1999 Pontiac Grand Am brakes

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Nov 12, 2005
New York
I've changed brakes on several different cars. A friend asked for help on his Pontiac. I removed the bolts from the slide pins but I could not remove the caliper to change the pads. Is there something unique about these calipers? It moved about 3/4 inch forward, but I couldn't get the caliper off. If both bolts are off, why couldn't I get the caliper off?
You only need to remove the bottom brake caliper pin bolt.
Note: The wear indicator pad goes on the inside.

See website below for on-line service manuals. (free)
Website link provided by http://www.fullthrottlev6.com

enter barcode#: 21947001622114

Disc Brakes
Disc Brake Pads
Removal & Installation
To Remove: 1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
2. Remove the wheel assembly.
3. Install 2 wheel nuts to secure the rotor on the hub.
4. Remove the bottom brake caliper pin bolt.
5. Pivot the brake caliper body upward and secure out of the way. Do NOT disconnect the hydraulic brake flexible hose from the caliper. Compress the piston back into bore using the C-clamp.
Originally Posted By: Jerryb
If both bolts are off, why couldn't I get the caliper off?

Your hammer is too small......
j/k If both bolts are off and you can't "tap" it off with a rubber mallet then open the brake bleeder to release the piston and wiggle it from side to side. . You will have to bleed the brakes but you should bleed them with every reline anyway while you are there. If the brake pads are cut into the rotor face they will hang up on the groove they are in.
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Thanks for such a quick answer. I did as described in your procedure. First I removed his old green brake fluid with a turkey baster. Then I removed the lower pin bolt and tried to swing the caliper up. I could only move it about 1/2 inch. Then I removed the upper pin bolt and could move the caliper more, but the caliper would not swing away either up or down. We were in my driveway and I didn't want to force things. It was a friends car and I didn't want him to move in with me if I couldn't put his brakes back together.

I think the piston may be stuck to the inboard pad. I loosened the bleeder valve and squeezed the piston with my hands to get more of his old brake fluid out of the cylinder, That old fluid was bad. I ended up replacing almost 12 oz of brake fluid and putting the pin bolts back. He drove safely home home. We may try again this weekend.

That's a great website you linked. Thanks again.
This link is a lot easier follow if you have never worked on GM brakes...


The trick is to use a C-clamp to fully compress the piston before you attempt to lift the caliper assembly.

Note: ignore the grandprix.net comments about the pad wear indicator. It must be installed on the inside.
I have done brakes on Fords, Volvos, and a Toyota. They all stopped fine. On this job, the bolt is 10mm and fits inside the caliper slide pin. I held the pin it with a 15mm open end wrench while I removed the 10mm bolt. I didn't use the c-clamp on the piston. I just squeezed it to get some brake fluid out of the bore. I could move the caliper a little but it wouldn't swing up or down and I couldn't get it to slide off with my BFH.

If my friend is still alive in a few days, we'll try again.
Use the C-clamp, if it still doesn't want to compress easily it may be siezed, which is not uncommon for the calipers used on that car.
As the others have said, compress the caliper piston slightly and see if that will resolve the problem.
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