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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    900 Aero MY1984
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    Old (handbrake on front calipers) front brakes upgrade

    Hey there!

    17 inch thread is done, tried them, legalised them and hope they'll be ok to drive.

    Now I have problem with brake system, especially front brakes. Intending to keep it in "almost original" shape, I didn't do the 4x108 rebuilt with newer calipers and wheel bolts. I kept the original 4x114,3 setup with wheel nuts and handbrake on front calipers. But I realised that honestly these brakes don't work well. I think these calipers are too weak on even 160 HP which is my factory setup.

    My question is: Is there any upgrade or trick that I can make on these brakes to strenghten them a bit or only option is the 4x108 rebuild?

    I thought about manufacturing these parts which hold calipers (I don't know name in english) and go with just newer calipers from post88 or 9000, cause discs are same in diameter. But theres another problem - where to move handbrake?

    Peter

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    900 Aero MY1984
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    Sorry guys, I finally found the "My pre88 brake tutorial." Please, delete this thread.

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  3. #3
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
    Thumbs Up:   4
    Front axles from a 88+ c900 (inc inner driver)
    Front Calipers from a 88+ 9000
    Rear axle from any c900
    Rear brake cables and handle

    Problem solved.

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  4. #4
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Don't do it! Don't upgrade to later style calipers. If you REALLY want more stopping power after your brakes are in good working condition, the only thing I didn't mention in my tutorial is that you can switch to ceramic pads. They will eat up your rotors though. Changing to the later style caliper, as mentioned above, is very very hard. In addition to the parts that Burnsside mentioned, you would need also to weld in stops for the cable housings under the center console, drill holes in the body, and change the outer CV joints. Difficulty-wise, it's on par with converting an automatic car to manual shift.

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    Last edited by euromobile900; 20 February 2013 at 18:48.
    Ask me a question about your c900! I promise I either can answer it or know someone who can

  5. #5
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    900 Aero MY1984
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    As I mentioned above, I want to keep it in almost original shape so I decided not to do the post88 rebuild.

    Can you post any link or adress on those ceramic pads you mean?

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  6. #6
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up:   4
    Quote Originally Posted by euromobile900 View Post
    and change the outer CV joints. Difficulty-wise, it's on par with converting an automatic car to manual shift.
    I said axles from the donor - no axle overhauling required then Junk Yards are good for this. It can be done cheap and you don't NEED a parking brake.....


    Look in the WILWOOD setup for your car too - DeLorean put this on his 1 99T and he said it works good and retains the parking brake on the front i think.


    EDIT:
    Just found your brake thread - all looks good to me

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

  7. #7
    Edward G
    Saab Enthusiast
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    10 Mar 2011
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    Victoria Australia
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    Saab(s)
    T5.5 84 900T8
    Thumbs Up:   0
    The early style brakes are almost the same as the later brakes - the rear piston is slightly bigger in the later brakes .... The piston diameters are below - the master cylinder piston sizes are identical between years.

    Early style
    front 54mm
    rear 22.2mm
    brake booster 3.5:1
    rotor size 267

    late style
    front 54 mm
    rear 33mm
    rotor size 278
    brake booster 4:1

    the difference is in the booster and the fact later brakes are vented to keep them cooler (probably minimal difference unless you're on the track)

    if your brakes are crappy consider pads rotors and a new brake booster first. See the tutorial thread on testing brake booster.

    Ive driven both types and I could never notice the difference.

    The c900 brakes are excellent, I forget the test name but it's a braking efficiency test they do at roadworthy here in Australia (based on speed/weight/braking distance) my car scored 88% which the guy said suprised the crap out of him haha. you need 55% to pass here in aus.

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  8. #8
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
    Thumbs Up:   2
    To add to this, I agree with S900t8v that, having driven both late and early, I have never noticed a difference, but wanted to clarify that there ARE some early-style front brakes that have vented discs and these are a worthwhile upgrade. Juiceman's car, being a 16v turbo, probably already has these. I made this upgrade (easy, just calipers and spindles) and found it to be worthwhile, but I live in the mountains and the heat was causing my rotors to warp on a yearly basis.

    Wilwood calipers on "normal cars" scare me, because they do not have dust boots for the pistons. I've read several stories about these needing much more frequent overhauls due to dust entry. My opinion is that they're meant for racing, which is why I included several other more street-friendly caliper upgrade options in my brake tutorial.

    Juiceman, you are in Czech Republic, correct? I couldn't find any German suppliers with ceramic pads, but I did find two American suppliers that have them. RockAuto sells Centric PosiQuiet ceramic pads, and Eeuroparts.com sells Axxis Deluxe ceramic pads. Like I said, they don't have as much dust and they do stop you better and last longer, but the rotors will wear out faster. I have never used ceramic pads on my car because of their reputation for wearing out rotors.

    If you're having braking problems, the first step is always to make sure the system is working properly, before trying upgrades. Don't underestimate the detrimental effect a stuck caliper or glazed rotors could be having on your braking performance.

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    900 Aero MY1984
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    Ok, so this is exactly what I wanted to hear.

    As my 900 is 86 T16, it should have vented rotors, but it doesn't, because of previous owner, so I'm going to switch them immidiately and I'll try "normal" pads. The strange thing is, that both rotors and pads aren't in bad condition and these calipers are two years from new. So I didn't expect the problem is in "the system"

    From what I heard, I think my problem is in brake booster. So I'm gonna change the fluid and reboost it, hope it'll work.

    I'm in Czech Rep., I'll try to look, if Skandix does not have ones, but after I'll properly check whole system.

    Thank you for answers. I'll let you know what the problem was and how was it solved.

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  10. #10
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
    Thumbs Up:   2
    Just be aware, the calipers and hubs are different between vented and non-vented rotors. It is a lot of work to switch between the two, so maybe yours is a strange variant that came with non-vented rotors from the factory. There are so many variants that I can only say "as a guideline" turbo cars came with vented rotors after 1985. But there may be exceptions.

    If you post a picture of the caliper, disc, and rotor (just take the wheel off and take a picture of the front of the assembly) I can tell you if your car was set up for non-vented rotors or if it has some strange combination of parts set up by the previous owner. As I said, hubs and caliper yokes are different between vented and non vented rotors, and the brakes will not work right if they have the wrong rotors. Maybe the previous owner used the wrong calipers and rotors, but kept the hubs as original. This would explain your bad braking performance.

    I figured you were located in Czech Republic, so I looked for ceramic pads at Skandix; they do not have ceramic pads but they do have a good set of semi-metallic pads. These will offer decent performance and last longer than organic pads.

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