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Question:

Should I replace brake calipers?

My brakes drag a bit to the right when braking. I took my 1984 Pontiac Fiero SE into the mechanic and he took a look. He said that both of my rear brake calipers need to be replaced because the rear brake system was really restricted when bleeding the fluid. I asked him if it could be a clogged brake line and he said it was a possibility. However, he said when he bled the rear, the drain plug was clogged even after they fixed a clog, and fluid was not coming out much. Does this sound right? I just want to get a second opinion. I have no reason not to believe the guy I just want to make sure. Thanks in advance!!

Answer:

I am working on a 1986 Fiero GT with a very similar issue. I replaced one leaking rear caliper and when I went to bleed the brakes I wasn't getting fluid out of either caliper. The stock Fiero has a combination valve,not a proportioning valve, located next to the master cylinder and it was stuck in the position to lock off the fluid to the rear brakes due to no hydraulic pressure on the rear brake side and pressure from the front brakes forcing the condition. Fix was to open a bleeder valve on a front caliper to relieve the one sided pressure in the valve and slowly pump the brake pedal thus allowing the valve in the internal cylinder to return to normal position. The combination valve also causes the brake light on the dash to illuminate indicating a brake system failure. Once again I began the procedure to bleed the rear brake calipers the rear right side with new caliper would not bleed but the left side did. It appears the steel brake line on the right rear from the line junction connectionto the rubber hose is clogged. This steel line almost looks like an S thus allowing sediment from the old leaking caliper cylinder to settle and harden in the line. The vehicle I am speaking about has been mostly dormant in a garage for the past 7 years. Have your mechanic examine the steel line from the junction to the rubber brake hose and the rubber hose itself. Placing a new caliper on as I did does not always fix the entire situation. By the way the longest brake line on the Fiero GT runs to the driver left rear caliper and this side should be bleed first. Most manuals on the Fiero state to bleed the right rear first. this is incorrect. Good Luck from a Mechanic.
May 28, 2018
Poor fluid pressure to the rear is a sign of a weak master cylinder, proportioning valve or a leak in the system. Brake lines and calipers usually don't clog. Only the bleeders or rubber hoses. I am also assuming that this mechanic properly bled the system correctly. On most older GM's start with right rear then move to left front go back to right rear and rebleed. Vice versa with the other wheels. These cars have a cross diagonal braking system.
May 28, 2018
First if pulling to right when braking would think problem would be in front.Could be a clogged brake flex hose, On 83 model suggest changing all of them front and rear. Did he use a pressure bleeder, ask, if yes then he's probably right. But strongly suggest you do flex lines and then recheck. Bleeder screw is what she means. Also check for sticking caliper at all 4 wheels and if one bad replace both at rear or front whichever hanging. Could also be equalizer valve or bad master cylinder so pressure should be checked there too.Hope this helps.
May 28, 2018
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May 28, 2018

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