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07 PT Cruiser brake upgrades?

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by Charlie Harper, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Charlie Harper

    Charlie Harper New Member

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    Are there any brake up grades out there for these cars?
    The brakes are ok, but my 06 Ranger stops faster and have better feel.
    Larger rotors? Rear disk conversion? Better pads? Stops ok but seems it
    could do better. I think the PT weighs close to what the Ranger weighs.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    Front brakes do about 80% of the stopping. The rear brakes contribute some, but mostly are there to keep the rear end back there during a hard stop.
    Make sure that both pistons of your rear wheel cylinders push out the shoes equally when the pedal is applied and that your rear brake adjusters are free to adjust. Because of the self-energizing design of drum brakes, the rear-most piston is prone to binding up.
    Front lining material can make a big difference in soft or hard pedal feel. I like the advantages of ceramic pad linings, but there are some compromises.
    Semi-organic (soft) brake linings may be falling out of favor, offer a shorter life, but are easier on rotors and offer a good 'bite' when applied. They may deposit more black dust on the front wheels that requires more frequent cleaning.
    Metallic or semi-metallic linings are a hard compound and long-lived, they may be harder on rotors and more prone to squeak and squeal. They may not 'bite' as hard as softer linings.
    Caliper pistons and sliders must have free movement.
    Make sure that both front hoses don't have an internal restriction (collapsed internal rubber hose walls) that may reduce initial front brake apply pressure.
    If the PT stops safely for you, I would just wear out what you currently have and maybe try a different lining composition at the next brake job?
    I think that the PT GT (turbo) had larger front brakes and rear disc, but your brakes should be quite adequate if working at 100%.
     
  3. pt006

    pt006 Member

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    I have a 2006 touring, with front discs and rear drums. I replaced the rotors with the middle grade type [.002 runout]. The pads were not ceramic. Moderate amount of brake dust. The slip from Advanced Auto says 'gold'. They have been excellent so far. Did an emergency stop from 65 mph a while back. One of the fastest stopping cars I've owned. Keep in mind that rust may affect the calipers, this may come back and haunt you in a year or two after the brake job.
     
  4. Charlie Harper

    Charlie Harper New Member

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    Thanks folks.
    Car stops adequately, just thought there would be a little more performance oriented setup. I have been in the motorcycle business for 19 years and have had pleasing results with ebc pads on bikes. Superior to factory pads. Are the rear adjusters operated by backing up or the emergency brake handle? I really like this car and am looking for little improvements I can make in braking, handling, and performance. Had two dirt track cars for eight years that were pretty brutal war horses. And didn't expect too much punch from the lill 4 banger in the PT but I was pleasantly suprised. The car will scoot. Now I'm curious about the turbo model. If I happens to win lottery, I'm buyin another Pt Cruiser to play with!
     
  5. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    The rear shoe adjuster lever finger should move the automatic adjuster screw star wheel one click if there is too much shoe-drum clearance whenever the brakes are applied, forward or backward. Many times the screw rusts up and the adjuster can no longer move. Wire-wheel and lube the screw threads.
    Proper rear brake adjustment will also reduce the amount of parking brake lever movement needed to hold the car.
    A spot of brake grease at each of the 3 shoe contact points where it rests on the backing plate will reduce squeak/squeal. De-dusting also helps. Avoid breathing the dust.
    Rear shoe linings can last around 100K miles, the bottom anchor spring may rust out and break first. Brake heat can make the hardened springs lose their temper, so always replace the spring hardware kit when performing a rear brake service.
    [​IMG]
     
    Doug D likes this.
  6. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator Level III Supporter

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    An article on the 2.4L and turbo versions:
    The 2.4 liter four-cylinder Chrysler-Dodge engine
    I found that keeping the compressor (A/C-defrost) off gave it noticeably more power.
    The turbo is awesome. There were 2 flavors. One with a mild boost and a high-output in the PT GT.
     
  7. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I agree with Imperial on using semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads. My '06 Ram and '10 Journey both had semi-metallic pads. Braking performance was good, but the brake dust was horrible. At least once a month (if not more) I found myself cleaning the wheels - especially the front. The last time I serviced the brakes I went with ceramic pads on both vehicles. Brake performance is at least as good as the semi-metallic (if not better) and far less brake dust. Only have to clean them (quick wipe down) every 2-3 months. Note - both of my vehicles have 4 wheel disc brakes.

    If braking performance seems weak, try adjusting the rear drums as Imperial posted. In theory every time you back up and brake, it should adjust. The problem is most people don't brake hard enough and it never really adjusts. One time I thought the '92 Acclaim I had needed new brakes. Took it to my buddy's shop. Front brakes still had plenty of meat, but the rear drums were way out of adjustment. Once he adjusted them, it was like I had new brakes. Dang near threw me through the front windshield the first time I hit them moderately hard.