1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

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Admin
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1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Admin »

My 1979 Trans Am is getting closer to being fully street worthy again. After 10 arduous years of restoration, today I completed the installation of new front rotors, bearings and metallic disc pads. The new components were purchased in 2014 and were safely stored so they could be pulled and installed whenever I was ready for it. The price 6 years later is substantially higher than what the items cost me in 2014. The brake components replace the original rotors, bearings and pads from 1979. After 41 years of ownership is was about time for new front brakes. 8-)

[By the way, this is the first post on the new, modern Pontiac Street Performance Forum. It's version 2020 ;) }
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Overkillphil
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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Overkillphil »

41 years on original brakes and I remember blowing through a new set of front pads on one trip down the Roosevelt Blvd in Philadelphia many years ago.😄

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Admin »

Phil, you needed to take your foot off the brake pedal....Manual transmission with lots of downshifting and using brakes only when needed...the key to 41 years of brake longevity. :)
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Brian R
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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Brian R »

Brakes were needed!!! The new board looks real good Bill. As always, thank you for keeping it going!
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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Admin »

Brian, the new forum will go out to the world this coming Sunday, 28 June 2020. I will ask Greg Miller to pull the plug on the old forum the following day and it will go dark when he does that. The PSP website will be updated and the new URL link to this forum will take folks here. I expect that it will take many months for many people to find it and register again.

In the Menu, above, is Archived Posts. This link will take us back via the Wayback Machine so much of what was posted can be looked at. Unfortunately, the Wayback Machine doesn't scan and update sites often unless one pays big $$$$ for it--way beyond this hobby forum and my capability. We will do the best we can. I want to continue with this hobby and it's guys like you Brian that helps keeping it alive despite having problems with old car wear and tear. Keeping the faith, as they say really makes a difference.

Thanks for all of your kind words; they are greatly appreciated.

Bill
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Bill Boyle
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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

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Update: 11 July 2020 Break in problem

Took the TA out to break in the front rotors and pads. There is a problem! The driver's side piston is not retracting as it should and over heated the rotor and pads. It was smoking and I could barely get the car to move. The driver's rotor was doused with water to cool it. The front calipers are original to the car. The car was also pulling to the right; another symptom of a bad driver's caliper.
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1979 Trans Am: 400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, Pypes 2.5 SS dual exhaust X pipe, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 800 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by 67drake »

Bummer!
I hope the rotor isn’t shot now. Sometimes you’ll get hard spots or warping when they heat up that much. Are you going to rebuild the original calipers or go new?

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Bill Boyle »

Today, Sunday 12 July 2020, both front calipers were replaced.

This is the driver's side.  Reused the flexible banjo brake hoses with new copper gaskets and bolts.
This is the driver's side. Reused the flexible banjo brake hoses with new copper gaskets and bolts.
Will bleed the brakes and take the TA for another break in test drive tomorrow, if weather is good.
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1979 Trans Am: 400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, Pypes 2.5 SS dual exhaust X pipe, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 800 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

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Update: 13 July 2020--Test drive fails

With re-manufactured calipers on the front, a full reservoir, the car was driven for 1 minute. In that time I learned that the flexible line from the driver's caliper to the steel pipe is bad. Drove the car and braked a few times and noticed the front driver's tire was dragging. Pulled the car into the garage and jacked up the front end. The passenger tire was easily rotated, however, the driver's tire could not be rotated at all. The flex line is acting like a check value keeping the fluid from moving back a little toward the MC. This old flexible line must be replaced. More penetrating fluid to be added to the pipe nut. I have to break it loose without rounding the sharp corners of the steel fitting. Wish me luck....

IMG_8167.JPG
This afternoon the OEM flexible line on the driver's side was replaced. As soon as the fitting was loosened the rotor was freed and rotated with ease. Tomorrow, I'll conduct another short test drive. I hope this resolves the braking issues as my patience with this is evaporating.
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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by Bill Boyle »

Update: 14 July 2020--Back to normal

Took the Trans Am for a short test drive this morning and the replacement hose made all the difference. Now I feel like a damn parts changer as my diagnosis was a sticking piston on the driver's side which was wrong. That misdiagnosis resulted in me spending money on re-manufactured calipers, when in fact the problem was the flexible hose from the caliper to the pipe. There was a small core charge when the calipers were purchased but now knowing what the culprit was, I'll probably clean them up, maybe rebuild them etc. That's want Pontiac guys do right? They keep stuff for...later? :lol: The original rotors/hubs have plenty of thickness left to them. Does it make any sense to have them turned? Let me know your thoughts on it. Bill
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1979 Trans Am: 400 bored +.030, forged TRW pistons, ported 62 heads, Hedman headers, Pypes 2.5 SS dual exhaust X pipe, Comp 276AH10 cam, Scorpion 1.65 RR, 800 Q-jet, stock intake & tuned HEI; original owner.

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by JayS. »

I would keep em and turn them unless the bounty for the core says otherwise, if I was staying with the oem style.

Since you went to the vented style rotors it probably makes sense to send them down the road though.

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Re: 1979 Trans Am: New front rotors and pads

Post by 67drake »

If you can spare the room I’d throw them on the shelf for the future. Then ask yourself 10 years from now why you saved them :D
I wouldn’t turn them until you need them though. They might end up getting flash rust and such, then you would want them cleaned up anyway before you use them again.

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