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Rear brake issues, help please.

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  • Rear brake issues, help please.

    Hey guys, just thought I'd ask for some advice on some brake issues I'm having.

    Recently I've been able to do what I should have done when I originally bought the car over a year ago, and replace the brakes. The car is an 01 with the big brakes, and I knew there was a leaky caliper in the rear drivers side, but I just recently got around to fixing it. As I started pulling the old brakes out I realized that in addition to the rear drivers side brake caliper leaking fluid, the rear passengers side caliper was seized up. I bought two brand new calipers for the rear, new pads all the way around, new rotors for the front, and had the rear rotors turned since they still had plenty of life left in them. Now here is where I am having my issues, and I'll try to be clear in explaining them.

    First issue is, adjusting the rear brakes. I watched a youtube video on how to do this and it went fine on the passengers side. I spun the rotor with my hand while turning the allen head behind the brake caliper until the pads grabbed the rotor, then I turned out just a hair, and then I alternated between pulling the hand brake, and adjusting the hand brake wire until I could no longer turn the wheel on that side with the hand brake up. Now, on the drivers side, things aren't going as smooth. If I use the same technique to get the pads just barely touching the rotor, then no matter how tight I adjust the hand brake cable on that side, the hand brake will not grab it at all, I have to crank the allen head a bit further so that the pads are dragging in order for the hand brake to actually grab, and it still doesn't hold very tight. Now, I have been driving the car this way the past week and it feels like the rotors are really warped. I was wondering if they weren't turned properly or if I had re-warped them, so I gave them to a friend who works at an auto parts store so he could put them on the machine and make sure they are nice and flat. He said they look fine, so I put them back on the car but I swapped the left and right from how it was before.

    I still get a ton of vibration in the pedal when I stop hard and I can HEAR on the back drivers side a noise like "tss tss tss tss tss" that matches perfectly to the pattern of how the car is stopping. Its a feeling as if half of the rotor is grabbing really great, and the other half is just slipping right past. Funny thing is, the noise happens on that side regardless of which rotor I put back there. I took everything apart and double checked that it's all big brake spec, and everything matches up just right.

    Another funny thing is, if I pump the brakes really hard, and then pull the hand brake it feels nice and tight at first, then it goes kind of limp. Now, I took great care bleeding all the brake lines and adding new fluid and I'm 99.9% sure there is no air in the line. I am also sure that there are no fluid leaks in the brake lines. Right now I'm kind of at a loss, tomorrow I plan on sticking the old front rotors on to make sure my new front rotors aren't warped out of the box, but even if that IS the case, the hand brake thing is really confusing me.

    Thanks to anyone with the patience to read all of this, and thanks in advance for any advice.
    sigpic
    --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

  • #2
    New OEM calipers or parts store rebuilds?
    David Luney - Suwanee GA
    [email protected]
    04 RX-8, 10 Black MS3, 08 Red MS3, 06 550i, 05 325i 92 Spec Miata and a parts car or two.

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    • #3
      They are rebuilds I got from O'Reilly.
      sigpic
      --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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      • #4
        http://www.stoptech.com/technical-su...nd-other-myths

        how did you bed them?

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        • #5
          I only did a couple of ~60 mph hard braking stops.
          sigpic
          --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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          • #6
            Getting up to temp transfers the pad - but the most critical step is to drive for as long as possible without stopping to let the rotors cool. If you stop while the pads are hot, they transfer more pad to the rotor and it creates a rough spot.

            And adjusting the handbrake - I tighten until I feel it snug up (not when I first feel resistance), then loosen 1/4-1/2 of a turn.
            Last edited by iscariot; 03-27-2017, 10:04 PM.

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            • #7
              You might need to adjust your hand brake in the cabin. Remove the plastic shell around the hand brake handle (2 screws I believe) and then insert a large Flathead into the slot on the hexagonal looking thing and turn.
              '00 Silver Miata

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              • #8
                Nope nope nope nope. Never touch the cabin adjuster. That's only to be used to remove slack from the cable themselves, which have more adjustment at the brakes that you touch first.

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                • #9
                  You may want to look at the forward cable assy. There's a lever just aft of the e brake handle (under the car). This is where the rear cable connect. If the lever/splitter isn't moving freely, seized or stuck to one side, you can get uneven e-braking like you describe. It can get corroded. Shoot some penetrating fluid on it and makes sure that operates correctly. As mention above, DO NOT slacken the cable ajustment.

                  The cable on the problem side may also be kinked, damaged or partial seized.

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                  • #10
                    could this be related to the pins the calipers slide. I know there have been threads discussing lube to insure the calipers float correctly. Sounds like some type of binding if the symptoms are the same, regardless of the rotors installed. I've not replaced any rear rotors, so I'm just guessing.

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                    • #11
                      Does the car have abs?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 2slownb View Post
                        Does the car have abs?
                        Yeah it does, but this certainly does not fee like ABS kicking in.
                        sigpic
                        --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2slownb View Post
                          could this be related to the pins the calipers slide. I know there have been threads discussing lube to insure the calipers float correctly. Sounds like some type of binding if the symptoms are the same, regardless of the rotors installed. I've not replaced any rear rotors, so I'm just guessing.
                          Brand new pins nice and lubed on both sides, don't think this is the issue but I'll pull them and check just to be sure, thanks.
                          sigpic
                          --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the replies guys, I haven't had much time to get down there and look at it in the past few days, but I might today. One thing I would like to mention is that the drivers side that I'm having the biggest issue with, you can see the hand brake cable pulling the little lever on the caliper VERY far, because I've got it adjusted so tight, then when I adjust it with a bit more slack, you can see it not pull the lever as far, so I'm pretty sure the cable itself is fine...but it just seems like whatever mechanism is supposed to be pushing the piston out when that lever is pulled isn't working as well.

                            The article about rotors was pretty helpful, I don't think I've ever bedded brakes correctly in my life, I'd like to give it a try and do it properly but I need to find a spot that's safe and where my neighbors won't be calling the police saying there's a car driving by and slamming on the brakes every 5 minutes, lol.

                            Thanks guys.
                            sigpic
                            --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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                            • #15
                              A little update. Just got my front rotors back on the car after having them turned and now my braking is nice and smooth. No shaking, no pulsing, feels great. I guess the brand new rotors had problems right out of the box...however...the back drivers side is still hissing like crazy. I mean, it sounds like someone is back there shaking a maraca as I drive. I pulled the handbrake while coasting in neutral and I can hear the sound intensify when I do that...so I'm still lead to believe its something to do with the rotor or brake pads. Thing is, the pads are brand new and I just had the rotors turned less than a month ago. Anybody know what might be going on here? Maybe I just goofed up the rotor again? Could it be a bearing or an axle on the back? I jacked that side up and spun the wheel, I don't hear anything abnormal and I wiggled and shook it, feels nice and snug.
                              sigpic
                              --2001 Miata 6 speed. Purchased for $1,500, slowly restoring--

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