GM Camaro 1967-1981 Repair Guide

Disc Brake Pads

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INSPECTION



See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: The front disc brake pads are equipped with wear indicators, which emit a high-pitched squeal when replacement is necessary-1979-81 models

Brake pads should be inspected once a year or at 7,500 miles, whichever occurs first. Check both ends of the outboard shoe, looking in at each end of the caliper; then check the lining thickness on the inboard shoe, looking down through the inspection hole. Lining should be more than 0.020 in. thick above the rivet (so that the lining is thicker than the metal backing). Keep in mind that any applicable state inspection standards that are more stringent take precedence. All four pads must be replaced if one shows excessive wear.

All 1979 and later models have a wear indicator that makes a noise when the linings wear to a degree when replacement is necessary. The spring clip is an integral part of the inboard shoe and lining. When the brake pad reaches a certain degree of wear, the clip will contact the rotor and produce a warning noise (high-pitched squeal).

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1967-68 Models
  1. Siphon off about two-thirds of the brake fluid from a full master cylinder.
  2.  


WARNING
The insertion of the thicker replacement pads will push the caliper pistons back into their bores and will cause a full master cylinder to overflow causing paint damage. In addition to siphoning fluid, it would be wise to keep the cylinder cover on during pad replacement.

  1. Raise the car and support it with jackstands. Remove the wheels.
  2.  

Replacing the pads on just one wheel will result in uneven braking. Always replace the pads on both wheels.

  1. Extract and discard the pad retaining pin cotter key.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retaining pin and, while removing one pad, insert its replacement before the piston has time to move outward. If you were too slow and the pistons were too fast, it will be necessary to use a wide-bladed thin prytool to hold in the pistons while inserting the new pads. If this gives you difficulty, open the bleeder screw on that caliper and release some of the fluid, but do not allow the fluid to drain from the master cylinder. This may reduce the pressure and make it easier to push in on the pistons. After removing the outboard pad, inspect it and compare it with the inboard pad. They may be slightly different; if so, make sure that the replacement pads are installed correctly.
  4.  
  5. After installing the new pads, install the retaining pin and insert a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Refill the master cylinder and bleed the system if necessary.
  8.  

1969-81 Models

See Figures 2, 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 2: When installing replacement brake pads, make sure to use the support spring from the old pads



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Fig. Fig. 3: When installing the caliper mounting bolts, they must be routed under the pad retaining ears



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Fig. Fig. 4: Once the caliper and pads are installed on the rotor, bend the upper shoe ears for a snug fit

  1. Siphon off about two-thirds of the brake fluid from a full master cylinder.
  2.  


WARNING
The insertion of the thicker replacement pads will push the piston back into its bore and will cause a full master cylinder to overflow causing paint damage. In addition to siphoning off fluid it would be wise to keep the cylinder cover on during pad replacement.

  1. Raise the car and support it with jackstands. Remove the wheels.
  2.  

Replacing the pads on just one wheel will result in uneven braking. Always replace the pads on both wheels.

  1. Install a C-clamp on the caliper so that the solid side of the clamp rests against the back of the caliper and the screw end rests against the metal part (shoe) of the outboard pad.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the clamp until the caliper moves enough to bottom the piston in its bore. Remove the clamp.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two allen-head caliper mounting bolts to allow the caliper to be pulled off the disc.
  6.  
  7. Remove the inboard pad and loosen the outboard pad. Place the caliper where it won't strain the brake hose. It would be best to wire it out of the way.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pad support spring clip from the piston.
  10.  
  11. Remove the two bolt ear sleeves and the four rubber bushings from the ears.
  12.  
  13. Brake pads should be replaced when they are worn to within 1 / 32 in. of the rivet heads.
  14.  
  15. Check the inside of the caliper for leakage and the condition of the piston dust boot.
  16.  
  17. Lubricate the two new sleeves and four bushings with a silicone spray.
  18.  
  19. Install the bushings in each caliper ear. Install the two sleeves in the two inboard ears.
  20.  
  21. Use a large C-clamp to completely seat the caliper piston in its bore. Install the pad support spring clip and the old pad into the center of the piston.
  22.  

On models with wear sensors, make sure the wear sensor is toward the rear of the caliper.

  1. Place the outboard pad in the caliper with its top ears over the caliper ears and the bottom tab engaged in the caliper cutout.
  2.  
  3. After both pads are installed, lift the caliper and place the bottom edge of the outboard pad on the outer edge of the disc to make sure that there is no clearance between the tab on the bottom of the shoes and the caliper abutment.
  4.  
  5. Place the caliper over the disc, lining up the hole in the caliper ears with the hole in the mounting bracket. Make sure that the brake hose is not kinked.
  6.  
  7. Start the caliper-to-mounting bracket bolts through the sleeves in the inboard caliper ears and through the mounting bracket, making sure that the ends of the bolts pass under the retaining ears of the inboard shoe.
  8.  
  9. Push the mounting bolts through to engage the holes in the outboard shoes and the outboard caliper ears, then thread them into the mounting bracket.
  10.  
  11. Torque the mounting bolts to 35 ft. lbs. Pump the brake pedal to seat the linings against the rotors.
  12.  
  13. With a pair of channel lock pliers placed on the notch on the caliper housing, bend the caliper upper ears until no clearance exists between the shoe and the caliper housing.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheels, lower the car, and refill the master cylinder with fluid. Pump the brake pedal to make sure that it is firm. If it is not, bleed the brakes.
  16.  

CALIPER REPLACEMENT AND OVERHAUL




WARNING
Clean, high quality brake fluid is essential to the safe and proper operation of the brake system. You should always buy the highest quality brake fluid that is available. If the brake fluid becomes contaminated, drain and flush the system, then refill the master cylinder with new fluid. Never reuse any brake fluid. Any brake fluid that is removed from the system should be discarded.

1967-68 Models

See Figures 5 through 12



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the dual piston brake caliper-1967-68 and some 1969 models



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the front wheel for access to the caliper (A) and brake pads (B)



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Fig. Fig. 7: If the caliper is to be overhauled or completely removed from the vehicle, detach the brake hose from the backside of it



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Fig. Fig. 8: Loosen the two caliper mounting bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... and remove them



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Fig. Fig. 10: Slide the caliper off the rotor and remove the old brake pads



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Fig. Fig. 11: While servicing the brake pads or suspension components, hang the caliper from the frame rail by wire or strong cord



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Fig. Fig. 12: Before installing the new brake pads, use a large C-clamp to seat the piston in the caliper (if not already done)

  1. Raise the car and support it on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly from the side on which the caliper is being removed.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake hose at the support bracket. Tape the end of the line to prevent contamination.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin from the brake pad retaining pin and remove the pin.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake pads and identify them as inboard or outboard, if they are being reused.
  10.  
  11. Remove the U-shaped retainer from the hose fitting and pull the hose from the bracket.
  12.  
  13. Remove the two caliper retaining bolts and also the caliper from its mounting bracket.
  14.  
  15. Separate the caliper halves. Remove the two O-rings from the fluid transfer holes in the caliper.
  16.  
  17. Push the piston all the way down into the caliper. Using the piston as a fulcrum, place a prytool under the steel ring in the boot and pry the boot from the caliper half.
  18.  
  19. Remove the pistons and springs, being careful not to damage the seal.
  20.  
  21. Remove the boot and seal from the piston.
  22.  
  23. Clean all metal components with clean brake fluid or denatured alcohol.
  24.  


WARNING
Do not use gasoline, kerosene, or any other mineral-based solvent for cleaning. These solvents form an oily film on the parts which leads to fluid contamination and the deterioration of rubber parts.

  1. Blow out all fluid passages with an air hose.
  2.  
  3. Discard and replace all rubber parts.
  4.  
  5. Inspect all bores for scoring and pitting and replace if necessary. Minor flaws can be removed with very fine crocus cloth, but do so with a circular motion.
  6.  
  7. Using a feeler gauge, check the clearance of the piston in its bore. If the bore is not damaged and the clearance exceeds the maximum limit, the piston must be replaced.
  8.  

Bore Diameter - 2 1 / 16 Clearance - in.0.0045-0.010 in.

Bore Diameter - 1 7 / 8 Clearance - in.0.0045-0.010 in.

Bore Diameter - 1 3 / 8 Clearance - in.0.0035-0.009 in.

  1. Insert the seal in the piston groove nearest the flat end of the piston. The seal lip must face the large end of the piston. The lips must be in the groove and may not extend beyond.
  2.  
  3. Place the spring in the piston bore.
  4.  
  5. Coat the seal with clean brake fluid.
  6.  
  7. Install the piston assembly into the bore, being careful not to damage the seal lip on the edge of the bore.
  8.  
  9. Install the boot into the piston groove closest to the concave end of the piston.
  10.  
  11. The fold in the boot must face the seal end of the piston.
  12.  
  13. Push the pistons to the bottom of the bore and check for smooth piston movement. The end of the piston must be flush with the end of the bore. If it is not, check the installation of the seal.
  14.  
  15. Seat the piston boot so that its metal ring is even in the counterbore. The ring is even in the counterbore. The ring must be flush or below the machined face of the caliper. If the ring is seated unevenly dirt and moisture could get into the bore.
  16.  
  17. Insert the O-rings around the fluid transfer holes at both ends of the caliper halves.
  18.  
  19. Lubricate the bolts with brake fluid, connect the caliper halves, and torque the bolts to 130 ft. lbs.
  20.  
  21. While holding in the brake pistons with a putty knife, mount the caliper over the disc. Be careful not to damage the piston boots on the edge of the disc.
  22.  
  23. Install the two mounting bolts and tighten them to 130 ft. lbs.
  24.  
  25. Install the brake pads. If the same pads are being reused, return them to their original places (outboard or inboard) as marked during removal. New pads will usually have an arrow on the back indicating the direction of disc rotation. See Brake Pad Removal & Installation for details.
  26.  
  27. Install the brake hose into the caliper, passing the female end through the support bracket.
  28.  
  29. Make sure that the tube line is clean and connect the brake line nut to the caliper.
  30.  
  31. Install the hose fitting into the support bracket and install the U-shaped retainer. Turn the steering wheel from side-to-side to make sure that the hose doesn't interfere with the tire. If it does, turn the hose end one or two points in the bracket until the interference is eliminated.
  32.  
  33. After performing the above check, install the steel tube connector and tighten it.
  34.  
  35. Bleed the brakes, as instructed earlier in this section.
  36.  
  37. Install the wheels and lower the car.
  38.  

1969-81 Models

See Figure 13



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Fig. Fig. 13: Exploded view of the single piston brake caliper-some 1969 and all 1970-81 models

  1. Perform the removal steps for pad replacement.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the brake hose and plug the line.
  4.  
  5. Remove the U-shaped retainer from the fitting.
  6.  
  7. Pull the hose from the frame bracket and remove the caliper with the hose attached.
  8.  
  9. Clean the outside of the caliper with denatured alcohol.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake hose and discard the copper gasket.
  12.  
  13. Remove the brake fluid from the caliper.
  14.  
  15. Place clean rags inside the caliper opening to catch the piston when it is released.
  16.  
  17. Apply compressed air to the caliper fluid inlet hole and force the piston out of its bore. Do not blow the piston out; use just enough pressure to ease it out.
  18.  
  19. Use a pointed prytool to pry the boot out of the caliper. Avoid scratching the bore.
  20.  
  21. Remove the piston seal from its groove in the caliper bore. [cf2]Do not use a metal tool of any type for this operation.
  22.  

To assemble:

Replace (do not reuse) the boot, piston seal, rubber bushings, and sleeves.

  1. Blow out all passages in the caliper and bleeder valve. Clean the piston and piston bore with fresh brake fluid.
  2.  
  3. Examine the piston for scoring, scratches, or corrosion. If any of these conditions exist, the piston must be replaced because it is plated and cannot be refinished.
  4.  
  5. Examine the bore for the same defects. Light rough spots may be removed by rotating crocus cloth, using finger pressure, in the bore. Do not polish with an in-and-out motion or use any other abrasive.
  6.  
  7. Lubricate the piston bore and the new rubber parts with fresh brake fluid. Position the seal in the piston bore groove.
  8.  
  9. Lubricate the piston with brake fluid and assemble the boot into the piston groove so that the fold faces the open end of the piston.
  10.  
  11. Insert the piston into the bore, taking care not to unseat the seal.
  12.  
  13. Force the piston to the bottom of the bore. (This will require a force of 50-100 lbs). Seat the boot lip around the caliper counterbore. Proper seating of the boot is very important for sealing out contaminants.
  14.  
  15. Install the brake hose into the caliper with a new copper gasket.
  16.  
  17. Lubricate the new sleeves and rubber bushings. Install the bushings in the caliper ears. Install the sleeves so that the end toward the disc pad is flush with the machined surface.
  18.  

Lubrication of the sleeves and bushings is essential to insure the proper operation of the sliding caliper design.

  1. Install the shoe support spring in the piston.
  2.  
  3. Install the disc pads in the caliper and remount the caliper on the hub (see Disc Pad Removal & Installation).
  4.  
  5. Reconnect the brake hose to the steel brake line. Install the retainer clip. Bleed the brakes.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheels, check the brake fluid level, check the brake pedal travel, and road-test the vehicle.
  8.  

 
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