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Hi all

 

I've owned my Legacy for a couple of months now and I think it's a great car.

 

Surprisingly capable off road, and despite its tendency to pitch and roll, pretty good on the black stuff too, even at speed.

 

My only two gripes are the lack of power (this issue is further compounded by the stainless exhaust exhaust that came with the car; she's pretty loud, which makes it feel slower still)

 

My other problem is the brakes. When i first got the car they were very spongy and the brakes were dangerously weak. I took the car to the shop and had the brake fluid change. This improved the braking a fair amount, however I am still not satisfied with the feel and efficiency of the brakes.

 

I have fitted a switch to enable/disable the ABS system, and with the ABS disabled, i am still unable to lock the wheels on dry tarmac, and I struggle even on wet tarmac to lock the wheels.

 

Changing the fluid has helped, but i'm far from happy with the brake feel and performance. There's also plenty of meat left on the pads, and the discs appear to be in good condition. What would you guys recommend? 

 

Thank you in advance for your reply.

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If the tires are in good condition, your next option is to change the rubber brake hoses which have gotten soft over time.

You can go to stainless steel which will give a greater response.

You can change the pads to a good quality semi metallic or ceramic type which will also help.

 

O.
 

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I Agree about the rubber connections to each wheel,  replace them . After that confirm all air is out of your system.  If you still don't have good brakes then replace your master cly. 

EDIT)  Oh Yea; The power issue... They are not hotrods.. never gonna be.  standard tranny helps but nothing much you can do with the stock N.A. engines.

Edited by montana tom

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Here’s what needs done first:

 

1. Clean and regrease all slide pins front and rear with sil Glyde or high quality brake grease. They’re routinely sticky.

 

2. Replace or throw away slide pin bushings. They can prevent full seating of pads. They’re often problematic after brake work if they’ve seen any generic cheap grease which make them swell. They swell and hang the pin in the bore preventing the pads from applying full clamping force. Happens all the time, it’s very common. There are shops that are still using the generic grease. I throw the pin bushings away for years now and see no issues and subarus didn’t have them for decades. I don’t recommend that you can just replace them but I don’t need an unnecessary failure mode on my car.

 

3. Replace or check all brake pad retaining clips. They get bent or built up with brake dust/debris or corrosion and can inhibit pad movement. You can test them and inspect but they’re cheap at rockauto I’d just replace them once. Or buy pads that come with new clips.

 

That doesn’t happen very often but on a new to you car it’s not a bad idea to make sure they clean and smooth, I’ve seen it before.

 

4. Bleed the brakes or verify for sure all of them were bled and enough was bled to evacuate the entire system.

 

Start with those because they’re maintenance issues and poorly addressed by most people and shops and the most frequent cause of brake issues hands down - at least in the rust belt.

 

I never replace rotors or calipers in the rust belt simple because quantitative data and causative issues tell a different story than blindly archaic idioms like “replace rotors and pads”.

 

Once maintenance items are up to speed and no issues exist - then look at hoses.

 

If brake feel is an issue and not performance (common if you’re used to other manufacturers) look into a master cylinder brace.

Edited by idosubaru

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Thanks for the prompt replies guys. 

 

For whatever reason brake hoses for my particular car are very hard to find. So far I've only found the front hoses, and can't find any stainless steel hoses for it at all.

 

Edit (I should probably point out I'm from across the pond)

 

I will clean and re-grease the pins as per idosubarus suggestion. I have copper slip (grease), will that suffice?  

 

Thanks again.

Edited by jlc-one

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goodridge makes a line of SS brake hoses - you might try to find a catalog?

 

what pads are on it now? Name brand ceramic are great for daily driven vehicles, economy pads are usually pretty bad - they may gri OK (or not)p, but they won't last. I run Centric PosiQuiet Ceramic on our 03.

 

many people really like the improved feel of master cylinder braces to reduce firewall flex. Perrin, maybe cusco, grimmspeed, kartboy...? might offer them.

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Thanks Mike.

 

I have looked up the PosiQuiet pads, but it would appear you cant get those over here. What do you all make of EBC's yellow/red/green-stuff pads?

 

For the hoses, Goodridge don't list my car, but says to contact them. If cleaning and greasing the pins doesn't work that shall be my next step!

 

I've never heard of a master cylinder brace mod. Makes me curious as to how much my firewall flexes. One way to find out!

 

(edit) - about 4-5mm of movement forward on the reservoir, and the brake servo appears to tilt up. Would this warrant a brace? 

 

Cheers guys

Edited by jlc-one

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Get Sil Glyde or some other high end equivalent. PERMATEX does sell a type besides their normal ubiquitous craptastic grease that’s been standard for ever - do not use that.

 

I don’t know the stuff you mentioned but I’d say “no” unless someone really well versed in caliper grease says otherwise (not your average shop guy still using crap grease “my friends mechanic said it’s fine” is not helpful on this point).

 

Pads are not your issue. I wouldn’t change pads until you isolate the problem or happen to get a set with new clips on rule those out. Don’t forget to check the slide pin bushings and brake pad retaining clips while you’re cleaning and checking grease. The details here are important - make sure those pins slide really smoothly and pads can move. Forget pads now - fix it and then do pads.

 

Or do it all at once - new greaae, slide bushings, clips and pads. Thats what I’d do on I’ll maintained brakes.

 

MC brace, like pads, isn’t important yet - fix the issue at hand first. The brakes should appropriately work and those two things alone physically can not fix inadequate braking. MC brace is almost entirely for feel. Properly operating brakes adequately stop the vehicle without braces and minor pad differences. Fix first then entertain the brace if you want harder pedal and quicker response.

 

I almost prefer the control and feel subarus longer travel gives without a brace but some people want quick and hard bite. Mostly preference.

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You could also have a frozen piston or slide - check that they actually move.  You can use a c-clamp to compress them - no fancy tools needed.

 

Alternatively, you can make a few hard stops and see if one wheel is cold.

 

If somebody put motor oil or transmission fluid in the brake reservoir, the hoses may be swollen almost closed.  Does fluid flow easily when you bleed the brakes?

 

Some models have 2 bleeders on the calipers (pistons on both sides) - you have to bleed both!

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