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Park Ave Rear Brake Upgrade


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I am following Jon's [63Viking] lead and doing the Buick Park Avenue rear brake upgrade. To date I have gotten the rear calipers [used from Gibsons U Pick]. I took to the yard a Reatta 15" wheel and tried it on the Park Avenue rear hub.

It fits with no modification.

After removing the caliper I walked over to the 1989 Reatta that is still in the yard and mounted the Park Avenue caliper directly to the rear caliper mounting bracket of the Reatta hub.

It is a perfect fit.

Parts needed:

Drivers side caliper from a 1997- 98 Park Avenue, or 1995-99 Buick Riviera, or Olds Aurora.

Two custom made brackets to connect the emergency Brake cable.

Tools needed for the brackets; bench vise, drill and hacksaw. I have not made the brackets yet, but will finish this post after they are made.

The advantage of this upgrade is that no longer do you have to fool with removing the e-brake cable when replacing pads and rotors as the cable is out of the way. Doing a pad only brake job is a snap as you just remove one bolt the pad bracket pivots up and the pads just slide out of the ANTI RATTLE clips. Did I say ANTI RATTLE?

Other parts needed ...NONE.

You keep the Reatta Rotors, E Brake cable, and Reatta caliper mounting bracket on the hub.

You just have to make the E Brake brackets.

This idea is worth considering...

There is no sense of urgency on this project as this first conversion will be on the Black [my winter Reatta].

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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go with the 1996 STS rear brakes. they fith with no modification at all and you get to keep the parking brake. the only extra step you have over a normal brake job is replacing the brake cables (just the two in the rear). Oh and they still fit under a 15" wheel and no making of new brackets.

Here

http://forums.aaca.org/f116/bolt-brake-rattle-solution-upgrade-304512.html

Edited by D-a-n-i-e-l
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Dave and Daniel....... you did not mention if you use the caliper mount from the donor or the stock Reatta bracket.

Taking a look at Rockauto site, find the part you suggested and click on the part number gives you a list of all the cars that used that part.

Examples of each......... the 1997 Park Avenue left reat is also used on.......

Park Avenue 97-98

Regal 94-96

Riviera 95-98

Lumina 95-99

Monte Carlo 95-99

Aurora 95-98

Cutlass Sup 94-97

Grand Prix 94-96

The 1996 STS that Danial suggested (do you use only one side or both?) on the brake cables, are they from the same car?

Seville 92 uses the right part number on both sides

Seville 93-97

Eldorado 92-2002

Riviera 92-93

Deville 94-99

This gives you a lot more vehicles to choose from.

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At the risk of sounding ignorant I will state it this way.

You remove the caliper assembly from the donor car using an 18mm socket leaving behind the mounting bracket on the donor car. Then replace the Reattas caliper assembly bolting the Park Avenue caliper assembly to the Reatta using the same 18mm bolts.

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At the risk of sounding ignorant I will state it this way.

You remove the caliper assembly from the donor car using an 18mm socket leaving behind the mounting bracket on the donor car. Then replace the Reattas caliper assembly bolting the Park Avenue caliper assembly to the Reatta using the same 18mm bolts.

I have not tried to use the Reatta bracket do to the possible difference in depth ext while using the other components. If people have used them with no issues then go for it, but being the first to use the caddy brakes I did not want to chance missing a measurement.

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I have accumulated a lot of post in a folder on "big brakes" and will someday attempt to put all the options into a single article.

I think I already know the answer but Dave and Daniel, to you also use the donor rotors?

If you do not increase the diameter of the rotors, there does not seem to be an advantage except in the Cadillac Seville case where you upgrade the parking brake.

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I have accumulated a lot of post in a folder on "big brakes" and will someday attempt to put all the options into a single article.

I think I already know the answer but Dave and Daniel, to you also use the donor rotors?

If you do not increase the diameter of the rotors, there does not seem to be an advantage except in the Cadillac Seville case where you upgrade the parking brake.

As I have just secured the parts and not installed them as yet I will defer to Jon's comment. You get a traditional parking brake. The Caddy STS and the Park Ave use the same rotor [according to AutoZones website]. the Reatta uses a different stock #. As the rotors have different stock #'s I will try rhe PA rotors. My old ones are worn anyhow and need to be replaced.

The reason I am starting this now is that the Blacks rear brakes were in need of service.

I needed to buy rear pads and rotors.

The reason I am attempting this swap is for ease of brake service and to stop the rear brake rattle. E brake is not important to me as I do not use the brake. However if I am in a situation where the brakes fail and I need to use my E brake to stop [if I can think/react that fast] it will be reassuring that I will not have to pump up the pedal as one would with the current Reatta E brake.

I did not do Daniels conversion for two reasons. There are not that many STS's in the yard and the rust that might make removing the brake cables at the midpoint of the car. Wedeal with a lot of salt around here as well as when these cars are brought in they lay flat on the ground getting even rustier. Also they slide them a bit which could cause the brackets cables to get bent/distorted.

Far easier to do Jons upgrade and make brackets.

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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Here are the specs for the rotors;

Reatta

Bolt Pattern 115

Bore Dia. 70.7

Disc Thickness 12.70

Disc O.D. 255

Disc Overall Depth 38.3

Max. Discard Thickness 10.00

Park Avenue

Bolt Pattern 115

Bore Dia. 70.7

Disc Thickness 11.00

Disc O.D. 281

Disc Overall depth 38.5

Disc Discard Thickness 9.5

Looks like the Park Avenue rotor is slightly taller and narrower.

Anyone think that would make a difference?

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Yes!

PA Pads may not separate far enough to fit over thicker Reatta rotor, and PA pads will probably hang over the edge of a Reatta rotor decreasing contact area and putting extra stress on the very outer rotor edge.

Just mount a new PA rotor on your Reatta. You got the new bracket when you scored the brakes from the yard and the small increase in diameter didn't affect the fit of the 15" rim as you tested that already. Doubt there would be any problem with the length of the flexible brake hose either as that's not much of an increase.

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You cannot mix calipers and rotors.

If you put PA calipes on a Reatta and keep the rotors, the diameter is 1" smaller so the pads will only be touching part of the rotor, this could cause the pads to cock and the total contact area of the pads would be reduced.

If you put PA rotors on and do not change the calipers, the rotors will most likely interfer with the caliper as there is not that much clearance when using the stock Reatta parts.

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Thanks for the replies. It was the way I was going to go anyhow. I agree the rotors are matched to the calipers or else GM would have had the Reatta rotor # be the same as the PA.

Another good reason for the swap is that [at least in my area] both Advance and AutoZone have the PA rotors in stock, but the Reatta rear rotor is now a special order...

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  • 2 weeks later...

We finished the car last night. I am happy with the final results however I do not think I would do it again. My machinist friend who is very fussy did most of the work. While the Park Avenue calipers mounted readily to the bracket of the Reatta hub, that was probably the easiest part of the deal. The harder part [not difficult but time consuming] was the making of the E brake brackets. What my buddy decided [and as he took the lead on this project] was that he wanted to redo the existing E brake lever and cable bracket.

So in a nutshell here is what is needed [if you want to do it this way] ;

2 1997/98 Drivers side calipers

2 1997/98 Rotors

1 set 1997/98 Brake pads

Some 1/8" flat bar stock

Various common hand tools, vice, drill, welder, torch, portaband saw [preferred over hack saw]

Instructions;

Jack up rear of car, place on jack stands,remove wheels. Then starting with drivers side, unfasten e brake cable and brake line. As you are working very close to the ABS sensor lead, take care to remove it from the mounts [you do not need to remove the lead from the hub] to have more room while working with the brakes. Take off old caliper and rotors. Set aside as you will not need them any longer. Take the Park Ave rotors and calipers and mount them, they are a direct bolt on. Remove the E brake spring, lever and mounting bracket from the PA caliper. Trim the lever [as shown in picture] Reverse the lever so it is upside down and reinstall. Take the E brake mounting bracket and trim to the picture [provided]then add the small flat piece of bar stock [about 4" long] to the bracket welding it in place. You will have to then "eye" it up to figure where to drill the 3/8" hole to mount this newly fabricated bracket to the caliper. Once you have drilled the hole you can then trim off the extra unneeded flat stock. You will then have to make a "spacer" to off set the bracket by 1/8". Weld that to the bar that you just welded to the bracket, covering up the newly drilled hole. Then redrill the 3/8" hole.

Remount the E brake lever, cable mounting bracket and spring. Reattach the brake line as well as the Abs leads to its mounting brackets.

The reason why we deviated from Jons plan was that I was working with a machinist and he wanted to use existing brackets/hardware wherever possible

The reason for the cutting/trimming of the E brake lever and mounting backet is that the brake line and E brake cable are close to being too short. So trimming the lever is important for the brake line not to rub on the lever and also to have full movement as it is now mounted upside down. The E brake cable has to run to the wheel "lower" then it would have on the PA which is the reason for the triming of the bracket and then the welding of the additional metal. I am sure that doing it Jons way would be easier but as I was only assisting it was not my call.

Because we decided to use the existing bracket and that we didn't have a good picture of the E brake lever it took about 3 hours to do the drivers side.

Passenger side

We knew that the E brake cable mounting bracket was going to be a duplicate of the drivers side so we just "customized" it right away. While my buddy was working on that I removed the old rotor and caliper and mounted the P A rotor and caliper. The E brake lever on the passenger side needs to be a "Passenger" side lever which we did not have [as I only got the drivers side calipers]. So out came the torch, warmed up the end of the lever that the barrel end of the cable mounts to, and bent it 180 degrees. Then trimed to fit for clearance.

We then mounted both the lever and bracket on the caliper, reinstalled the E brake cable, replaced the E brake tension spring, brake line, and put the ABS leads back in the holder mounts.

By the time we were done the brake fluid resivoir was empty so I didn't need to siphon the old fluid out. I had one rusted bleeder on the front that broke off so that needed to be done as well. We did the bleeding following the instructions on Ronnies site using about 40 ounces of brake fluid. Good thing I did the bleeding, as the PO who had told me that he had done the brake fluid change, had not. So glad to do that.

Time spent on the passenger side with the bleeding and test drive about 3 hours as well.

Overall the job went OK however I would never have attempted this job by myself as I knew there would be customizing that would need to be done, and I also knew that I did not have the arsenal of tools that my friend has. So with this support I took on the project.

Oh and while I did not do any "panic" stops I can tell that the brakes work real well so I consider this latest project an upgrade. Not that I use the E brake [because I don't] but to stop that brake "RATTLE".

I do not have the pictures attached to this post however they are in my phone. I will be sending them to Ronnie via email so he should have them in the next day or two.

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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Well I have two Reattas and I want to do this to the Red as well, so maybe I will do the STS upgrade next.

If I do I guess I will be the only Reatta owner having done both upgrades and can give an honest opinion.

May have to find another friend to help me with this.

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Just went to AutoZones website and the Ebrake cable is $16.99 each. The pads and rotors are the same as the Park Avenue. The caliper however is different from the Park Avenue.

So to be clear on this we are looking at when doing a 1996 Cadillac STS brake conversion;

2 Rotors

2 Calpers Are they both Drivers side?

Set of brake Pads.

2 E Brake Cables

Do I need anything else?

And there is no fabrication?

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Just went to AutoZones website and the Ebrake cable is $16.99 each. The pads and rotors are the same as the Park Avenue. The caliper however is different from the Park Avenue.

So to be clear on this we are looking at when doing a 1996 Cadillac STS brake conversion;

2 Rotors

2 Calpers Are they both Drivers side?

Set of brake Pads.

2 E Brake Cables

Do I need anything else?

And there is no fabrication?

I would find a donor car as I do not believe the two rear cables are the same. The other thing you need is the adjuster for the sts. other than using two of the same side calipers it is a direct bolt on.

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  • 7 years later...

I'm late to the party on this tread but the 96 STS brake conversion seems like it is the way to go. I even reused the existing E-Brake Cable.  Not perfect but Works fine. You still have to pump the parking brake pedal but I prefer that. Only problem I had was I forgot that two right calipers are required and purchased a set of powder coated Power Stop calipers from Rock Auto. Keep in mind, they only come in pairs so I had to purchase another set. Expensive lession to learn. Now the hard part is trying to get them to give me a store credit on two left calipers. Looking forward to no brake rattle. Thanks

thumbnail_20200221_001906.jpg

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I just went back and read this entire thread. This is not the way I ultimately went. I used 1996 Cadillac Eldorado calipers , rotors and pads that McReatta had found on Rock Auto. They had the mounting brackets as well as the E brake end brackets to mount the cable to the caliper.

 McReatta found them on close out from Rock Auto so I bought two sets for a total of 4 right hand calipers. I had been frustrated with the initial results I had from before with remaking the cable brackets so went with McReatta's idea. They have been on the Red for about 70,000 miles with no problem and probably need a rear pad replacement.

 So once again if anyone has a desire to do this I believe I have everything needed but the rubber brake lines. For sure I have the calipers and both the mounting brackets and the E brake cable clamps .For everything else enter 1996 Cadillac Eldorado and you will get slightly longer brake lines then the Reatta ones are, as well as calipers and rotors.

 Rock Auto usually has them cheap.

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Just to update everyone in one posting........what is the advantage to the change in the rear?

The main goal is to get a larger rotor,  but that involves getting everything that goes with it and hopefully it is close to "plug n play"

The rear rotors are the same diameter on all Reatta,  which I am thinking is 10 inches.   What is the diameter of the Eldorado conversion and do you need to

go to 16" rims?

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I never tried the original rims after the conversion, but wasn't concerned anyway as I went to the LeSabre 16" rims. I believe the rotors are 11". For me it was to stop the brake rattle and easier rear brake pad swaps.

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