Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

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schwartzy18510
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:34 am

Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by schwartzy18510 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:31 am

Hello all,

Murphy's Law has handed me a bit of a strange situation regarding parts for our family hauler of an '03 Vibe base model. Back in the summer of '16, I replaced both front brake calipers while swapping pads and rotors. They were functioning fine, just thought it was time. I replaced them with Duralast remanufactured units from AutoZone, which carried a limited lifetime warranty.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago, and the Vibe started lurching badly at low speeds during city driving. Thought at first it was a transmission issue, then started looking into the possibility of a broken tire belt or separating tread. When I got both front wheels off the ground to examine the tread while spinning them, I found that the passenger side front wouldn't turn for anything. Caliper was frozen up hard. Checked for a failed rubber brake hose, but it was fine, caliper was definitely the culprit.

AutoZone honored their lifetime warranty, but wanted to swap me for new units. Based on my experience and some other reviews for the failed Duralast calipers on their website which indicated failures within 6-12 months of installation, I told them I wanted a refund rather than replacement. They gave me my cash back, but took the cores.

I purchased two remanufactured calipers from Rock Auto as replacements, complete with weather-proof powder coating to protect against rust (we're in Michigan). My problem is that I traded my original cores in '16 in to AutoZone when I bought the Duralast units, and AutoZone required the failed Duralast cores back in order to give me a refund under warranty. This left me without any way to satisfy the core charge for the new units from Rock Auto.

Rock Auto's core return policy simply requires that they match the make/model application of the originals purchased, that they include all hardware (in this case, mounting bracket, rubber boots, slide pins, bleeder screw, and banjo bolt), and not be a completely unusable bucket of rust. If anybody happens to have some calipers from a 2003 base Vibe laying about from an old brake job that they'd be willing to sell and which match the above criteria, comment here or shoot me a PM! You can find my eBay profile buyer/seller feedback at this link.
Last edited by schwartzy18510 on Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zbyers
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by zbyers » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:46 am

You could probably check www.car-part.com. That website will search junkyards around you.

I understand your hesitation with continuing with the Duralast ones...However, all calipers, unless brand new, will be remanned and subject to the same issues. For the most part, they're all remanned by the same 3-4 companies and just boxed with different labels. The downfall of RockAuto is the shipping costs back and forth, as well as honoring any warranty. Generally, with AZ they will continue to honor the warranty.

The rear calipers on the GT are very prone to sticking and I have warrantied at least 6 per side in the nearly 4 years I've owned the car.
'74 Thing, '79 El Camino, '83 VW Vanagon DoKa '91 Vanagon
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB

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schwartzy18510
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by schwartzy18510 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:41 pm

That is one awesome website, and one which I had never heard of prior to your post. Thanks for sharing it! I've located a few wrecked Vibes on it that aren't far removed from my location, and will make some calls to confirm part availability in the next day or two.

Those Duralast calipers seem to be worse than most. Several reviews indicate replacements every six months or so. And while I'm no stranger to caliper replacements, that seems terribly excessive for a garage-stored vehicle like ours all the same.

Six calipers per side in four years?!?!? I've always thought it'd be nice to have rear disc brakes rather than drums, but it sounds like at least for the base model of the Vibe, maybe the 'ole drum brakes are a blessing in disguise.

zbyers
Posts: 1246
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:12 pm
Location: Sheffield, Pennsylvania

Re: Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by zbyers » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:34 am

I'd stick with the drums brakes. You really don't gain anything from the rear disc on these other than more parts since the e-brake is inside of the rotor (drum-in-rotor design).
'74 Thing, '79 El Camino, '83 VW Vanagon DoKa '91 Vanagon
(2) '03 Bases, '04 GT, '04 AWD, '06 AWD, '07 Base, '17 Frontier CCLB

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Bookworm
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by Bookworm » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:53 pm

I have never replaced calipers on any vehicle I've owned. That's

Ford Escort
S10 Blazer
Kia Sportage
Mazda 323
two Vibes
and probably around a million miles of driving.

I have no idea what people are doing to damage their calipers, other than putting excessive ceramic pads on their rotors and heating the bejeebers out of their wheels.

schwartzy18510
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Wanted: Front Brake Caliper Cores w/Brackets For 2003 Vibe Base Model

Post by schwartzy18510 » Thu May 09, 2019 11:39 pm

zbyers wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:46 am
You could probably check www.car-part.com. That website will search junkyards around you.
I'd like to thank zbyers once again for pointing me to http://www.car-part.com/. I was able to use it to locate two calipers with brackets and all hardware at a semi-local junkyard, and am now in possession of the needed cores. Once again, GenVibe proves what a valuable resource and community it is!

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