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View Full Version : The mystery of the Malibu's brakes is solved.



Milo Christensen
06-29-2009, 08:46 PM
Well, I spent the morning replacing the pads and rotors all the way around on the 04 Malibu my wife drives. It's been thumping during braking pretty bad from the rear for quite awhile. She took it in to two different places and they each said no big deal, a slightly warped rotor. Yada, yada, yada. Liars or incompetents.

Come to find out, a lower caliper retaining bolt was just plain not there. The right rear caliper assembly was able to lift up and contact the inside of the wheel during braking. This is the only time I've done brakes and not found some kind of loctite on the threads of the bolts holding the caliper assembly in place. Sure made disassembly a lot easier.

So, off I go in the other car, a deep shoulder 8mm 1.0 by 30mm bolt in hand. I need one. ONE! "Sorry but we have to sell you the both upper and lower pins and bolts - twenty bucks". O.K. says I. The guy trudges into the deepest, darkest recesses of the parts racks and comes back with something that doesn't look remotely like anything on the car or that I have in my hand. WTF! says I. Dunno the guy shrugs.

On to the next parts store. "Yeah, I seen that before on some Malibus, they slipped in the braking system for the Malibu Maxx on some Malibu LT's/LX's, totally different parts". Being a GM thing and all, and the fact that the entire disc brake system is beefier than the regular, I'm cool with this. Except he doesn't have the Malimaxx pin and bolt unit in stock. Three days, $20 bucks.

So, I want to drive this car tomorrow. I need a 8mm 1.0 x 30mm bolt. Hah! Would your first guess be Lowe's? Mine wasn't. When I finally get home, Marilyn simply says, calmly, "You've been gone a long time." Sigh.

paladin
06-29-2009, 08:56 PM
Took the Buick in for a brake job at 75K miles.....they called me...picked up the car......buzzing down the highway at 55 and all of sudden a lurch and the right rear wheel locks up and throws the car into a broadside skid down the highway...got it stopped...cop close by....the weenies had slipped the caliper on and forgot the bolts.....called Geico...towed the car to the shop...cop went with me.....they wanted to "patch it" and use aftermarket c5rap.....I made then replace everything with a slight scratch with all original equipment, and remove all the other wheel assemblies and check them for errors also...

Milo Christensen
06-29-2009, 08:58 PM
I know, Chuck. I've been pretty upset with myself all afternoon for not finding out the real reason the car wasn't braking smoothly. I'm just glad that I'm retired now and have time to do those things on the cars that I can do and do them right.

paladin
06-29-2009, 10:12 PM
and there's folks like me who rely on professionals to do the job.....I don't have the physical strength to turn the doggone lug wrench....but they did try to BS me about a couple of other things...and I told them to forget all they had just told me and replace the low coolant sensor...took 10 minutes...everything worked correctly and they wanted to charge me for 1 hour 30 minutes labor because their book said that's how long it takes to fix it......I paid for the sensor before I arrived, in advance.....I told the sob that I'd pay for half an hours labor...not what their schedule called for....they don't like me....

The Bigfella
06-29-2009, 10:27 PM
Milo - if you go to Lowes, make sure you match the bolt grade, not just the thread. They are high tensile bolts IIRC.

Krunch
06-29-2009, 10:32 PM
Milo - if you go to Lowes, make sure you match the bolt grade, not just the thread. They are high tensile bolts IIRC.

+10

Bolt Grade Markings Guide (http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/Materials-and-Grades/Bolt-Grade-Chart.aspx)

Tylerdurden
06-30-2009, 02:32 AM
Any auto wrecker will have it for you cheaper and same day.

Milo Christensen
06-30-2009, 06:28 AM
Milo - if you go to Lowes, make sure you match the bolt grade, not just the thread. They are high tensile bolts IIRC.

The retaining bolt I got from Lowe's is just temporary until the parts come in. I'll be replacing the bolts and pins on both sides so there is identical hardware on the rear brakes. I understand the different grades, my thinking was that any 8mm bolt is much better than none, right? I'll only be doing limited driving in town. I took the car for a pad burn in drive around the neighborhood. Normally I'd do half a dozen high speed stops out on the highway to burn in the pads.

Popeye
06-30-2009, 06:31 AM
Normally I'd do half a dozen high speed stops out on the highway to burn in the pads.

wrong

Tylerdurden
06-30-2009, 06:44 AM
wrong

Maybe charging at stopped school buses would be better?:D

Everything is different now Milo, With all the new materiel's just normal driving will be fine. Warped rotors are easy to do these days so the usual sliding to a stop stomp isn't such a good idea.

I just turned rotors on a new ranger. Only in two weeks and the owner said his ABS light was coming on and there was a shudder at near stop. Seems he did what you did and warped them. The sensors on the ABS hate warped rotors so try to avoid it.

Popeye
06-30-2009, 07:10 AM
Everything is different now Milo, With all the new materiel's just normal driving will be fine. .

better

you probably have semi-metallic pads , designed to 'seat' under normal , gentle braking for the wear in period

brad9798
06-30-2009, 07:13 AM
Every once in a while, a dealer that is familiar with your exact car and exact problem might be the way to go! ;)

You could have saved a lot of time!

Then again, Lowes comes through again!

Brad

Popeye
06-30-2009, 07:16 AM
They are high tensile bolts IIRC.

replace with the correct bolt milo , brake components get hot and cold and wet ..

having that stove bolt seize will be the least of your worries

Dan McCosh
06-30-2009, 07:18 AM
Excessive heat on new linings bakes the volatiles off and tends to glaze them. You want some easy applications for a while before hot stops.

Krunch
06-30-2009, 07:25 AM
Every once in a while, a STEALER that is familiar with your exact car and exact problem might be the way to go! ;)

fixt. ;)