atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#118: Joys etc part 2

The damn rear calipers are seized again!

I replaced them last year, at the end of June. And the damn things seized again!

I nearly broke my biggest C-clamp trying to push the pistons back into their bores. They wouldn't so much as budge! Jesus, no wonder I didn't have any brakes in that car!

The rear rotors need to be turned. I'm going to take them over and see if I can't get that done--assuming they're worth saving. Otherwise it looks like I'm buying new rotors in addition to the new parking brake cables I need--

Oh, yes! The parking brake cables I put on in 2002 are utter junk now. The left side is completely seized, and the right side isn't much better. I haven't even gotten to the point of checking the main cable to the handle, but the parking brake handle is utterly FUBAR as well. I guess I don't know my own strength.

Although some enthisiasts would argue the point with me, I think the braking system of a Fiero is a thing of beauty...when it works. When it works correctly the car will stop on a dime; I had never experienced a car with such good braking performance until I drove this car with an essentially new brake system in it. But when it does not work, it's a nightmare.

The rear calipers are the weak link. The Fiero was among the first high-volume cars GM built with four-wheel disk brakes, and they really hadn't quite had a good handle on how to do that. The parking brake is what does it; the brakes were meant to self-adjust but didn't really do that all too well; the parking brake was part of the problem, as the parking brake mechanism is built into the caliper piston.

The brakes should self-adjust during normal driving; but practically speaking they don't. GM suggests the parking brake be used frequently to help them adjust, but that doesn't work either...and if your parking brake cables die, you're really out of luck. (And, for the record, you can't put anything on them like oil or penetrating lubricant. If you do, they'll only die faster.)

So, now I go to try to get my rotors turned. Whee!

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