When I first drove this car, the first thing I noticed was the extremely loud brakes, which sounded like the pads were worn down quite a bit. So, I decided to take a look at the brakes and replace the pads if needed.
I put the car on jack stands and removed both front wheels, exposing the brakes. The rotors on both sides looked slightly worn down, but still okay enough to keep using.
I removed the caliper bolts and flipped up the calipers. Then, I slid off the brake pads, which were worn all the way down to the metal! Not very safe, indeed.
I then proceeded to install new Duralast ceramic pads, which should last pretty long with good stopping power.
I didn't have a c-clamp on hand, so I used a flathead screwdriver to push the caliper piston back into place, draining some brake fluid in the process. Then, I slid the calipers back over the pads and rotors and tightened down the bolts. Finally, I put both front wheels back on.
I drove the car around a little, and the squealing noises had gone away completely! However, the brake pedal was feeling a bit spongy and the parking brake light showed up even when it wasn't engaged. This was because I drained a bit of brake fluid, letting air into the system.
To remove the air, I decided to bleed the entire brake system. I bought a one man brake bleeder and DOT 3 brake fluid from Autozone. I then followed ChrisFix's tutorial to bleed all four brakes and fill the system with brand new fluid.
The old fluid looked like it came out of a warzone, but the color improved gradually and eventually new brake fluid ran through all of the brake lines.
I tested the brakes and the pedal felt nice and firm, with the parking brake light gone as well. This brake repair was a success!
To celebrate, I gave the car a good wash, which it probably hadn't seen for the last few years.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! If you'd like to read more about my journey in restoring this salvage car, you can find all my other posts here. Also, I have a lot of other projects, so feel free to check those out as well. Thanks for reading!