G60 brakes

Phil Rose pjrose at frontiernet.net
Sat Jul 6 13:01:52 EDT 2002

The G60 brakes are widely regarded as being just (barely?) adequate.
But given that situation, it's so important to make certain they are
operating as effectively as possible.

In that spirit, it might be useful to briefly review a recent
encounter I had with the G60 brakes on my wife's car. Its stock pads
and rotors looked in reasonable condition when we bought the car last
fall, but a strong pulsation suggested a serious warped-rotor
problem. Otherwise the brakes seemed fairly typical and adequate for
casual driving. The car was being used for just low-speed trips
around town (only 1500 miles so far), so dealing with the brake
pulsation was (unwisely) deferred.

A few days ago I decided it was time to install the new rotors  (and
also the Hawk Blue pads we'll be using at the Glen next week). When I
removed the driver's side caliper I found that one of the guide pins
had been utterly and  absolutely frozen tight. It took about 2 hrs of
spraying with PB Blaster and grappling with a Vise Grip pliers to get
the pin to move and finally extracted. In spite of its rubber boot
being in place and intact, this pin was dry and seriously corroded,
and hence the caliper had greatly reduced braking capacity (and
perhaps some serious gas-guzzling drag). Hmmm, puzzling that the car
still had been able to brake in a nice straight line.

So, now on to the other caliper; could _it_ be any worse? There I was
startled to find that the outer pad had worn to within a  sixteenth
inch of the backing plate, whereas the inner pad had been jammed
(stuck) and showed very little wear at all. Both guide pins were
working OK, but obviously (and for quite some time) all the braking
effect had been coming from just one pad. Everything nicely balanced,
huh? :-(

With everything cleaned up and regreased, braking is now very
obviously improved. Just as obvious now is how easily the car can
(should) roll--without the drag from either side. I won't be
surprised if our sub-par gas mileage  increases by 2 or 3 mpg! This
experience demonstrated to me how one (OK, "I") can become lulled
into accepting really abominable braking; it was scary to discover
that we'd been driving with brakes that were limited to just a
fraction of their capacity. The G60s will never be great brakes for
our cars, and an upgrade is worth serious consideration, but in the
meantime,  I hope you'll make sure _your_ G60s are functioning at
100% of their capability. For that matter, UFOs, too.


P.S. With all that is said about the limited ability of G60 brakes on
our cars, I'll reiterate my opinion that they can perform well even
on the track--if equipped with excellent pads. This is based on the
very good experience that I (and my son) had last year at Watkins
Glen in our Hoppen-chipped car using performance pads (Hawk Blue
pads). These pads allowed the G60 brakes to do a very adequate
job--given the car, the track and the drivers. Of course this
assessment might not be appropriate for high(er) HP cars and drivers.

Phil Rose				Rochester, NY USA
'91 200q	(130 Kmiles, Lago blue)
'91 200q   (57 Kmiles, Tornado red)
	mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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