From: (Douglas Antelman)
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 96 21:32 PST
Subject:     Disc Brake Service

I was feeling ambitious, so while I had the Z in the air, I also
serviced the front brakes.  While the braking performance was OK, the
pads were worn and one of the rotors was below the minimum regrind
thickness of 10.5 mm.  (The other rotor was replaced about 2 years

The calipers remove easily, simply remove the brake pipe (remember to
use your 10 mm flare end wrench) and 2 17mm hex head bolts hold the
caliper in place.  They usually slide off, but sometimes a few blows
with a hammer will help them off.  Catch the brake fluid in a drip
pan.  Note: It is possible to service the front brakes without
loosening the brake pipe BUT I feel it is much easier to compress the
caliper pistons if the pipe is off and any good brake service should
involve bleeding out old fluid anyway.

Take the caliper out to the drive and rinse off the brake dust.
Chances are by now you're not replacing asbestos pads, but if you're
unsure, get some brake-cleen spray.  Whatever you do, don't inhale
brake dust!  The retaining pins are held by 2 spring clips. Remove the
clips with a needle-nose pliars.  If the pins are rusty, drive them
out with a punch.  Clean the stainless steel backing plates.  If
you're calipers are all corroded (the body is aluminum, so the won't
rust) you can have them bead blasted or if you use silicone brake
fluid, you can spray them with aluminum paint, which gives close to an
original appearance.  If you use regular brake fluid, paint is not an
option, as the fluid will eat right through it.

Once the pads are out, you can compress the caliper pistons.  I used a
4" C-clamp for this and it works quite well.  Do this over a tray, as
the fluid will come out as the pistons are pushed back into their
sleeves.  The pistons should move freely- if they do not, the caliper
will need to be rebuilt, or turned in as a core for an exchange unit.
My calipers all were OK- part of the benefit of silicone brake fluid-
your calipers and wheel cylinders will last a very long time.  In
fact, I have never had any brake problems (other than worn drums,
rotors, pads, shoes) for the last 14 years on this 240-Z.

I used the "blue" gunk anti-squeal compound between the stainless
steel plates and the pads.  My Z uses semi-metallic pads, and they
tend to squeak when cold, so we'll see if this stuff helps them.

On the side that needed the new rotor, I unbolted the hub from the
inside of the rotor, and the hub can be hammered out of the rotor.
Part of any disc brake service should be cleaning old grease out of
the hubs and wheel bearings and re-packing them.  Just make sure your
hands are clean before handling the rotor- and keep some alcohol on
hand in case you accidentally get grease on the rotor.  I remounted
the rotor/hub unit and tightened the outer wheel bearing to spec.
Clean the rotors off and your hands, before mounting the caliper-pads

Refit the brake pipe and the 2 bolts that hold the caliper assembly
on.  Now it is time to bleed the brakes.  I generally use an assistant
for this step.

I use a special brake bleeding jar, which is especially suited to the
task.  Take an old jelly or pickel relish jar and poke 2 holes in the
lid with a screwdriver.  Insert your bleed hose into the hole.  The
snug fit will keep the hose at the bottom of the jar, below the fluid
level.  No more air getting sucked in during the bleed operation and
no more accidental spills on your garage floor.  When you're not using
the bleed jar, insert the free end of the hose into the other hole.

I start with 1/2" of fluid in the jar and have my assistant pump the
pedal slowly until all the old, dirty fluid and air bubbles are
expelled from the caliper.  When bleeding the front brakes, bleed the
RH side first, then the LH side.  Oh- and if you try and try and you
can't get the air out- you've got the calipers (L and R) mixed up!
The bleed screw MUST be on top- it happens!  Once happened to me when
I got a pair of rebuilts and they were both the RH side!

On the last downstroke of the brake pedal, I have my assistant hold
the pedal down and then I tighten the bleed screw.  During the
procedure, I have my assistant check and top up the resevoir as
needed.  In some cases, you may want to bleed the master cylinder and
rear braking system as well, particularly if either resevoir has run

That's it!  I checked all connections, remounted the road wheels and
off for a test drive!  In a few hundred miles, I'll unblot the wheels
and check the condition of rotors and pads to be sure that they are
propely bedding in.


Douglas Antelman
Encinitas, CA

'71 240Z
'69 2000 Roadster


From: (Douglas Antelman)
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 96 21:32 PST
Subject:     front end work part I

Part I: Tie road ends and rack and pinion

I Took my '71 Z off the road this weekend for some front end work.  If
you have interest in tie-rod end replacement, rack and pinion bellows
replacement, disc brake service, etc. read on.

If you have an early Z car that "wanders" on the road, you should
first check the following areas: rack bushings, wheel bearings, tie
rod ends and ball joints.  Most people fit oversize rack bushings,
which perform better than the original part the car came with.  If you
have a 240-Z and they have never been replaced, it will be quite
obvious- the steering will be vague and float.

The front wheel bearings, if kept properly lubed and with the correct
pre-load, will last a very long time.  If they are too loose it will
be evident, when the car is jacked up and one can wobble the wheel on
the hub.

The next place to check is the tie road ends.  In my case the RH tie
rod end needed replacing, for the rubber boot had split, allowing the
joint to dry out.  Note: if you have a damaged boot, you can drive on
it for a while (in California for even longer) provided you keep
injecting grease into the joint.  The boot is not available as a
separate part, so if it is destroyed, you will have no choice but to
replace the entire part.

Try to choose a good quality tie-rod end, with an integral grease
fitting.  If no grease fitting is present, you can drill a hole in the
underside of the joint and thread with a tap and install your own.
But its worth the extra few $ to get a good part that already has the

When replacing tie rod ends, it is best to replace in pairs.  Do one
side at a time.  Note the # of threads visible on the arm that threads
into the tie rod, as you'll want to get a reasonable approximation of
toe in before you take it in to be aligned.  The tie rod connection to
the R&P can be loosened by using 2 opposing wrenches- try some liquid
wrench first, as these threads tend to be stiff or rusted.  The tie
rod is secured with a single hex nut into the steering knuckle, either
a self-locking type or the type that uses a cotter pin.  It may take a
"ball joint fork" to separate the tie rod end from the collar.  In
some extreme cases the steering knucle will have to be heated with a
torch to expand it.

While you have the tie road off, check the condition of the rubber
bellows, or boot.  If there are any cracks or splits, now is the best
time to replace them.  The boots pull over the end arm of the R & P

In some cases the steering :float" is not due to the tie rod ends, but
the inner tie roads, or ball end units in the rack and pinion.  These
are normally covered by the boot and generally last longer than the
external tie rod ends.  They do wear though, and in very high mileage
situations they develop play.  If there is any slop in the inner
joint, it must be tightened (these joints have adjustable load) or
replaced.  According to the shop manual, if the end arm falls under
its own weight, then the joint is too loose.

While you're under the car, take the time to refill the grease
resevoir on your R&P unit.  Preventative maintenance plays big time in
your rack and pinion's lifespan.  Ask someone how much a replacement
R&P unit costs and it will be enough to get you out in the garage this
coming weekend.  Inject grease into the ball joints and tie rod ends
as well.

I will not cover ball joint replacement right now, as I replaced these
about 3 years ago.

Douglas Antelman
Encinitas, CA

'71 240Z
'69 2000 Roadster

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