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Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

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Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Old 09-04-2018, 11:27 AM
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Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

My brakes create a pull to the right under initial application. Typically in the past this has been an indicator that a brake hose needs replaced. Not a grantee, but has solved the problem previously on multiple cars. And hey, my IROC is 30 years old. Not surprising.

I measured my rotors before removing them. The side that it was pulling to measures a bit over 1", the limit of my micrometers. The drivers side measures .9804". with .980 being listed as min thickness and discard as .964", seems like getting it turned is pointless and I would rather have a matched set. The pads are at 50% or so, and the calipers all seem to be functioning fine.

Being that I will be replacing pads, rotors, and brake lines, I was wondering what could/should be upgraded if I am keeping my stock 16" IROC's on the car. I'm not wanting to go into thousands of dollars kits, or conversions. It would be nice to find a kit with better rotors, stainless braded lines, and a better calipers that are stock replacements. Does this exist and I just can't find it?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:45 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

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Old 09-04-2018, 01:52 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Rotors are so cheap anymore there's really no reason to bother having them turned. Besides you'd just be reducing the mass, which would reduce the efficiency, ability to absorb and dissipate heat.

Hoses seem to be the #1 fail point on thirdgens at this point in time. Even if the rubber is ok usually moisture in the brake fluid has taken it's toll on the steel fittings which leads to the brakes sticking.

If you don't want to go hog wild with a reasonable upgrade, just fix the stock system. Fancy rotors and painted calipers are just going to look 'cool' and empty your wallet. If you actually want better brakes, it seems like the most affordable option is the LS1 brake swap.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:52 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Don't cut the rotors! Even a finishing cut can take up to 60% of your original braking force away and i've seen it happen on newer rotors. I'll never cut a rotor! Especially with how cheap rotors are. Replacing the stock hoses with stainless steel braided lines will help. Something doesn't seem right about your measurements as I would think that the side that the car is pulling towards is actually thicker than the other side, which tells me that the brakes on that side are barely working. I would also check your right rear brake to see if it's releasing or is adjusted better than the left side rear brakes. That could be the cause of your pull as well.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:33 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by KyleF View Post
My brakes create a pull to the right under initial application. Typically in the past this has been an indicator that a brake hose needs replaced. Not a grantee, but has solved the problem previously on multiple cars. And hey, my IROC is 30 years old. Not surprising.

I measured my rotors before removing them. The side that it was pulling to measures a bit over 1", the limit of my micrometers. The drivers side measures .9804". with .980 being listed as min thickness and discard as .964", seems like getting it turned is pointless and I would rather have a matched set. The pads are at 50% or so, and the calipers all seem to be functioning fine.

Being that I will be replacing pads, rotors, and brake lines, I was wondering what could/should be upgraded if I am keeping my stock 16" IROC's on the car. I'm not wanting to go into thousands of dollars kits, or conversions. It would be nice to find a kit with better rotors, stainless braded lines, and a better calipers that are stock replacements. Does this exist and I just can't find it?

Thanks
I was in the same boat and this is what I did. I purchased this Powerstop Z23 Evolution kit from Jegs. https://www.jegs.com/i/Power-Stop/419/KC2160/10002/-1 Not sure if this is the exact part number for our cars but they do carry it. Coupled those with a set of Russell lines https://www.jegs.com/i/Russell/799/6...791+4294829509 and for around 3 hunge I got a really nice set up that most definitely made a difference in the braking power. Not a big brake upgrade, just a brake upgrade that really worked. The nice thing it is all stock sized stuff so a true plug and play no matter your wheel, and the drilled and slotted rotors with the powdercoat calipers look nice behind the rim.
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:43 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Vinny,

That's a great setup. I've had a lot of luck with the PowerStop brakes. They're really making a good name/reputation for themselves and they're on the cheaper end cost wise. Kyle, check them out at Rockauto.com as well as you might save some money with them on those parts.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:54 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by Go Blue View Post
Don't cut the rotors! Even a finishing cut can take up to 60% of your original braking force away and i've seen it happen on newer rotors. I'll never cut a rotor! Especially with how cheap rotors are. Replacing the stock hoses with stainless steel braided lines will help. Something doesn't seem right about your measurements as I would think that the side that the car is pulling towards is actually thicker than the other side, which tells me that the brakes on that side are barely working. I would also check your right rear brake to see if it's releasing or is adjusted better than the left side rear brakes. That could be the cause of your pull as well.
I agree it was an odd find. Certainly not what I was expecting. The only way I can make sense out of it is at some point the passenger side rotor was changed when the driver's side was not. I am not exactly sure why someone would do that, but there is no mistaking initial application pulls the wheel to the right (passenger side). However, after that initial pull, everything straightens right back up almost immediately. Both side have a good clean wear pattern, even pad wear, and about 50% of the pad material is left. The brake fluid is also dark and I would assume way past needing flushed out. I am going to vacuum flush the entire system as well.

I appreciate the options you guys put up. I found a lot of kits for big brakes, LS1 Brakes, and various generation Corvette brakes, but they are just more expensive than it warrants to spend for the use of the car. I made the mistake with my Viper of investing in Big Brake Kit from Stoptech, and CCW SP500 Wheels to clear it (including Powder Coating the wheels). I believe once it was all said and done on the car, it was close to $12K with brakes, wheels, tires, and installation supplies. I did this with the intention of doing some track time with the Viper. I ended up doing 1 track event with a borrowed trailer. Never did end up having the time to justify purchasing all the track day stuff and trailer. Here are the Viper Brakes and yes, they had tremendous braking force with 335s out back and 275s up front, great feel/predictability, and absolutely stiff pedal. No mush or extended pedal travel with that kit.

There are no such plans for the IROC. Just a cruiser, car show, weekend fun, and cars & coffee for it. Long term plans involve an audio system with sub, general reconditioning, but on the fence about changing the wheels. I figured that didn't mean that I have to stay completely stock on the brakes if I want to retain the stock wheels, and it looks like there are reasonable options for the intended use.

Last edited by KyleF; 09-06-2018 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:10 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

I ordered the Power Stop front Kit, Russell Lines, and Still Rotors/Pads for the rear. We will see how it goes, but I figure with 30 years in, while I have it all apart might as well put new calipers, bearing, seals, and hoses while I am in there.

As far as the mention of the rear not functioning properly. The rotor surfaces there look very good as well on the front and back side of the rotors. Well, as best as you can see with the wheels still on. I will take measurements of the rotors as I work on the rears, and inspect the calipers closely. I have never had an issue with the rears, and my 86 TA had the fun of going through about 4 rear calipers in my 5 years of ownership, never caused the front wheels to jerk to one side. When the caliper would fail, for lack of a better term, the car felt like it wagged the rear. No feeling in the steering wheel.

I will post up some pictures and thoughts after the components arrive.

Last edited by KyleF; 09-10-2018 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:22 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Interested in seeing how the kit works out for you. Debating doing this myself vs a conversion
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:32 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
Interested in seeing how the kit works out for you. Debating doing this myself vs a conversion
What are you planning on doing with you car? I wouldn't have gone this route if I was expecting to do any autocross or road racing.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:35 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by KyleF View Post
What are you planning on doing with you car? I wouldn't have gone this route if I was expecting to do any autocross or road racing.
Probably nothing more than the occasional aggressive-ish road driving. I don't expect to be doing much hard braking honestly.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:36 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
Probably nothing more than the occasional aggressive-ish road driving. I don't expect to be doing much hard braking honestly.
That is exactly why I went this way. If I am tearing into it to replace brake hoses, I see no reason to keep 30 year old parts. The way I am lookign at it is I am replacing the rubber hoses with braided stainless, going to better pads, better rotors, new bearings, and re-manufactured calipers and only spending $250 more than the $350 it would have cost from the parts store for basically stock parts. Going to and LS1 kit or a C5,6,7 brake was going to be closing in on over $1000 or a lot more time finding the parts.

The front kit is scheduled to arrive today, hoses tomorrow, and Stillen didn't give me a ship date on the rear pads/rotors. As of now, I am not replacing the rear calipers... but I might just while I am at it.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:59 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Front components are here:
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:52 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Bearings didnít come in that kit did they? My front end is apart right now and Iím thinking I might just replace lines and bearings and throw the old stuff back on for now. Too much else going on and I can do the brakes any time.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:12 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

I could be wrong, and please do correct me if I am, but those look like stock calipers to me. I doubt they'll add any additional braking force. But, depending on the price you paid, it's probably a decent stock replacement unit that comes powder coated. I can only assume that any additional braking force that might happen would be from replacing the worn out rubber lines with braided steel lines, the additional initial bite from the slotted and drilled rotors, new brake hardware\fresh grease, and perhaps upgraded brake pad compounds.
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by Jorlain View Post
I could be wrong, and please do correct me if I am, but those look like stock calipers to me. I doubt they'll add any additional braking force. But, depending on the price you paid, it's probably a decent stock replacement unit that comes powder coated. I can only assume that any additional braking force that might happen would be from replacing the worn out rubber lines with braided steel lines, the additional initial bite from the slotted and drilled rotors, new brake hardware\fresh grease, and perhaps upgraded brake pad compounds.
100% correct. If you follow the thread above, I do not plan on road racing or auto crossing this car. The cost to go to a bigger brake system just isn't justified based off the intended use. The brakes calipers themselves will not have more force, but the better rotors/pads it will use the force more efficiently with he addition of the stainless lines. I don't expect huge improvements from a fresh stock set up, but the cost to upgrade was very minimal.

No the bearings did not come in the kit, they are Federal Mogul and were purchased separately.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:29 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

So just some food for thought, or anyone else looking this up in the future. Installed stock LS1 front brakes, and the difference was night and day. I paid about $800, but I think it's cheaper now, AND, if you source your parts, you can do it cheaper. I believe they fit under all thirdgen 16" rims except the crosslace/GTAs. I'm running a ceramic pads because they're cleaner on my pretty wheels, and standard non drilled rotors. It's night and day over stock. Not saying everyone should do it, but it IS a huge improvement. One of the best bang for the buck upgrades you can make IMHO.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:40 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

The LS1 brakes fit under crosslace wheels, but you need a 1/8" spacer so the caliper doesn't touch the back of the face of the wheel
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:34 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Fronts are done with new hoses. I will tell you, the small investment I made on a vacuum brake bleeder that works of my compressor was worth every penny.

Broke them in by the prescribed way and all pulling issues are gone. Brakes hard and straight. Now the rest of the rear stuff just needs to get here.

I can't really compare these to stock as it has been too long since I drove one that wasn't compromised. Also, the fronts have their braided hoses, but the rear still has rubber. Pedal feeling is better, but still isn't what I would like to have. It is much better than where I started, but where I started was not 100% up to factory performance.


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Old 09-17-2018, 07:30 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Funny you say that, I bought a vaccum bleeder this weekend to do my truck. I tried just using a plastic tube and it didn't work that well, so my pedal is still super mushy. Probably will try it tonight and use it again when I get to the Camaro. I got mine from Harbor Freight.

Looks good though. I'd have replaced the dust caps, but I guess you won't see em anyway.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:29 AM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
Funny you say that, I bought a vaccum bleeder this weekend to do my truck. I tried just using a plastic tube and it didn't work that well, so my pedal is still super mushy. Probably will try it tonight and use it again when I get to the Camaro. I got mine from Harbor Freight.

Looks good though. I'd have replaced the dust caps, but I guess you won't see em anyway.
The dust caps came off so easy and showed absolutely no signs of being messed with, I just cleaned them up and used them.

I got my vacuum bleeder from Amazon. I am not sure if it is the same as the Harbor Freight but it sure looked similar when I looked it up. I couldn't pull a constant stream out, seems the tube was having a hard time sealing. I sucked all the old fluid out of the master cylinder before I started, topped off with fresh, then started disconnecting the lines. Obviously some leaked out, and the new lines/calipers would be empty. After completing the brake install, pumped it up... a lot. Then I let it sit for a drink/pee break. came back. Hooked the kit up to both wheels and let it suck, cracked the bleeders open and let it run for about 30 seconds and closed them back off. Pumped on the brakes again, and then did each side individually starting with the passenger side for multiple rounds. It never did pull a solid stream. I said "F-it" and got my son and started to do it old school. Tube on screw with the end in the bucket. First push... not a bit of air. So, the bleeder did it's job. I still went to the drivers side and did an old school check. Same condition, no air.

The brakes are still not "factory fresh" stiff... yet. Just keep in mind the rears still have used pads/rotors/calipers and 30 year old rubber brake hoses. So, I expect it to still be a little mushy through the first 1/2" of travel. Though, once it stiffens up, it stays stiff. I would expect once I get the new lines and new fluid all flushed through the rear a lot of that will go away.

The brake fluid I sucked out of the master cylinder, I had to put in a clear 20oz bottle as the new brake fluid hadn't been used from he bottle.. It was the color of Pepsi! Not good.

Unfortunately, my class reunion is this weekend. So, it will be a few more weeks before the rear gets done.
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:43 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
So just some food for thought, or anyone else looking this up in the future. Installed stock LS1 front brakes, and the difference was night and day. I paid about $800, but I think it's cheaper now, AND, if you source your parts, you can do it cheaper. I believe they fit under all thirdgen 16" rims except the crosslace/GTAs. I'm running a ceramic pads because they're cleaner on my pretty wheels, and standard non drilled rotors. It's night and day over stock. Not saying everyone should do it, but it IS a huge improvement. One of the best bang for the buck upgrades you can make IMHO.

X2!!
Going from 10.5" x 1" rotors to 12" x 1.25" rotors makes a good improvement in stopping power think of fourth gen brakes on car that's 500# less than a fourth gen and its pretty easy mod to third gens think of as a 1LE upgrade + as the ls1 rotors are thicker to take more heat
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:55 PM
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Re: Front Brakes need attention, what should be upgraded?

Originally Posted by KyleF View Post
The dust caps came off so easy and showed absolutely no signs of being messed with, I just cleaned them up and used them.

I got my vacuum bleeder from Amazon. I am not sure if it is the same as the Harbor Freight but it sure looked similar when I looked it up. I couldn't pull a constant stream out, seems the tube was having a hard time sealing. I sucked all the old fluid out of the master cylinder before I started, topped off with fresh, then started disconnecting the lines. Obviously some leaked out, and the new lines/calipers would be empty. After completing the brake install, pumped it up... a lot. Then I let it sit for a drink/pee break. came back. Hooked the kit up to both wheels and let it suck, cracked the bleeders open and let it run for about 30 seconds and closed them back off. Pumped on the brakes again, and then did each side individually starting with the passenger side for multiple rounds. It never did pull a solid stream. I said "F-it" and got my son and started to do it old school. Tube on screw with the end in the bucket. First push... not a bit of air. So, the bleeder did it's job. I still went to the drivers side and did an old school check. Same condition, no air.

The brakes are still not "factory fresh" stiff... yet. Just keep in mind the rears still have used pads/rotors/calipers and 30 year old rubber brake hoses. So, I expect it to still be a little mushy through the first 1/2" of travel. Though, once it stiffens up, it stays stiff. I would expect once I get the new lines and new fluid all flushed through the rear a lot of that will go away.

The brake fluid I sucked out of the master cylinder, I had to put in a clear 20oz bottle as the new brake fluid hadn't been used from he bottle.. It was the color of Pepsi! Not good.

Unfortunately, my class reunion is this weekend. So, it will be a few more weeks before the rear gets done.
I had similar experience with the HF vacuum bleeder. Always pulled some air, but I went ahead and did my truck, just sucking until I saw fresh fluid. It always had air bubbles. Seems the hose just didn't quite get a good seal, but I just closed the valve while sucking to keep air from going back in. Don't have a son to do the two person method but I can tell it worked since my brakes got back to normal.
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