bmw 2002

Looking at the Brakes, Moving Across Country

Oct 12, 2006

     Last time, I ended with, "I'm almost done with the brakes, so hopefully the next update won't be two months in the making."  Ha!

     Before I get started, I'd like to once again defend Webby's name with a picture taken MONTHS after I gave the car an in-out, over-under cleaning.  I think the car has some eight-legged stowaways.



     So one of the rear drum brakes had a leaky cylinder.  I cheaped out and only replaced the one.  And after the horrid experience of reassembling the repaired drum, I'm kinda glad I only did that one.  I'm thinking I'll swap out the drums some day with small disks in the rear just because drums are such a dirty pain to work with.  I suppose you get used to them.

Lots and lots and lots of banging with a hammer and length of 2x4, and this is the mess we get.

rear drum

     So:  replace the leaky cylinder, refill the system with fluid, bleed it, and we're ready to go, right?  Sigh.  Well, turns out both front calipers have extended, seized pistons.  Very, very seized.  I about broke my biggest screwdriver using it as a prybar.  And now both calipers are leaking.  No doubt all my wrenching to depress the pistons either dislodged or cracked the old rubber rings in the calipers.

Leaking caliper.  In the background, new stainless steel brake hoses replaced the cracked stock ones.

front caliper

Stuck pistons.  The other side looks similar.

front caliper

     I could rebuild them or get new ones, but I'm eyeing a big brake kit either from Aardvarc or Ireland Engineering.  I'll have to gamble that big calipers will fit behind my 13" wheels.  Ireland's kit apparently moves the calipers in closer to the hub so they're more likely to fit.

     And now, for the first time in months, the car comes down off the blocks so it can be shipped to the other side of the continent.  Since it'll go right back up on the jackstands when it gets there, I had to take a picture of it sitting on that new, unused rubber.  It looks really short.

Soon after this was taken, some guys rolled it onto the back of a truck.  Good thing the e-brake worked.

on wheels

     Now in Connecticut, I figured it wise to empty the coolant system.  I imagined it full mostly of water since it rarely freezes in Arizona.  That won't fly up here, and with the first frost fast approaching, I emptied the system and flushed the radiator while I was at it.  Turns out it was mostly full of nothing.  Less than half a gallon of rusty coolant spilled out.  Then I flushed it with a hose (into a bucket, not on the ground) and rinsed with deionized water.  It's fairly clean now, but I'm not sure it'll hold pressure since the fan has left a trench through the tines (previously mentioned).

Some of the gunk that poured out, before it got flushed.

clean radiator

     Next post:  All the goodies I've purchased for the car.  Most for super cheap, some for free!