This can be a challenge, especially when you Optimize your 124, or 131 for Mountain Driving. With a light 128 or X, the brakes perform well- With the heavier Twin-Cam models, it becomes a problem- The cars are star performers on the road, but the brakes are inadequate! You can make the best of your setup by following the guidelines below.
|1. Brake Disc||2. Cotter Pin||3. Locking Block||4. Caliper|
|5. Pliers||6. Support Bracket||7. Retainer Spring||8. Brake Pad|
Please note that this info is intended to supplement your shop manual procedure, not replace it
Before you start, open the bleeder on each caliper one by one and bleed some fluid out. If the fluid looks seriously ugly, then lean more heavily toward rebuilding the calipers. If nothing else, you know you have a complete brake fluid change ahead of you before you finish your brake job!
Now, remove the calipers- Remove the retaining springs, and make sure they
are not worn- Clean all surfaces with Brake Cleaner and a wire brush,
removing as much old material as you can. Be sure to sand the Locking
Blocks shiny clean on all surfaces, and also sand the Calipers where they
meet the Locking Block!
Next inspect the Calipers. Make sure the boots are not torn, and if the boots look tired, or you have no idea when the calipers were last rebuilt, now is your chance to freshen them up. Also look at the Brake hoses, making sure they are in top condition and secured to the body correctly. Pay special attention to any signs of cracks, or chafing on the hoses.
Now look at the rotors. If they show signs of scoring, excessive heat
checking, or are close to the minimum thickness (.35in or 9mm), THROW THEM AWAY. Never,
ever turn a Fiat rotor, as they are too thin to begin with and after even a
light turn they will be susceptable to warping. New rotors are still readily
available (the fronts are the same as the rears) and fairly inexpensive.
*Note that my advice against turning Rotors is not in keeping with the Shop Manual and might offend the sensibilities of some Mechanics. In real world experience, I've had horrible luck with turning front Rotors, warped a bunch, and the only utility I've found for old Rotors were ones that only needed a light skim. In that case, I install them on the rear, and that has proven to be OK. It all depends on how you use your Car, but of you have any intention of getting the most of out the (IMHO) undersized brakes Fiat used on these cars, get new Rotors. It should also be noted that when you use Repco Metalmasters, you will wear out a set of brand new Rotors as often as you wear out these very hard pads.
*It's worthy to mention that at this point, you are close to the front wheel bearings and it's a good time to do an adjustment check/repack as necessary. It's not really a braking related item unless they get really sloppy causing a Pull, but you already have the thing taken apart. Your call!
With all the major items squared away, it's time to reassemble. It's OK to
use a small amount of the goopy Brake Squeal stuff on the backs of
the pads, but don't overdo it with the Goop. Make sure that the Calipers
are clean where they meet the locking blocks, and make sure that the locking
blocks are clean as well- I use industrial sandpaper. Install the springs and your
shiny-clean Calipers over the pads, taking time to apply a light coat of the
copper hi-temp brake lube (it's sold for Drum Brake jobs) on the Caliper
where the locking blocks ride. Apply a coat of the same grease on the
locking blocks before you install them.
Don't skip this step! Folks have toqirn their hair out trying to track down mysterious brake pull, rebuilt front ends and the like, and in the end found that the calipers were hanging up because they could not slide properly!
May you have Braking Happiness, and please contact me if you have any questions!
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