1995+ Metro Front Brakes - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-04-2006, 12:45 PM   #1
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1995+ Metro Front Brakes

Not that most of you need a DIY for brakes, but I probably could have used one since this was my first attempt:

The Metro's front brake rotors needed replacement badly. They were rusted right into the friction surface. The long weekend actually gave me time to do it.



Before you jack up your car (I found out the hard way) you have to unstake and remove the axle nuts. Unstaking them is a pain. I basically used a chisel to practically break away the metal. A 25 in. breaker bar and a 1.188 in. socket removes the nut pretty easily (they're torqued to 129 ft lb).



Once the axle nuts are off or at least loosened, loosen lug nut, jack up car, etc.



Not much holding these rotors on. Just calipers, friction with the center hub, the lug nuts, and these two short screws:



Turn the wheels so the caliper bolts can be easily accessed. There are two bolts for the caliper piston and two bolts for the pad bracket. A 14 mm socket/wrench fits perfect.



Hang the caliper from the strut with wire so it's not hanging by the hose. Depress the piston back into the caliper to make room for the new pads.



Remove the pad bracket. The pads are easy to remove and replace.



New pads (top) versus the old pads (bottom). Old pads were not severely worn, but new pads with new rotors is probably better.



These rotors were pretty much rust-welded to the hub. The Hayne's manual suggest a slide-hammer to remove them, but most people haven't even heard of this method it seems...and slide-hammers aren't cheap. I tried a gear-puller and it broke in the process.



I ended up using a harmonic/steering wheel puller. The passenger side rotor popped off okay. The drivers-side just pulled the entire rotor/hub assembly off the axle so I had to use a mallet to beat them apart.



Old rusty rotor versus new shiny rotor:



I'm an anti-seize junkie ever since my front strut fiasco.



New rotor ready to go.



Install the brake pads and caliper. Start vehicle and pump the brakes to get the piston operational - I put the car in 1st gear and let the axles spin. Make certain everything is working correctly. Since this was my first brake job I hadn't realized that the pads a basically in constant contact with the rotor - the piston just supplies/releases pressure.

Once everything is satisfactory install wheels and lower the car. Torque the axle nuts to 129 ft lb and restake them.

Drive the car slowly at first to see how the brakes react. Since my pads weren't severely worn I hardly noticed any difference in the braking.
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:57 PM   #2
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Might I just say that air tools = the pimpness on axle nuts, car up, car down, doesn't matter, staked or not, just pops right out,

I don't think I'll ever return my dad's air compressor,

EDIT: once as the shop we could get a set of rotors off and we ended up putting some too big bolt through the screw holes to crack them and then beating them into little pieces as chunks broke off.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:03 PM   #3
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I would love air-tools.

A) No place to put them.

B) I'm on a shoe-string budget...heck, I can barely afford the shoe-strings some months.

That rotor anecdote is shocking! I'll bet there must be some real horror/eye-opener stories in shops.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:09 PM   #4
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Well, my dad told me this air compressor was 80 bucks with free shipping (woohoo, check harbor freight) and I got my gun for free from one of the guys I worked with, and sockets really aren't too much, plus you can use them with your regular tools. I need to buy an air rachet now, but they're only like 20 bucks from harbor freight, so I might actually get around to it. First I ought to figure out my charging problem, but it's been storming today,
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:33 PM   #5
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I paid like $65.00 for a slide hammer at NAPA Auto Parts and you can get one at Harbor Freight for like $20.00 w/attachments.
You should never run a front wheel drive with the wheels off the ground. It's very bad on the CV joints. And speaking of CV joints, did you check the boots on them for tears, rips, and cracks? Also did you replace all those little rubber parts and the two slider bolts, per caliper? It is important to replace these items so that the caliper retracts the pads and cuts down on drag.
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Old 07-04-2006, 01:44 PM   #6
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Yeah, that $65 USD becomes $100 CDN pretty quickly when it comes to slide hammers with attachments.

As for running the car off the ground, is it really so bad with no wheels on and if it just runs at idle in 1st?

CV boots - check
Rubber parts - no
Slider bolts - no

Didn't seem like the caliper was doing any "retracting" at all. I was a little surprised by it since I assumed it would, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of retraction mechanism. Just pressure application and release.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:13 PM   #7
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I was told at the GM Training Center that the CV joints aren't designed to turn at those angles. however if you're getting it and the car bounces or you're air borne then you could be at full throttle with the suspension fully extended.
The calipers only retract a few thousands, this is why you should replace the above mentioned parts. You should also replace all the brake fluid because it attracts water through the rubber hoses and the water boils under pressure and causes a spongy peddle and rust in the metal parts such as the calipers and that rust doesn't let the calipers retract properly.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:30 PM   #8
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lol - you wouldn't believe how little this car lifts on a jack before the wheels leave the ground. The CV joint angle isn't much different on the ground or off. But, I can understand the caution of it now.

Going by what you've said I should probably look at getting new calipers. These ones are pretty worn looking and probably should be replaced anyway.
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:32 PM   #9
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New calipers!!! Uh oh. Did you use brake lube grease lube stuff on the sliders when you put it back together?
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Old 07-04-2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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Uh...no...should I have?
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