Chevrolet Malibu Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
2011 Chevy Malibu LTZ 3.6
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently upgraded my brakes and rotors to Power Stop Z23's. I decided that while I'm at it, I'll paint my calipers red to go along with the new drilled and slotted look! If anyone is looking to upgrade, I highly recommend the Power Stop kit. I ordered from RockAuto and found that it was actually cheaper to order the components separately than it is to just order the full kit! Saved about $40 doing that so just keep that in mind.

Now, since I've owned this car the parking brake has never worked properly. It was always exceptionally weak and I figured my new pads would end up helping, however that wasn't the case. I scoured the internet for any information I could find, and honestly found it pretty lacking... Most people will try to direct you to check the junction point under the center console or recommend replacing the cables, but that all seemed a bit excessive. If you look at your rear calipers, you can see the parking brake right there and all I had to do was un-seize the thing because i could see that it wasn't fully open. the parking brake cable and spring are out in the open on the rear calipers, and therefore are exposed to the elements and road crap. There was so much dirt and crud built up on the mechanism, that the spring could not exert enough force to release fully. all i did was remove the return spring from the mechanism so i could fit a 17mm wrench over the pivot nut, and from there just douse that sucker with some liquid wrench while working it back and forth. This managed to purge all the crap from under the rubber boot (you gotta make sure you slip the spray straw right in between the rubber boot and metal lever) and at the same time the parking brake self adjusted to the new pads. I cleaned the springs, lubed the cable and everything I could get my hands on and there you have it, good as new!

69372


Along with the new brakes, I decided i needed some new wheels to spruce the ol' gal up! Here is the relevant info for stock LTZ tires.

Bolt Pattern: 5x110 mm
Hub: 65.1 mm
Wheel Size: 18"x7"
Tire Size: 225/50/R18

I went a little outside the box with my new wheels. I found a great deal on some 18"x8" wheels with a 5x108mm bolt pattern. After boring out the center hub to 65.1mm, and finding some PCD Variation lugs (after many hours of research) these wheels fit perfectly!! If you get yourself a set of wobble nuts, you can fit 3 different sizes on your Malibu; 5x108, 5x110, 5x112. This opens up your options greatly and I highly recommend it for finding a good deal on wheels. The tires I got for 25% off at Canadian Tire and I absolutely love them. I upgraded to a 245/45/R18 high performance (Cooper Zeon R53-G1) and they fit without any rubbing whatsoever.
69373
69374
69375


I would not recommend doing this to a Malibu with a 4 cylinder engine, as the power and strength just isn't there for such a wide and heavy tire. On the 3.6L however, these tires change your driving experience immensely! My bu feels much more firmly planted to the road, and cornering is so smooth and tight my diff doesn't skip anymore. The car wants to drive in a straight line with these meaty boots on, but the Malibu's power steering is strong enough that you don't get any kickback or over steering. Also the weight of these tires make kind of a fly-wheel effect and I've noticed that my transmission feels smoother when shifting. My acceleration in 6th gear seems to have suffered a bit, but it's no problem dropping down to 5 if I need to push past 100km/h fast. I haven't noticed much of a difference in gas mileage, although I'm sure it will be negatively effected in some small way, but who cares! All in all I am very happy with the outcome of this project, and as a bonus I now have my curb rashed stock wheels for winter tires! Altogether I spent less than $2000 CDN and it feels like I'm driving a new car.
 

·
Administrator
2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
Joined
·
20,479 Posts
At the beginning April I had to replace my tires and I settled on the Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 in 235/45R18 on stock LTZ wheels. (I, too, have the 3.6L and love it!)

I've had 225/50 and 235/50 tires before and my speedo was pretty much unaffected, but with the 235/45 Contis, the GPS reports me as going about 1-2 mph slower than my speedo shows at 65-70 mph. If you have a GPS, what does it say compared to your speedo?

Those tires sound really nice. I'd love to go 245 on my next set and I just might, but with these tires warranted for 50K, it'll be at least a couple years before I'm ready again. And with Covid-19, I've driven only 1200 miles in almost 6 months, so it'll be a lot longer if this virus keeps me at home!
 

·
Registered
2011 Chevy Malibu LTZ 3.6
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
At the beginning April I had to replace my tires and I settled on the Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 in 235/45R18 on stock LTZ wheels. (I, too, have the 3.6L and love it!)

I've had 225/50 and 235/50 tires before and my speedo was pretty much unaffected, but with the 235/45 Contis, the GPS reports me as going about 1-2 mph slower than my speedo shows at 65-70 mph. If you have a GPS, what does it say compared to your speedo?

Those tires sound really nice. I'd love to go 245 on my next set and I just might, but with these tires warranted for 50K, it'll be at least a couple years before I'm ready again. And with Covid-19, I've driven only 1200 miles in almost 6 months, so it'll be a lot longer if this virus keeps me at home!
So as far as tire size goes, the 245/45 (-0.6%) is actually closer to the stock tire than the 235/45 (-1.9%). So when my speedometer reads 90km/h, I’m actually travelling at 89.3 km/h which is pretty much negligible! I was a little bit nervous about going with a high performance tire, considering the sacrifice of road noise and ride comfort... but the coopers are actually a cross between HP and all-season. They come with a M+S rating and a 72,000 km warranty; though I certainly won’t be relying on them throughout the winter. Overall they are drastically quieter on rough surfaces such as gravel or weathered country roads, which I was shocked to discover. And on highways and city streets they are basically the same volume as my old touring tires other than the fact that road blemishes feel more pronounced through the body of the vehicle. The car also glides much better over speed bumps and uneven surfaces; almost like the suspension rebound has been dampened, making it less bouncy. I definitely recommend a wider rim for the 245, as it makes a perfect angle for the sidewall!
 

·
Super Moderator
2017 SS Sedan 6.2L
Joined
·
5,543 Posts
Unfortunately, the e-brake return spring is a well known issue, lots of sticking rear brake pads. When I had my gen 7, the e-brake mechanism had to be cleaned every few years, really crappy design. The in depth explanation and solution you wrote up is really helpful.

Your new wheels and brakes look like a nice upgrade, thanks for sharing all the detailed info, we love that stuff here! If I can offer a suggestion for the future, it would be to get solid rotors next time you need brakes. Outside of track duty, holes and slots just looks cool while reducing reliability (holes are known to cause rotor cracking) and brake life (cheese grater effect).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,933 Posts
Caliper pins sticking was a common issue with my old '09. It became my spring maintenance job in the salt zone.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top