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  • Radiator swap and brake caliper rebuild

    My buddy Schmack asked me to bring his car back to my shop after New Year's to get some prep stuff done. He emailed me a list of work and included a 'wish list' if I had time. Being really cool and knowing I'm trying to do a stupid late-season upgrade on my car he said to just do what I have time for and we can do the rest this summer. I really appreciate that.

    First on the list was a radiator upgrade. I scored a 36x18 radiator from Grant at Funco and bought a pair of new Spal 16" curved blade fans to go on it. It was a pretty straight forward swap an I was able to reuse the original radiator hard lines.



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ID:	32076The original radiator was 31"x18" with 14" fans and his car got hot with the windshield installed. It's for sale if anyone is interested? $400obo!




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ID:	32077The new radiator is 36"x18" and has 16" fans.




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ID:	32078The floating radiator mounts made the swap really easy. It just bolted right in place.



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ID:	32079 The original radiator lines looked like they needed to be modified to work. The upper line hit the lower and the lower was a little short. I was able to get a longer 90* hose for the lower hose so it was good to go.






    The upper hose was a new problem- it was 1.25" and the hardline was 1.5". Fortunately Kartek had a 1.25" to 1.5" 90* adapter. It was also a little long so I could keep the hardlines from hitting each other.





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ID:	32082Don't know why but I was really surprised the Kartek has this in stock.





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    Schmack bought some Weather Pack connectors to make the wiring easy. Radiator upgrade is done, just need to fill it and check for leaks.

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  • #2
    Schmack said his rear brakes weren't working very well. I can't remember if I got him new brake pads or he got them. Regardless they didn't help at all and the turning brake was also useless. I checked the master and it was full of fluid and the pedal was fairly solid (because of the front brakes). Both rear brakes had a lot of sand built up on them which always means fluid is leaking. I used the air nozzle to blast it off before turning any wrenches.

    First thing I noticed was the caliper wasn't spaced correctly. This is a common issue on disk brakes for off-road cars. The rotor needs to be centered in the caliper and this one was off a little.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_142823.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.31 MB ID:	32099 This would be an easy fix by using a washer to get it centered.




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ID:	32100The rotor also had a lot of build-up in the vents slots.


    I tried to bleed them and found something weird- brake fluid coming from in between the caliper halves. This meant the O ring that is sandwiched in between them had failed. I happened to have a leftover O ring from another set of brakes so I split the caliper and took a look.




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    The O ring is pretty much gone. I replaced it and put the caliper back together, bolted it up and tried to bleed the brakes again.

    Same shit, fluid dripping out of the center of the caliper. Dammit. I pulled it back off and split it apart.


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    • #3
      Once split I pulled the pistons out and the problem was obvious- the O ring had disintegrated.


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      Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_155224.jpg Views:	0 Size:	5.00 MB ID:	32103Here's what is left of one O ring. It was like old gum.





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      Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_155945.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.08 MB ID:	32104I measured the pistons and sent the pic to my sales guy at Kartek. He had the parts in stock and would send them out that day. Wilwood has a rebuild kit but it doesn't include the small O ring so I ordered two of those as well.




      Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_160510.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.80 MB ID:	32106This may sound weird but I actually used brake clean to clean brakes. Doesn't happen very often so it's worth pointing out that it did it's job and cleaned them up nicely.





      Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_160941.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.90 MB ID:	32108Not sure of the significance of the letters but I made sure they went back into the same spot. The opposite side caliper had the pistons marked A B C D. Again, not sure what that mens but I made sure they went back in the same spots.

      Once the big stuff was off I used a wire wheel to get them super clean but also being careful to not scratch the pistons.



      Click image for larger version  Name:	20200127_163357.jpg Views:	0 Size:	5.08 MB ID:	32109The right side caliper was in slightly better shape than the left side. The O rings actually came out in one piece but the caliper was still full of trash.

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      I cleaned it up and called it a day. Just needed the parts to get here so I can keep moving forward on this job.

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      • #4
        The rebuild kits showed up this afternoon.


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ID:	32114The little O ring is in place and the two sides are bolted back together.

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        • #5
          I've learned over the years whenever I take calipers off a car, or anything that uses spacers, I take a picture. Makes it easier on reassembly.





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          This is how the caliper was bolted up. Notice the two washers on the outside and the centerline of the caliper not centered over the rotor.




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ID:	32117I put the thinner washer inside the caliper to space it out. This is how I normally see calipers bolted up. It is now centered over the rotor.


          ***One thing I forgot to mention! When I reassembled the calipers I used a little brake fluid to lube the O ring (actually called a square edge seal) before pressing the pistons back in place. This is very important!


          I had my son help me bleed the brakes. It took a while to get fluid all the way back there and fill the empty calipers. Once I had good fluid I checked the turning brake and it was solid in both directions. I checked the pedal and wow, it was also solid. I wish my car had a pedal even half as solid as this car now does. Makes me want to rip my calipers apart and install new seals. Maybe this summer...

          I can check the rear brakes off the list and move on to the next item. CV and axle prep, I think?
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          • #6
            Damn. This car just keeps getting better and better with every visit to #PrepbyLRS

            By the time you're done with this thing, it is going to be a bad ass car. Just in time for the new owner! Ugh. SMH. Starting to know what tjZ06 feels like now!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Schmack View Post
              Damn. This car just keeps getting better and better with every visit to #PrepbyLRS

              By the time you're done with this thing, it is going to be a bad ass car. Just in time for the new owner! Ugh. SMH. Starting to know what tjZ06 feels like now!
              And even more good news I sold your old radiator. Delivering it to Glamis on the Funco regatta weekend.
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              • #8
                interesting about centering the calipers... I have never paid attention to that before. I thought the brakes on my BFD work pretty dang well, and I just pulled the wheels off yesterday and noticed that the calipers are not centered. Looks like I need to get some washers in there.

                Do you notice better brake function after centering the calipers?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by L.R.S. View Post

                  And even more good news I sold your old radiator. Delivering it to Glamis on the Funco regatta weekend.
                  Perfect! More money for the prep fund.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Empire231 View Post
                    interesting about centering the calipers... I have never paid attention to that before. I thought the brakes on my BFD work pretty dang well, and I just pulled the wheels off yesterday and noticed that the calipers are not centered. Looks like I need to get some washers in there.

                    Do you notice better brake function after centering the calipers?
                    I can't say for sure that it makes a difference by centering the caliper over the rotor but it can't hurt and it's really simple to do.

                    I'm so impressed at how solid Schmack brake pedal and turning brake handle are now I'm looking forward to rebuilding my calipers this summer. My 6 piston rear and 4 piston front brakes are from 2005 but not used till 2014. Regardless I'm buying 4 kits to rebuild them. My brake pedal has always been soft.
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                    • #11
                      Knocking more stuff off the work list today. I've never done the CV's and axles o this car. They were supposedly done by a shop that was working on the car when the trans was pulled for a rebuild. That shop needs to NEVER do CV's again...




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ID:	32184I usually put blue tape on the axle and mark LEFT/RIGHT and INSIDE/OUTSIDE but the tape always gets CV grease on it and I can hardly tell which is which. I'm trying something new this time- zip ties. Red is for RIGHT and yellow if for LEFT. The purple is for inside. Simple.


                      And as soon as I got the first CV off...



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                      What in the actual fuck is this? Why is this grease red? Why is it so thin? Why is there none in the CV? Probably because it is standard utility grease and not CV grease.




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                      Not all CV grease is created equal. For the past 12 years I have used a needle point to inject Swepco Moly 101 and then put a layer of BelRay anti-seize over that. It has worked well for me. Yes, there are cheaper greases out there but for a once-a-year job how much savings are there? Not enough for me to experiment. My buddy Duane has a Racer sand truck with 930's (it's an older Racer) and he also used the Swepco/BelRay mix until he prepped his car this offseason and he switched to Redline CV grease. By Thanksgiving his CV's were clicking bad, which was weird because they were brand new from Fortin. He pulled them apart before his New Year's trip and they were wasted. He got replacement parts directly from Fortin and went back to Swepco/BelRay.





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ID:	32187This is the hub side and it has a grease that looks more like what I'm used to seeing when I tear these apart. No idea what kind of grease it is but it's better than the shit used on he trans side. Speaking of which- the shop that pulled the trans out for a rebuild used two different kinds of CV grease? I doubt it. It seems more like they only prepped the trans side CV's and left the hub side bolted up while the trans was out. That's just lazy, especially considering these are micro stub hubs and super simple to take apart.


                      I have the CV's all torn down and cleaned up for inspection. During cleaning I noticed a few sharp edges on the stars and cages so I'll take a closer look at them and see if they can be cleaned up and reused.
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                      • #12
                        There is so much discussion on mixing Swepco/Moly and the ways to mix, what a pain it is to mix, etc. Is it easier to use another grease and not "mix", etc, etc.....

                        I find it really simple to pack the CV with Swepco and put Bel Ray in the trans cup and over the top of the CV. It's not even "mixing" to me. They mix by themselves as soon as the wheel starts spinning.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Grey Mamba View Post
                          There is so much discussion on mixing Swepco/Moly and the ways to mix, what a pain it is to mix, etc. Is it easier to use another grease and not "mix", etc, etc.....

                          I find it really simple to pack the CV with Swepco and put Bel Ray in the trans cup and over the top of the CV. It's not even "mixing" to me. They mix by themselves as soon as the wheel starts spinning.
                          But, but, but... Mantek grease is only $8/tube! CAT Desert Gold is only $10_tube! Think of how much money you're wasting on Swepco and BelRay!

                          Sounds like someone taught you the right way to prep CVs...
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                          • #14
                            On the CV subject........have you ever used this new stuff L.R.S. ?

                            I have always requested the swepco / bel ray cocktail when having my CV's done. This new stuff from swepco is supposedly pre mixed? My buddy recently used it and says it's the first grease to no fling out of his CV boots

                            https://www.kartek.com/parts/swepco-...-gun-tube.html

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Empire231 View Post
                              On the CV subject........have you ever used this new stuff L.R.S. ?

                              I have always requested the swepco / bel ray cocktail when having my CV's done. This new stuff from swepco is supposedly pre mixed? My buddy recently used it and says it's the first grease to no fling out of his CV boots

                              https://www.kartek.com/parts/swepco-...-gun-tube.html

                              I've seen it at Kartek but I haven't tried it yet. I'll talk to my sales guy next time I'm there and maybe pick some up to try in my car before using it in any clients cars.
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