Jump to content
HybridZ

WRX Rant - parts that should fit...


cygnusx1

Recommended Posts

Just a story about buying parts at the local shop, and the frustration of it all.

 

My 2002 WRX which I bought new in July of 2001 now has 140K miles. It has pretty much been flawless the entire trip. I went to buy a set of rotors for it and brought them home from Advance Auto a few months ago. I painted the hats and proceeded to install them. Whoops! They are 1/2" diameter too small. Darn! wasted paint and now have to go exchange them. I get back to the store and tell the guy that they don't fit. He takes them back and disappears for about 10 minutes. Then he comes back and gets on the PC. He says the parts are correct, according to the numbers. He even shows me the screen. Yes, but they don't fit. OK I'll take my money back since there are no other options according to him. These are them, period. I get on ebay and buy a set of four el-cheapo rotors for about $150. I confirmed with the seller that the diameters were correct. Great. They come in and THEY FIT! Yahoo. Now, little by little since then, the brake pedal seems to be getting lower and lower and lower. The car is also wandering right under braking. Time to get to the bottom of it. I get the car up on stands, and look at the pads. All seems good. I decide to do a fluid change while I'm at it. All good. No problems bleeding. Then I start the car and put it in gear on the stands. The left front caliper drags. OK inspect. The slider pin on the bottom is seized. I do my best over the next couple of hours to take it out. Eventually it snaps off inside the casting. Now I wish I had a milling machine. Nope. I grab my drill and progressively drill out the pin but my hole is off about 1/32" The bolts won't line up. This is getting screwy, time to find some new parts. I call Subaru for info. "We can have a new slider pin in a week or so, or you can buy ONE new caliper for $350." I pretty much hung up. $350 for a two piston slider! GFY!

 

Back to Napa this time. "We can have you a rebuilt set of calipers for $100 each this afternoon." Yeehaw, now we are cooking with gas. They call me to go get them. I go pick up the calipers. I paint them. I go to put them on. WHAM! They don' fit. They are about 1/4" too short. Hmm...remember those rotors that were 1/2" smaller? @(*&(*^$@^$@_!!##. They have the same problem. "These are the right calipers for your car sir. It's all we got!". I get my money back and sulk. I go to the new Advance Auto in town. I walk in, I ask, they walk out with calipers in hand! I open the box. No brackets! WTF. I need the brackets. "Oh, sorry we can't get left ones with the brackets." I really need a left bracket. "Wait we can get you a left, loaded caliper with bracket, but not a right one to match." FUDGE. I walk out and they apologize for not being able to get me two clipers wth brackets for 11.5" stock rotor WRX's.

 

I go back to NAPA the next day, armed with all the part numbers from RockAuto.com. I get an eager clerk who makes a few phone calls and finds me an OEM Subaru caliper with bracket for the left side. $100, and can have it in one day! The right one will take a week though. So hopefully THIS ONE FITS! It comes in today and I pick it up. This time, I test fit it BEFORE, I paint it. IT FITS! Woohoo. I now have the WRX back on the road after 5 days of screwing around with what should be a SIMPLE caliper fix. Next week I'll replace the right side too.

 

You would think that the part numbers were correct with parts that actually fit a relatively new and common car like the WRX. For some reason, somewhere in the rebuilt/aftermarket parts world, someone listed the WRX with 11" rotors and everyone dances to that tune. In reality, the rotors are 11.5".

 

Diagnosis. The lower left pin was siezed so the caliper was flexing when I used the brakes. The pads would wear and then the caliper would pop back open when I got off the brakes. This placed an ever increasing gap between the pads and the rotor. Thus the increasing, long, and soft pedal travel, and the pull to the right.

 

Z's are so much easier!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i've had a similar problem here, my mom has an '02 subaru outback and needed new front calipers, we went to advance and picked up a set, and they didn't fit. we could get one of the slider bolts in, but then the other was maybe 1/8" to 1/4" off center, so we ended up rebuilding the calipers ourselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A day ago I was grinding my rear break pads on my driveway (then on sandpaper) to get them to fit my slob. Had to take off a 1/4in between the two.

 

Napa ultra premium pads.

 

Spent at least two hours trying to get the piston further in, the pistons were in, the pads were tooo thick.

 

 

Seems like they all bedded in nicely, just did not like having to grind away at a new part, and ya know they were not flat/straight when I was done......

 

 

Way to git r done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A day ago I was grinding my rear break pads on my driveway (then on sandpaper) to get them to fit my slob. Had to take off a 1/4in between the two.

 

Napa ultra premium pads.

 

Spent at least two hours trying to get the piston further in, the pistons were in, the pads were tooo thick.

 

 

Seems like they all bedded in nicely, just did not like having to grind away at a new part, and ya know they were not flat/straight when I was done......

 

 

Way to git r done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)

 

On the rear calipers on some saabs, you have to go on the back of the caliper and there is 14 mm dust plug bolt that covers a 4mm allen head bolt that is used for adjusting the ebrake. You must retract the allen bolt as much as possible to fully compress the piston, this may have been your issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking that maybe Subaru updated brakes mid model. I know that can screw things up sometimes. The manufacturer updates some parts and then no one knows what to give you. Glad you got it straightened out, though. I really like the Subie WRX. I would love to get the sport wagon. It would be great for loading crap, plus it halls butt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They were specifically looking at 2002. 2002 is the first year of the WRX model. I am not sure if the 2003 model has the same calipers. I think they were revised and I am not sure about interchangeability. Good point. I should have asked for 2003 calipers to test fit.

 

I wasn't sure what the first year was, but like PETEW said, manufacturers make it a pain for everytone when they update stuff mid model year. Glad everything worked out though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...