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Brake Caliper Rebuild

Discussion in 'Subaru Sambar' started by Timetripper, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Timetripper

    Timetripper Moderator

    First off there is two parts to caliper rebuild:

    1. Internal - where the piston is sticking or leaking past the O ring. Mine were ok in this regard.
    The caliper rebuild kits that I have seen from site sponsors address this issue.

    2. External - On calipers where there is only piston(s) on one side of the caliper the caliper must "slide" in order to
    sqeeze the the other side of the rotor. This is what I corrected on mine as they were almost frozen solid.

    Blow by Blow of # 2:

    There is a s/s anti rattle clip on the top that needs to be removed first.
    It only goes in one way correctly - take a picture of it or leave the other side intact for reference.
    Remove the brake pads from the calipers. Note that the Sambar has a "keyed" pad. [See picture]
    Mine were installed with one "tip" up and one down.
    I question this how ever as I think that it might be both up or both down, I have not come across
    any info to which is correct but they will fit in any way. They must have put that "tip" in for a reason.
    You might have to gently pry the caliper slightly to get clearance to get the pads out.

    Now on to the interesting part - There are 2 bolts that hold the caliper on to the mount.
    These bolts will be quite tight in my experience - I had to use a extension to get them moving.
    Only break free one bolt - leave it in place and then do the other bolt, this way the caliper won't torque on you and bend the dust shield.:frustration:
    With both bolts removed your caliper should be free - hanging from the brake hose. Good time to check that hose by the way.
    You will see were the bolts went throught the caliper that there are seals on both sides,
    you are looking at the caliper slides - essentially tubes that the caliper rides back and forth on.
    Gently remove the seals - I did mine one at a time so I could reference the other.
    I think that the inner seal is slightly different shape than outer but it could have just been that they
    were bent out of shape.
    Sometimes the seal is stuck like glue - go slow if you don't have replacment parts.
    I cleaned mine up with RBG [rubber brake grease], you need something that is compatable with the rubber.

    Now you need to remove the slides [tubes] if they are like mine it will be a challenge to do it with out damaging them.
    I used a combination of a drift and the bolt you removed to get them half way out.
    Then I kept working at it (twisting) until they came free. NO VICE GRIPS! Use something like 400 grit wet/ dry
    sand paper wetted with brake fluid to clean up and evalute. Mine were barely ok. Just starting to pit.

    Next challenge: Remove the two O-rings that the slide runs on, they are inside the bore that you removed the slide from.
    I used a O-ring "pick" that has a 90 degree bend - worked good. One ring was stuck in bore but I prevailed:)

    Now clean up the bore to remove the old lube/ gunk. If you look carefully you see there is a bigger groove
    between the two O-rings grooves - this is a "reservoir" for the lube. The cleaner it is the better. Also look to see if bore is ok? Pitting, etc?
    I used a bit of brake fluid on a rag pulled through a couple of times and used the O-ring pick to clean the grooves.

    Now with everything clean it's ready to go back together. I started by putting the O-rings back
    in the grooves. If they got streched slightly by removeal this is how you over come this - start them
    back in the groove then use the "slide" to coax them the rest of the way in.
    I lubed everything with RBG but there might be something better on the market.
    Actually you are better to use High Temp grease or better yet something
    like Permatex 24110 Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube

    I generously lubed the bore - try to fill the "reservoir" with lube.
    Now you should be set to put the slide in it's bore, I found that it's easier to put the slide in it's bore before you install the outer seal.
    The hard part with installing the outer seals is that they don't want to sit proper on the caliper any more.
    Again I used RBG to make sure they eventually seated properly - if they don't sit proper then this is were all the road grime
    will get in and seize them up.

    Now you should have a caliper that is all set to be re-installed.
    I used a bit of never seize on the mounting bolts before I put them in.
    Not sure of the correct torque figure for the mounting bolts but I snugged up mine fairly tight.

    That's all there is to it.:D

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  2. ccrn2

    ccrn2 New Member

    so which sponsor has the caliper rebuild kits??
  3. starpuss

    starpuss Member

    what year is your truck?
  4. ccrn2

    ccrn2 New Member

    its a 94 i do believe.
  5. fupabox

    fupabox Active Member

    Ummmm yer talking BMWs........wrong site sorry:sly:
  6. le3harris

    le3harris New Member

    Thanks for this information dude. I know that I am thread digger but I just use the search box and good thing I found your thread.

  7. anthill

    anthill Member

    Any advice on diagnosing whether the piston or slides are to blame? The front left brake is rubbing a bit, and *both* pads are hot to the touch. Does that mean it's probably a stuck piston? If the slide was to blame, wouldn't it be only one side rubbing?

    Either way, hope I can fix it without needing spare parts.
  8. fupabox

    fupabox Active Member

    could be either...the slider and piston both grab and release the rotor so either being stuck will overheat the pads...generally when the piston sticks it will wear the inner (piston side) pad more rapidly , so it's more likely the slider is sticking...both are cheap and simple to free up....the piston you just retract with a c-clamp and then push the brake pedal slightly until the piston pushes out again (careful not to go too far) then retract again with the c-clamp...do it 4 or 5 times and it will be nicely freed up...the slider just gets pulled apart cleaned, polished with fine grit sandpaper and regreased
  9. anthill

    anthill Member

    The slides were rusty and the last mechanic had used anti sieze in them. Ugh.

    Two notes: Yes the inner and outer boots are different- one has a slightly thicker rubber flange. Ultra fine steel wool works great for polishing rusty slides. I used the permatex silicone brake lube.

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