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bluecalais79

Larger Rear Brake Rotors(?)

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bluecalais79

I just got done yesterday setting up/laying up my 96 Cutlass for the winter, which will not be driven up here in CT until next April, probably. I replaced my refurbished 5 spokes with a very used set of sawblades and 15 year old snow tires. They still hold air so they will do while the car is under a cover until the spring.

What I noticed though, the rear pads have an incredible amount of wear on them already, these pads are only less than 20,000 miles old (!). I am resigned to the fact they are going to need to be replaced next Spring. I guess that's probably normal for the rears.

Is there any possibility on getting a larger rotor/caliper set up installed for the rear discs? These rear discs just seem awfully small for a 3300 pound car.

Thanks, any braking tips/upgrade advise would be appreciated, this car brakes terrible.

 

 

 

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digitaloutsider

Most 1G W braking issues can probably be traced back to a shitty brake booster. A 96 already has the largest factory brakes fitted to the rear. I used to be able to lock up the brakes on command in my '90 LE, so I'm gonna assume the brake size isn't the problem. 

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Schurkey

Excess pad wear isn't likely from small rotors unless you're making a habit of flying down hill on mountain roads, or racing.  It's probably from sticking calipers.  It might be from rotors with a poor surface finish.  Could be CHEAP PADS.  Maybe a hydraulic problem, where the fluid can't return to the master cylinder reservoir so the pads are held against the rotor.

I've never had '96-style calipers apart.  I've pulled '92--'93 calipers apart.  They've got a bad reputation, but I think the "real" problem with them is lack of using the park brake.  Unfortunately, my '98 Monte Carlo is drum rear.  It's amazing how much GM de-contented the W from first-gen to second-gen.

Edited by Schurkey

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bluecalais79

Thanks, I'll go with the cheap pads idea, man they really shedded their skin on me. The rotors were replaced when I sunk all that dough into making the car right and driveable 2 years ago. This car has been GREAT. I will sorely miss driving it while it is laid up for the winter. No issues with the intake manifold gaskets. Yet.

Next spring I may get the front end rebuilt as the lower control arms, etc were rusty when I got the car and that was 2 years and 20,000 miles ago. That's 20,000 miles that didn't go on my truck, preserving the warrantee. A total win.

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55trucker

Before you go to the effort of replacing the pads in a blind manner, find out why both of the present rear pads have worn out in such a short time. A single side worn pads suggests a possible seizing of the caliper/caliper pins but both of them aggressively wearing makes me think the parking brake is holding on.

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Nas Escobar

1994 was the last year that GM updated the rear brakes on the 1G W body. 2G rear brakes are completely different from the 1G's and the Lumina/Monte Carlo was mostly a modified 1G with certain improvements. The brakes were not one of them. GM did all it wanted to do in 94 for the rear, and 95 for the fronts. The front rotors are larger in diameter, but you need 95-2001 strut/spindle unit since the front uses cartridges instead of a separate strut and spindle. For whatever reason, GM made the rear rotors awfully thin and there's nothing you can really do about it short of swapping in a whole rear suspension from a 2G W or something of the sort. 

 

More than likely, the rear calipers are sticking. Cheap pads can wear out quickly, but the real question is if you smell something akin to burnt rubber in the back, or if you notice glazing on the rotors from the heat.

 

Regardless, the easiest solution is to do the whole rear brakes. New calipers, new pads, new rotors. I want to say it's fairly common for the rear calipers to stick on the 1G's. It seems to be a common problem that the fronts outlast the rears instead of the other way around.

Edited by Nas Escobar

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90LuminaEuro

Check the hoses. I've had several 1G W-bodies, including my current '88 CS. They all had issues with the rear passenger side going through pads and the calipers seizing. My CS regularly smoked brakes. I replaced the master cylinder, calipers in the rear and did a full bleed on the system. Still locked up. Metal lines were intact and in good shape. Turns out, the hose was bad! Collapsed when pressure was taken off and the caliper would only release pressure when I opened the bleed screw. Replace all of your hoses. You can even find steel-braided ones at hawkbrakesdirect.com. just have to look up the 94 Z34. 

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