Replace a Brake Caliper

How to Replace a Brake Caliper

Replacing a brake caliper on most vehicle models is just about an easy repair. you’ll do that project reception using some common tools. Still, specially if your car comes with an ABS system, you would like to require certain precautions. But don’t be concerned. This guide tells you ways to approach this project reception, and, whether your car features a conventional or ABS system, the steps you would like to follow for a smooth brake caliper repair.

Steps to exchange Your Brake Caliper

  1. Locate the brake caliper.
  2. Minimize brake fluid loss.
  3. Remove the old brake caliper.
  4. Install the new brake caliper.
  5. How to bleed the brake line.
  6. Strategies and pro tips for a successful brake caliper replacement.

How to Locate and Replace the Brake Caliper

On fairly new vehicle models, check your car owner’s manual before you begin this repair. For better performance, some models offer energy brakes that self-activate. On these models, your owner’s manual or vehicle repair manual should tell you ways to deactivate the brakes.

With ABS systems, take precautions to stop air from entering the brakes. Purging a number of these systems requires special equipment, and your dealer or shop could also be your only option for the procedure.

How to Minimize Brake Fluid Loss

  1. Pop the hood open and use a store rag to thoroughly clean the brake cylinder. The brake cylinder attaches to the brake booster–a drum-like component mounted on the driver’s side of the firewall.
  2. Unscrew the brake cylinder reservoir cap and place a bit of unpolluted plastic sheet on top of the opening.
  3. Then, replace the cap on top of the plastic sheet and tighten the cap. this may create a vacuum and help prevent much fluid loss once you detach the brake line from the brake caliper.

How to Remove the Brake Caliper

  1. Engage the hand brake (unless you’re replacing a rear caliper) and use two pieces of wood to chock the front or rear wheels (the side you will not be working on). This prevents the car from rolling while you’re employed thereon.
  2. Loosen the wheel lugs on one or both front or rear wheels. NOTE: If you’re not conversant in the caliper assembly, it is a good idea remove both wheels in order that you’ll use the opposite assembly as a point of reference when installing the new caliper.
  3. Raise both wheels employing a floor jack.
  4. Place the vehicle on jack stands and finish removing the wheels.
  5. Place alittle drain pan under the caliper to catch any brake fluid which may drain out of the brake hose.
  6. Disconnect the hand brake cable, if you’re performing on a rear caliper. Consult your car repair manual, if you would like help.
  7. On some vehicles you will need to get rid of a brake pad wear sensor, usually located on one among the restraint. Carefully remove the sensor (WARNING, this sensor is fragile) employing a pair of nose pliers. If necessary, consult the repair manual for your car make and model.
  8. Locate the brake hose connected to the brake caliper (usually on the upper, backside of the caliper).
  9. Thoroughly clean the brake hose end, bolt, and fitting on the brake caliper employing a shop rag and brake parts cleaner to stop contaminating the brakes. If the brake assembly is roofed in the dust, don’t blow it out; only use brake parts cleaner spray to get rid of it.
  10. Using a line wrench or ratchet, extension and a six-point socket, loosen and tighten back the brake hose snugly, only enough to stop brake fluid loss. Avoid employing a regular wrench here to stop rounding off the top of the bolt securing the hose.
  11. Then, loosen and take away the caliper mounting bolts. Some calipers have a mounting bolt on each bottom end, which allows to completely remove the caliper off the mounting bracket; other models use a bolt-on one end that you simply can remove to swing the caliper upwards. counting on your car model, you will need a Torx bit, Allen wrench, or regular wrench or socket and ratchet to unscrew the caliper mounting bolts or pins.
  12. Once you remove the mounting bolt(s), carefully work the caliper off the rotor, or swing the caliper upwards. NOTE: Some caliper mounting bolts have a group of tabs at the top. On this, you would like to squeeze these tabs with a pair of needle pliers while prying the bolt head at the opposite end to slip the bolt of the caliper.
  13. Take note of the position of any caliper hardware you’ll got to remove in order that you’ll install it on the replacement caliper (clips, pad support, springs, anti-rattle clips, shims).
  14. Some restraint mounts on the caliper itself; others mount on the caliper mounting bracket. If the restraint are mounted on the caliper itself, you’ll got to pry off the outer pad employing a screwdriver. The inner pad may mount to the piston with a clip that attaches to the pad backplate, so you will need to carefully pull the pad off the caliper piston.
  15. Use a wire hanger to secure the caliper to an appropriate suspension component to stop the caliper from hanging by the brake hose; otherwise you’ll damage the hose.
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How to Install the New Brake Caliper

  1. Clean the brake assembly using brake parts cleaner and take away rust from the assembly, specially those parts on the mounting bracket that are available in contact with the caliper. this is often critical on sliding calipers, which give grooves for the caliper to slip on. Rust may cause the new caliper to urge stuck and freeze during operation. Use a wire brush or a rotary brush and a drill to get rid of the rust off the wheel assembly surface and bracket.
  2. Before installing your new brake caliper, carefully read the instructions that accompany it. Your caliper may accompany special grease already applied or during a small package that you simply got to apply. confirm to use this grease following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Transfer the restraint to the new brake caliper or have them ready on the caliper mounting bracket, counting on your specific model. If possible, replace the mounting hardware, like springs, clips, and anti-rattle clips.
  4. The new caliper should have the piston fully retracted, able to install. If not, you’ll use a C-clamp to retract the piston slowly into its bore when performing on a front caliper. Place the clamp over the caliper and position the inner pad on the piston. Rotate the clamp large screw to push against the inner pad to retract the piston. On rear calipers you almost certainly need a special retracting tool you’ll borrow from your local auto parts store. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary.
  5. On some models, you would like to use a layer of high-temperature grease to the steering knuckle where it contacts the brake caliper. If necessary, consult your vehicle repair manual.
  6. When ready, place the caliper in position. Add a layer of silicone grease to the caliper mounting bolts (pins) and to the insulators (where you would like to insert the bolts), if you’ve got one piston caliper and therefore the mounting bolts allow caliper movement. Then install the caliper mounting bolts by hand and tighten the bolts to the manufacturer’s suggested torque, employing a wrench. you’ll find the recommended torque within the repair manual (or aftermarket manual) for your particular vehicle make and model.
  7. Remove the bleeder screw employing a wrench. Apply Teflon tape to the screw threads (around three turns) and reinstall the screw. Start the screw by hand first then tighten the screw snugly with the road wrench. Don’t tighten the screw completely until after you bleed the caliper later.
  8. Now, have the new copper washers ready for the brake hose and therefore the line wrench. When ready, disconnect the brake hose from the old caliper and connect the hose to the new brake caliper. Tighten the bolt only enough to stop brake fluid from leaking.
  9. Use a store rag to wipe clean any brake fluid you’ll have spilled during the transfer of the brake hose.
  10. Remove the plastic sheet from the brake cylinder.
  11. Bleed the brake line. If you do not have an assistant to assist you to bleed the road, you’ll roll in the hay yourself employing a hand-held air pump in about one minute. inspect the instructions within the article “Brake Bleeding With a hand-held Vacuum Pump” to bleed the brake line, or the entire system if you’ve got to. Otherwise, follow the steps described within the next section.
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How to Bleed the Brake Line

After replacing the brake caliper, this next procedure helps you bleed any air from the brake caliper or brake line attached thereto, albeit you’re performing on an ABS system.

However, if you think that air possesses into the brake cylinder, or hydraulic control unit (HCU), and your car has an ABS system, you’ll got to take your vehicle to the dealer or shop and have them bleed the system with special equipment. Consult your vehicle repair manual, if necessary.

  1. Without starting the engine, depress the pedal at normal stopping pressure about five times to get rid of any residual vacuum out of the brake booster.
  2. Check the brake cylinder reservoir. Add new brake fluid to bring the extent up to the MAX mark, if necessary, and replace the reservoir cap.
  3. Place one end of a length of clear rubber hose over the bleeder screw on the new brake caliper. The hose should fit snugly over the bleeder screw. you’ll find a clear hose during a craft supply store.
  4. Insert the opposite end of the clear hose into a plastic container and add some brake fluid to the container, only enough to submerge the top of the hose in it.
  5. Ask an assistant to depress the pedal five times then firmly hold the pedal depressed.
  6. Then, loosen the bleeder screw about 1/4 or 1/2 a turn, only enough to let brake fluid to flow through the clear hose for about 2 seconds then tighten the bleeder screw again. await air bubbles flowing into the brake fluid within the container.
  7. Ask your assistant to release the pedal.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 7 until you see no more air bubbles flowing into the brake fluid within the container. During the bleeding procedure, make certain to take care of the extent above the MIN mark on the brake cylinder reservoir.
  9. Properly tighten the bleeder screw after you finish bleeding the caliper or brake line.
  10. Add brake fluid to the brake cylinder reservoir, if necessary.
  11. Verify the pedal feels firm, and test drive the vehicle round the block. Drive at a slow speed to form sure the brakes hamper and stop your car as they ought to.
  12. Back in your garage, check the brake hose and therefore the bleeding screw on the new caliper for leaks. and through the subsequent week keep checking for leaks.

Tips and methods for a Successful Brake Caliper Replacement

Whether this is often your first time performing on the brakes of your car, otherwise you are already conversant in it, check the following pointers. They’ll assist you to make a smoother repair job.

  1. Never blow out dust when cleaning a brake assembly, it’s going to contain asbestos. Use a brake parts cleaner.
  2. When disassembling a wheel brake assembly, keep parts organized and use the other assembly as a reference, just in case you forget the way to put things back together.
  3. Replace the restraint also because the caliper if the thinnest side of the liner is as thick or thinner than the backing plate.
  4. If you haven’t replaced the brake hoses within the past 10 years, consider replacing them now. Old hoses begin to peel from the within, block proper brake fluid flow, and should cause the caliper to seize.
  5. Replace brake calipers in pairs (front or rear) if they need 100,000 miles or more of use. this may help maintain brakes quality performance.
  6. Install new mounting hardware if possible – heat weakens hardware material after miles of labor and should cause the new brake caliper and pads to rattle or squeal.
  7. If your brake assembly configuration differs somehow from the one described here, consult the repair manual for your particular vehicle make and model.

Replacing a brake caliper isn’t a standard repair unless excessive wear, damage to the piston bore or housing, or sticking brakes (some cases), or brake fluid leak appears. Still, this project isn’t difficult and sometimes a far better alternative to rebuilding a brake caliper.

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