Brakes - Part 1 - 05/03/2016

Driving the wagon every day was fun. But I had to panic stop a few weeks back and suddenly the car starts pulling hard to the left on braking. It also has developed a funny smell of burning after driving. Almost always a pull to the side on stopping is a brake problem, and since the hoses were original to the car as best I can tell, it was time to replace them. Especially since they were relatively cheap ($23/ea). I also decided to change out the pads to ceramics to help out with rotor wear, brake dust, and noise. It also helps that pads for the car are incredibly cheap too, even the quality stuff ($29/set).

Driveway fun times!

Starting on the passenger side. Car has been sitting a few weeks obviously due to the surface rust...

Old hose is ready to loosen, bleeder screw cracked open to verify it is free.

The frame connection is loosened up fortunately with no rounding.

Factory riveted ball joints! It's surprisingly not loose.

Passenger side pads have quite a lot of meat in them, kind of a shame to replace them. Piston is pushed back into the bore.

My dad has great ideas on lighting, this is a magnetic twistable LED work light. Perfect for illuminating the darkness that is the wheel well.

Bleeder screw and banjo bolt are both incredibly dirty and grimy.

Old hose comes off without too much trouble. Nasty fluid starts flowing too. No fluid came out of the caliper oddly enough.

Yummy. Old nasty brake fluid. Never hurts to change all this stuff out regularly anyways...

It never fails, doing brake lines results in a very big mess.

Old hose completely removed.

New hose attached to the frame.

Passenger caliper is cleaned up and ready to install.


Hose is installed. I'm thinking it would have been easier to start threading the banjo bolt first, start installing the frame side second, then mount the caliper and hardware to the spindle last. This angle made it incredibly difficult to start threading the bolt in, especially considering the washers and surfaces need to be kept clean. With obligatory mess of brake fluid everywhere...

Passenger side is done and read to go.

Driver's side time!

Plenty of life here too. Oh well.

Driver's side hardware all freed up without breaking.

Driver's side frame connection freed up without issue too. Flared nuts are notorious for rusting and rounding off. The previous engine's leaking valve cover kept the rust at bay!

Hardware is cleaned up and ready for re-install.

Ruh roh. Rear pad has separated due to heat and the forward pad was on its way with goo oozing out. That's not good!

Oh man... bad hose led to over-braking led to uneven rotor wear. Major annoyance. It's discolored on the rear side too, indicating the heat was getting to it.

Driver's side caliper needs a good cleaning. The big X on it makes me curious...

Driver's side hose goes in as I described much easier.

Driver's side done.

Bleeding of the brakes solo. No matter how much clean fluid I put in, this brown gunk keeps coming out. And the pedal doesn't bleed well for the passenger side. Driver's bled fine.

Took car for a test brake in the driveway and it stops... but it doesn't stop evenly or quietly. Double checking it and the passenger side caliper is frozen and does not operate. Extra bleeding efforts for an hour result in ever so slightly more nasty brake fluid, but never any caliper action. So not only did I have a bad hose on one side, I had a stuck caliper on the other. The car always stopped so well... using only one overheated brake side! Time for new calipers. They're cheap too, so why not? I should have listened to a certain someone's advice to change them first thing...

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Last updated May 4th, 2016