1999 GMC Suburban front brake question

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by chewy81, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. chewy81

    chewy81 New Member

    Several months ago I changed the brakes and rotors in my 1999 GMC Suburban. I took the calipers off, and used a set of channel locks to slowly compress the piston back in before fitting the new brake pads. Ever since I replaced them, it's felt a little more *spongy* than it used to. It stops just fine, but seems like I have to push "further" than normal, just a little bit. It's such a small difference that I've been driving it and feel safe driving it, I've hauled my trailer through the mountains just fine.

    Tonight I was helping my Dad change his front brakes in a 1998 Chevy truck and used the same method, and he said he thought they felt a little more spongy than they used to be.

    My question - is this the proper method for changing the front brakes pads (compressing the piston without bleeding the brakes)? Again, it's stopping just fine and I feel safe, it just feels a little different than before.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Are you leaving an old pad over the piston when you do this? You run the risk of slipping off the piston and cutting the boot around the piston, which in turn means that you are replacing the caliper. I always use either a c-clamp with a old pad in place and compress the piston or I use the brake caliper compression tool that I have. They are around $15 at harbor freight. I would make sure that your pads are in straight. I have seen pads cocked just a little bit cause a spongy pedal. also make sure the rotor was not cocked at all when installing them. I install a lug nut on a wheel stud and tighten it to hold the rotor in the correct position, then I install the pads and caliper. Next, I pump the brake pedal a few times to squeeze the pads in position against the rotor. Then I remove the lug nut holding the rotor and reinstall the tire.
  3. DeTempledetails_nv

    DeTempledetails_nv Member 1 Year

    So if that rubber boot around the brake piston is ripped it needs to be replaced with a whole new caliper? How immediate is a this? I was changing my front pads the other day and noticed it was alr3ady ripped on the passanger side.
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    It needs to be replaced asap. If the tear ends up going all the way thru you will loose all front braking power. Caliper rebuild kits used to be available, but I have not seen one in some time now.
  5. DeTempledetails_nv

    DeTempledetails_nv Member 1 Year

    Alright will do some research on my next move. Thanks for the info.

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