FWD Tech Guides '95-'07 Guides/How-To information for FWD Montes 1995-2007

Repair Guide: Changing Brakes and Rotors

  #1  
Old 01-06-2008, 12:20 AM
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Default Changing Brakes and Rotors

Guys, Just wanted to post the link to my "Messin' with the Monty" photo album. I did a step-by-step photo shoot of up-grading the brakes. So I thought it would be good here in the DIY section. I replaced the stock rotors with cross-drilled and vented rotors, then bigger & better pads. Believe me, it made a BIG difference! Especially on an automatic, you gotta keep the RPMs up going into the corners! Use the bottom link to get to the album and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.


FRONT BRAKES



The stock front brakes are fine for everyday driving, but for a day up windy Highway 1 on a summer day I wanted something a little better.





The first thing we did was wash everything down with brake cleaner, a catch can keeps the driveway from being stained.





Don't forget to take the brake master cylinder cap off, this way there won't be any back pressure when we collapse the brake caliper.





We used are new pads and a spreader bar to push the piston back into the caliper. Take your time and collapse the piston slowly. There might be a lot of grunge in there, we don't want to stir it up.





Now use a 14mm wrench to take off the caliper mounting bracket. If you look closely you can see we've tie-strapped the caliper to the strut spring to keep it out of our way. Never let it hang by the brake line!





With the old rotor off, we can compare it with the new to make sure everything matches up and fits right. You'll notice we didn't go to a bigger diameter rotor. This way we can keep our stock calipers. But the cross-drilled and vented rotors should help a lot!





We're using a Dupli-Color brake rotor painting kit to paint our rotors red. I thought it would be a nice touch since Chevy use's red badges on the car. The kit comes with a can of "Brake Caliper Cleaner", but you'll need a strong metal brush to first clean the caliper.





We're using the top-of-line Rayobestos ceramic pads. Read all the installation instructions carefully, and ALWAYS replace the hold down hardware. Use the supplied grease only where the pads rub the hardware.





The old pad had this small tab that would rub against the rotor to let you know when it's time to replace your pads, make sure your new pads have them as well.





They give you a SMALL tube of grease, because you only need a SMALL amount. Check your instructions. You ONLY grease where the pads slide on the mounting hardware!Notice the difference in size between the one old pad and the two new ones.





When putting things back together it's a good idea to use a lug nut to hold the rotor in place while you mount the caliper brackets.





We masked off the brake line & bleeder with tape provided in the Dupli-Color kit. A plastic bag protects our caliper and new brake pads. The paint is thin and runs easily. It will take several coats to cover.





The Dupli-Color kit comes with a small brush and this can of red ceramic paint that can take the high temperatures of braking.





Looking good. The bigger pads and cross-drilled rotor should really improve our braking power! Noticed that besides the jack stand (far left), we used the cars tire under car just-in-case. After all, I live in earthquake country (San Francisco East Bay)!

With the front's done, it's time to move to the back brakes. Bolt your wheels back on the front & let the car down .





REAR BRAKES



Moving on to the rear brakes, jack up the car and support it with jack stands. Remove the wheel. Get out the brake clean!







Four bolts removed and you've broke down the brakes to this. Again, always support the caliper, we're using the suspension trailing arm here.







The emergency brake, brake pads, are located just behind the axle flanges. Clean'em up with some brake clean.







We used our pad spreader once again to collasp the piston back into the caliper.







Just like the front brakes we cleaned and painted the calipers, and installed our new pads.

As you can see things are looking great! Now it's time to put our wheels back on, tighten them up and lower the car back to the ground.







Check the brake fluid level, put the cap on, and slowly step on the brake pedals a few times. I noticed a BIG difference just on the first drive around the block! Can't wait for that first drive up Highway 1 on the North Coast!
 
  #2  
Old 01-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,805
Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

nice write upa and photos Thanks for this .
 
  #3  
Old 01-09-2008, 03:45 AM
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Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

Those brakes look heavier than the stock Monte brakes. Aren't the rotors 1 1/4" and ours .825? Are they heavier? If so, that's more rotating mass, and will slow the car down on acceleration.
Are the calipers 4 piston or just 2 piston? If they are 2 piston calipers, I believe the F-body calipers are about the same size, and will work as good. I just bought my F-body Hawk HPS pads for my car. The HPS pads on the car now have 100K+ miles on them, and are still OK.
Just curious about the Vette brakes
 
  #4  
Old 01-09-2008, 12:30 PM
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Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

Since my Monty is a Limited Edition car, I didn't want to change a whole lot of stuff on it. The rotors are actually the same size as stock rotors. The advantage to that is: you use the STOCK calipers (I just cleaned them and painyed them). I used Rayobesto top-of-line ceramic pads which have a greater surface area, and really seem to make a big difference over the stock pads. My stock rotors and SS wheels & tires were wrapped in plastic and put in storage, so if the Monty does become a "collector" car I can put it back to stock in one afternoon.
 
  #5  
Old 01-09-2008, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Fond du Lac, WI
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Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

Very nice. I got a kick out of "The finger prints in the brake dust" on image 6.

That pic also throws the illusion that the new rotors are bigger in diameter as well.
 
  #6  
Old 01-09-2008, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,805
Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

ORIGINAL: RocknSS04

Those brakes look heavier than the stock Monte brakes. Aren't the rotors 1 1/4" and ours .825? Are they heavier? If so, that's more rotating mass, and will slow the car down on acceleration.
Are the calipers 4 piston or just 2 piston? If they are 2 piston calipers, I believe the F-body calipers are about the same size, and will work as good. I just bought my F-body Hawk HPS pads for my car. The HPS pads on the car now have 100K+ miles on them, and are still OK.
Just curious about the Vette brakes
the brake rotors being thicker and heavier is not always a bad thing.
they cooler faster and also give you more surface area to aid in stoping the car. Also allowing the pads to have a greater surface to run agianst to allow them to work better.

as far as the 2 piston or 4 piston calipers honestly this makes some diffrence but i bet it is les sthen you might think. the 4 piston calipers do nothing more then allow a more even presur to rid on the pad witch in return allows pressure to hold better to the disk.
a 2 piston caliper dose this same thing but might push harder on one end or the other more. but for the most part is pretty even. Also unless your really hitting real high sppeds where you really need that kind of braking it is not anythign more then bragging rights.

you really want o make aHUGE diffrence in the way your car handels and stops.
go get some GOOD brake pads.
get your rotors turned so everythign is freash on it.
Then bed the brakes in prperly so they are broke in right.

if you do it all right and match it all right it will pretty much put you threw the windsheild as a stock system. also.

th elarger surface area just makes it even better.

This is still a great way to up grade the beakes on our cars
 
  #7  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:41 AM
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Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

I don't believe the Vette brakes are any larger in diameter than ours, are they? Just thicker, 1 1/4" thick vs .825 . And as far as surface area, I agree, that's why I'm switching to the bolt on F-body brakes in front, with almost DOUBLE the pad surface area as the stock brakes.
I also agree as I stated before, that the F-body brakes are about the same size as the Vette brakes, and should work just as good in a street application
I just bought another set of Hawk HPS pads for the front and back of the Intimidator. IMO, they are THE best, and THE cleanest brakes out there.
 
  #8  
Old 01-10-2008, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3
Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

Nice DIY Roy, I may do something like this when I go to change brakes.
 
  #9  
Old 01-10-2008, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,805
Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

the HPS pads are very nice pads.. I hav eosme green things im not going to mention a name becuse im really not real happy with the dust burn off on them my wheels have looked black al most the entire time.


I bilive they are actually a ddiffrent diamitor I know they are defently thicker witch is good.
better heat realease off of them.

If you get them drilled or groved then they are good in bad weather also.
I had seriously thought of doing the same upgrade on mine just havent gotten out to ge the parts.

How ever the one thig i would REALLY LIKE TO FIND!!

Is a good upgrade for the rear brakes!! I know folks say they are not needed but i would love to have the stopping power from the larger brakes also.
 
  #10  
Old 01-11-2008, 04:59 AM
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Default RE: Up Grading 2003 Brakes...

At 100,000 miles+ on my HPS pads and Powerslot rotors, the rear brakes have MUCH more wear on them than the fronts. Almost wore out totally, and the fronts are at 25-30% left. That indicates to me that the rear brakes are working just as hard as the fronts, and maybe harder.
When I do my brake job in the next couple of weeks, I intend on taking several measurements, so see what is available in other calipers for these cars, or what can be fab'd. I would like to see 4 piston calipers front and back on my stock Powerslot rotors, which have plenty of life left.
 

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