F-Body Brake Upgrade
F-Body Brake Upgrade
97-03 Pontiac Grand Prix
00-05 Chevy Impala
00-05 Chevy Monte Carlo
Author: Tom Rishar – ClubGP: Tyrod
Edits: NAIOA: BBEngineer
There seems to be some differences between companies as to what exactly you get with “loaded” and “unloaded” rebuilt calipers. It’s worth your while to have the calipers “in hand” before you try to determine which additional parts you’ll need.
Complete Right & Left Calipers for a 1998 – 2002 F-Body (Camaro or Firebird)
Most complete would be from a salvage yard. Get the complete calipers and brackets & banjo bolts
303mm Rotors for a 1998 – 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue – (JA9 Heavy Duty brake option)
There is also a 278mm rotor for these years Intrigue, DON’T GET THESE!
NOTE: The Impala and Monte Carlo already have the 12" Rotors from the factory.
DOT 3 Brake fluid I went through a quart pretty quick, better get two, especially if you’re doing anything to the rear brakes.
Brake Pads of your choice, if they didn’t come with the calipers
Spray Brake Cleaner – I used 2 cans, although I did the rears as well.
4 Crush Washers
GM Part Number 10139097 ($3.50 Qty 10 from GM Parts Direct )
NOTE: The following 1998 – 2002 F-Body parts aren’t needed if you got them with the calipers.
1 Right Caliper
GM Part Number 18042492 ($94.48 each from GM Parts Direct )
1 Left Caliper
GM Part Number 18042491 ($79.40 each from GM Parts Direct )
2 Caliper Brackets
GM Part Number 18026163 ($57.48 each from GM Parts Direct )
2 Banjo Bolts
GM Part Number 22163795 ($2.23 each from GM Parts Direct )
The W-Body (Grand Prix/Monte Carlo/Impala/Regal/Intrigue) Banjo bolts are the wrong thread.
4 Caliper Pins
GM Part Number 12530697 ($3.35 each from GM Parts Direct )
Comes with New calipers.
4 Bracket Boots
GM Part Number 18026151 ($6.66 each from GM Parts Direct )
These are pricey for a little rubber boot; try a second source for them.
The “unloaded” rebuilt calipers I got from NAPA came with them.
2 Pair F-Body Brake Pad Retainers (shim)
GM Part Number 18026164 ($6.25 per pair from GM Parts Direct )
Comes with New Bracket.
15mm Socket & Ratchet
Torque Wrench ft/lbs
14x2.0mm Tap - Optional (see preface) you’ll need this if your machinist doesn’t have one.
Part Number 8305A22 $16.44 each from www.mcmaster.com
Pressure Bleeder (pyfc.com has a pretty nice one) This tool is optional but it makes life a lot easier and turns this into a “one person” job.
Bleeder Valve 12 Nm 106 lb in
Brake Hose Bolt 40 Nm 30 lb ft
Caliper Bolts (pins) 31 Nm 23 lb ft
Caliper Bracket Bolts 185 Nm 137 lb ft
Randy Cox – ClubGP: RatRacer
There are 2 methods of attaching the calipers to the knuckle. The procedure I’m outlining here taps the new F-Body (Camaro/Firebird/Trans Am) brackets (12mm) to accept the Grand Prix bolts (14mm). This is the procedure I used. The alternative procedure, with additional parts list, will appear at the end of this one.
One of the keys to any successful brake job is cleanliness. Grease and/or oil have no place in any brake job. Many brake jobs have failed because sloppy work habits have ruined otherwise serviceable pads and rotors. Personally, I use surgical rubber gloves when I’m working on brakes and I clean the parts often.
Before you tear into your car, you’re going to need to get the F-Body (Camaro/Firebird/Trans Am) brackets retapped to 14x2.0mm. Call around to see if any machinist in your area has the tap and is willing to tap 4 holes for you. My metro area isn’t big enough to have a wide selection of machine shops available, so I couldn’t find one with the correct tap. I bought the tap myself and took it to a local machinist who then tapped my new brackets for $15. The tap was $15; consequently the job cost me $30.
I’ll only outline one front wheel. Use the same procedure for the other one.
Remove the front wheel.
Remove Banjo bolt that attaches the brake line to the caliper. Brake fluid will drip at this point; take measures to insure you’re not making a mess. Use a drip pan or put a baggie around the brake line with a twisty tie and face the banjo connection down.
Remove the 2 bolts (with 15mm heads) that hold the caliper/bracket assembly to the steering knuckle. The entire caliper/bracket assembly will now come free from the car. You may have to wiggle the caliper around to get the piston to partly retract back into the caliper or you may have to use a pry-bar or screwdriver to force the piston back. On my 97 GP the caliper came right off without any additional measures.
Remove the old rotor. It will just slide off the lug studs.
Assemble the new F-Body caliper to the new F-Body brackets. Remember to lubricate the slider pins. The slider pins have a 12mm head. At this point, if you’re using “used” calipers attach the c-clamp to the caliper to force the pistons fully back into the caliper. If you don’t, the new pads won’t fit over the rotor.
Install the new pads to the caliper. Remember that if you’re using used calipers to push the piston fully into caliper or the new pads won’t fit over the rotor.
Clean the backside of your new rotor and slide it over lug studs.
Assemble the caliper/bracket assembly to the steering knuckle.
Orient the caliper such that the bleeder valve points up. Some Grand Prixs come with a spacer on the bracket to knuckle bolt, some don’t. Use a spacer if the bolt has one, otherwise don’t use one. Torque all bolts/pins to the specified value.
Attach the old brake line to the new caliper using the new F-Body banjo bolts.
Setup your pressure brake bleeder per manufacturers specification. Open the bleeder valve until the fluid runs clear. Don’t be a cheapskate at this point; flush all the old fluid out.
Spray down the entire brake assembly with brake cleaner.
Reinstall the wheel. Torque the wheel according to the wheel manufacturers specification. Stock wheels are 100 ft/lbs
In the preceding procedure omit retapping the brackets to 14x2.0mm. Instead of using the 14mm W-Body bracket bolts you’re going to use the F-Body bracket bolts with a sleeve and washer.
While the retapping method has been used several times by ClubGP members and has proven to be safe and effective, the sleeving method hasn’t been successfully tested nor proven to be safe as of the writing of this FAQ on 1/9/2004.
Additional Parts Required:
4 F-Body Bracket Bolts
GM Part Number UKNOWN
4 Concentric Sleeves
www.mcmaster.com Part Number 6679K16 $2.35 each
4 12mm hardened steel washers
www.mcmaster.com Part Number 98023A033 $3.66 pack of 25
Alternative Step 8. Assemble the caliper/bracket assembly to the steering knuckle using the F-Body bolt. Orient the caliper such that the bleeder valve points up. You’ll have to slide the washer & sleeve over the bolt before inserting it into the 14mm hole. Torque all bolts/pins to the specified value.
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Last update: 11/20/2005