I'm new to the b13 platform. Do these cars have a large amount of brake bias? It seems like my back brakes don't do anything while my fronts lock up quickly. This is especially noticeable in the snow I've been driving in.
I believe that there is some bias to the front, which helps promote directional stability rather than swapping ends during threshold breaking. However, I have not found the bias to be real noticeable or overwhelming. On dry pavement, sometimes a rear wheel will sometimes lock up first depending on the conditions and how the brakes are applied.
If you think you have too much front bias, I would confirm that you have healthy brakes all around. Check for glazed pads and rotors, check for pad type -- should be consistent front and rear, check for frozen caliper pins, and properly bleed the hydraulic lines.
If, after all this you still want more bias toward the rear, the easiest thing to do would be to switch to a higher coefficient of friction pad in the rear. But be careful, you don't want rear lockup at threshold braking.
Assuming no master cylinder issues, if the rears seem like they are not working, then it's likely they are not working!
Actually, that's not unusual on street driven B13's and B14's! For whatever reasons stuck rear pads and/or caliper pins are pretty common problems with these models in all but bone dry climates.
In any other conditions you almost need to annually check that the pads are free and the calipers are floating.
The rears are simple enough to check. Once you remove the e-brake bracket bolt and unhook the cable you can easily remove the caliper and check the piston and slider pins.
If everything comes apart, use brake cleaner on the pins to clean old lube out. I use Napa Silglide on the pins. Make sure the pleated boots are not damaged. If torn, a dab a RTV silicone can buy some time.
The rear caliper piston screws in to retract unless it is rusted in place. Easy to confirm before turning by lifting the piston dust boot with a small bladed screwdriver or awl. If that pocket is rusted up, best to replace the caliper.
Check that the replacement caliper has been properly lubricated. Most are not! I use a glue syringe to inject some Silglide under the piston dust boot. It helps to prevent rust formation in that area and Silglide wouldn't hurt the main seal.
Pads get stuck because of dust and rust. Sometimes the dust rusts, too. If you've used race pads on the street, the dust is the metal being ground off your rotors! It too will rust the pads in place not to mention ruin your nice wheels!
Once the caliper is off, remove the stuck pads and stainless clips from the caliper frame (mount). Clean the clips on both sides. A wire wheel works nicely. Clean the pads where they contact the clips. Remove the caliper frame and wire brush it where the clips go. Then try a piece of abrasive paper where you used the wire wheel. You'll find more rust!
After the rust is removed, put a light coat of antisieze where the clips fit. This is the underside of the clip. This will prevent rust from forming and pushing the clips to the point where they will bind the pads in place.
When you are done, the pads should slide in without binding. They should literally click into place against the rotor. The caliper should float freely on the pins.
After everything is installed, do a 2 person brake bleed. After wheels are torqued, check that they rotate without binding.
Then go out and enjoy what was one of the better braking cars in its day!
Thank you, those posts were very helpful. I did take the calipers off and lubricate and clean everything, as well as replace the pads. They seem to be working better and slide freely. I also inspected the fronts, they are worn and I will be replacing them soon. Once the weather gets above 5* I'll inspect further.
Also, you said "assuming no master cylinder problems." What is a surefire sign of master cylinder problems? Is there a way to troubleshoot that? I would just like to check everything when I get the chance.