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Author Topic: My Rock(y) Auto Experience  (Read 254 times)

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Fierofool

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My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« on: August 02, 2016, 07:53:32 PM »
I recently ordered a pair of rear calipers from Rock Auto for my 86.  Looked them up and decided to go with Raybestos rebuilt calipers.  When they arrived, they were in Wagner boxes.  Really no big deal since Wagner is a well-known brand. 

I finally set about putting them onto the car after purchasing a pair of ThermoQuiet pads.  Just doing a step at a time in the early morning and late evening to avoid heat and trying to avoid the pop-up thundershowers.  My work flow was to install the left one with pads, leaving the fluid line loose.  This was done in the morning.

The right one with pads was to be installed in the afternoon.  When I took it out of the box and removed the emergency brake return spring, I noticed that the brake lever was loose.  As I tried to tighten it down, I discovered that the threads on the screw was stripped.  The lever wouldn't pull down against the seal since it only had a few good threads at the top.  The bleeder valve had previously been stripped so a helicoil and a very small bleeder valve was installed. 

Called my local AutoZone girl and she said she could have a rebuilt caliper on the counter by 3PM and she'd call me to let me know when it came in.  So, I placed the order for a Duralast rebuilt because I wanted to keep the work flow going. 

I went online and it was pretty easy to do a return.  Go through the online return form, print out a return authorization and even a free return shipping label.  At the same time, since the left side appeared good, I did a core return form for the left side caliper.  Return shipping label, too.  I took the option of having $5.54 deducted from my core refund, because I felt that was cheaper than shipping it back on my own.   

On the way back from FedEx, stopped by AutoZone and picked up my replacement and got it installed when I got home.  Took along my old right caliper for core.  She said she needed to keep the box to return my core, and as she flipped it over, I noticed it was EXACTLY the same box I had just returned a Wagner caliper in.  Just a Duralast label on the end.  Hardware bagged the same way, too.

So, at this point, I have both calipers with pads installed and the fluid lines are hung up on the springs.  Yesterday morning, I dropped both lines down to let them gravity bleed before attaching the lines to the calipers.  Once I started getting fluid drips, I installed the new copper washers, tightened everything down and opened the bleeder valves to let the calipers gravity bleed.

After having a couple cups of coffee, I went back out to check the paper towels and had fluid on each, so I closed the bleeders.  By that time, it was too hot to work any more.  Did other things for the rest of the day.

About 7PM, I went out to see what I needed to do to replace my damaged E-brake cables and found a big puddle of fluid underneath the left caliper.  Forgot to tighten the bleeder?  Nope!  Forgot to tighten the banjo bolt for the fluid line?  Nope!  But that's where the fluid's leaking from.  When I removed the banjo bolt and line, I saw that there were pits in the sealing surface, and a raised shoulder on the thread bore where they failed to de-bur when they chased the threads.  Two local auto machine shops couldn't resurface the area because there are no finished setup points on the outside of the caliper to set up on. 

Back to Rock Auto Online for a return, but it won't let me.  It would only allow me to track the stuff I've already returned.  Found a number for Rock Auto through a 3rd party online help service and gave them a call.  The guy was friendly and in less than 5 minutes, I had an email with return authorization and shipping label.  Bad thing about this is that I've lost my core.  I don't believe they will give me the $31.50 for the core I sent them. 

As I removed the Wagner caliper from the left side, I wondered what the difference was, since the Duralast was packaged the same way.  I took it around to the right side, compared the black "Rebuilt" markings and wouldn't you know, the Wagner and the Duralast have the same stamp on them? 

So, I'm getting the same caliper locally, can have it the same day if I order in the morning, get a one-year warranty as opposed to Rock Auto's 30 day return period, and I can inspect it before I lay out the cash, and my AutoZone girl is some pretty decent eye candy. 

My recommendation is to purchase from your local parts stores, unless it's something Rock Auto has that isn't available anywhere else.  To their benefit, I can say that their return process is pretty much painless and without argument.  You just have to wait for a while to get your refund.     
Love my Fieros, S-curves and speed.
It's what driving was meant to be.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2016, 06:26:26 PM »
I guess the moral of the story is that I should go to your AutoZone.  The knowledgeable guys left at mine.  What we have now is some guys who don't know what a spark plug is.  The occasional girls are not attractive.

Raydar

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 09:56:33 AM »
...  The occasional girls are not attractive.

They probably already have girlfriends anyway.
"Some mornings, it's almost not worth gnawing through the restraints."

Fierofool

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 09:35:04 PM »
An update on the Autozone Rear Calipers. My 86 has well under 2000 miles on it since I did the brake job last August.

Today, on my way to the club meeting, I saw traffic backing up on the Interstate. I exited to take other roads around the traffic. The exit ramp is about a mile long as it serves several roads. I first had to stop about a half mile from the end of the ramp. When I started to move up a bit, the car was holding back until something popped and then the car moved forward. When I stopped again, and released the brake, it didn't roll back, but acted as if it had hill-hugger brakes. Again, as I started forward, there was a pop, then the car would move.  I had the windows down and there was no smoke or smell.

I decided to go about a block and pull into a Home Depot to check my e-brake cable and loosen it if needed. Just as I stopped, there was a loud explosion, similar to a tire blowing out and a huge cloud of smoke came out of the right rear. I jumped out to check it and found that it was on fire. Grabbed the extinguisher from the front compartment and put out the fire.  After it blew out, the car would roll easily, but of course, no brakes.

So far, I haven't inspected for full damage, but the center cap on the custom wheel melted. Coincidentally, I had to go by that AutoZone on the way back from picking up the car to grab wheel bearings for my 87, and they said there was no problem with replacing the caliper and may even cover coincidental damage, like brake lines, brake pads and rotor.

I think Raydar might have had something to do with it. RockinRoger picked me up on his way in and I rode the rest of the way with him. When we walked into the meeting, Raydar was flashing a big smile and pointing to his Fiero T-shirt which read "They Catch Fire, Don't They?"
Love my Fieros, S-curves and speed.
It's what driving was meant to be.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 09:55:06 PM »
Well, I'm glad you're OK.  Sorry about the brakes.

Did you get your Fiero home?

Fierofool

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 10:09:21 PM »
Yes.  I rode back home with Roger and I keep his tow dolly stored at my house. 

This was where a 4-lane state road merged into I-85.  I-85 was backed up.  I had driven about 20 miles at normal speeds when I saw the merging traffic coming to a stop.  I decided to take the exit.  If I hadn't, I would have been in the middle of 6 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, trying to get out of the car and put out the fire.  Then with no brakes, trying to maneuver my way to the shoulder.  The next exit would have been about 2 miles. 

It may turn out to be that the caliper was a victim of something else, like a bad brake line that wouldn't let the fluid pressure back off.  I make that a possibility since the caliper unlocked once it blew out, so something was holding the piston from releasing.  Emergency brake lever has lots of travel but it was tight when I was on the ramp.  I checked it to see if that was the problem and why I was going to loosen the cable. 
Love my Fieros, S-curves and speed.
It's what driving was meant to be.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 10:17:38 PM »
Different cause, but similar to my experience.  Not fun.

fiero4.3L

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 06:49:15 PM »
I've ordered from Rockauto a few times  ;)but not always. A magnet is not always included and it is whatever they happen to throw in the box. It depends on where it ships from as to whether you will receive a magnet.

I've had sellers put false info on the listing, had stripped threads from a bad core that was rebuilt, had new parts that were made wrong, and parts damaged during shipping. Considering how many times I've ordered from them, these issues were rare. When they did occur, I documented the issue with photos and they made it right.

Master ASE and FAA aircraft mechanic among other things.

GTRS Fiero

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 07:10:59 PM »
No Fiero magnet.

Fierofool

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2017, 07:25:45 PM »
I've had more good experiences than bad.  At least until I use some of the things I've bought on clearances and put on the shelf. 
Love my Fieros, S-curves and speed.
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Raydar

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Re: My Rock(y) Auto Experience
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2017, 09:56:04 PM »
If you want an alternative, check out Amazon.com for parts. Their prices are close to Rockauto's, and Amazon is famous for their customer service.

I bought a gear reduction starter for my coupe. (New. Not rebuilt. Even included a tech sheet that described torque and current draw at various RPMs. I was impressed.)  Cost me a whole $58. Everyone else was getting $100+. Works perfectly. Didn't even have to shim it.
This was installed on a Duke (for now) but will fit most any 2.5, 2.8, 3800, or other 60 degree V6.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AN5WAU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This is the same starter used for a 3800 and a 3.4 DOHC.
 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 10:00:23 PM by Raydar »
"Some mornings, it's almost not worth gnawing through the restraints."