GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Brake Pads

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



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

  1. Using a clean turkey baster or equivalent, siphon 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the wheel lug nuts, then raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Front disc brake components after removing the wheel and tire assembly

  1. Using a C-clamp, bottom the piston in its bore for clearance to remove it from the rotor.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Use a C-clamp to compress the caliper piston

  1. Remove the caliper, as described later in this section.
  2.  
  3. Use a suitable prytool to disengage the buttons on the shoe from the holes in the caliper housing, then remove the outboard shoe and lining.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Disengage the buttons on the shoe from the holes in the caliper housing to remove the outboard shoe and lining



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the outboard brake pad from the caliper, then ...

  1. Remove the inboard shoe and lining.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... remove the inboard brake pad

  1. Prior to installing new shoes and linings, wipe the outside surface of the boot clean with denatured alcohol.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Use a large C-clamp to compress the piston back into the caliper bore. Be careful not to damage the piston or boot with the C-clamp.
  2.  
  3. After bottoming the piston, lift the inner edge of the boot next to the piston and press out any trapped air. The boot must lie flat.
  4.  
  5. Install the inboard shoe and lining by snapping the shoe retaining spring into the piston inside diameter. The shoe retainer spring is already staked to the inboard shoe. After installing the shoe and lining, make sure the boot is not touching the shoe. If there is contact, reseat or reposition the boot.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: Install the inboard shoe and lining, then ...

  1. Install the outboard shoe and lining with the wear sensor at the trailing edge of the shoe. During forward wheel rotation, the back of the shoe must lay flat against the caliper.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... install the outboard shoe and lining

  1. Install caliper, as outlined later in this section.
  2.  
  3. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Carefully lower the vehicle, then fill the master cylinder to the proper level.
  6.  
  7. Push the brake pedal down firmly three times to seat the linings.
  8.  

INSPECTION



See Figure 8

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

  1. Inspect the brake linings approximately every 6,000 miles (9,000 km) or whenever the wheels are removed.
  2.  
  3. Check both ends of the pad and the lining thickness on the inner shoe to make sure it is wearing evenly.
  4.  

Some inboard shoes have a thermal lining against the shoe, molded integrally with the lining. Do not confuse this lining with uneven inboard-outboard lining wear.

  1. Whenever the thickness of the lining is worn to the wear indicator, replace the pads on both sides.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Measuring the brake pad thickness to see if the pads need to be replaced

 
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