: 1993 Fleetwood front brake problem



mustangdon
03-19-05, 10:46 AM
Hello,

I repaced the front pads and rotors on our 160,000 mile Fleetwood 2 years ago. Every since then, every 6 to 9 months the rotors would become warped and I would get them turned. I finally realized the front pads were not releasing causing the overheating, so I just replaced the calipers and hoses. They still are not releasing while the car is on the lift and not even on the road yet. Has anyone had this problem, and if so what fixed it.

Thanks, Don

N0DIH
03-19-05, 12:46 PM
Hello, I repaced the front pads and rotors on our 160,000 mile Fleetwood 2 years ago. Every since then, every 6 to 9 months the rotors would become warped and I would get them turned. I finally realized the front pads were not releasing causing the overheating, so I just replaced the calipers and hoses. They still are not releasing while the car is on the lift and not even on the road yet. Has anyone had this problem, and if so what fixed it. Thanks, Don

I would first test drive the car on the highway or someplace you can get up to highway speeds, not using the brakes if at ALL possible. Then after a few miles coast to a stop, do NOT use the brakes to stop, use the EBrake if you have to, but make sure yours releases, mine doens't when I am in drive (gotta fix it...). Then get out and check the temp of the front brakes. If they are warm at all, (assuming you did not use them at all), then the warm one is hanging up some. Make sure you are in a safe place to do this. I live in rural areas, so I have LOTS of places to do this.

Assuming the calipers are good, the only other things would be the ABS having some residual pressure or the master cyl having some residual pressure on it. But I have never heard of the mast cyl doing that. So I can't say I would be leaning that way at all.

I would look for hanging calipers again, they are by far the most common problem. I would recommend rebuild yours, don't trust some parts store cores that have been "rebuilt". Rebuilding calipers is very easy, just a little messy. I did mine in my 91 Bonneville and they have never given me trouble since. I have this thing with giving up my factory issues parts for someone else's junk that someone rebuilt.

Are you using Semi Metallic pads or plan jane el cheapo pads? I believe most cars call for Semi Metallics, I would make sure I use them. Don't use the Ceramics. They don't brake as well as the SM's, they have less dust, but also a lower friction coefficient. Don't use cheapo pads. Get the middle of the road pads. You can look at them and see the metallic in it. Napa's cheap pads for my Bonneville were decent. Autozone's cheap pads were junk.

Make sure there is nothing obstructing the airflow to and from the brakes. People like to add those disc brake dust protectors to keep brake dust down. They warp rotors in a hurry.

Are the rear brakes working? This will put additional work on the front, check them to be sure. Ensure they are properly adjusted. I have seen old brakes shoes get hard, not have hardly any braking force, but yet are adjusted enough that you get good pedal, which caused rapid wear on my front brakes. The 87-93 C & H cars are bad for this. I can go 100K miles on rear shoes and they still are no where close to being worn out. But they get hard as a rock and don't brake well. Do some hard braking runs from 60-0 2 times in a safe place, the rear brakes should be hot, enough you can't touch the drums at all.

How is the car driven? Domino's pizza driving? Taxicab/cop car like service, circle track racing? If so, you might need to do the 9C1 brake cooling mod. It forces additional air to the front brakes. Do one of the drivers ride the brakes as he/she drives? As the FSM says "Customer Driving Habits".

Tom

ocjmakaveli
03-19-05, 01:23 PM
Hello,

I repaced the front pads and rotors on our 160,000 mile Fleetwood 2 years ago. Every since then, every 6 to 9 months the rotors would become warped and I would get them turned. I finally realized the front pads were not releasing causing the overheating, so I just replaced the calipers and hoses. They still are not releasing while the car is on the lift and not even on the road yet. Has anyone had this problem, and if so what fixed it.

Thanks, Don

Did you grease that point which works sort of like a slider pin which moves as the caliper pushes on the pad?

although if they are new you shouldnt have problem really.How do you know they are not releasing?

as long as you can turn the wheel by hand while the brake is no longer on the caliper has released.

there is always a slight drag but almost nothing.

mustangdon
03-20-05, 12:35 PM
Hello again,

Thanks for the suggestions on the road trip check and I did grease the bolts. I live in a semi-rural area, so the rotor heat checks can be accomplished. I installed new Wagner calipers and semi-metallic pads from O'Reillys last week. I checked the rear brakes. The drum and shoes look good. I will check the adjust Monday. The reason I think it is not releasing is the rotors will only spin about a 1/4 turn at most on both sides. One side is just barely better, maybe 1/3 turn. The rotor woulds spin more on previous installations. They will rotate about 2 or 3 turns without the calipers. Which I think this would be about normal. We do not have any dust protectors installed and the Fleetwood is our daily driver. Mostly short trips around town but about 2 or 3 times a month, we visit the grandkids or wife's parents about 150 miles round trip. I read in the shop manual that the power vacum boost or the master cycle could be causing the problem. But how would you know which one without doing some wholesale parts changing. I'll do some checking and get back with ya'all.

Thanks, Don

mustangdon
03-21-05, 09:33 PM
Update,

I worked all day checking ABS and Traction control plumbing without any success. I call the parts people and confirmed my part numbers were OK, but I just got a funny feeling. So I called the parts people in another city for recomfirmation and discoved that the Cad had two calipers that would fit, but it depended on what option was on the car, J55 or JM4. Guess what, 50 50 chance and they had given me the wrong one!!! I had a JM4. I got the correct calipers installed and my son-in-law can over and we bled the brakes and all seems OK. I have not done a road test yet, tomorrow after I check the back brakes again. I talked to the parts manager and got the correct calipers cheaper with some free brake fluid and grease. But it was still a real PITA. So my conclusion is that the rotors were warped due to sticky pad or pads and replacing the calipers fixed the problem. I will update again if anything changes after the road test. Moral of the story is one can not fix anything without the correct part.

Thanks for the suggestion and help,
Don

N0DIH
03-22-05, 07:51 PM
Update,

I worked all day checking ABS and Traction control plumbing without any success. I call the parts people and confirmed my part numbers were OK, but I just got a funny feeling. So I called the parts people in another city for recomfirmation and discoved that the Cad had two calipers that would fit, but it depended on what option was on the car, J55 or JM4. Guess what, 50 50 chance and they had given me the wrong one!!! I had a JM4. I got the correct calipers installed and my son-in-law can over and we bled the brakes and all seems OK. I have not done a road test yet, tomorrow after I check the back brakes again. I talked to the parts manager and got the correct calipers cheaper with some free brake fluid and grease. But it was still a real PITA. So my conclusion is that the rotors were warped due to sticky pad or pads and replacing the calipers fixed the problem. I will update again if anything changes after the road test. Moral of the story is one can not fix anything without the correct part.

Thanks for the suggestion and help,
Don

I am not sure, but I think the J55's are the thick pad caliper. But they have some bad errors in the parts books on the Cadillacs, so be cautious on what parts they give you.

Case in point: 1991 Sedan DeVille and Fleetwood (FWD), order a J55 front wheel bearing. What do you get? Not one for Front Wheel drive!!! Heck, I don't even have a clue WHAT it would fit on, take a look, it is a strange animal. (Autozone)
Case 2: Order a wheel bearing for a 94 Fleetwood Brougham. What might you get? Front Wheel Drive parts! Then they tell me it was an option!!! Good Grief! (Autozone)

Personally, just order off the Caprice/Impala SS page if you are questioning it. Most (not all) parts are the same as a 93-96 FWB.

In my experience, I have never seen a J55 car. Has anyone else?? I would like to see it to see what it really is/was. The only J55 option I am aware of is the 76 Olds/Pontiac/Cadillac/Buick/Chevy B/C/D body cars and wagons (J55 is std on wagon) which was simply 12in front discs and 12in x 2in drums with the 5x5 pattern.

Cop and Taxis had a thick pad (high mileage) for longer life. But it took a special caliper (here as seen on a Monte Carlo http://home.earthlink.net/~kiszka/aarm_and_spindle_information.htm)

Tom

mustangdon
03-26-05, 11:51 AM
Tom,

When I first picked up the J55 calipers they appeared to be the same but after a week of not working and finally getting the JM4 calipers, there were some differenes. The plunger did not recind into the body as much, maybe .25 in. Also the brake line connection was about an 1.00 in. lower in the body. I thought they might be for a limo or something. They sure did not work correctly. The body was beefier than the JM4.

Thanks, for the feedback,
Don

thepitboss
03-26-05, 12:46 PM
Working for a parts store (O'Reilly's) I will say that sometimes it is hard to get the right part all the time. I can say that, with some experience, even if you are sure there is always something that is a little off. I will say that I have delt with several customers who will get pissed and leave after asking them a series of questions for example like with the braking systems for the GM cars. From the sounds of it though you were taken care of.