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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
The hardware is new as far as the shiny silver parts in the link came with the pads. The boots did not come with the pads and were very pliable, not leaking, no cracks and the slides moved freely. I didn't suspect them as being in bad enough shape to warrant replacing although I might just to take them out of the equation. Under the silver guides, there wasn't a ton of rust either but I did clean the area with a wire brush. I might get some time on Friday morning to work on them.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
I see what you mean. I was thinking about a file this morning too. I will make sure everything slides freely!
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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9,789 Posts
Just out of curiosity, why don't you post the brand and part numbers of the pads and rotors. As well as year and model of your CTS with wheel size.

KOT
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
I have posted that my car is a 2003 Cadillac CTS and it came in only one model. As far as the parts I will have to look that up but I don't think it makes that much difference, does it? Unless certain ones typically run out of spec.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
Okay, the brand is Detroit Axle and the part numbers are:
R-55082, front rotor
R-55098, rear rotor
P-921, front pads
P-922, rear pads. JL9 brake code, standard brakes.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
I was unable to find time to work on the Cadillac today. I have a couple appointments on Tuesday but I will try to get out there.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
If anyone is still following this, I think that I have figured out what is going on. Some had questions of whether my brake hoses were good. I thought they were but replaced them all anyway. The system still acts the same but I found a couple videos on youtube about why the brakes do what they are doing and the cause if their problem was the piston and the square cut seals were bad. Either rust had corroded the piston and got between the piston and square cut seals and that causes the pistons to not retract properly. So, at this point, I have parts on order. I have ordered the square cut seals and new boots and I will try to rebuild one caliper because I have one set of square cut seals. So, we will see what the piston conditions are before I order new pistons. I can rebuild the calipers for less than the cost of one caliper if you look hard enough and if you have the patience. So, look back on Monday or Tuesday and we'll see where I am at with this.

Thanks
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
So, I rebuilt all 4 brake calipers. The problem was build up on the pistons like varnish does to a hydraulic valve. The pistons were stuck bad enough that it took about 250 psi of compressed air to get them to pop out. Even after taking them apart and taking the seals out of the cylinders the pistons would not go back into the empty cylinder. There was enough varnish on them that they were all getting stuck. We put them into a lathe and used Emery cloth to take some of the varnish off. They slid nicely after that! Even using compressed air, they would release enough to get the block of wood I had in the to clamp up on.

This weekend i will install the brake cylinders and bleed the system.
 

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06 CTS Sport/Luxury package
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9,789 Posts
Wow, I would bleed the brake lines before installing your rebuilt calipers. Since all 4 failed, I would be too afraid of the crap in the brake fluid.

KOT
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
I understand what you mean but I've already bled the brakes a couple times. It's all new fluid now. So, no worries there. I should be able to get back at it this evening or tomorrow.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS
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17 Posts
Okay, the brakes are bled, rotors are not sticking now and operate normally! So the problem was varnish on the pistons causing the pistons to get stuck in the cylinder and not retract. The cure was to chuck the pistons up in a lathe and use emery cloth to remove some of the varnish so the pistons had room to move without getting stuck and replace the square cut seals and dust boots. This was not a hard job really. The rebuild kits were purchased through my local auto parts store but I had to tell them where to get them because they said that they could not get them anymore. The kits came from dormanproducts.com. Dorman make or supplies a lot of different parts for cars and trucks. Check out their website and take a look around.
 

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2007 CTS 3.6 >129k miles
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539 Posts
That is great to hear! Hopefully the rebuild will last as long as the car. And occasional (36 mo) fluid flush should prevent this issue from recurring.
 
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