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Brakes are terrible. Any tips on changing calliper

Midget78

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Hey gang. Got my 78 midget out on the highway with some warm weather breaks lthe other day and scared the heck out of myself and those around me. The front right calliper is sticking so when I was going about 60 mph and needed to stop cause a fire truck was going the other direction and everyone started freaking out. I hit the brakes to start to slow down and the car pulls to the left due to the front right calliper not responding right away. I adjusted the back brakes and they are working but that front right calliper I need to pull and replace. It doesnt look to complicated yet it seems working on these cars there is always a surprise or two. Any suggestions or tips I would appreciate to make the job easier. Next week I will probably get into this.
 

Jim_Gruber

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New/Rebuilts are fairly cheap. Someone quoted there were able to find for < $50 through one of the chain parts stores. If you've never replaced the hoses on the front you might want to start there first and foremost. When they get old they collapse internally, hence calipers will not release. Calipers can be rebuilt but at the cost, especially if you have not futzed with them before I'd go new and new hoses. You'll also want to replace the rear flex hose as well. Again it collapses and the rear brakes will not work either.

There are lock tabs that need to be unbent and then calipers will unbolt with two bolts. Try some PB Blaster on there a couple of days in advance. Uee PB Blaster on brake line fittings as well as couple of days in advance. Try to keep off of the pads and the rotor. Other than that and an assistant to pump the pedal at bleeding time these cars are fairly simple to replace brake and calipers on. They don't get much simpler.
 

JPSmit

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Calipers are an easy rebuild. However, I agree - check hoses first. If you do need to rebuild, I have the PDF of the classic motorsports Midget rebuild - caliper rebuild. PM me your email and I cans send it
 

PeterC

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Sometimes if a wheel bearing is loose, the disc can wobble pushing the pads back in too far and giving the impression of no brakes. Dig around first. Rarely, very rarely does a caliper fail by NOT clamping. Usually they fail by leaking or not retracting (which is not always the caliper's fault, but the hose's). Shake the wheel for a loose bearing.

Peter
 

bgbassplyr

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"the disc can wobble pushing the pads back in too far and giving the impression of no brakes"
But in that case, there would not be a pedal and the brakes would have to be pumped. If brake pedal is there and left front is working, then there is a problem with the right side. Hose or caliper piston as stated above.
 
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Midget78

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Thanks gang. For sure I am going to replace the hose while changing the calliper. It doesnt sound to be to complicated at all. I think I may order another "clip" also in case the one that is on there gets screwed up in the process of getting to the bolts. I just want to be able to stop properly. When I was cruising down the highway and getting the usual "looks" then I freaked everyone out fish tailing all over trying to slow down. Not a good feeling or way to represent the Midgets out there.
 

JPSmit

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It may be worth changing the hose before you change the caliper - if it works, you may not need the other
 
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Midget78

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John, Commom sense isnt always so common.I think your right and thats what I'll do. Be a bit cheaper and might take care of the problem. Thanks.
 

Jim_Gruber

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Be sure and change the rear hose as well. That one seems to fail more often than the front hoses. 90% of the braking in this car is done by the front brakes so it's important that you get it right and yes we will help you figure out getting the brakes bled properly.
 
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Midget78

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Hey do any you guys have a problem with the after market type hoses? They are $12.00 cheaper then the factory hoses in the moss catalog. I figure if they are just as good I would just buy them to save a little cash.
 

bugimike

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They will work fine...at least for a while...I have found you get what you pay for! Sometimes it is worth it to pay a little more once and get parts that last better than twice as long than to have to replace the cheaper parts a few times! It is hard to tell what you are getting for the money though nowadays...to pay $12 more for virtually the same quality part IS a rip!!
 
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Midget78

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Hey guys, I did notice that the wheel on that side seems worn as I can grab it and rock it a little bit. Not much. Is changing the wheel bearings a complex job?
 
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Midget78

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Ok gang. I changed the line and boy was that a job cause I had to take stuff off to get to the flange and the nut on the other side of fender wall for the hose. Once I made access to it I got it right off and put the new right back on. I bled only that side since I didnt tamper with anything else. Took it out for a drive and that side is still not responding like the drivers side which it always wants to pull to when I go to stop. It seems like the piston in the calliper is sticking. One thing that got my attention was the tie rod on the side that is acting up needs replaced. The rubber is about gone and the ball in the socket looks ready to give away. Luckily I have another new set Im going to get on sooner then later. I started to wonder if the tie rod is actually giving me the braking issue? I just dont want to jump and replace the calliper just yet.
 

Atrus

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Jim_Gruber said:
New/Rebuilts are fairly cheap. Someone quoted there were able to find for < $50 through one of the chain parts stores.

Has anyone tried one of these chain new/rebuilt units?

I see that calipers at Autozone would run me $50 a side. Not sure if mine are shot or not, but honestly, I'd rather just replace them and know that they are solid. If I don't replace, I'll be sending them out for rebuild.

I rebuilt the rear end, rear suspension, and rear brakes last summer - I'd like to take care of the front brakes and front suspension this summer and actually <span style="font-style: italic">drive</span> the car!
 
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