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Question about replacing brakes with modern brakes

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I've rebuilt old brakes but have never straight-up replaced them with modern ones; how feasible is it to do? One of my '73 1400's brake calipers got damaged in a move and I've been having such a hard time finding an original equipment replacement that I'm considering just replacing with a modern, generic part.

If any of y'all have done this, what things did you have to consider and how did you make your decision which parts to buy and from where? For example what kinds of things did you have to measure to be sure you had the right one.

Thanks very much in advance everybody.

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What he said - repair the caliper?

Or what you said - order a caliper from rockauto, advance auto parts, summit racing...it looks like they're available.  They're used all the time, particularly in rust prone areas where newer subaru calipers are rusty and seized and used ones are equally questionable so new is a great option in those areas. 

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:13 PM, moosens said:

Also curious how they got damaged. That info may help others. 

i damaged my first set by installing one of the brake pads backwards, im such an idiot, metal on metal, i was tired and it was late at night when i did it, put me back $250, but found some new old stock disk brakes on ebay a few weeks later, haven't seen another set come up new since 2015, still keeping an eye out!

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I moved the car after a long while parked when we bought this house and the brakes were a little weak but working okay on that drive. Didn't have time to look at them for a while, then later when I was gonna take the car out again I had no brakes. Foot all the way to the floor and nothing at all, not even a little resistance. When I took a wheel off I saw one of my brake bleeder valves was sheared off halfway and I have to imagine that drive across Oakland spent all of my brake fluid squirting out of there and I had no idea.

On and off I've been searching on RockAuto but even when they look like they're available if I add them to my cart it says they're not available and removes them, and I've been at this for weeks by now. Couldn't even find my model on Advance but haven't tried Summit Racing so will try next. The dearth of available OEM brakes got me thinking I'd like to at least price out in terms of cost and effort what it would take to completely modernize the brakes on this car.

The scary part here is I live on a huge hill and if I do anything with these brakes I've gotta be pretty darn sure that they'll work...!

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If/when you do find a new one, those rebuilt units are pretty hit-and-miss. I bought some EA82 rear calipers and the bolts were wrong, the piston seals weren't the correct size (not surprising as the only company who makes them now is Centric, and no-one has stock), and the body of the caliper rusted very quickly. I ended up stripping them down, wire-wheeling and re-plating the calipers and pins, and then re-assembling. Can't beat doing it yourself with this type of stuff.

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If the piston seals/rebuild kits are available, just pull the caliper and rebuild it yourself.  Or hand it to a machine shop that does automotive work and ask if they'll do it.  It's really insanely easy. 

But you probably have introduced air or a leak somewhere else.  The brake bleeder valve being sheared off may not be how you lost your fluid.  if it sat that long it should have been corroded well in place, never moved at all, and not been the source of the leak or introduced air or loss of brakes.  

Check fluid level
Check for leaks
Flush and bleed it if there's no signs of leaks. 

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