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for those thinking to get or have caddy calipers

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by neverendingproject, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    If you are thinking about getting rear e-brake caddy calipers (the big ones) here is some stuff to help you out.

    If you got your calipers and they are not in too good a shape, and you dont want to spend the 145 on rebuilt ones at the parts store, just rebuild them.
    I got two rebuild kits for about 6.50 each at advance auto parts. Also if the calipers were in bad shape like mine (mine looke like they were at the bottom of a lake fot the last 25yrs), and the piston is "ate up" meaning rust has gotten underneath the chrome finish, get some small calipers of a 80's (I think 85-90ish) of a seville that have the e-brake on em. The piston and the clutch and arms, everything is interchangable except for the pads, which are 5 and something inches instead of 7 and something, and my pistons off of these were near brand new.

    So Ive spent around 50 bucks for a new set of eldorado calipers.

    Didnt know if you all knew I just thought I would spread the word for those looking to save some dough.
     
  2. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the tip.
     
  3. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Um, those 'small' E-brake calipers should be a 2.5" piston while the de Ville pistons are 2-15/16"
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I don't know my Caddies well enough, is that Eldorado Deville or do you mean Seville?

    I know there were two different designs of the big brake calipers, (Eldorado and was the other one a Seville??) perhaps that comes into play?
     
  5. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    there is the big eldorado calipers from 76-78 and there are small ones from 80-85 on sevilles, rivieras, and toronados. There is also a small caliper that you get off either 78-80 or 85-90 sevilles that shares the same brake pads as the 80-85 ones but has a big piston like in the eldo calipers
     
  6. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    This could come in handy, I may be getting a used set pretty soon.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    No, there is yet another Cadillac large caliper, 76-78. I don't think there were any "small" Cadillacs at that point. The parking brake was arranged slightly differently. (different casting) That was the problem with the parts post that mentioned the e-brake lever spring...it doesn't fit the calipers most people use, it was for the different casting.

    I'm too lazy to go look up some of the old posts, there are a lot about the caddie calipers, but I'm almost certain the other design was a Seville.
     
  8. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, there werent any small calipers, but later model sevilles with 2-1/2 pistons had all the same internals, but different arms and springs, along with small pads. Im really not sure what years the seville is, because the jy crushed tha car before I could check. but these pics show what they look like and the size difference between the normal 76-78 caddy calipers.

    small caddy.JPG

    DSC00427.JPG
     
  9. RootBreaker

    RootBreaker 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I got mine from car-part.com to my door for $45

    with springs and all... the guarantee them too but since I didnt do the swap for 6 months.. their 90 day warranty was no good :doah:
    my fault... both were not right... one was frozen and the other was beat...
    but still got the springs and levers...

    so I had alot of problems with my caddy conversion...
    so I figure instead of typing it all.. you can read my problems here
    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132534

    trust me you want to read this in case you are thinking of buying new calipers...>!!!!!
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Well, I think we're getting off on a tangent here, but your info is intriguiging, I just want to make sure we get it all straightened out because we obviously all aren't on the same page.

    First we've got the "big" calipers, using the (roughly) 7" pin spacing for mounting, these are the '76-78. Then there is the "small" 5.5" or so pin spacing calipers that were '79-85. (and beyond but it gets complex after that) Not talking pistons when big/small, just pin spacing, although the rotors are 2" smaller on the small brake ones as well.

    It looks like all the posts have dead picture links in them that showed the difference. This is one of the posts I found that stated there were two different ones, on another post it was mentioned for the same years.

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70542&highlight=seville+caliper
     
  11. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    And I'll take this opportunity to point out once again that a Hydro-Mechanical Caliper, while an easy e-brake problem solver, is the worst possible design.
    It is the worst from several points. If the e-brake system isn't keep in proper adjustment the service brake effectiveness suffers. The e-brake self adjuster in these calipers is known for siezing up. E-brake calipers have to work the hardest to hold position on a hill, drums are FAR superior in this type of application.

    Have a look at the 4 wheel discs cars out of northern Europe. They all use a drum built into the hat of the rear rotor for an e-brake and have done so for years. Same is now true of those domestic cars (that I'm familiar with, like the C5's, PSD's, D-max's, & exploders) with 4 wheel discs. I doubt that you can find a current production vehicle with hydro-mechanical calipers on it. The OE's don't abandon something unless it's given them problems.

    A very detail oriented sharp guy I know decided come hell or high water that he was going to make the Cad calipers work. He did. He now runs an exploder based set-up b/c the maint. of keeping cads functioning as they should was seriously cutting into his UCD co-ed oggling time.

    (I contend that a pure crawler trailer queen is better off with 4 wheel drums.)
     
  12. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Not sure on the year coverage but the seville and fleetwood's used the large calipers but the piston is different and won't allow the use of a 3/4 ton rotor. The casting itself is the same as 76-78 eldo but has a bracket that attaches to the caliper itself for the e-cable and a spring. I myself have the eldo calipers but used the fleetwood and seville brackets after i drilled the mounting hole for the bracket.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that you can't start manual transmission vehicles in gear anymore not due to a design flaw, but because people got too stupid and litiguous to be trusted to operate their vehicles in a safe, correct, directed/instructed/taught manner.

    I'm a firm believer that the OE does drop/improve problematic designs to make themselves less likely to be sued, avoid warranty issues, or to save money, so don't get me wrong, it may have been problematic. Especially with your detail oriented buddies issues, I'm not questioning his problems or understanding of the system, nor saying it's perfect, as nothing is.

    It DOES seem odd though that the style we are talking about was used for at least 10 years straight, if not longer. 10 years is a long time to not realize a part problem. Especially with no recall being initiated I'm aware of. Even a service bulletin, but I've not heard of, nor seen any of those regarding these calipers either.

    Everyone that has been taught to use their e-brake all the time knows from riding with others that e-brake usage is minimal at best in most locations that are even remotely flat. With the Cadillac caliper REQUIRING e-brake usage to work correctly even for normal braking, you can certainly see why they would have to drop them even if it were a flawless design from inception.

    I've always thought this swap to be more complex than really necessary, (outdated parts, prices sometimes outrageous, parts mixing) but what is out there that lets you use stock rotors, stock calipers, cheap easy to find brackets, and maintain an e-brake for less hassle or expense? I would love to figure out a drum-in-hat setup that would bolt up like the Cadillac stuff, but so far I don't think anyone has come up with an off the shelf solution that is better in regards to price and availability. Effectiveness is certainly worth money, no question there, just how much folks are willing to pay. :wink1:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2006
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    ARQ was nice enough to send me all the pictures he has of the Seville and Eldorado calipers of the same years. There were lots, but the two photos I merged show the pin spacing and overall design to be quite similar, but not exact. There is also a picture I now have of the pistons side by side.

    [​IMG]

    '79-85 calipers will have the 5.5" mounting pin spacing, not the 7" of these. The 79-85 stuff is an entirely different animal in regards to dimensions.
     

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