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Buick LeSabre Brake Problems

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Comments

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    What car do you have? What year is it?

    If it has drum brakes on the rear, were the emergency brakes set while it was parked? (A no no.)

    If so I'd try pulling on the cables next to the brake to try ot get the cable inside the outer housing to move a little or the linkage inside to move.

    Otherwise you're going to have to take the wheel off and try to get the drum off of that side. It may take some moderate force to get the drum to move over the brake shoes if the emergency is stuck on. Or it may be really difficult or next to impossible.

    If it can be moved backwards that may release some pressure on the brake shoes.
    Emergency brakes tend to not work as well in reverse as forward; the forward movement helps swedge the secondary shoe against the drum for more braking.

    If it's a disc rear brake, just take the wheel off and see what's happening.

    Any chance it is a wheel bearing? You'll know that as soon as the jack the car up and rotate the wheel if it's making that much of a noise.

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  • mhibbardmhibbard Posts: 1
    I am guessing that the 98' LeSabre calipers use an allen wrench. I am having a devil of a time finding the correct Allen wrench to remove it. Any suggestions? :cry:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    3/8 inch large allen wrench or you can buy sockets that have that size allen wrench as their end. That's probably easier to work with. It may take a good bit of force to break loose the bolts. Be sure to check the inside of the ears on the calipers--take out the rubber boots that the bolts slide inside. The rust may force the rubber smaller and tighter around the slider bolts. If you have a brake cylinder hone, that can be used to break the rust away from the inside of the ears.

    It's a standard for GMs of those years. Earlier used a torx head socket (1993, e.g.) Later uses standard sockets.

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  • mkansarimkansari Posts: 5
    3/8in allen wrench that has 5 sides and can be bought at auto zone or other auto part shop. Also it needs extra force so please wear good gloves as not to hit/injure your hands. Good luck...it is not that difficult when you have right tools. :)
  • norse81norse81 Posts: 4
    I am having a problem compressing the rear brake piston on my 2005 lesabre. You indicate the piston has to be turned and you used a needlenose pliers. How much force is necessary to turn the piston, how many turns and in which direction.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    edited June 2010
    Do NOT use a C-clamp to compress the rear brake piston.

    It is made to be rotated to retract. I bought a small cube like "tool" at one of the auto box stores. It fits a 3/8 in. socket handle and has points in different formats on different sides to "grab" the recess on the face of the piston.

    You CAN turn the piston with the ends of a shorter needle nose pliers using them to press on the face of the piston.

    FORCING the piston in with a C-clamp will DAMAGE the operating parts that are the emergency brake. When I checked, rebuilt calipers for the rear were $129 at Autozone, so I don't want to damage one of those.

    Also be sure to leave the recesses in the face of the piston vertical so the points on the back of the brake pads go into the recess.

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  • mkansarimkansari Posts: 5
    I used C-clamp with a wooden piece on piston side and never had problem. I have seen this mechanic doing this way. Also google 'how to change disc brakes'.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    edited June 2010
    to quote the factory service manual from GM (Helm):

    Page 5-67 for 2003 FSM

    "Notice: When using a large C-clamp to compress a caliper piston into a caliper bore of a caliper equipped with an integral parking brake mechanism, do not exceed more than 1 mm (0.039 in) of piston travel. Exceeding this amount of piston travel will cause damage to the internal adjusting mechanism and/or the integral park brake mechanism.

    1. Compress the piston until resistance is felt, but no more than 1 mm of piston travel.

    2...."

    The factory technicians should know how to repair it.

    Good luck with your rear adjusters or parking brake mechanism. I hope they are still working correctly for you.

    Myself, I'll use the factory-approved procedure, which I spoke about in the previous post.

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  • norse81norse81 Posts: 4
    There is no doubt in my mind that a C-clamp will not work to compress the rear pistons on the 2000-2005 LeSabres. The C-clamp works fine for the front brakes but the rear pistons must be rotated clockwise until clearance over the pads is obtained. The special tool as you described will work much better than a needle nose pliers or the small vise grip that I used.
  • My 82 year old mom has a 2002 Le Sabre. I drove it to put gas in it this morning and noticed that when braking it had plenty of pedal at first but then it would eventually bottom out almost at the end of each stopping event. I checked the fluid level and it is ok. Does this sound like a master cylinder problem to you?
  • mkansarimkansari Posts: 5
    Please check that Brake Fluid level remains same and if not it may be leaking. Inspect all four wheels and see any Brake Fluid-don't press pedal when Brake drum is dismounted. If no leak then try Bleeding the Brakes. Also check that vaccum lines.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    Check for leaks showing under the car where it stopped. If you were leaking at a wheel or a line, you might see a drip. I believe it is possible for fluid to leak in a master cylinder in a way that it is sucked into the vacuum unit and therefore doesn't show up anywhere as a drip.

    Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder to see if the volume has dropped.

    Then try just pushing on the brake pedal with the engine running and hold it steady in pressure. See if the pedal slowly goes on down. That most likely is a the fluid in the master cylinder leaking around the piston seals.

    I believe this requires professional checking. It's a safety problem.

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  • I have a 1992 that has been sitting in MS for 2yrs. Everything seems to work except the rear Left Side Wheel. It is frozen. It won't break loose driving the car back and forth. The parking break has not been used, the wheel studs move within the wheel, but the wheel will not turn, even when pressure is applies and even hitting it with a hammer does not free it. Any suggestions??
  • I suggest that if you could jack-up the left rear side and remove the wheel and hammer around and see if you can move. If still problem, it may be the bearing jammed and you need a mechanic to look at it, Good Luck.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,738
    Are you saying that the wheel lugs move within the openings on the tire rim? That would mean the rim was rusted to the brake drum. The wheel and brake drum are able to move slightly relative to the hub with its studs.

    I would think moving the car would work. But it doesn't! Next would be JB Blaster sprayed between the drum and the rim. And then heat to expand one more than the other to crack the corrosion.

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