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Old 02-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default Brake questions (Time for new ones?)

Ever since I got my Miata I've had problems with uneven brake distribution (front left locks sooner than others, and it has a lot more resistance than the others). I finally got around to servicing them. Replaced the pads and bled over 9,000 times. I still have the exact same problem.

On the front left, I had a bitch of a time getting the inside pad in. It really didn't want to go in. Even the old one didn't want to go back in once it was out.

Is it time for new calipers? Is there something else wrong? I just want to confirm before I blow a load of money on new parts.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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do you grease the sliders very well?
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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do you grease the sliders very well?
No, I guess that's next on my list.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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I hate that. Always felt like the rubber boots took all the grease off I just put on. Like lubing up and THEN putting on a condom.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:38 PM   #5
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Caliper rebuild is easy and cheap, also make sure the sliders move freely and are very lubed
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #6
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One thing I noticed is that even with the caliper up the wheel still turns very hard. I think the thing that holds the pads in might be warped slightly, causing more pressure than it should have, which is why it was very hard to get the inside pad in.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
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Does the piston move freely?
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
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One thing I noticed is that even with the caliper up the wheel still turns very hard. I think the thing that holds the pads in might be warped slightly, causing more pressure than it should have, which is why it was very hard to get the inside pad in.
If you're experiencing enough heat to "sloop" the cast-iron caliper, I commend you. However, this is not the case.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #9
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Does the piston move freely?
Yeah. Pistons are fine.

I'm just going to bite the bullet and get new front brakes.

VW brakes?
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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Before you do too much, check for swaybar preload. Just disconnect one link and then test for lockup again. Most Miatas lock the RF first. The reason bar preload is important is that the links then pull up or press down on a given a-arm. The light corner locks first since less traction is available. The fix is getting adjustable length links, preferably adjusted after corner balancing the car.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:42 PM   #11
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Before you do too much, check for swaybar preload. Just disconnect one link and then test for lockup again. Most Miatas lock the RF first. The reason bar preload is important is that the links then pull up or press down on a given a-arm. The light corner locks first since less traction is available. The fix is getting adjustable length links, preferably adjusted after corner balancing the car.
Would this cause elevated resistance in the wheel with no brakes applied though? If so I'll check it out.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
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Would this cause elevated resistance in the wheel with no brakes applied though? If so I'll check it out.
You should check it out regardless. Bar preload is a very common issue on Miatas. It leads to a difference in handling to the right versus to the left (one way could understeer, the other might be more neutral or oversteery) and it encourages premature lockup at the "light" corner. The corner heights should be checked too. I'd go over the car, ensuring that the basics are working well.

If you do things like that, you wind up with a better performing car. One Miata I setup the brakes on stops from 60 MPH in under 100 feet in the better attempts. On street tires, no ABS!

(brace for more jokes at my expense about datalogging and properly setting up things on a car)
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