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Do I need a new rear caliper?

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #1
2007CalSpec
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Default Do I need a new rear caliper?

I spent four hours working on the right rear brake. Grrrr! Had a new rotor and pads in place, went to put the caliper back on and found out that the piston isn't pushed in far enough. I used a brake caliper tool and no matter how much I turn the thing it won't go in any further. It just spins and spins. I've tried removing the master cylinder cap and unscrewing the bleeder screw. Parking brake is also off. I've also tried pumping the brake pedal to push the piston back out and used the tool to push the piston back in but it still wouldn't go in far enough for the caliper to fit over the new pads and rotor. I got so pissed I put the old parts back on and called it a day. Four hours wasted!

Here's a picture of the caliper piston showing how much it still sticks out. Is it time for a new caliper?
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by 2007CalSpec; 01-13-2013 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #2
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That should fit over the pads and rotors in the position that it's in, it'll be tight but it should fit. If that still doesn't work try disconnecting the brake line from the caliper and twisting it in more, you'll have to bleed your brakes afterword though.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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Use a c-clamp and a little flat piece of metal. Is the piston broken or is that just the picture?
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawzie View Post
Use a c-clamp and a little flat piece of metal. Is the piston broken or is that just the picture?
^ Don't do this, lol.
The piston has to rotate.

I've also had a pain with the rear calipers, I don't think they go in too far, see if it all fits like that.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:16 PM   #5
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It should definetly go in further then that now that I look at it again,should almost go flush??
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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Did you use the caliper piston tool that applys pressure on the piston while you turn it with a wrench? Mine took quite a bit of pressure.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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^ Don't do this, lol.
The piston has to rotate.

I've also had a pain with the rear calipers, I don't think they go in too far, see if it all fits like that.
Been doing it like that for 20 years and never had an issue???
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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That caliper will not fit over new pads unless the piston is reset as shown in the first photo. You have to turn the piston clockwise while applying pressure to push the piston back into the caliper. The proper caliper tool to do that is shown in the second photo. You can purchase one at Harbor Freight tools or perhaps even borrow one from a chain auto parts store that loan out tools. Once the piston is reset, don't forget to position the indented recesses on the piston face so one of them aligns and fits into the small pin on the back of the in-board brake pad as shown in the third photo. Good luck. Refer to this link for additional details:

http://www.svtperformance.com/forums...rake-pads.html

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by 6-Speed; 01-13-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawzie View Post
Been doing it like that for 20 years and never had an issue???
You can't do that with brake calipers that have an integrated parking brake mechanism. The piston has to be turned while forward pressure is applied.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trekev View Post
That should fit over the pads and rotors in the position that it's in, it'll be tight but it should fit. If that still doesn't work try disconnecting the brake line from the caliper and twisting it in more, you'll have to bleed your brakes afterword though.
Wouldn't opening the bleeder screw and master cylinder cap achieve the same thing? Relieve pressure?

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Originally Posted by Shawzie View Post
Use a c-clamp and a little flat piece of metal. Is the piston broken or is that just the picture?
It's not broken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6-Speed View Post
That caliper will not fit over new pads unless the piston is reset as shown in the first photo. You have to turn the piston clockwise while applying pressure to push the piston back into the caliper. The proper caliper tool to do that is shown in the second photo. You can purchase one at Harbor Freight tools or perhaps even borrow one from a chain auto parts store that loan out tools. Once the piston is reset, don't forget to position the indented recesses on the piston face so one of them aligns and fits into the small pin on the back of the in-board brake pad as shown in the third photo. Good luck. Refer to this link for additional details:

http://www.svtperformance.com/forums...rake-pads.html

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
That's the same tool I was using. That first picture definitely shows the piston pushed in further than mine. Mine just keeps turning freely without going in any further.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:34 PM   #11
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Okay ... let's try to figure this out then.

1. Did you use the right adapter on the caliper tool, the one with the two pegs that fit into the indents on the piston face?

2. If the tool is working correctly, it will bind after pushing the piston in slightly; when it binds you have to loosen the handle to release the bind, then turn the collar to move it away from the handle end then turn the handle CW until the tool binds again. You repeat this process until the piston is sufficiently reset for the caliper to fit over the pads. I don't consciously think of all the steps when resetting the pistons with the caliper tool, so I hope this makes sense to you.

I recall that I had to apply quite a bit of torque to turn those pistons in.

Last edited by 6-Speed; 01-13-2013 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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Okay ... let's try to figure this out then.

1. Did you use the right adapter on the caliper tool, the one with the two pegs that fit into the indents on the piston face?

2. If the tool is working correctly, it will bind after pushing the piston in slightly; when it binds you have to loosen the handle to release the bind, then turn the collar to move it away from the handle end then turn the handle CW until the tool binds again. You repeat this process until the piston is sufficiently reset for the caliper to fit over the pads. I don't consciously think of all the steps when resetting the pistons with the caliper tool, so I hope this makes sense to you.

I recall that I had to apply quite a bit of torque to turn those pistons in.

Yeah I used the right adapter. This is my 2nd time doing brakes on my car and never had a problem before.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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Yeah I used the right adapter. This is my 2nd time doing brakes on my car and never had a problem before.
Guess I'm out of ideas. Keep us advised on what the problem is once you find out.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:47 PM   #14
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I completed the brake job today. What a pain in the ***! I finished the passenger side after more expletives were thrown at the car. I had bought a new caliper piston tool that attaches to a socket wrench. This was more efficient than the ones you turn with your bare hands. The piston moved just enough so I can slip it over the pads. After that was done, I then proceeded to the driver side and ran into the same snag. Piston wouldn't move all the way in even with the bleeder screw completely removed. I stopped and thought about it for awhile...**What the hell is blocking the piston???**...That's when I decided to loosen the flow bolt that connects to the banjo fitting/brake hose. Oh my god! I was then able to turn the piston with little effort and seated that sucker flush. I could've saved myself hours of work if I had done that in the first place. I didn't think to try it because I thought removing the bleeder screw was enough.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007CalSpec View Post
I completed the brake job today. What a pain in the ***! I finished the passenger side after more expletives were thrown at the car. I had bought a new caliper piston tool that attaches to a socket wrench. This was more efficient than the ones you turn with your bare hands. The piston moved just enough so I can slip it over the pads. After that was done, I then proceeded to the driver side and ran into the same snag. Piston wouldn't move all the way in even with the bleeder screw completely removed. I stopped and thought about it for awhile...**What the hell is blocking the piston???**...That's when I decided to loosen the flow bolt that connects to the banjo fitting/brake hose. Oh my god! I was then able to turn the piston with little effort and seated that sucker flush. I could've saved myself hours of work if I had done that in the first place. I didn't think to try it because I thought removing the bleeder screw was enough.
Good info to know. I will keep this in mind for my next rear pad change.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:03 PM   #16
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I had EXACTLY the same problem. I eventually disconnected the banjo bolt and the Ebrake, took the caliper to the bench and it turned in easily. So there is something that disconnecting the brake line does that loosening the bleeder screw does not.
Glad to have my problem duplicated - too bad you had so much frustration. I fiqured I was going to bleed the brakes anyway so what's to loose bydisconnecting the banjo bolt.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #17
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The actual cause of the binding was a flow/banjo bolt washer that was too thin and it allowed the flow/banjo bolt to go in too far and hit the piston. I found this out a day or two after my last post when my left rear brake pad wasn't releasing so I took everything apart and took a closer look. I removed the flow/banjo bolt and looked inside the caliper and saw score marks on the piston from the bolt hitting it. The solution is to get a thicker washer or double up on the washer like I did. Problem solved. Piston can be turned in smoothly every time.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:06 PM   #18
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Awesome info. Did you use just a 'normal' washer or something special? Can you be a bit more specific? Do you think this might cause a noise from the caliper/brakes? I changed my rear pads (to try something) which were only 1/2 worn because of a 'tshhh' typ noise that seemed to be there all the time regardless of brake pressure or anything else but the noise seemed to be coming from the general area of the brakes. I also had a hell of a time removing the caliper because the calipers weren't releasing - very similar to your experience. I think you're on to something.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:20 PM   #19
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Awesome info. Did you use just a 'normal' washer or something special? Can you be a bit more specific? Do you think this might cause a noise from the caliper/brakes? I changed my rear pads (to try something) which were only 1/2 worn because of a 'tshhh' typ noise that seemed to be there all the time regardless of brake pressure or anything else but the noise seemed to be coming from the general area of the brakes. I also had a hell of a time removing the caliper because the calipers weren't releasing - very similar to your experience. I think you're on to something.
If your calipers aren't releasing then definitely check the banjo bolt to see if it's hitting the piston. That noise you mentioned could be the pads not releasing and scraping the rotor. Here's a link to the washers I used...
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=347132_0_0_

It's an assortment pack. Just pick the one that just fits over the bolt and the thickness depends on what you need. There's different thicknesses.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:34 AM   #20
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I added a copper washer to my rear caliper banjo bolts - but didn't take the car out to see if it made any difference to my noise issue nor did I have to retract the pistons - already did the brakes. Too much snow around - I thought this Global Warming was supposed to warm things up a bit. Way too much winter and too much snow this year. I want summer!!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:34 AM
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