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brakes binding after standing.... advice?


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Hi All,

 

I have a small problem of terrible breaks. So the car has been off the road for some time, not sure how long, and the breaks are causing some issues. The car starts fine and drives well but the breaks feel spongy and are not very effective. After a quick test drive i found the breaks were holding the car back quite a bit and the front left and rear right discs were very hot after the run. the other two seemed cool. there is also some rust build up on the discs that hasn't seemed to have shifted after the run. i think after some breaking the rust should have disappeared...

So i have to take her to the garage for a cam belt change and wondered what i can do to sort this situation. does the system need bleeding or are the calipers knackered...... any tips or advice would be appreciated! (a link to a post about bleeding would be good)

 

Thanks

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Hot rotors are an indication that the calipers aren't returning all the way and the brake pads are rubbing continuously on the rotors. Rust left on the rotors is an indication that the brake pads aren't contacting the rotors. So from the sounds of it you have uneven pressure left/right, front/back. Although i'm sure you've already deduced this.

 

If the rotors get hot enough it can cause the brake fluid to boil and make the brakes feel spongy, air can also get into the system over time and do the same thing. Brake fluid does go bad over time, its hydrophilic and absorbs water out of the air which lowers its boiling point and can contribute to the spongy feeling. If the cars been off the road for a while, I assume years not months, then its probably a good idea to do a full brake job. At a minimum I'd say you need to flush the brake fluid and bleed the system, but I wouldn't take chances when it comes to brakes. Stay on the safe side and measure the brake pad thickness, rotor thickness and inspect each caliper for smoth movement and a good return. The parking brake on the rear calipers has a tendency of not returning all the way when the cables get rusty and will likely require some attention.

 

I have a gut feeling that you probably need a caliper rebuild front and back. Its not hard to do yourself and the rebuild kits are readily available from the usual suspects. The workshop manual is of course highly recommended for this type of job. If you've never worked on your car before brakes aren't a bad place to start, the ones on the Esprit aren't special and anyone who's worked on brakes before will be able to give you a hand. Oh and if you do need your calipers rebuilt there are plenty of places that can do it for you once they are removed from the car if you don't think you can handle that part.

 

Brian

Edited by marcbria
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Hi Brian, 

I thought it may be a calliper job :( the hand brake is working perfectly though, the car has an mot and i suppose this is the reason for their unusually fluid and returning function.

Ill flush and bleed the system first, check the pads etc and hope this solves things before rebuilding callipers (not done that before...)

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Rebuild the calipers. Some pistons are not moving out and some are not moving in. Take them off and have a look. Calipers are about the simplest mechanical device on the car and easy to rebuild as long as the pistons are OK. If they are corroded, which it sounds like they are, then if the damage is too far gone you will need reboring and new pistons. Best leave that up to the pro's. Look for pitting and scaring on the pistons. Have a look at the' how to' I did which is on LEW for the rears. The fronts are straight forward.

Check the handbrake is working on both rears, not just one. Bonus if it is.

 

Pete

Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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Just to add my bit to the above....the pistons are undoubtedly stuck. Trying to rebuild the calipers yourself, if you have little mechanical knowledge, isn't a good idea....you can change the seals and fit new pistons and change all the fluid and it still won't get you brakes as they should be. At the very least, fit calipers that have been overhauled by a specialist who will have honed the cylinders. Fitting the new calipers won't be a problem for you. There are all sorts of dodges you can use to free up stuck calipers...I've used them all myself...but, in the end, it's better to bite the bullet and get some that have been properly dealt with.

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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sorry, pic wasnt attached.... 

So, the rubber seals werent even there on some of the callipers. . not keen on risking a refurb as they look pretty messy. the rears are off tomorrow.

 

 

Mark

post-1597-0-34576000-1413048415.jpg

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What you see in the photo is the outer seal...that is supposed to keep the road muck off the piston. The piston seal is inside the cylinder, inset into an annular slot. Your piston has been rather badly got at....you need to get the piston out of the cylinder to be able to inspect the cylnder bore. This can be done by an air compressor applying compressed air to the hydraulic input....or simply fitting the caliper back to the car brake system and using the hydraulics to push out the piston. Although, looking at this piston, you might just as well grip it with a Mole wrench and heave it out!! I see you have split the caliper...you have to be careful with the little circular rubber seal between the two halves, as that is critical. I would definitely advise getting these calipers professionally refurbished. 

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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You should never split callipers i have a mate who runs a company called performance braking ex grilling racing div and he says its a no no.

What i do if the pistons are really tight i connect a flexible brake pipe to the calliper with an old working m/cylinder on the other end fill with break fluid put the master cylinder in the vice and use the vice to push the push rod and the fluid should push out the piston do not push the piston all the way out one will be easier than the other prob so stop it coming all the way out then apply the pressure again and the second piston should move then you will be able to remove the pistons by hand.

andy b

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Hi Molemot, 

 

ah well, pistons split now....  i did discover the two small seals but those pistons are not coming out even with mole grips, im sending them off for a refub... i saw SJsports do fronts for around £50, can anyone else recommend an alternative if sj are unable to help?

 

Thanks.

M

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OK quick update, all callipers gone off for shiny new (recon) callipers so i will now be able to stop/go

Any tips on bleeding the system when the new parts turn up? anything i should be aware of?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Mark

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Front left, front right, back left, back right. Or maybe right to left, it's in the manual somewhere. Use an eezybleed and it's a doddle.

 

The biggest trick is retracting the rear pistons so you can fit the pads because of the handbrake mechanism. Whatever you do DON'T just try pushing them back in, you'll break the mechanism. The how to on LEW will talk you through it. Also the handbarke cables are a pain to refit!

 

Pete

Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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I got so fed up with the rear brakes that I made a special tool to do the job. It's described somewhere in these hallowed pages...

 

This could be useful too....

 

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EGuides/EMaintenance/Inboard_brakes.html

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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All fitted but didnt bother with braided hoses.... went for a run and the front left and rear left are still gripping slightly.... so ive ordered some braided hoses :)

note to self  - do a job properly

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Hi Mark,

I don't think braided hoes will help there, it sounds like your calipers aren't moving freely enough on the slide pins, or the pads themselves may be fouling with the caliper body & not returning properly. Of the above, I'd check the pad/ caliper interference first. Had a set on a scenic where I had to grind nearly 2mm off the ends of the pad backing to even get them to fit.

The hoses help to keep pedal feel solid as they won't expand under hydraulic pressure when stomped on. And they're pretty :-)

Dave

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could be pad memory the old pads leave a deposit on the disc give it some miles they should settle. 

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The pads had loads of meat left on them so i put them back (the right way round) but they did have some unusual wear and even some chips on them... i wonder if this has anything to do with it. i cleaned them up best i could.

 

I do have a feeling it is the hoses.... i will try and bleed some more of the system, coming to think of it, the rear back calliper when bleeding didnt flow so well.... ill bleed again do a few more miles and post back, thanks again!

 

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm inclined to think its more likely a pad/rotor issue than hoses but if you noticed one side didn't want to freely bleed, it might be more than just the hose. It may be the pipe from the T. Just food for thought though.

 

Brian

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On a car of that age, it's cheap insurance to just replace the lines...

I know on old VW with no power brake the rubber hoses would eventually clog and act as check valves.

I do vote for new pads and discs too so you have a clear conscience once you're done.

Good luck

Something I learned about cars or planes, it all works until it doesn't anymore...sometime there is no way around it!

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Hi All, 

 

Well, I changed the hoses and all is now well. Stopping and everything. Took her for a test drive and the brakes didn't over heat and all breaks seem to be working as they were intended.... now jsut to adjust the handbreak.

 

One final though off break subject. There was some steam/smoke/visible vapour escaping from the small filters shown in the pic below during the run, the filters below the air filter and to the right of the oil cap....also, what is the cylinder at the bottom of the page? an oil reservoir? ..... any thoughts appreciated!

 

Mark


sorry, pic is here

post-1597-0-95898400-1415114322.jpg

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The thing at the bottom looks like one of these..

 

http://www.thinkauto.com/acatalog/Accumulators.html

 

Intended to keep the oil pressure up if you get surging across the sump in corners.

 

The small filters are the crankcase ventilation...the usually vent something (!) Normally they feed into the carburetter air intakes so you never notice anything coming out. With your arrangement it vents to atmosphere and you'll see it...a small amount is nothing to worry about; great clouds of stuff indicates such things as broken rings or leaky valve guides.

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Or run the vents into a catch tank....

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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