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#1 2017-01-09 09:39:06

Pyromancy5
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Registered: 2009-02-23
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Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

So, I went to change brake pads and rotors last weekend, and I think I need some new calipers.  I don't have a blasting cabinet, or else I would rebuild them myself.  The rust is so bad I couldn't get my FR set of pads out.

I've already been contemplating new springs and struts before they fail. I decided I'm replacing with OEM parts for the suspension (briefly considered forester suspension).

now I'm thinking it might be worth my time to do calipers at the same time.  So, here's my question:


What else should I consider replacing while I am down there?  Should I consider replacing brake lines too?  What is prone to fail after 125k miles and 11 years of life in all weather/ salty road environments?   This is the first time I've tackled this before, so any tips are welcome.

--AMB


2005 Linear, 5mt, Satin Gray Metallic, moonroof, ixizsclutch, ixizhood, FHI 21 mm rear sway bar, rear dif guard
1981 Yamaha SR500

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#2 2017-01-09 10:05:17

itsnotmeitsyou
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From: San Antonio, Texas
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Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

Try buying some rebuilt calipers from Autozone.  They can be a good deal vs new.  Might as well do brake lines since you'll need to bleed everything anyway but if they aren't cracked or stiff they are probably still good.  Not sure you can really wear out your springs.  Struts sure, but don't think the springs can go bad unless they are corroded through smile


2005 Saab 9-2x Aero:  More than you've had done to your car.
2015 Forester XT Touring

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#3 2017-01-09 12:25:13

krazykarguy
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Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

Having pads get 'stuck' is a result of rust buildup on the caliper bracket, not the caliper itself. Here is my 'replace or rebuild' guideline:

1.) Pads stuck in caliper bracket? Remove spring clips and clean both the clips and the bracket itself with wire brush or bench wire wheel, and reinstall with new pads. Pads should clip in easily, no real force is required.
2.) Uneven pad wear? Check the caliper bracket pins for wear and free movement. The lower pin tends to get stuck/seized, and can sometimes be renewed, but in most cases should be replaced. RockAuto sells pin kits, as well as caliper brackets - you can build yourself a new caliper bracket for peanuts when compared to OEM. I went this route when I did the H6 rear upgrade.
3.) Caliper pistons difficult/impossible to retract into the caliper body? Replace the caliper. Because the front brakes are dual piston, sometimes one piston can stick and cause uneven wear on the pads. If you cannot retract the piston(s), then you should replace the caliper - most people lack the proper tools to refurbish the piston bores and a rebuilt caliper with non-smooth bores will fail again in short order.
4.) Struts leaking? Replace them. Always in pairs or a full set.
5.) Car body control not what it used to be? Replace struts. The 'bounce test' does not really apply for modern vehicles with firm springs and low weight.
6.) Brake hoses (the soft rubber part) are not typically considered a wear item, should only be replaced when a spongy brake pedal cannot be resolved with a full brake fluid flush. An assistant should be able to see the hose that is swelling with firm brake pedal pressure.
7.) Brake lines (the hard steel ones) are definitely not wear items, they should only be replaced if leaking.
8.) Springs should be replaced when they break. Typically, a broken spring is only visible at the strut perch, and can be only 1" broken off.

FWIW, my old 9-2x got struts at about 125k, and new brakes about every 50k or so. The H6 upgrade was done at 133k. It's pretty important to replace the pads well before they get to the backing pad, as thin pads have far less heat shedding ability than thick ones, and can overheat rotors in short order.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#4 2017-01-09 17:17:04

racerjim
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Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

krazykarguy wrote:

It's pretty important to replace the pads well before they get to the backing pad, as thin pads have far less heat shedding ability than thick ones, and can overheat rotors in short order.

This.  I warped my rotors without trying too hard, and the front pads were worn to a little less then half thickn ess...


My Car:  2009 Mercedes Benz SLK55 AMG
SOLD August 2016:  2005 Saab 9-2x Aero 5-Speed, Cold, Premium, Arctic Silver
Her Car:  2013 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ

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#5 2017-01-09 21:35:40

Pyromancy5
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Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

krazykarguy wrote:

Having pads get 'stuck' is a result of rust buildup on the caliper bracket, not the caliper itself. Here is my 'replace or rebuild' guideline:

1.) Pads stuck in caliper bracket? Remove spring clips and clean both the clips and the bracket itself with wire brush or bench wire wheel, and reinstall with new pads. Pads should clip in easily, no real force is required.
2.) Uneven pad wear? Check the caliper bracket pins for wear and free movement. The lower pin tends to get stuck/seized, and can sometimes be renewed, but in most cases should be replaced. RockAuto sells pin kits, as well as caliper brackets - you can build yourself a new caliper bracket for peanuts when compared to OEM. I went this route when I did the H6 rear upgrade.
3.) Caliper pistons difficult/impossible to retract into the caliper body? Replace the caliper. Because the front brakes are dual piston, sometimes one piston can stick and cause uneven wear on the pads. If you cannot retract the piston(s), then you should replace the caliper - most people lack the proper tools to refurbish the piston bores and a rebuilt caliper with non-smooth bores will fail again in short order.
4.) Struts leaking? Replace them. Always in pairs or a full set.
5.) Car body control not what it used to be? Replace struts. The 'bounce test' does not really apply for modern vehicles with firm springs and low weight.
6.) Brake hoses (the soft rubber part) are not typically considered a wear item, should only be replaced when a spongy brake pedal cannot be resolved with a full brake fluid flush. An assistant should be able to see the hose that is swelling with firm brake pedal pressure.
7.) Brake lines (the hard steel ones) are definitely not wear items, they should only be replaced if leaking.
8.) Springs should be replaced when they break. Typically, a broken spring is only visible at the strut perch, and can be only 1" broken off.

FWIW, my old 9-2x got struts at about 125k, and new brakes about every 50k or so. The H6 upgrade was done at 133k. It's pretty important to replace the pads well before they get to the backing pad, as thin pads have far less heat shedding ability than thick ones, and can overheat rotors in short order.

#1 but to the extreme.  Rust so nasty I cant get the clip or the pad off.

#5, I have noticed more body roll through onramps even when not driving with enthusiasm.

Thanks for the advice


2005 Linear, 5mt, Satin Gray Metallic, moonroof, ixizsclutch, ixizhood, FHI 21 mm rear sway bar, rear dif guard
1981 Yamaha SR500

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#6 2017-01-10 09:52:59

krazykarguy
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From: South Carolina
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Posts: 8099

Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

Honestly, I was going to suggest just replacing the entire caliper bracket, with new pad clips before I got on my soap box. You really should replace anything you have to force apart and together.

Spring clips should come out fairly easily, and I'm surprised you had so much difficulty. I did a pad swap on my wife's 2011 Kia Sorento (50k miles) this weekend, and was done with both sides in >30 minutes. It is and always has been a southern car, so no surprises there.

Go to RockAuto and get the following:
A-1 CARDONE 141665 {#26225FE010} CARDONE Service Plus LF Caliper Bracket; Reman - $25.79 (incl. $5 core)
A-1 CARDONE 141664 {#26225FE000} CARDONE Service Plus RF Caliper Bracket; Reman - $25.79 (incl. $5 core)
WAGNER H15035 {#F129644S, H15162} Caliper Bolt/Pin (need 2) $13.02 ($6.51 x 2)
CARLSON 13417Q Disc Hardware Kit (has new boots and clips) - $5.92

You can send back the cores if you want, but $10 isn't worth it for me.

Use a silicone-based lubricant for the guide pins, if you use petroleum-based lube, it will swell the rubber donut on the lower pins and seize them. As long as the caliper pistons are not seized (you didn't mention any difficulty retracting the pistons), this should bring your braking back up to like-new standards.

Struts are another deal. You will need spring compressors to disassemble the coil from the strut - 'rent' them from AutoZone. 9-2x upper strut mounts can be disassembled, cleaned, and re-greased if not in terrible shape.

KYB front struts are ~$60 each, and rears are ~$70 each. Plan on a full day in the garage doing it if you've never done struts before.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#7 2017-01-10 13:30:06

Pyromancy5
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Registered: 2009-02-23
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Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

Matt, Thanks for the advice!

I may just do the whole caliper.  I started to look at upgrades on ebay and online... eh... fuggit.  I think I'm just going to get new calipers.   Still debating on struts.

Last edited by Pyromancy5 (2017-01-10 16:31:29)


2005 Linear, 5mt, Satin Gray Metallic, moonroof, ixizsclutch, ixizhood, FHI 21 mm rear sway bar, rear dif guard
1981 Yamaha SR500

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#8 2017-01-15 13:47:28

Saaba05
Member
From: Vancouver Washington
Registered: 2013-08-16
User Number: 10185
Posts: 76

Re: Advice on when to replace struts, calipers, brake lines

+1 for an good thread and more for the great replies.


05' Saab 92x - Stage1 DP & Flash.  Dynamometer Dyno: 201.7HP 210TQ
02' Outback Sport - Hybrid Swap.

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