The right side of the suspension is seen here before disassembly. The rusted rotors will be replaced with new slotted and drilled 13-inch ones from Summit Racing. The caliper is not seen, but it’s on the back side of the rotor. The rotor bolts to the hub when the wheels are fastened with lug nuts. The steering knuckle is bolted to the hub bearing. This knuckle is fastened to the control arms via ball joints.
You have already read about replacement of the upper and lower ball joints. New shocks and all new bushings will also be done – those parts were never meant to be “lifetime” pieces.
Calipers are bolted to the steering knuckle by a caliper bracket. You can use hand tools here, but you better bring your A-game because they are torqued down pretty well.
I used an impact wrench (shown) to loosen the bolts, then a socket & ratchet to remove them. Impact wrenches are powerful and can sometimes gall bolt threads due to heat buildup when the bolt turns very fast. Don’t act like you’re in NASCAR, take care of the parts you’ll need later on.
Picture left is the outer brake pad. Note the outer prongs that fit into the outer caliper housing.
Even though there is plenty of pad wear left, I’m going to replace these pads. Old pads are prone to cracking under the intense heat and pressure of braking – and I’m not taking any chances.
I will also rebuild the calipers with all new internals (Autozonehas a great rebuild kit). I’m not quite sure how to do this yet, but I do know that the piston and walls of the caliper cannot be even slightly damaged in any way – or, I’ll be buying new ones (no budget for that!).
See, I told you the calipers were painted. Here, I media blasted half of the caliper, and you can see along the blast line the original black power coat.
My plan is to bring these back to black using high-temperature caliper paint from Eastwood. Black calipers go much better with the theme of the car – but more on that later.
In the lower left of the photo, a green rubber plug is preventing any media from getting inside these important hydraulic brake parts. Lower right is the bleed screw covered with a dust boot.