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1992 Cadillac Sedan DeVille 4.9L
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! This is a 2-parter and any help with either is appreciated!

BRAKE REPLACEMENT: My wear indicator is telling me to change my front pads, but I have a shake when stopping that I believe is from a front rotor, so I'm going to change those too. I've never done them myself, but I saw a video from ChrisFix and it doesn't look too hard. My first question is which pads/rotors should I buy? I've had bad luck with cheap off-brands in other parts of the car, so I was thinking of sticking with good ol' ACDelco parts:

  • Pads w/ Boots & Seals - $51.36 for both fronts and it matches the OE. Although, THIS alternative is "professional" grade and also fits for $34.46. Don't even know if I need the boots and seals or not.
  • Rotors - $64.72/ea. Damn expensive compared to the alternatives, but looks like it has some coating to protect it from rusting.
  • Add in some lubricants/lockers and a Brake Pad Spreader (Which I think I could rig my own), and I'm around $200 for both front pads/rotors. There's so many different options, so I have to ask: Can I do better without sacrificing quality?
ABS SENSOR TESTING: My ABS light has been on ever since I bought the car, with no related codes on the Diagnostic scan. I heard this could be as simple as one bad sensor at the wheel, which I might as well check when I have the tires off. Does anyone know the procedure for measuring this? Or is there any readings in the Diagnostic scan that could tell me what the problem could be?
 

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91 Fltwd Coupe (93 Regal Coupe & 90 LSC SE)
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392 Posts
The "ABS sensors" on these cars in the front are built into the wheel bearing hubs. You'd have to replace the entire unit which if you plan to do the front brakes may as well do when you do the brake job. I paid about $70 US each for front AC Delco ones with a decent discount. They had two; a factory quality and a second one that was cheaper and I went with the second one. They were made in USA but may have been sitting around for some years; I still have one for the front I never actually installed yet as only one was actually bad. I'm not sure about the rears given they are drum brakes. The rears may have a stand alone sensor and if so the first thing I would do is unplug them, blow out both sides of the plugs, and reseat the connections (could try this on the fronts too).

As far as the brake parts I would personally just buy whatever is made in USA or whatever country you're in over OEM. If AC Delco is made in USA then fine but if it wasn't and Raybestos was I would go with Raybestos.
 

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1992 Cadillac Sedan DeVille 4.9L
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Didn't even know the front and back sensors were different, but it makes sense. I planned on looking at/cleaning out the sensors, but I was hoping there was a measurement procedure with a multi-meter or something for the connector and sensor. $70 is too rich for me to shotgun without knowing for sure it's the sensor.

I did my best to research, but I can't find out where the pads are made. No site has it anywhere; reviews just stated it was high quality. Someone asked on Amazon about the rotors, but there were 2 conflicting answers, saying both China and USA, though the China guy believes it's superior to other China parts. Good news is I found the rotors for $45/pc instead of $65, from the same exact supplier as the one on Amazon. So, I'm down to ~$160 for my front pads/rotors.
 

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91 Fltwd Coupe (93 Regal Coupe & 90 LSC SE)
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392 Posts
The front ones are sealed up so no sensor to access; just a plug coming out of the hub. I checked Rock Auto and the prices for AC Delco ones are surprisingly a lot more than I paid locally a few years ago! There are some Timken ones for about the same money I paid; I've passed Timken Bearing on the I-5 going through Ferndale, WA or somewhere but where these are made I'm not sure. The "AC Delco" pads I bought for my Cadillac were from India. One company actually completely refunded my money and told me to throw it out because the "A1" distributor they sent me was made in China so instead I replaced the cap, rotor, and ignition module inside instead of risking putting the Chinese one in my car. Brake pads I would care less about where they're made since they're not important electrical components but still I would rather workers be paid in the US, Canada, or even Mexico rather than a company make more money because they pasted their name onto something that some slave made overseas.
 

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91 Fltwd Coupe (93 Regal Coupe & 90 LSC SE)
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392 Posts
Also it's not a bad idea to like I said reseat the connections of the sensors and blow them out. I happened to have the wheels off my Buick the other night after having driven the car and the ABS light had come on for some reason (though did go out when I restarted it). When I blew air into one of the sensor connectors I felt water come out. When I reseated the connections I put a thick gob of Vaseline (only thing I had but at least oil based; white lithium grease might have been better) around the seals. Drove the car 250 miles today and never had it come on again. If the connectors' seals are compromised and water got in, the pins may have become oxidized and maybe a tiny copper brush might clean them. Perhaps also cutting them out and soldering in new connectors might fix such an issue; as far as testing it I guess you could try using a multimeter but I don't know specifics or what voltage should be found. I guess the car would have to be running or at least he key on? Someone else should know.
 

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1992 Cadillac Sedan DeVille 4.9L
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94 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the info! For the fronts, I guess I'll try the easiest thing and make sure the sensors are plugged in and not ripped apart.

My brake job turned into a 2 day job because I broke a wheel stud (I think the tire shop jacked it up with their pneumatic wrench last time I was there), ordered "Heavy Duty" brakes (which I do not have), and had trouble reinserting the damn caliper slide pins (Took forever to catch the thread and still fighting with one). Ended up going to Advanced and getting their gold brand (meh) since I didn't want to wait for the right AC Delco ones. Luckily, I had the option to return my Amazon order to Kohls, no label or box needed, for a free return.
 

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70 Deville 78 Seville 92 Deville 03 Deville
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I always had to use new caliper pins on these cars. I forget exactly why but they just aren't as robust as the older ones. I figured they are meant to be disposable.
 

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91 Fltwd Coupe (93 Regal Coupe & 90 LSC SE)
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Yeah, it can be easy to order the wrong brake parts for these cars. Why they even have "heavy duty" brakes I'm not sure; I've never even seen a commercial FWD Deville. The studs though.. on the front those go onto the wheel bearing hubs. Once you're that deep you might as well almost replace them. One of my front ones is stripped I think and the shop just air gunned the lug nut onto it so am not looking forward to removing it again. Never did have to replace the caliper pins myself but it's probably not a bad idea; quite a heavy car. Honestly I'm glad I'm not having to work on it anymore with it being off the road and in many respects prefer my Buick. Will probably be selling my Cadillac. If I get another it will be a '91 Biarritz or otherwise a RWD late 80s Fleetwood or '94-'96 Fleetwood Brougham but am sort of Cadillac'd out. The extra expense for fuel and premium just isn't worth it; the Series I 3800 motor seems to move my Buick far better and do much better at higher speeds and only sips regular whereas the Cadillac is a pig on premium and can't do much more than 70 or 75 or the economy really suffers. It has reliability going for it though.
 
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