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95 LSi Hatchback - BAD brakes
Topic Started: May 4 2018, 06:42 PM (738 Views)
orfeo
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On my 3-cyl 5-spd 95 LSi hatch the brakes are horrible (in my opinion). They work, but they are sh!tty. . . Panic stops are scary. With semi-metallic front pads, they lock up readily in a panic stop (Kumho tires, I know not the grippiest). With Wagner ThermoQuiet (non-metallic) pads (and Kumho tires) they mostly just don't lock up in a hard panic stop. I believe the OEM pad was not semi-metallic. I am recently onto my second set of Thermo-Quiets over quite a few years. I have the impression that I should stick with the Thermo-Quiets (non-metallic). However, stopping power is poor. It seems fine/ok in normal driving, but downright scary in panic mode. . . like needs TOO MUCH foot pressure. This has been the case for years.

Lately, the car will occasionally shimmy right then left when pressing the brake. Only happens sometimes, and I feel pretty sure it is the calipers. I intend to replace both front calipers and both front hydraulic hoses. I am not in a position to do a lot of detective work to figure what may be deficient with this car vs my expectations.

Should I go back to semi-metallic front pads? (I'm thinking not, but want your opinion)
What things should I replace that you think would be most beneficial in moving the needle in the right direction (without doing in-depth diagnostic detective work)?

Obviously I can't afford to just replace everything, but I'd like to eliminate the most obvious/likely culprits. Car is 24 years old, 188,000 miles, still seems to have the original rear shoes (every mechanic tells me that's normal), has never really had anything but pads and rotors changed, never replaced brake fluid. Gimme your best bang for the buck shot in the dark as to additional parts while I'm placing this order for front calipers and hydraulic hoses from Rock Auto.


Many thanks in advance for your patience and your input. I know some of you will hate the half-assed way I seem to be approaching this, but I have a awful lot going on in my life right now and I'm doing what I can.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, the rotors are fine. They were replaced with the first set of Thermo-Quiets, and have barely worn.

Edited by orfeo, May 4 2018, 06:56 PM.
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kzelisko
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It's pretty common for the hose going to the brake booster to collapse internally, causing only partial or no brake assist. I would replace that just based on age alone. Also when you do the calipers, make sure you use actual disc brake slide grease on the slides and pad ears, I've seen people use wheel bearing grease and it cause problems down the road too many times due to it getting too hot and turning into tar-like nastiness.
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orfeo
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kzelisko
May 4 2018, 07:10 PM
It's pretty common for the hose going to the brake booster to collapse internally, causing only partial or no brake assist. I would replace that just based on age alone. Also when you do the calipers, make sure you use actual disc brake slide grease on the slides and pad ears, I've seen people use wheel bearing grease and it cause problems down the road too many times due to it getting too hot and turning into tar-like nastiness.
Thanks! Will do. . . Is this a regular vacuum line that is on a coiled roll at parts store?
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suzukitom
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Tom

there's a check valve inside the hose to the brake booster you need to save and put into the new hose.

http://geometroforum.com/topic/4814179/1/

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orfeo
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suzukitom
May 4 2018, 08:36 PM
there's a check valve inside the hose to the brake booster you need to save and put into the new hose.

http://geometroforum.com/topic/4814179/1/

Good point Tom. . . I will definitely keep that in mind
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orfeo
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So do you guys run semi-metallics or organics? Do you think I should go back to semi-metallics and call it a day?

I can't really say that the car stopped any shorter with the semi-metallic, because in an urgent stop it just locked up and skid. Seems like the right balance for my car is softer than semi-metallics but sharper than what I'm getting from the organic/composite ThermoQuiets. My instinct says "Strengthen up the braking performance keeping the ThermoQuiets"

What say you? :coffee
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Coche Blanco
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http://geometroforum.com/topic/5325636

This is an interesting read about brake pads, specifically the Thermoquiets. If you think you're locking up your tires too easily with non-thermoquiets I would look into better tires.
Edited by Coche Blanco, May 5 2018, 05:11 PM.
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suzukitom
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Tom

Coche Blanco
May 5 2018, 05:08 PM
http://geometroforum.com/topic/5325636

This is an interesting read about brake pads, specifically the Thermoquiets. If you think you're locking up your tires too easily with non-thermoquiets I would look into better tires.
:gp

I'm using thermo quiets and until i changed out the crappy all season tires, the braking was sloppy, locking up left or right on slightly slippery roads. my current tires have traction rating AA.

your brake pedal should feel firm not spongy, otherwise it might need bleeding or the hydrailic and vacuum hoses checked out and replaced if needed.
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Woodie
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If it's locking up that easily, it's likely just shitty tires. The vast majority of tires available in stock sizes are awful.

Look on the side of your tires for this, the UTQG rating:Posted Image

The traction rating should A at least, preferably AA. The treadwear number on the left is a bit vague, but the higher the number the harder the tire. Higher numbers last longer, lower numbers actually grip the road. I look for 300 myself, would never buy a tire over 400 for any reason.

It's possible that your rear brakes aren't doing their bit, the adjusters on the rear brakes are known to fail. The back brakes don't do much, maybe 20% of your braking potential, but if the adjusters fail then the emergency brake handle comes way up high, and the pedal travel gets long, you have to push the pedal down quite a distance before anything happens. When things are right the brake pedal should be about 2.5 inches off the floor when pressed hard enough to stop the car normally, and the emergency brake handle should come up 5 or 6 clicks.
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sphenicie


suzukitom
May 4 2018, 08:36 PM
there's a check valve inside the hose to the brake booster you need to save and put into the new hose.

http://geometroforum.com/topic/4814179/1/


NO

NO!

NO, 1000 times NO!

Not to jump on you, Tom.

This is a perfect case of forum echoing. Echoing incorrect information.

The valve is NOT, NOT, NOT.............NOT in the hose. It is in the booster housing nipple, at least in pre 97 Metros.

The valve is the nipple, or, more correctly, is incorperated into, the nipple, that the hose attaches to on the booster.
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Woodie
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It was in the dead center of the hose length at some point. Maybe MK2 only? I'm not sure exactly when, but I know I saw one, looked like a snake after a big meal.
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sphenicie


orfeo
May 4 2018, 06:42 PM


Lately, the car will occasionally shimmy right then left when pressing the brake.



still seems to have the original rear shoes (every mechanic tells me that's normal),



The first thing, if it is 'shimmying' you may have frame horn issues. I would highly recommend that you do a VARY good inspection of them. Dont just look at them, get in there with a screwdriver. You dont list a location, but........

Secondly, NO, your mechanic is wrong, dead wrong. 188k on the shoes is NOT normal.

You are probably getting ZERO help from the rear brakes.

ZERO.

This is why your front brakes are locking up.

Also, your rear brakes are about 30% of your total braking power.

I would be willing to bet that both of your wheel cylinders are locked up.




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sphenicie


Woodie
May 6 2018, 07:45 AM
It was in the dead center of the hose length at some point. Maybe MK2 only? I'm not sure exactly when, but I know I saw one, looked like a snake after a big meal.



I have to think that someone did some sort of molesting to the one you saw.

PLEASE, see page 5D2-3 of the Factory Service Manual, 1992. Figure 3, "master cylinder and brake booster assemblies".

NOTE, part number, 563, "vacuum inlet/ CHECK VALVE".


Please do not support Metro molestation.
Edited by sphenicie, May 6 2018, 07:56 AM.
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freegeo
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sphenicie is correct, looking at the parts info I have from 89 to 2001 the check valve is attached to the outside of the brake booster.

Posted Image
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Attachments: brake_booster.jpg (72.17 KB)
Edited by freegeo, May 6 2018, 10:48 AM.
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Mrbreeze


Well I'am glad someone clarified that, I replaced that hose on both the 93&99, took a razor blade and opened both up like a snake, didn't find anything in either one, always wondered about that, thanks sphenicie..
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