Getting close to the end of de/re mods to the 01 coupe. On a recent daily commute, a very strange brake system noise suddenly appeared. SIGH.
A bleed and full inspection was in the plans for summer time, but Murphy had other ideas how I'd be spending time between bands of rain passing thru the area. I thought throwing on new pads would be a quick fix and while she was up on stands, its the perfect time to install the KYB shocks sitting for several weeks. A quick trip to the parts store for some Wagner TQ pads and Dot 3 fluid and I was ready to tackle the job.
The odd noise was coming from the driver side front but the sun was shinning on the passenger side so I started there, finding PLENTY of meat on the pads. Uh Oh. Moving to the driver side, the inner pad was worn nearly all the way to the back plate. The "sing finger" was shiny from contacting the disc.
This car has a very strange corrosion profile. Her bones are nearly flawless, sub frame, structural ribs and such show no signs of rust or surface corrosion, but certain bolt heads, the old coil springs, caliper casing and some of her fittings look like they were once exposed to salt water. And every time I've been under her, I'm amazed at the volume and location of spider webs. WTF? Really.
These are brakes. Not really an area of maintenance to go cheap on. And I don't have time to diagnose or screw around. I opted for new (reman) calipers from Auto Zone Duralast house brand. Life time warranty, $34 each. already mounted on brackets. Slam dunk.
One of the things that always bugged me about brake jobs is dealing with fluid leaking out of the brake line while removing and reinstalling calipers. Before there were banjo fitting, I usta use vacuum caps slipped over the threaded male end of the flex hose. When I first bumped into banjo bolts, I did the same thing, but slipped the caps into the banjO then threaded a bolt into the cap cavity expanding it out enough to seal the fluid ports. Nifty way to stop the bleeding while you do other stuff. Plus it keeps air bubbles from creeping up the line. And I've got an irrational fear of getting air into the ABS thingy.
Bad photo but you get the idea. There's a glimpse of the new shocks in there too. :-)
Anyhoo... No real drama. Put her back together, bled the front end until fluid ran clear, and went for a spin. After seating the pads, I hit the go pedal hard.
OMG! The difference new shocks make. Absolutely a different car. The KSport adjustables had been set about as high as they'd go, and were 2 clicks above the softest damping, but they never felt "good", transferring WAY to much road imperfection directly to the frame - even on minor holes/dips in the road, the front end would "blaat" loudly. Very uncomfortable - psychologically anyway.
01 has gone from a slammed to the ground, bad camber, tire wrecking, nervous, frantic, obnoxiously loud fast and furious wanna be with a nasty case of passenger side clear coat peel to a stock height, comfortable, poised, confident, quiet(er), peppy sprinter with a nasty case of passenger side clear coat peel.
Shortly after this part of 01's evolution, I was leaving a stop light when an aggressive BMW 3 series car came up on my left side - with an open stretch of road ahead, 01 matched that car quite nicely, never letting the Beemr's nose get more than mid way past my door. All the while Al Dimeola "Race with Devil on Spanish Highway" BLASTED, turning the rear view mirror into a useless blur. Big fat grins.