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rear brakes: caliper and Brake pad issues!

Old 08-22-15, 06:18 AM
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rear brakes: caliper and Brake pad issues!

So I guess the actual question here is if anyone has ever had any random fitment issue with Hawk HP Plus pads on the 5-lug brakes (vented-type)?

Background:
I put the left rear on several months ago, and everything was super tight. The wheel would not turn, but since I was running out of daylight, I decided to pack it in and jack the car into it's spot. I figured I probably didn't line up the notch in the piston with the divot on the pad. No big deal, right?

Fast forward to this past spring ... I got around to start working again. It turned out the notch was not aligned correctly, so I corrected it. The rotor turned, but when I torqued the wheel down, it locked up again. I confirmed the part number for the pads and all was well. I decided to go ahead and install the right side parts and everything worked beautifully. I turned my attention back to the left and nothing I could think of made any difference. With the wheel off, everything was fine, but with it torqued down it locked in place and no amount of force that I applied, moved it.

I figured maybe something was physically wrong with the caliper itself (I bought them used. Seller said they came off a '90 Convertible.) So I finally got around to getting another one and I put it on tonight/this morning. Same thing. However, this latest caliper came with a set of pads and just as I was about to handcuff myself to the car, set it on fire and both push us both down the street, I decided to try the used pads that I got with them and yes, the wheel turns just fine when I torque it down now.

I've been using Hawk pads for about 12 years now on a variety of cars, and this is the first time I've had this issue. Has anyone else experienced this? If not, does anyone have any theories on what's going on?

Last edited by misterstyx69; 08-23-15 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:21 AM
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..I assume you know this but I'll ask anyways.
Did you turn the piston in all the way on the brake caliper?
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Old 08-22-15, 09:43 AM
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given my age and occasional tendency toward air-headedness, you shouldn't assume much when it comes to me , but yes. i have the caliper piston turned all the way down. it is not the issue.
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Old 08-22-15, 10:09 AM
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There's too much grease in the slide pins. The caliper isn't able to slide outboard enough because the grease is hydrolocking the pins. This causes the rotor to go slightly cockeyed with the wheel off, and tightening the wheel forces the rotor to go flat, pulling on the caliper, which can't move.

BTDT too many times...
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Old 08-22-15, 10:14 AM
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OK, this is a weird one.
Maybe start by eliminating possibilities, improbable as they may seem.

Unbolt the caliper and move it out of the way, then bolt on the wheel, see if it spins properly.
It most likely will but at least you've determined the caliper is the issue.

What is the difference in pad thickness between the new Hawks and the used pads that work?

There are two different rear calipers (vented rotor or not) and I don't know if the thinner caliper will even physically fit over the vented rotor...but maybe?
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Old 08-22-15, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by peejay View Post
There's too much grease in the slide pins. The caliper isn't able to slide outboard enough because the grease is hydrolocking the pins. This causes the rotor to go slightly cockeyed with the wheel off, and tightening the wheel forces the rotor to go flat, pulling on the caliper, which can't move.

BTDT too many times...
thanks, Peejay. that was actually an idea i explored a few months ago. sadly, that's not it.

back then, i went to the trouble of cleaning the cylinder (? the part that the slide pin moves in) and the slide pin itself. i applied a little grease to it and it all moves like new. furthermore, this latest caliper i got is in poor shape. i got it for the sole purpose of seeing if anything was bent on the one i got last year. however, i did the same to it and it decided to go one step further by relieving itself of the cap on the back of the slide pin chamber/cylinder. so even if i wanted to pack full of grease, it would all just ooze right back out.

that said, if you can think of something else that would cause it to be cockeyed, i'm all ears because your post just reminded me of when i last had time to work on it, i got it to a point where it would turn with the wheel lugs loose, but you could hear pad making more contact in a certain point of the rotation. sometime it would even lock, but if i turned the wheel backward, it would unlock. keep in mind it didn't turn freely, but at least it turned. once i torqued the wheel down, forget about it.

Originally Posted by clokker View Post
OK, this is a weird one.
Maybe start by eliminating possibilities, improbable as they may seem.

Unbolt the caliper and move it out of the way, then bolt on the wheel, see if it spins properly.
It most likely will but at least you've determined the caliper is the issue.

What is the difference in pad thickness between the new Hawks and the used pads that work?

There are two different rear calipers (vented rotor or not) and I don't know if the thinner caliper will even physically fit over the vented rotor...but maybe?
i've read some of your escapades and for you to call this "a weird one", i'm not quite sure if i should be happy or afraid.

well, i am certainly not going to say i've exhausted all possibilities because i'm here, right? however, i've been plugging away at this off and on since last December and it's not like i can forget or ignore it because the car has to be pushed in and out of the garage whenever i work on it. so i had to remove one pad from that corner in order to be able move it and things like that irk the **** outta me. several times i thought about starting a thread about it and decided not to partially because i wanted to make sure i eliminated as much as i could and partially because ego/hubris/whatever wouldn't let me.

since i put the parts on last December until earlier this morning, the wheel moved freely in just about every situation but the one where both pads are in place and the wheel is torqued. it also had the situation of limited movement that i described above. i swapped pads from the left side to the right and the right wheel still moves perfectly. so my focus is still on that left caliper. i just have no idea what's next.

i don't put it past the cosmos that i can have two left calipers that have the exact same problem, so i may still decide to just buy a new one and see what happens. i just don't see an urgency to it right now since the car doesn't drive yet and now i got it to a point where it can have two pads in there and roll. now i should be able to use the emergency brake.

as for the difference in pad thickness, i don't have an actual measurement or anything but i would rate them as likely being maybe 70+% worn. i'll put it this way, if i had randomly taken my brakes out and saw these pads, i would still drive the car and not worry, but i would be changing them at my earliest convenience.

also, from what i can tell, i have the right calipers. as a matter of fact i think it may have been you or J9fd3s that helped me confirm that.

Last edited by diabolical1; 08-22-15 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 08-22-15, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by diabolical1 View Post
i've read some of your escapades and for you to call this "a weird one", i'm not quite sure if i should be happy or afraid.
One does not preclude the other, embrace life's ambiguities.

I'd try bolting down the rotor without the wheel (stack of washers + lugnut).
At least then you could see what's happening as the rotor is clamped into position and maybe see where the interference comes from.
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Old 08-22-15, 09:00 PM
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There's nothing behind the rotor on the hub that would cause it not to seat correctly? Or maybe the rotor is warped? Might not have noticed with the old pads since they were worn a little. I have Hawk HP+ on the rear of my '86 GXL with no issues.
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Old 08-23-15, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Lavitzlegend View Post
There's nothing behind the rotor on the hub that would cause it not to seat correctly? Or maybe the rotor is warped? Might not have noticed with the old pads since they were worn a little. I have Hawk HP+ on the rear of my '86 GXL with no issues.
HMMM...
makes me think a bit.

What IF those stupid hold down screws are busted and the stubs are stuck in the hub??..You put the rotor on without aligning back to the original spot where the screws are supposed to go through the hole on the disc?
That would make the rotor stick off the hub just a touch,..Maybe enough to bind the brake up?
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Old 08-23-15, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by diabolical1 View Post
I've been using Hawk pads for about 12 years now on a variety of cars, and this is the first time I've had this issue. Has anyone else experienced this? If not, does anyone have any theories on what's going on?
if it makes you feel any better i put a pad in wrong, and we ended up spending an hour of so chasing a mushy pedal, which turned out to be mushy because the pad was in wrong and we were bending it.

i think in your situation, i would try swapping stuff side to side, if its a pad, the ones from the good side should fix the bad side.
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Old 08-23-15, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by clokker View Post
One does not preclude the other, embrace life's ambiguities.
i try ....

I'd try bolting down the rotor without the wheel (stack of washers + lugnut).
At least then you could see what's happening as the rotor is clamped into position and maybe see where the interference comes from.
now that is something i haven't done yet, but i think i will.

Originally Posted by Lavitzlegend View Post
There's nothing behind the rotor on the hub that would cause it not to seat correctly? Or maybe the rotor is warped? Might not have noticed with the old pads since they were worn a little. I have Hawk HP+ on the rear of my '86 GXL with no issues.
there's nothing behind it as far as i could tell. i think the prospect of a warped rotor is somewhat dubious, but i suppose it's still on the table. as far as the whole conversion is concerned, i got the 4 hubs used and from two different sources. however, all 4 rotors were brand new. i only included that tidbit to illustrate why i doubt the rotor is the issue, but as i said, i guess it's still possible. i suppose i could move the right side rotor over and see what happens then. thanks.
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Old 08-23-15, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by misterstyx69 View Post
HMMM...
makes me think a bit.

What IF those stupid hold down screws are busted and the stubs are stuck in the hub??..You put the rotor on without aligning back to the original spot where the screws are supposed to go through the hole on the disc?
That would make the rotor stick off the hub just a touch,..Maybe enough to bind the brake up?
i kept them aligned because i originally planned to use the two original screws that i didn't have to butcher to get out, but at the last minute i decided to remove them and just let the rotors float.

actually, i'm glad you looked at this again. it will save me PM-ing you to ask you to change the title. could you take the Hawk pads part out and just maybe leave it as Rear Brake Issue or something, please?

Originally Posted by j9fd3s View Post
i think in your situation, i would try swapping stuff side to side, if its a pad, the ones from the good side should fix the bad side.
i did that already. the pads that i originally had on the left side are now working fine on the right. i believe i read that the calipers themselves will physically swap sides and i may give that shot just to see what happens, but it probably won't happen anytime real soon. i have to get the car out sometime later today and who knows when next i will get it back inside?

for now i'm just glad i have i can roll it be okay to use the brakes. my attention will shift now to what i REALLY want to do, which is to complete the Megasquirt and intake/fuel install and hopefully get the engine running by the end of the year.
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Old 08-23-15, 06:30 AM
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Can you unbolt the slides (or just remove the caliper, leaving the pads in the hanger) and bolt the wheel up and have it turn? There has to be a simple answer, it's now just a matter of careful observation.

I'm still thinking it is probably a slide pin issue. But might as well see if it's not something truly weird like the rotor binding against the hanger. Or the wheel binding against the caliper body, which I got to experience happening with 16" wheels on the rear of a Mazdaspeed6, which fit on one side but not the other due to tolerance stack one way and the other.


Incidentally, I totally want a Mazdaspeed6 again now that I am aware that you could get them WITHOUT sunroof. I thought Mazda only sold them with the options sheet pegged. Then my friend clued me in to the existence of the Sport package. It's just a shame that my Volvo is already paid for, is nice and simple, gets 37+mpg, is fun with the boost turned up to 12lb, and handles pretty good now that I've thrown some Evo/Lancer specific suspension parts on it instead of the Volvo mush. Hard to want to get away from that.
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Old 08-23-15, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by peejay View Post
Can you unbolt the slides (or just remove the caliper, leaving the pads in the hanger) and bolt the wheel up and have it turn? There has to be a simple answer, it's now just a matter of careful observation.

I'm still thinking it is probably a slide pin issue. But might as well see if it's not something truly weird like the rotor binding against the hanger. Or the wheel binding against the caliper body, which I got to experience happening with 16" wheels on the rear of a Mazdaspeed6, which fit on one side but not the other due to tolerance stack one way and the other.
yeah. the wheel spins just fine with the pads in the hanger and the caliper out of the way. i'm sure it's not the wheel itself that's binding because the rotor/hub will turn, but takes some effort to do so, with the wheel off and the pads in place. so i can say that with some confidence.

the best i can do about whether or not the rotor is touching the hanger is i don't think so. i have visualized 360 with the wheel off and there's no point where it touches. with the wheel on, my only evidence is no extra clean spot on the rotor since there is a light coating of surface rust. not very scientific, i know, but it's what i've got for now.

Incidentally, I totally want a Mazdaspeed6 again now that I am aware that you could get them WITHOUT sunroof. I thought Mazda only sold them with the options sheet pegged. Then my friend clued me in to the existence of the Sport package. It's just a shame that my Volvo is already paid for, is nice and simple, gets 37+mpg, is fun with the boost turned up to 12lb, and handles pretty good now that I've thrown some Evo/Lancer specific suspension parts on it instead of the Volvo mush. Hard to want to get away from that.
what kind of Volvo do you have?
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Old 08-23-15, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by diabolical1 View Post
however, all 4 rotors were brand new.
occasionally new rotors aren't 100% true. pretty rare, but possible, especially if its a really cheap rotor
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Old 08-23-15, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by peejay View Post
Incidentally, I totally want a Mazdaspeed6 again now that I am aware that you could get them WITHOUT sunroof. I thought Mazda only sold them with the options sheet pegged. Then my friend clued me in to the existence of the Sport package. It's just a shame that my Volvo is already paid for, is nice and simple, gets 37+mpg, is fun with the boost turned up to 12lb, and handles pretty good now that I've thrown some Evo/Lancer specific suspension parts on it instead of the Volvo mush. Hard to want to get away from that.
i really like the Mazdaspeed 6, pretty rare car...

i took my dads volvo up in the hills the other day, and any real steering input = tire squealing understeer. it just has no grip at all. i guess its safer to hit the mountain head on than it is to not hit it at all...
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Old 08-23-15, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by diabolical1 View Post
yeah. the wheel spins just fine with the pads in the hanger and the caliper out of the way. i'm sure it's not the wheel itself that's binding because the rotor/hub will turn, but takes some effort to do so, with the wheel off and the pads in place. so i can say that with some confidence.
I gotta say, everything is pointing to the slide pins hanging up in the hanger. They aren't compressing deeply enough, for whatever reason. For proof, remove the inboard pad, put the caliper back on, and verify that you can slide the caliper towards you

what kind of Volvo do you have?
Threadjack follows:

1st-gen S40. 4-cylinder whiteblock, Mitsu TD04-12t turbo, on a slightly extended (front drive) CE9A chassis. Uprating the front springs from 100lb-in to 190lb-in got rid of a lot of understeer, and the ride is pretty taut with non-Volvo dampers. (I saw no need to change the rear springs) It's very "pointy" now, driven no harder than 7-8/10ths. I can point the nose where I want it to be and it just goes there, and the trans manages to shift at appropriate times. It will even let me rev-match manual downshifts, it won't shift until I blip the throttle up and then it clicks it into gear when the revs are right And the A/C is cold and the seat heaters are warm and the 6-speaker stereo is pretty good. And no electrical gremlins like the later Volvos (or maybe I just got a good one )

The funny part is it only builds 12psi at low RPM. It tapers to 7psi by 5000rpm. Which is fine by me, as it's plenty fast enough.

The best part is the brake rotors are actually larger than Evo/GVR4, but they are common ATE calipers so there are a bazillion VW/Audi brake pads available if and when I decide to play with pad compounds. And the wheels are the same bolt pattern as my FB so anything that fits the RX-7 fits this and vice-versa. (Actually my RX-7's rally tires are on Lancer wheels anyway) I plan on putting S40 rear rotors and New Beetle calipers on the RX-7s new rearend.
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Old 08-23-15, 11:39 AM
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i sort of looked at those Volvii? volva? factory turbo, cheap... its sort of a pre Mazda 3 too*, so making it faster should be really easy. i know the S70/V70 ecu is open source, i wonder if the S40 is too?

or just buy an Ecoboost crate engine for it, its a Mazdaspeed 3 engine, which is just an S40 engine, so it'll drop right in. oh and they came AWD somewhere too

*the family tree for the focus/3/s40 is fun, its almost a circle...
Attached Thumbnails rear brakes: caliper and Brake pad issues!-9796-25l%5B1%5D.jpg  

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Old 08-23-15, 11:55 AM
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Nah, that is 2nd gen. Front drive 4G63 bolts into the 1st-gen, 2nd-gen is the Focus/3 chassis.

ECU is some weird Siemens thing instead of Bosch like every other Volvo ever. Makes it hard to swap in a tip-capable trans controller from a different chassis (they all used the same AW55 trans, from S40 to twin turbo S80) There are people who will reflash a "200hp" tune, which I suspect is just the European T4 tune, which is probably why people who get the tune end up splitting the cylinder liners since the compression was lower on the T4. A $90 Turbosmart MBC is cheaper than a $700 reflash that kills engines... the ECU is mapped out to 15psi, just need to get the turbo up there.

You could get a turbo five AWD 2nd-gen S40 in the States... kind of a North American Focus RS. Some even had manual transmission. But it is a much larger car and it is 5-lug which sucks and it is the beginning of the Volvo everything-is-a-module electronics era. And if you're going to get a rare, large, 6 speed AWD turbo car, why not keep it in the family and get a Mazdaspeed6?

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Old 08-23-15, 12:26 PM
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after seeing the V70 BTCC car, i've been really really tempted to get one, but to get a white station wagon, non sunroof, turbo manual transmission, means buying at least two cars, probably three and swapping stuff, which is a ton of work, and then a v70 is pretty tepid stock...

actually since we're off topic, my mom has an xc60, and its quite nice, but its got really weird problems. the first, is that the wipers freeze at the drop of a hat, they basically stop working at like 32.9F. the second problem was the transmission ecu borking itself. the third was a leaky roof, they blamed it on a plugged drain, but its pretty funny to have like 2" of standing water in your new(ish) car.
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Old 08-23-15, 12:32 PM
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i must admit that the slide pin seems to make the most sense. i don't necessarily need to bring the car in for that, so i may try to give a look again this week. i may also try my hand at rebuilding the caliper that's off the car at the moment and then try it again with the Hawks.

by all means, threadjack away ... you should know that i don't mind. hell, i'm thinking about going off topic in a minute, myself.

well, you sound like you're having fun with it and that's what counts. i never cared much for the S40, myself, of any generation. my cousin had one, bought it new. it just never did anything for me. his was stock though and from the way you describe yours, i'd give it a second look.


by the way, thanks for changing the title, Styx.

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Old 08-23-15, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by j9fd3s View Post
after seeing the V70 BTCC car, i've been really really tempted to get one, but to get a white station wagon, non sunroof, turbo manual transmission, means buying at least two cars, probably three and swapping stuff, which is a ton of work, and then a v70 is pretty tepid stock...
that's more like it.

i've been a fan of the 850 and it's progeny (S/V70 and the like). another cousin of mine has had a few over the years, so i got the chance to get a little intimate with them. the valve cover design made me a bit nervous, but all in all, those 5 cylinder engines seem pretty nice and make good power. right now he's got a V70 and he did a manual transmission conversion and some exhaust work to it. the bloody thing has some serious get-up-n-go to it! real nice. i'd drive one.
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Old 08-23-15, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by diabolical1 View Post
i must admit that the slide pin seems to make the most sense.
nope, sorry, fix it by buying a volvo :P
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Old 08-23-15, 12:48 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I didn't actively look for this car, it was a deal that fell in my lap and I went with it. Turned out to not have been a bad move, all in all.

Rather like my first RX-7. I wanted an MGB-GT but found the '80 relatively close to me and very cheap. I'd say that probably worked out too

I have one or three Volvo videos on my youtube channel. Oddly enough I only got to compete in the RX-7 one and a half events. I also ran my Volvo (won PF), someone's WRX (automatic!), a Miata (BOOOOOOOST), and a 2.5RS. Maybe someday I'll run the RX-7 again. All eight slide pins are siezed BTW

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Old 08-23-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by j9fd3s View Post
nope, sorry, fix it by buying a volvo :P
after 5 years of watching this thing sit around, doing nothing but taunt me and call me a failure, that may be the best advice i've received to date.
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