GM Firebird 1982-1992 Repair Guide

Brake Caliper

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
Brake pads contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

1982-88 Models
  1. Remove 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder. Raise the car. Remove the wheel. Reinstall a wheel nut, with the flat side toward the rotor, to hold the rotor in place.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the parking brake cable at the equalizer. At the caliper, remove the parking brake cable, damper and spring from the lever.
  4.  
  5. Hold the parking brake lever and remove the lock nut. Remove the lever, seal and anti-friction washer.
  6.  
  7. Position a C-clamp over the caliper and force the piston into its bore. Remove the C-clamp. Reinstall the lever, seal and nut to the caliper.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the brake tube nut and disconnect the brake tube from the caliper. Plug the tube to prevent the loss of brake fluid.
  10.  

At the right rear wheel, it may be necessary to remove the rear bolt from the lower control arm to allow the lower caliper mounting bolt to be removed.

  1. Remove the mounting bolts using a 3 / 8 in. Allen head socket. Remove the caliper and inspect the mounting bolts for corrosion. If necessary, replace the mounting bolts.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Place the caliper onto the rotor and install the mounting bolts. Torque the mounting bolts to 30-45 ft. lbs. (40.7-61 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install a new anti-friction washer and lubricate the lever with silicone brake lube. Install the lever on the actuator with the lever pointing down. Rotate the lever toward the front of the car and hold while installing the nut. Torque the nut to 30-40 ft. lbs. (40.7-54.2 Nm), then rotate the lever back against the stop on the caliper.
  4.  
  5. Install damper and spring. Connect the parking brake cable. Tighten the cable at the equalizer until the lever starts to move off the stop on the caliper, then loosen the adjustment until the lever moves back against the stop.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut holding the rotor in place and install the wheel. Lower the car and fill the master cylinder with brake fluid.
  8.  

1989-92 Models
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the parking brake cable at the equalizer.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly. Install 2 wheel nuts to retain the rotor.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolt, inlet fitting and washers from the caliper housing. Plug the holes in the caliper housing and inlet fitting.
  8.  
  9. Remove the caliper lever return spring only if it is defective. Discard the spring if the coils are opened.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the parking brake cable from the caliper lever and caliper bracket.
  12.  
  13. Remove the 2 caliper guide pin holes.
  14.  
  15. Remove the caliper housing from the rotor and mounting bracket.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Inspect the guide pins and boots and replace if corroded, worn or damaged. Check the inlet fitting bolt for blockage.
  2.  
  3. Install the caliper housing over the rotor and into the mounting bracket. Install the 2 caliper guide pin bolts. Tighten the upper caliper guide pin bolt to 26 ft. lbs. (35 Nm) and the lower guide pin bolt to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the parking brake cable to the caliper bracket and caliper lever. Install the caliper lever return spring, if removed.
  6.  
  7. Install the inlet fitting, bolt and 2 new washers to the caliper housing. Tighten the bolt to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Bleed the brake system.
  10.  
  11. Adjust the parking brake free travel if the caliper was overhauled.
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle and cycle the parking brake.
  14.  
  15. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Inspect the caliper parking brake levers and ensure they are against the stops on the caliper housing. If the levers are not on their stop, refer to the parking brake adjustment.
  18.  
  19. Remove the 2 nuts securing the rotor and then install the wheel and tire assembly. Lower the vehicle.
  20.  
  21. With the engine running, pump the brake pedal slowly and firmly 3 times to seat the disc brake pads. Check the hydraulic system for leaks.
  22.  

OVERHAUL



1982-88 Models

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5



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Fig. Fig. 1: Rear caliper exploded view



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Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the boot



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Fig. Fig. 3: Installing the piston



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Fig. Fig. 4: Installing the boot



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Fig. Fig. 5: Installing the damper spring

  1. Remove the shoe dampening spring from the end of the piston.
  2.  
  3. Place the caliper in a vise. Move the parking brake lever back and forth to work the piston out of the caliper.
  4.  

If the piston will not come out, remove the lever and use a wrench to rotate the adjusting screw. Rotate the screw in the direction of brake application. Remove the balance spring.

  1. Remove the nut, lever, lever seal, and anti-friction washer.
  2.  
  3. Press on the threaded end of the actuator screw to remove it from the housing.
  4.  
  5. Remove the shaft seal and washer.
  6.  
  7. Remove the dust boot. Be careful not to scratch the housing bore.
  8.  
  9. Remove the locator retainer if so equipped. Remove the piston locator if so equipped.
  10.  
  11. Remove the piston seal using a wooden or plastic tool.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bleeder screw, bolt, fitting, and copper washer. Remove the bracket only if it is damaged.
  14.  
  15. Inspect caliper bore for scoring, nicks, corrosion, and wear. Use crocus cloth for light corrosion. Replace caliper if bore will not clean up.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Replace the bleeder screw, bolt, fitting, and copper washer.
  2.  
  3. Install the piston. Lubricate seals and piston with brake fluid prior to reinstallation.
  4.  
  5. Install the locator retainer if so equipped. Install the piston locator if so equipped.
  6.  
  7. Install the dust boot.
  8.  
  9. Install the shaft seal and washer.
  10.  
  11. Install actuator screw to the housing.
  12.  
  13. Install the nut, lever, lever seal, and anti-friction washer. It may be necessary to rotate the parking brake lever away from the stop to install the nut. Torque the nut 30-40 ft. lbs. (41-54 Nm) and rotate the lever back to the stop.
  14.  
  15. Install the shoe dampening spring to the end of the piston.
  16.  

It may be necessary to move the parking brake lever off the stop, extending the piston slightly, making the dampening spring groove accessible. If the piston is extended, push it back into the caliper before installing the caliper on the car.

1989-92 Models
  1. Remove the caliper assembly. Remove the 2 collar return springs from the actuating collar. Remove the actuator collar assembly with parts attached out of the housing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the clamp rod and compliance bushing.
  4.  
  5. Remove the boot retainers, 2 boots and pushrod from the compliance bushing. Discard the retainers and boots.
  6.  
  7. Remove the preload spring from the retainer.
  8.  
  9. Using compressed air directed into the brake hose port, carefully extract piston.
  10.  


CAUTION
Do not place fingers between piston and brake shoe flange, or personal injury may occur when piston breaks free from bore. Cover caliper assembly with a rag to prevent brake fluid from spraying when piston is extracted.

  1. Inspect and clean piston and bore assembly for cracks or scoring.
  2.  
  3. Remove the piston seal.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bleeder valve.
  6.  
  7. Remove the caliper lever pivot pin seal, sprag clip, spring and lever. Discard the clip.
  8.  
  9. Inspect the caliper lever for worn spots, replace as necessary.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 guide pins from the mounting bracket.
  12.  
  13. Clean all parts not included in the rebuild kit in denatured alcohol. Use only dry filtered compressed air to dry parts. Replace the caliper housing if badly scored or corroded.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Lubricate the new piston seal with clean brake fluid. Place the seal into the caliper groove, making sure the seal is not twisted.
  2.  
  3. Install the piston. Lubricate seals and piston with brake fluid prior to reinstallation.
  4.  
  5. Assemble the pushrod, 2 new boots and new retainers to the actuating collar.
  6.  
  7. Lightly coat the actuating collar with the lubricant provided in the rebuild kit. Do not use any other type of lubricant.
  8.  
  9. Install the clamp retainers firmly against the actuating collar. Bend the tabs on the retainer to hold the assembly together.
  10.  
  11. Install the preload spring into the boot retainers.
  12.  
  13. Install the clamp rod to the actuating collar and boot. Lubricate the clamp rod with the lubricant supplied in the kit.
  14.  
  15. Slide the clamp rod through the holes in the boot and actuating collar. The boot must be against the reaction plate on the clamp rod.
  16.  
  17. Lubricate and install the new compliance bushing with the lubricant supplied in the kit.
  18.  
  19. Install the clamp rod with assembled parts into the connecting hole in the caliper piston.
  20.  
  21. Install a new bleeder valve.
  22.  
  23. Install the pivot pin and new nut into the housing, if removed.
  24.  
  25. Install the caliper pivot pin seal, parking brake lever, new sprag clip and spring, in that order. The teeth of the sprag clip must face away from the lever.
  26.  
  27. Install the 2 collar return springs to the retainer. The retainer must enter the return springs at the end of the second coil.
  28.  
  29. Install the adjuster screw into the caliper housing until the actuating collar is parallel to the piston bore face of the caliper housing.
  30.  
  31. Lubricate and then install the guide pins and boots. Install the pads and caliper assembly.
  32.  
  33. Bleed the brake system.
  34.  

 
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