Rear brake repair/replace begins

(chris gruchawka 1988 XJ-SC) #1

dropped the cage, removed the shocks, not much left on the rotors, one caliper leaking, emergency brake pads look good. new vented rotors and custom “kirby” hubs on hand. I think the shocks are marginal, didnt want to replace, but probably will. One radius arm refuses to let go, bolt seems to be welded to bush. Well a good day, off to refreshment

(Greg) #2

That’ll be me in about a year or two. I also have an 88 with the Dana diff, and the same Pittsburgh floor jack! Ha.

How many hours did it take? 1 man or 2 man job?

That’s why I’m waiting a year or two - while I have it out, I’m replacing everything I can. Brakes, shocks, axle seals, maybe even a lower geared Diff. Gotta save up the $$$ (and confidence).

Also, is it true that there are now some vented brake rotors for the rear that do not need the caliper’s expanded? I see Zimmerman and Brembo?

(chris gruchawka 1988 XJ-SC) #3

This started as a exhaust repair of the intermediate pipes. So the car was tail high and in position for the irs drop. That’s the short story. When rolling around under the car a drop of hydrualic fluid fell, and that led a re-prioritzation of projects. The rear brakes were on my todo list and I had been gathering the bits and pieces for several months. When that drop fell and the look see was done, the rear brakes became the new project.
So in answer, the car was already in position and the exhaust disconnected at the mufflers before cage.
I was in it for about 1 hour, before my unsuspecting neighbor stopped by and asked if I needed a hand. Seven hours later the cage was on the ground. I would still be at it without the second set of hands IMHO. The photo is after another three hours of quality time, solo no additional help.
Can’t give a true start stop time, but I would estimate 2 days to get it to the point where you can start working on the brakes themselves.
I’m two days in, just finished disconnect from right side half shaft to rotor,
I’m going to be going at a much slower pace until my body stops aching.
I don’t know about other suppliers for the vented replacements, I went with the Wilwood and had a local machine shop for the hubs. Bolts and other hardware from the usual suppliers, I still have to scrounge up the caliper pieces/filler but have the remaining “longer” hardware.
My cage and hardware requires a good cleaning, rust removal and painting.
Not sure if I’m going to venture into all of the drivetrain seals, I haven’t spotted any obvious leaks but project just started and closer look will be performed.
The universals, bearings and other wear components will be also looked at, but I would like to get the car back on the road and enjoy the upcoming warmer months. Last year the car was sitting while I was trying to get it to run “better”, another long story.

(Aristides Balanos) #4

If it was me I would definitely change the diff output seals and bearings, mine (1986) have some play, they are leaking and have to be repaired urgently, in an otherwise very sane rear end.
They get hot from the brakes and have quite a hard life. With the cage out it’s a simple job and parts are inexpensive.
You wouldn’t want to take the IRS down again would you ?


(chris gruchawka 1988 XJ-SC) #5

Thanks Aristides, you are right, I do not want to drop it again.

(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #6

Shipwright’s disease strikes again!

(chris gruchawka 1988 XJ-SC) #7

I feel like I’ve been here before, maybe 50 years ago with my first car. Learned the hard way to say goodbye. I’m starting with “more solid” boat this time. PO got their monies worth with rear rotors, they measure 0.48. May my wallet not regret the drop.