GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Brake Caliper

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See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Always replace the brake calipers on both front wheels at the same time. Failure to do so will result in uneven braking action and premature wear.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



  1. Using a clean turkey baster or equivalent, remove about 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the wheel lug nuts, then raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Sometimes it is helpful to reinstall two of the lug nuts to hold the rotor to the hub and bearing assembly.
  8.  
  9. Push the piston into the caliper bore to provide clearance between the brake pads and the rotor as follows:
    1. Install a large C-clamp over the top of the caliper housing and against the back of the outboard shoe.
    2.  
    3. Slowly tighten the clamp until the piston is pushed into the caliper bore enough slide the caliper off of the rotor.
    4.  

  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Use a C-clamp to carefully bottom out the piston to provide clearance for removal

  1. If the caliper assembly is being removed from the vehicle for overhaul, unfasten the bolt attaching the inlet fitting, then plug the exposed fitting to prevent contamination. If just the pads are being replaced, there is no need to disconnect the inlet fitting.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: If the caliper is being removed for overhaul, unfasten the bolt attaching the fluid line, then plug the line

  1. Unfasten the caliper mounting bolt and sleeve assemblies. Some vehicles have a rubber cap over the retaining bolt which must be removed first.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Some vehicles have a cap over the retaining bolt which must be removed to access the bolt



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Fig. Fig. 4: Unfasten, then remove the caliper mounting bolts and sleeves

  1. Lift the caliper off of the rotor. If the caliper is not being removed for overhaul, suspend it from the strut with a wire hook.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Lift the caliper off of the rotor



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Fig. Fig. 6: If the caliper is not being removed for overhaul, suspend it with a retaining strap or piece of wire from the strut

  1. Inspect the mounting bolts, sleeves and bushings for damage and replace as necessary.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Liberally coat the inside of the bushings with silicone grease.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Lubricating the cavity of the caliper

  1. Position the caliper over the rotor into the knuckle, then fasten the mounting bolt and sleeve assemblies. Tighten to 38 ft. lbs. (51 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If removed, connect the inlet fitting. Tighten to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Remove the two nuts retaining the rotor to the hub, then install the wheel and tire assembly. Only hand-tighten the lug nuts at this time.
  6.  
  7. Carefully lower the vehicle, then tighten the lug nuts to 103 ft. lbs (140 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Fill the master cylinder to the proper level, and bleed the brakes if the inlet fitting was removed. Recheck the fluid level.
  10.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 8 through 15

Some vehicles may be equipped dual piston calipers. The procedure to overhaul the caliper is essentially the same with the exception of multiple pistons, O-rings and dust boots.

  1. Remove the caliper from the vehicle and place on a clean workbench.
  2.  


CAUTION
NEVER place your fingers in front of the pistons in an attempt to catch or protect the pistons when applying compressed air. This could result in personal injury!

Depending upon the vehicle, there are two different ways to remove the piston from the caliper. Refer to the brake pad replacement procedure to make sure you have the correct procedure for your vehicle.

  1. The first method is as follows:
    1. Stuff a shop towel or a block of wood into the caliper to catch the piston.
    2.  
    3. Remove the caliper piston using compressed air applied into the caliper inlet hole. Inspect the piston for scoring, nicks, corrosion and/or worn or damaged chrome plating. The piston must be replaced if any of these conditions are found.
    4.  

  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: For some types of calipers, use compressed air to drive the piston out of the caliper, but make sure to keep your fingers clear



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Fig. Fig. 9: Withdraw the piston from the caliper bore

  1. For the second method, you must rotate the piston to retract it from the caliper.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the anti-rattle clip.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: On some vehicles, you must remove the anti-rattle clip

  1. Use a prytool to remove the caliper boot, being careful not to scratch the housing bore.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Use a prytool to carefully pry around the edge of the boot ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... then remove the boot from the caliper housing, taking care not to score or damage the bore

  1. Remove the piston seals from the groove in the caliper bore.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Use extreme caution when removing the piston seal; DO NOT scratch the caliper bore

  1. Carefully loosen the brake bleeder valve cap and valve from the caliper housing.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the caliper bores, pistons and mounting threads for scoring or excessive wear.
  4.  
  5. Use crocus cloth to polish out light corrosion from the piston and bore.
  6.  
  7. Clean all parts with denatured alcohol and dry with compressed air.
  8.  

To assemble:
  1. Lubricate and install the bleeder valve and cap.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seals into the caliper bore grooves, making sure they are not twisted.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the piston bore.
  6.  
  7. Install the pistons and boots into the bores of the calipers and push to the bottom of the bores.
  8.  
  9. Use a suitable driving tool to seat the boots in the housing.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Use the proper size driving tool and a mallet to properly seal the boots in the caliper housing

  1. Install the caliper in the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Install the wheel and tire assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Properly bleed the brake system.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: There are tools, such as this Mighty-Vac, available to assist in proper brake system bleeding

 
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