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Old 07-30-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
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'86 Elandan front disc brakes

Having an issue with the front disc brakes on this winne..after removing the wheels to inspect the brakes the left side I can't turn the rotor which seems like a stuck piston in the caliper. The right side looks ok and I can turn the rotor ok plus the disc pad still has lots of pad left as compared to the left side. With the stuck left caliper I can see why the pads on that side are worn much more than the right.
I have replaced disc brake pads before but is there any source of info on how to get the caliper removed to replace the pads? From what i have been able to find it seems there is one screw towards the bottom of the caliper that locks in a key..but need extra info on this to verify what I have found is corrcet info for this GMC P31 chassis.
Once i can get the caliper off I can either rebuild it or replace it so any info from the foroum members that have the same GMC chassis would be welcomed.
Thanks,
Bruce
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Hi Bruce.
I don't have a chassis like yours, but every GM caliper (car and truck) I've ever seen was held on by the 2 slider bolts on the backside of the caliper. Usually takes a 3/8" allen-hex to remove. HOWEVER, I can't say for sure this is how the big P30/31 calipers are setup so I could be totally wrong here. Take another look and you may find 2 smooth-round heads with the internal hex hole.

I will add one important comment that applies regardless. Replace the front rubber brake hoses! In fact, this could be the source of the hanging caliper. Those hoses are notorious for collapsing internally and blocking the brake fluid from freely flowing on return. Just DO IT.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:58 AM   #3
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Ok, thanks for the reply..
I will take a closer look behind the caliper for those bolts and I have run into that on my car and motorcycles, usually two bolts and off comes the
caliper..
Will take your advice and repace the hoses too..
Just wish i had a good service manual for that GMC chassis..
Bruce
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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My 1985 has one bolt on bottom then you can drive the clip out you have. a p32 I rebuilt my calipers for $20 do the rubber lines also
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:19 AM   #5
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Bought new pads and a new (rebuilt) left side caliper, not too expensive
as long as I return the core for credit return. From looking at the new
caliper I see how it is attached or I should say a much better idea, seems
it is one bolt and a key that slides out.
I will be looking to replace the rubber hoses that go to both calipers but I
don't remember how it is attached on the other end (not caliper end).
Sometimes things get so corroded you end up ruining the metal tubing
fitting the hose goes to, I hope this won't be the case. I don't need the
extra work!
One other question, on some models (GMC P31 cahsis) not only does the parking brake activate the rear brakes but the front brakes too. But does it onlylock up one side or would it lock both front brakes? Not sure this chassis has that feature.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
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Never saw park on front when you order hoses be sure to order the clips where the hose mounts to the frame
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:12 PM   #7
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Definitely spray down the hose connections liberally with penetrating oil and use an open wrench to hold the fitting on the frame and a good flare nut wrench on the hose end fittings. Anything less and you'll likely mung it all up. Been there - done that - no fun.
Best of luck!
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:44 PM   #8
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Update...

Ok, as usual I always end up doing this outside work on the hottest day of
the year! But I persevered and got the right side caliper replaced along with
the hose, I was originally only going to replace the left caliper but since they
were not too expensive decided to replace the right one. Did that one first.
To remove this caliper there is a small shoulder screw on what is called a lock
key, this keeps the caliper held in place and once you have the shoulder
screw out you use a flat ended punch and tap/slide the key out along with the
tension spring.
I say all this for the ones that may have the same
situation and want to replace the pads and don't know how the caliper comes off.
Next came the hose, I used flare nut wrenches on the hose to tubing joint
and they came loose with no problem. Next was removing the bracket that holds
the hose on the A frame suspension, wow, what alot of grief that was.
There is a bolt head tucked under the lip of the A frame and proved difficult
to grab with a wrench but eventually I got it off. Assembly went without a
snag (once i found the master cylinder to refill the reservoir!).
On to the left side front brake..trying to get it removed from the brake
rotor was difficult and in a last ditch effort decided to remove the banjo
bolt to see if there was some pressure in the line keeping the pads pressed
in..as soon as I loosened the banjo bolt that freed up the piston and I
finish removing the caliper. Then I installed the new caliper with no
problems until it came time to remove the old hose from the metal tubing. I
used flare nut wrenches again but this time the flare nut isn't budging. I
have used plenty of penetrant but no go..the nut on the hose is damaged
now and the flare nut wrench on the metal tubing flare nut is twisting and
I have bent the metal pipe some. So I gave up for the day, put more
penetrant on and will try again tomorrow.
Any ideas out there on getting this flare nut loose? I hate the thought of
trying to replace that metal tubing but thats what it may turn out to be.
Thanks,
Bruce
PS: There could be a restriction in the left side hose and this has caused
the original problem, but is the clog( if any) in the rubber hose or metal
tubing? Stay tuned..
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Bruce, if you haven't already gotten the fitting loose, try putting a little heat on the fitting with a propane torch (try not to catch anything else on fire! been there - done that). That can sometimes cause things to expand a bit and then it will crack loose. Other than that once the hex area gets rounded off, you left with vice grips, IF there is room for them. Worst case a hydraulics shop should be able to fabricate any line you need that is not available otherwise.

The "clog" is usually when the rubber hose disintegrates internally and a flap of rubber blocks the fluid from returning. Since your caliper released after you cracked loose the banjo fitting, it sounds like that is the culprit.

Keep us posted.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:50 AM   #10
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Update..Success!

Got back to the flare nut that wouldn't loosen up yesterday morning..
After watching some videos on brake system component replacements I
decided to use some heat on the joint, but rather than using a torch I
used a heat gun. A little safer than using an open flame..
Well that joint would still not come loose and I got it fairly hot too, so
decided to use a small metal cutting cut off wheel in a Dremel kit I had
bought many years ago, this one had a flexable shaft to it so I could get
in close without to much interference. I made a cut from the top of the
hose fitting on down about 3/4 of an inch and went in deep to where I
was almost hitting the flang nut threads but not quite. I did this to
relieve some pressure on the hose threaded connection to the flare nut.
It worked! The flare nut finally came loose plus I started seeing brake fluid
running out of the metal tube..so indeed the hose was the cause of the
initial failure..kudo's to the two that mentioned to make sure and replace
the hoses too.
Haven't taken it for a test drive yet but I feel very confident the brake
issue I was having is now gone plus saved myself a bunch of labor cost
too.
Thanks to all that replied to this thread, I appreciated everyones input.
Bruce
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