Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brakes, lines & hoses

Before removing the wheels, pull the parking brake and be sure both rear wheels lock and release easily. You may now remove the wheels in order to inspect the brakes and brake components. This is another simple check which involves the tread depth gauge and a good eye. First use the tread depth gauge to measure the thickness of each inboard and outboard brake pad. This task is much easier if you unbolt the caliper from the hub. You can also get a better look at the pad incase it has cracks or chips in it. On bonded brake pads, under 2/32" fails and on riveted pads, under 1/32" fails. But brake pads should be recommended at 4/32". As for checking the rotor thickness, use your micrometer and compare the rotor thickness measurement to the factory specification. If it is below minimum, the rotor must be replaced. If you felt a brake shimmy on the initial test drive, you might find the reason why. Check and measure the front and rear brakes and compare them to factory specifications. Don't forget to take a close look at the brake hoses and metal lines going to the calipers. If the hoses are cracked enough to see the cord inside it, or the brake lines are leaking, they will need to be replaced before applying a safety sticker.

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