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Old 06-17-2010, 04:41 PM
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A question about my Rear Caliper

Well, I was working on changing my Rear brakes on my 98' and the driver side caliper compressed with relatively no problems. When i got to the passenger side, I spent 3 hours turning and trying to compress the caliper and it just wouldn't go. Its turning and everything but it just isn't compressing like it should. Any suggestions before I go out and buy a new caliper?
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:49 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Look at the pads that came off that caliper. Does one look more worn than the other?

Also check the brake line that goes to that caliper for lumps, bulges or twisting. There's a line on the brake hose that indicates whether or not it's twisted.


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Old 06-17-2010, 04:52 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Yes, the exterior brake pad did have excess wearing. There is also some grinding on the rotor. I didn't notice any bumps or twists in either of the tubes going to the caliper.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:56 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

then i would say ur caliper is messed up. tha part is pretty cheap at autozone or whatev. i had this problem my piston on tha caliper would push tha brake pad but wouldnt retract, i ended up just replacing the caliper and havnt had neproblems since.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:10 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

There is an easier way than just replacing the caliper.

If the inside is wearing more than the outside, it means your caliper piston cylinder walls are scored, the piston could be cocked inside the cylinder, or much more likely, your square cut seal which retracts the piston, is worn and needs to be replaced.

If the outer brake pads are worn more, it means you haven't been lubricating your caliper slides. It's a floating caliper, and it needs to be able to slide on the caliper slides, which is the part of the caliper mounting bracket that the caliper rests on, in a sort of groove.

Probably didn't know the brakes needed to be lubricated did you?

Well, they do, just don't get it on the friction surfaces (the areas of the rotor/pad that rub against each other to provide stopping power. )

You know that Disc Brake lube they got at autozone or advance auto up at the counter, in the little green tubes? Yea, you'll prolly be needing some of that.


If you did know they needed to be lubricated, then there may be another problem or you're using the wrong kind of lube.



BTW - Brakes seem easy and everyone thinks an idiot can do it, which would be true, but they are also very easy to screw up, and a general pain in the ass.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:12 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Okay, thanks man. I'll see what I can do to fix it.

*Edit. I know there's a bolt on the top of the caliper to take off the topmost brake line. But I don't see another bolt to remove the bottom line, do I just pull that one off?

Last edited by Lodakia; 06-17-2010 at 05:17 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:21 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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Probably didn't know the brakes needed to be lubricated did you?
Haha no I didnt :x
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:25 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Why would you need to remove the brake line to remove and lube the caliper? Just take the caliper off its mount, everything you need to lube is in plain sight. I would look it up a bit before you go slapping lube on shizz, there is stuff to lube and stuff not to lube.

Also, you need brake lube. Don't go spraying WD-40 everywhere. Antiseize will work, but I don't like it as it tends to gum up and dry up then fall off. Teflon or silicon MIGHT work, just remember the caliper develops a lot of heat, so don't put anything flammable on it. If you get any lube on the friction surfaces, use brake clean, spray it and wipe it.


Oh, and after you get your new pads on and everything, you have to break them in. It's called burnishing. It prevents them from glazing. There's a process but its hard to pull off without a really large parking lot. Just go easy on the brakes the first day they're on, try not to slam on them or ride them too much. Excess heat will glaze them if they are subjected to it before they are broken in.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:39 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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Originally Posted by havikprelude View Post
There is an easier way than just replacing the caliper.

If the inside is wearing more than the outside, it means your caliper piston cylinder walls are scored, the piston could be cocked inside the cylinder, or much more likely, your square cut seal which retracts the piston, is worn and needs to be replaced.

If the outer brake pads are worn more, it means you haven't been lubricating your caliper slides. It's a floating caliper, and it needs to be able to slide on the caliper slides, which is the part of the caliper mounting bracket that the caliper rests on, in a sort of groove.

Probably didn't know the brakes needed to be lubricated did you?

Well, they do, just don't get it on the friction surfaces (the areas of the rotor/pad that rub against each other to provide stopping power. )

You know that Disc Brake lube they got at autozone or advance auto up at the counter, in the little green tubes? Yea, you'll prolly be needing some of that.


If you did know they needed to be lubricated, then there may be another problem or you're using the wrong kind of lube.



BTW - Brakes seem easy and everyone thinks an idiot can do it, which would be true, but they are also very easy to screw up, and a general pain in the ass.
Hold the phone for a second. If the outside is worn, how would that indicate that the slides are in need of lube? In the last few cars I've had, when the calipers seize on the slides due to improper maintenance (previous owners...), it was always the inside pads that wore because the caliper wouldn't "float" and therefore the outside pad never got pushed on.

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just looking to get a look from a different perspective, ya know?

EDIT: I just stepped back and thought about it. The caliper would slide, putting pressure on both pads, but as pressure was released, the caliper wouldn't retract on the slides, leaving pressure on the outside. LOL
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:49 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

I could look in my brakes books and tell you for sure, buuuttt I'm pretty sure I got it right the first time.
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:53 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

tha lube thing still wouldnt fix his siezing problem seing as he has probably already gone beyond the point where lubing it would help........ just my .02 tho but now we are all informed for the future
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:55 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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I could look in my brakes books and tell you for sure, buuuttt I'm pretty sure I got it right the first time.
Read my edit

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tha lube thing still wouldnt fix his siezing problem seing as he has probably already gone beyond the point where lubing it would help........ just my .02 tho but now we are all informed for the future
How do you figure?

As long as he does a good job of cleaning the insides of the caliper brackets, maybe gets some new slides, and puts fresh new (silicone based) grease in there, he should be good to go.

As far as the caliper itself... I dunno. Is the parking brake on? Seems like a dumb question, but I've gotten ahead of myself before lol.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:02 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Yea he would still have to atleast get new slides and thas only if thas his problem which it actually does make since that that would b it....didnt think that hard earlier LOL

but then that wouldnt solve the problem he was having with compressing the piston like he said earlier.........

Last edited by Ludey; 06-17-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:02 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Use a wire wheel and clean the slides up, get the rust off. Or a steel brush, possibly sandpaper, but a wire wheel would be much faster. Stick a little wire wheel on a dremel and go to town.

Well, I doubt you need new slide bolts, just the slide shims, which would come with a caliper maintenance kit. I'm thinking the proper term may be rebuild kit, but I doubt its the same thing. You prolly don't need a rebuild kit, just new slide shims and pad backing plates.

Although try just cleaning it up and lubing it first, that'll prolly do the trick. Also you will want to torque all the bolts to spec. I remember the second to last time I did my brakes, I hit all the bolts with an impact/air wrench gun. Verrryyy bad thing to do. The caliper bolts are like 20 ft.lb. torque spec lol. After I did that I had a problem with the brakes dragging and the car pulling to one side during braking. Did my brakes again, this time lubed up everything and torque'd everything to spec, they work like silk.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:02 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Thanks for all your suggestions and help. I went up to autozone grabbed some of that brake lube and a caliper tool kit and it went in without a hitch. thanks so much! :)
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:55 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

A replacement aftermarket reman caliper is only about $40 what is there to think about...just replace it.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:08 AM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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A replacement aftermarket reman caliper is only about $40 what is there to think about...just replace it.
Because brake lube is like $5, and knowing how to do proper brake maintenance is priceless.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:07 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

that sucks
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:30 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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that sucks
Quoting a post in your reply does wonders.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:14 AM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

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Because brake lube is like $5, and knowing how to do proper brake maintenance is priceless.
He said he was having trouble not being able to retract the piston. I don't think its a lube or caliper slides issue.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:05 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

Well, if you are not familiar with brakes it's important to remember they are easy, but doing it wrong can kill people (including you). Yes you should maintain your system, but most people don't. If you have a locked caliper you can rebuild it, but it takes a little bit of common brake knowledge to do it correctly and a rear caliper with parking brake in it is a little more involved (you must turn the piston to get it back in, you can use needle nose pliers). So, if you are new to it I would say to just purchase a reman. That would be the safest thing. For future reference it is a good practice to open the bleeder when you compress the calipers back in. The fluid in the caliper sees the most heat and will go bad first. When you compress the caliper with the bleeder closed you are forcing the worst brake fluid back up the lines and toward the Anit-lock system. Not a good thing and since the fluid is cheap it's a much better way to go. Now when it comes to the sliders you can clean them and check for wear. If they are still good you can lube them and just reinstall, but keep in mind they are about the cheapest part of the system and the can cause more exspensive things like pads and rotors to have a much shorter life. For this reason you might also want to think about just buying new ones. If you don't you can save a few dollars, now if your are wrong you it could cost you another dig back in and $30 for pads plus another turn of the rotors.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:28 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

That bit about opening the bleeder screw before you push in the piston is very good advice, and most people don't do it, which they should. It also makes it easier to push the piston back in.

And brakes NEED to be cleaned and lubed, and not doing so can cause the caliper not to fully retract from the disc. Not the piston, but the caliper. If you have a problem with dragging brakes, its one of two things that are going on. Either 1. the piston won't retract or 2. the slides are not sliding properly. Now if the piston is working correctly, and the caliper won't "slide" then the only real thing to do is replace the caliper slide bolts if they are frozen, or lube them along with cleaning up the slide areas on the caliper mount and lubing them up as well.

Since he stated that the outside was worn down more than the inside, I deduced that it was most likely an issue with the flating part of the caliper, then told him to clean and lube it, etc. Problem fixed.

People severly underestimate what proper lubrication and proper torque can do, as my own personal story I listed above indicates. As a recap I did my brakes, with no lube and improper bolt torque. I had isues with them dragging and pulling. Did them again, with proper torque and lubrication, and they work nice and smooth.


Now I'm not saying this because I cut corners or tell other people to, but proper brake maintenance makes a BIG difference and I wouldn't want him to have to buy a new or remanned caliper if he didn't need to.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:16 PM
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Re: A question about my Rear Caliper

"... turning and trying to compress the caliper and it just wouldn't go. Its turning and everything but it just isn't compressing like it should. Any suggestions before I go out and buy a new caliper?"
I just finished servicing my rear caliper (half and hour ago). I had the same issue like you, Man. Left side was so hassle-free putting back the piston and screwing it back in using this tool: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=
except for the rubber boot; but found a trick that worked for me to easily seat it in and around the piston.

Anyhoo, on the right caliper... turned it dozen times and it just seem to rotate but not sinking in the cylinder. FOUND OUT it was the round rubber seal where the piston slides on. It got dislodged and it's preventing the piston to compress and it did not let the groove inside the piston catch the tread in the cylinder (dunno what's it called). Got another ring and lubed it with break fluid (ample amount) and tried to put the piston back in... VOILA!!! screws in and compresses. But, it took me half faster to install the outer boot with the trick I found.

Just sharing this since it fits the topic.

BTW, I also learned about this: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...submit=find+it
Soaked in my calipers and other bolts and parts with rusty sh!T in it... an hour or two and I got an almost brand new looking part with no rust! Painted it with high heat paint and baked it for half an hour... sweet caliper!!! (depending on how rusty the part; can take overnight for a really down to metal cleaning)

Thanks!

Last edited by Jorvax; 08-31-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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