Saturday, June 25, 2016

Front Brake Refurb

With the master cylinder ready to go, it needs something to pump all that not-leaking fluid to... like calipers and drums.  I dug the front calipers out of their crate and got cooking.

I had rebuilt the calipers not too long before I took the car off the road, but 12 years of sitting doing nothing couldn't have been good for them.  I bought rebuild kits and seals and got busy.

First, disassembly.  I started with these...

Cracked them open...

And extracted the pistons.  A clamp to hold the outboard piston so the inboard piston could be removed with air pressure worked like a charm.

Once I got one apart, I did the other one.   Finally, both are disassembled.  As you can see, they look pretty good inside, but there was a bit of gunk. The rebuild kits are cheap, so it would be silly not to rebuild these.

I had used some paint that ended up turning sort of rubbery after so long.  I don't really remember what it was.  But I cleaned it all off, then ran everything through the blasting cabinet, then cleaned everything twice to get rid of any glass beads.  I stayed away from the interior of the caliper so things would still work.  I didn't blast the pistons because they were like new (heck, they were new 12 years ago) and they wouldn't work if I did.

Then, everything got painted with caliper paint.  My daughter told me that black would look best with green (the car was and will again be BRG), so black they are.  I was real nice about where not to paint.

Here's all the parts you need to make a caliper.

First thing: seals.  There is an inner 'fluid seal' and an outer 'wiper seal'.  The wiper seal is grooved like a windshield wiper... go figure.


Next: pistons.  The pistons have an orientation.  There is a cutout that goes either up or down.  I forgot which, so I was lucky to get a clue from the old pads (which are so good, they'll be used again... I think they had 1,000 miles on them, tops).  For the record, the cutout faces down (inward).

Getting the pistons past the new seals is a bit of an adventure even after lubing them up with brake fluid.  I had to use the clamp again to squeeze them into place.  It worked great.

Oh, and don't forget the little seal that fits between the calipers (top left of the bottom half of the second picture).


Then the two halves go together, and voila!  Pads get installed with new cotter pins so I don't lose the parts.


Here's the result!  This really didn't take too long... maybe 4 hours (including painting).

Oh, and I painted my master cylinder too, because I didn't want to see rust there ever again.

Next time: rear brakes and the pedal box.

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