Rebuilding calipers?

Discussion in 'Suspension and Brakes' started by Goldmember, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Watched tutorials on rebuilding calipers on youtube. Looks pretty straight-ahead if you are careful and keep everything well-greased. I'm considering doing this because my RR caliper is hanging up badly, and a $6 rebuild kit with seal and dust boot is a little more appealing than $70 for a reman ($ very tight).

    Obviously it would make sense to redo both rear calipers and two man bleed all 4 corners.

    So my question is, if you've done it, is it worth doing a rebuild vs just putting a new caliper in?
     
  2. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    You can try it. Usually when you get sticking its because the piston/caliper are worn and are not aligning right during operation.

    It may work just fine, I guess you're only out $6 if it don't. What about a caliper off a parts car on Craig's or ebay?
     
  3. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Points taken, I'll explore those avenues, too. I've heard that sometimes, you can free the piston if you're lucky.

    Speaking of that- I bought the little cube that you use to turn the piston in; I'm to understand it doesn't work? What other tool would exist?
     
  4. RichV

    RichV Well-Known Member

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    I've never used one. Have a buddy that has one and He's never said anything about it not working.

    You just have to remember you need to push the piston in, and turn it at the same time. Last time I used a c-clamp and a set of channelock type pliers. Just be careful not to grab the dust boot.
     
  5. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    So, I've been doing some reading, and what I turned up is it might make more sense just to re-do the rear brakes altogether. I had to do the front brakes last year (in the dead of winter with no garage, yay), so I believe biting the bullet might be wisest at this point. No telling if a rebuilt caliper won't die right away and if it is failing, logic says the other side isn't far behind, learned that the hard way up front. Better smart than sorry.
     
  6. Lebeter

    Lebeter New Member

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    I just went through this. You can get some reman semi loaded for 109ish for both rear calipers completely rebuilt after you trade-in the cores at NAPA. The rebuilt's are working well and you will want to do both at the same time. Used autozone discs and wagner ceramics off amazon and it was about a 200 dollar job total with my labor. Hopefully good for another 50k+ at least. I think these are the originals with 110k on them.
     
  7. Justang

    Justang Active Member

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    I had one of my rear calipers hanging up last year, or maybe two years back, and got this cube you speak of. As is, I could not figure any orientation for it to function as we would need it. I took a grinder to it and shaped it to work. Don't recall any trouble after that. If you want I can see if it's in the garage and get a picture of what I did.
     
  8. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Yup that's exactly my plan. I'm at 108k so not far off of you. Question, how did you do the parking brake mechanism? This is my first time doing the rear calipers.
     
  9. Lebeter

    Lebeter New Member

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    You'll have to pull the little c clips and then use something like channel lock pliers to pull the cable nut of the spring slot. Then slide the cable back through the hole on the caliper. Do this while the caliper is attached to the bracket still on the assembly because it takes some decent effort to pull it off
     
  10. Lebeter

    Lebeter New Member

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    Oh and make sure the ebrake is not engaged :)
     
  11. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes, you have to know when you're in a situation you're not equipped to deal with. Went to do the job today, and it appears 10 years of CT/NY ungaraged winters gained the upper hand. I decided it best to have the work done by a reputable shop before snapping bolts and/or rounding them off. Figure, they've got the tools to tackle the job better than a backyard guy of average skill. This would have been a doable job otherwise.

    Sucks, but better safe than screwed and stuck in the driveway.
     
  12. Lebeter

    Lebeter New Member

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    Yeah if its your daily driver then I understand. I had planned to just do the rotors/pads but every step I took turned into a clusterf&ck. You just don't know some of these jobs until you are knee deep into them. I had to hitch a ride with my neighbor to work while I had it under the knife. First the clerk gave me front rotors vs the rears. I barely got over there before nightfall when I picked up the wrong ones, so that burned a day. Then I got the rears only to find the piston would not turn back in on the passenger caliper. I was putting so much pressure on it I was bending the plate from the harbor freight brake toolkit before realizing it must have been seized. So I had to price-shop rebuilt calipers after hearing people say rebuilding was a PIA. I tried to do this job before I left for a 3 day weekend so the car sat again on jackstands for a few more days until I could get the rebuilt calipers. The good news is the rebuilt calipers are painted and have new seals. Other than that I just had to unbolt them and then re-install and then re-bled the rear brakes after they were installed. The rears are more difficult no doubt about it, but not impossible. Having done it now there is definitely an order to doing things which I wish had been documented better on youtube and online. The videos work great if everything is in brand new working order lol vs original calipers on a 100k+ car without rust. The e-brake cable deal was also easier for me after my buddy helped me flop the e-brake bracket when I put in my MM HD LCA's. It was the same process unhooking it. I recently craigslisted a compressor and impact/air ratchet and honestly having those has also made working on suspension and brake pieces much easier. I will manually start bolts/nuts so that the threads don't get galled, but otherwise these jobs get done faster. I was able to do the front brakes on my Buick much faster. It's easier when the caliper/pistons aren't screwed to begin with. Just make sure the wheels/rotors get torqued down evenly with the lugnuts so that your brand new rotors don't get warped. If you let your pads get worn down too far there seems to be more of a probability that the piston gets overextended as my buddy pointed out to me. I picked this car up recently so there were a lot of unknowns including the pads. But I could hear a metallic rubbing while I was driving (before I did the brake job) even with my foot off the brake so obviously there was an issue and should have been my first tip the caliper could have issues.
     
  13. Goldmember

    Goldmember Well-Known Member

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    Exactly the situation. Need this thing fixed by Wednesday so I can go to work.