How-To: Front Brake Caliper Overhaul

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How-To: Front Brake Caliper Overhaul

Postby MinkelR » September 10th, 2015, 4:35 am

Here's how to rebuild a front caliper. It can be rebuilt for under $10 if you find the right parts supplier and takes under an hour to do.
Parts needed:
Caliper Seal Kit (required)
Caliper Piston (depending on the condition of your old one)
Slider Pin and seals (depending on the condition of yours)
Brake fluid

1. First thing you need to do is jack up the front end and remove the wheels.
2. Remove the lower caliper bolt and swing the caliper up. *Skip Step 3 if you have an air compressor*
3. Keeping an eye on the fluid in the reservoir (make sure it doesn't empty) and the caliper piston. Pump the brake pedal until the piston has almost left the caliper bore. If you have an air compressor you can also blow the piston out of the bore once it is removed. Notice how the dust boot has left the seat in the caliper bore. This can cause all types of corrosion if moisture gets in.

4. Remove brake line and remove caliper from car.
5. Remove piston from caliper by pulling it out. Notice all the crap built up on the piston. This will need to be cleaned or it can cause the piston to stick in the caliper and cause uneven braking.

6. Use a wire wheel or wire brush to clean the caliper. Finish it off by wetsanding it with 2000 grit sandpaper. If there is a lot of rust pitting a replacement piston should be used.

7.Remove the old piston seal from the caliper bore with a pick.

8. With a wirewheel attachment for a rotary tool, clean the groove for the piston seal and the groove for the dust boot. Wash out any dust and debris with brake cleaner.

9. Lube up your new seal with brake fluid (Do NOT use anything other than brake fluid, it can cause the seals to degrade) and install it in the caliper.

10. Lube the piston with brake fluid and install the dust boot over it as shown. Make sure the caliper side of the dust boot is sitting past the end of the piston.

11. Set the piston/dust boot into the caliper. Give it a few light turns to seat the dust boot into the groove.

12. Compress the piston into the caliper bore. Et Voila! Rebuilt caliper!

13. If your caliper slide pins are not sliding smoothly you need to remove them, clean up the rust, and regrease them with a silicon based grease (like Sil-Glyde). Replace the rubber boots if necessary.
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