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Brakes and Safety



It’s been quite a while since I posted anything about this car- it’s been a slow process but I’m still smitten with it. Our son became an older brother in 2018 and then again in 2019, so my time and attention is elsewhere most of the time. For those keeping score at home, that’s 3 kids aged 3 and under as of this writing. 


After mounting the wheels and tires, I began focusing on the braking system of the car. This was my first time performing brake work on any vehicle, and thanks to this site I was able to have all of my questions answered easily, so thank you! This was also my first introduction to the true meaning of deferred maintenance, as I ended up replacing nearly the entire system short of the Master cylinder. I purchased Porterfield R4S pads, discs, stainless lines, new wheel bearings and rear wheel cylinders, rear shoes and fluid. The calipers had been painted a smurf blue, so when I pulled them to repaint here is what I found:






The red substance on the pistons was a sort of contact cement that had been used to adhere the pads to the half-missing piston. Not what I was hoping to see, and a decent indication of some other kludge fixes I’d have yet to find. I ordered a new set of calipers to be safe, which left the car in ‘hovercraft mode’ for a week while I awaited their arrival.



In the meantime I was also able to address the stainless lines both front and rear. The lines were original to the car and still dated to the original build year of the car. 



I was thankful for the advice to buy flare wrenches prior to starting this project, especially in the rear trailing arms. I got the lines buttoned up, the calipers and pads installed, and upon pressurizing the system I saw fluid began weeping past the grommets on the brake booster. Another quick parts order, got the new grommets installed and repressurized the system to bleed it.


This time the reservoir and lines to the Booster began to leak, so again made a parts order for a new reservoir and lines, got the whole system bled and was good to go. I started the project in the beginning of April and put the car on the ground over month later- at midnight the night before the Bay Area 02 Show and Swap. Got the brakes bedded in at midnight then caught a couple short hours of sleep before heading out. Down to the wire!


In all it was a good experience but my experience with the R4S pads has been a very dusty one. I like the stopping power but I suspect the aftermarket discs I bought are a touch softer than the factory setup. Big brakes are in the future but it’s 100% safer than when I started.


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