get that thing out and replace it or should I go ahead and look at new calipers?" I had to replace one of the rear calipers within the first month we owned the car because it developed a serious leak and I wasn't interested in rebuilding when the local auto parts store had them on the shelf. I have been thinking I have air causing the pull to the left, although I guess it could be a caliper sticking. We drove the car this weekend more than we have in sometime and I believe the pulling to the left actually improved the more we drove it, so I am thinking possibly one is sticking afterall. I might just replace the other rear one and see if that helps. Any advice??

thanks,
Bobby
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Bobby,

The pulling could also be caused by brake fluid leaking onto the rotor via the pistons - mine did that. As for getting out the broken bleeder, good luck. I removed one once by hammering a narrow screwdriver in it and it came right out; some others may have much better solutions for that one though.

Without knowing any other details on age, mileage, etc, I would say replace the calipers - I'm not one for rebuilding them. You said you got a caliper from a local shop, was it stainless steel sleeved? If at all possible you should go with stainless for longevity and safety.

Good luck to you. I'm also in the midst of some heavy duty break work myself so I you have my sympathy.
 
I

inferno-vette

Guest
Machine shops are experts in this and I used to work in one during high school, so get a counterclockwise drill bit and with low rpm drill untill it starts to loosen. Sometimes doing it by hand it's better, but if it's rusted you should do it with power. Remenber to put your drill in reverse!
Paul
 
M

mgms_1968

Guest
One other thing you can try is go to sears (craftsman) and try there NEW screw extractor system.

I have not used them yet but they look very good.

I would try that first my self.
 
B

BobbyBJr

Guest
mgms_1968 said:
One other thing you can try is go to sears (craftsman) and try there NEW screw extractor system.

I have not used them yet but they look very good.

I would try that first my self.

Thanks. Just might check on that. I haven't been to Sears in a while because I have about everything they sell, but this might give me a reason to buy a new tool....:).

Anyone dealt with Vette Brakes and Products, Inc.? Just found a post about them in another forum and checked out their website. It looks like they about have brakes covered. I ordered a catalog to give them a closer look. Any comments?

thanks,
Bobby
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Vette Brakes

Vette Brakes and products is a VERY good product. The O-ring style calipers will help keep the rotor runout at bay. (Product ID: 22200O)

In case you don't know, corvette rotors have very small tolerance (.005") or something crazy like that. If runout exceeds this spec the original calipers will actually "pump" air into the brake system causing spongy pedal and pulls to one side. The Vette Brakes O-ring syle caliper does not have this problem. The caliper is sleeved and the O-ring design maintains contact all the time, even with rotor runout above spec.

The original caliper design uses a chevron style seal that requires constant pressure to keep the brake fluid in the caliper. If you ever store your corvette for more than a month at a time, the pressure slowly bleeds off and the calipers will eventually start to leak. Not so with the O-ring design. It is able to keep the brake fluid in the caliper.

Now, having said that, the O-ring brake kit costs ~$459 + $200 core charge. Also, you have to ship your original, rebuildable, non-sleeved cores back to Vette Brakes to get your $200 core charge back. With the $30 for shipping your brakes to them, it will cost ~$489 for all 4 calipers, pads, hardware, rear trailing arm lines, rubber brake lines, and fluid.

Conversely, the same setup (except original style calipers not O-ring) from Stainless Steel brakes sold by www.martelbros.com will only run about $425 including shipping your cores back.

If you love your baby, BUY THE VETTE BRAKES O-RING CALIPER KIT. If you don't have the extra $60 to spend, then get the Stainless Steel brake kit A109 from www.martelbros.com
 
M

mgms_1968

Guest
Funny that you mention Vette Brakes hardware etc.

Let me give you my experience with Vette Brakes.

I have a 1968 vette with a brake system that was basically shot. I had two calipers that where leaking and all the rotors where warped, heck the rotors where the original equipment, i.e. rotors are 34 years old.

After looking around for replacement components I looked at Stainless Steel Brakes Corp (www.ssbc.com) also looked at going with a complete Wilwood system (i.e. full race set-up) and Vette Brakes. After considering cost installation (I did not want to be fabricating a bunch of hardware to make everything work). I selected Vette Products X-treme duty o-ring calipers (where the calipers are brand new) and their Sport Rotor upgrade kit.

The Sport upgrade package include 4 rotors that are slotted for venting gases and they have been cryogenically treated, this make the rotor tougher and more resistant to heat induced warping of the rotor. Also with the kit are a set of performance brake pads, 4 stainless steel brake line and high temp brake fluid.

The calipers where great and they installed with out any problems.

The rotors on here great also but I had a problem with one rotor. Also the rotors are directional rotors after they have been slotted and therefore they only can be installed one way. When the rotors arrived their where NO instructions with the rotors. ;stupid

As always it was the last rotor (front right hand side) that I was installing, I noticed that it would rub against the spindle. :j After measuring the rotor and comparing it to the original rotor and the new rotor from the left side I determined that the rotor was not manufactured correctly. This a quality control problem with the manufacture not so much as vette brakes themselves. :hb

So I called Vette Products and told them what is happing, let me say that their customer service was excellent. After describing what happened etc, they decided to ship me a new front right hand rotor. Well a week later I get a rotor via UPS and guess what it is a left handed rotor, I needed a right handed rotor. :( So back on the phone and they said sorry and sent me a right handed rotor, this time 3-day delivery. When this one showed up it was the current rotor and it also fitted correctly. :crazy

One last thing worth mentioning was then when installing the rear caliper with the brake pads in place it was a pain in the a*&. I called vette brake again and they said to remove the shim plate that is glued to the brake pad, once I did that the brake pad slid right into place. :hb

So my advice to anyone looking at the brake system for their car from vette brakes would be to have them fax you a copy of the installation instructions and also ask them if their is anything else you should know about for your particular year car.
It would have been nice to have received the correct rotor the first time and also a note about removing the shim plate from the brake pad prior to installation. :eyerole

So far I have been pleased with my brake system, I just finished the job last weekend 4-28-02 and took the car for a spin around the block. This weekend I will be taking the car out for a long drive and really see how the brake work. I will post my results about that sometime next week. :bu :_rock
 
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mgms_1968

Guest
I forgot to mention one last thing.

After all that happened with this brake job and Vettee Brakes, I still plan on using them for my suspension upgrade parts. Just now I have a little more experince with them I will be asking for installation instructions prior to ordering parts so I can see if their are any question that I need answers to first.
 
A

acmsal

Guest
replace in pairs

I've always replaced calipers in pairs. Both fronts or both backs!!
 
B

BobbyBJr

Guest
Re: replace in pairs

acmsal said:
I've always replaced calipers in pairs. Both fronts or both backs!!

Yeah, I sort of thought that, but when I had only had the car a few days and the one started leaking, I just changed the one to see if it would work and it did, for a while anyway...:).

Thanks for the comments and info. Quite frankly, the Vette Brakes o-ring style don't seem that bad really. I paid about $100 for the one caliber when I changed it and if I can get the entire kit for under $500 it sounds okay with me. I have ordered their catalog and I just might give them a call and talk it over, but unless something or someone changes my mind, it sounds like a good deal to me.

thanks everyone,
Bobby
 

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