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Altima/z31 rear brake problem. What's going on?

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  • Altima/z31 rear brake problem. What's going on?

    Took my car out for the first time after installing new centric altima rotors, z31 brackets, hawk hp+ pads, new reman S14 rear calipers and PBM rear knuckles. I noticed right away the car did not want to roll very easily. I thought it was maybe the e-brake dragging so unhooked the lines but that did nothing. Then I thought maybe they'll loosen up a bit after going to the gas station since I needed gas anyway and it's just 2 miles down the road. After pulling into the station I smell burning brakes and see smoke coming from my rotors. This is what I saw when looking at the rear rotors on both sides.

    The pads were clearly dragging and not sitting flat against the rotor.

    Then I remembered I noticed this issue when I was putting everything together with my old calipers. Notice the gap towards the inside of the pad. The rotor is bolted down and the ebrake is pulled in this pic.

    It looks like it's not caliper related since I replaced those with new remans and am having the same issue.

    Anyone know what could be causing this? Would hate to have wasted money on new stuff only to find out this setup is junk

    I also replaced my old auto brake pedal with a manual one and the old brake master cylinder with a z31 mc. Running Z brakes in the front. with no issues there. The pedal is a little spongy but I believe I just need to bleed them a little more.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    You may have gotten the wrong year brackets. I believe its the later years that work. I can't entirely remember.


    • #3
      Forgot to mention this is what the insides of the rotors look like on both sides.. basically worn on the opposite side... (sorry the pic is sideways... photobucket is weird sometimes)

      maybe PBM messed up on the knuckles making the caliper sit crooked? Hard to imagine they'd mess up both sides the exact same though.


      • #4
        Originally posted by shiftdrift View Post
        You may have gotten the wrong year brackets. I believe its the later years that work. I can't entirely remember.
        These are the correct brackets. You can see in the pic the rotor fits fairly well in the rotor "groove". The other brackets are noticeably larger since they use a vented rotor so it's pretty obvious when the rotors are mounted in the brackets.


        • #5
          Is the e brake somehow 'pulling' the assembly in that direction against the pins? That's strange for sure. We used to see that on rangers and the sort when the support would rot, and the brake would pull against the rotor and slow it down.
          'Slicks on a car show me you care - broken axles show me you're trying'
          [I]Nitrous Rental Cars - Turbo Festivas - Vehicular Lunacy[/I]


          • #6
            Something is bent or the brake cable is pulling on it.

            Have a great day,


            • #7
              You guys are awesome.

              Completely removed the ebrake brackets (only disconnected the line the first time) and BOOM drag is nearly gone.

              The combination of the altima/z31 setup (puts caliper further in) and PBM rear knuckles (moves caliper down) gives the lines too much slack which is what pulls the caliper in that direction.

              Just didn't realize it was that bad. I guess this is what I get for trying something different : / Gonna reroute the lines and if that doesn't work then I guess it's back to stock brakes.... unless someone knows of s14 style ebrake lines that are slightly shorter.

              Thanks for the quick replies
              Last edited by marcinko; 09-01-2013, 01:12 PM.


              • #8
                Mine definitely did not do that. They've started humming when backing up, but I'm sure that's from them wearing at a slight angle.

                As another idea, I think some folks on here have ground down the caliper very slightly (where it meets the knuckle), but that was mainly to help just center it over the rotor a little better.
                97 Kouki SR 240


                • #9
                  You can cut and crimp eyes in the cables and put turnbuckles in to shorten or lengthen them.


                  • #10
                    Tried to reroute the lines earlier but with my raised subframe it looks like there just isn't enough room. I really need to shorten the last bit of line on the side that hooks to the calipers.

                    Not sure how I'd do this though... I looked into putting turnbuckles on the lines but because of the sleeve I don't see how this would work. Any ideas?

                    I will try to take some pics of what I'm working with tonight.


                    • #11
                      I don't understand the issue.
                      "gives the lines too much slack which is what pulls the caliper in that direction" huh? Don't get the slack thing pulling stuff.

                      If you are using S13 cables on s14 calipers which is what I did. I cut, shortened and welded the cable brackets to let everything work as intended. Hope that helps.


                      • #12
                        These are S14 lines on a S14...

                        Because the altima rotors/z31 brackets move the calipers in towards the center of the car and the PBM knuckles clock the calipers further down this gives the ebrake lines too much "slack" for lack of a better term... the lines are just too long now... so much so that they are getting close to the axle boots. Because the lines are so stiff they force the calipers to "toe in" so to speak causing them to catch on the rotors.

                        I will try to take pics tonight.


                        • #13
                          Got around to taking some pics...
                          Here you can see how the caliper is clocked down and moved further in.

                          Because of this the line is now too long causing the caliper to want to sit crooked as seen by the rotor wear.

                          Another view. I believe if I chopped about an inch or so from this section and bent the bracket that bolts to the subframe a little I can get it to work. I was also thinking about bending the Ebrake caliper bracket but I'm afraid it might mess up the function of the ebrake somehow since it would not longer be sitting straight. Also it's very thick and would be difficult for me to bend since I no longer have a big vice like I used to.

                          From inside looking out. You can see the line is just too long.

                          Tried to unbolt the ebrake subframe bracket and move the line around to find room for the extra slack but because it's so tight against the subframe and the chassis I just can't get it to move much.

                          So looks like the best solution is to shorten the lines where it's circled in the 4th pic. Just trying to figure out the best way to do this. Any advice is appreciated.
                          Last edited by marcinko; 09-03-2013, 01:53 AM.


                          • #14
                            Now I understand. I think I would do whatever it takes to unbolt/cut/unclip them from the subframe and move them around to get what you need. What about changing sides with them? The sliders should hold them fairly square. Good Luck.


                            • #15
                              I tried unbolting them from the subframe to move them around but it doesn't help... I just can't get that bit of slack to go anywhere. I thought I could mount them closer to the top of the hump on the subframe or further down but it's just too close to the chassis/tank. I don't think flipping them around would help since they would still be the same length. I do have some old s13 lines laying around that I was thinking of cutting open to see what I could do about shortening.

                              I'm surprised more people aren't having this issue with this setup. Even with the ebrake lines loosely zip tied to the ebrake caliper bracket (so I can still drive the thing while I figure out what to do) the brake caliper still sits crooked and I'm still getting the unusual rotor wear... although the dragging feels like it's gone. It really doesn't take much to get the caliper to sit crooked. I'm realizing just how bad this style of caliper really is... You don't even want to know how hard it was to try to rebuild my old calipers. Gave up and just threw down the cash for remans. Kinda wish I hadn't now. What a pita this has been. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be another money waster.
                              Last edited by marcinko; 09-03-2013, 04:34 PM.