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methods for removing stuck caliper slide pin

10-02-2007, 11:49 PM
It's been a while since my last post, and my problems have multiplied since. I'm trying to keep them for myself until we get a second car. This one is older though.
My '99 wagon's rear brake disks only have wear on the inner side, and rust on the outside. This was later confirmed by the uneven wear on the brake pads.
My rear passenger wheel has a noise/knock while moving and I noticed is it running in a "high drag regime". While trying to learn my way through the brake system, I soon found out the lower slide pin is stuck, I looked under the rubber seal/cover and it's rusty. My Taurus has been a New York car for most of its life, so no surprise here. I suspect the same thing for the other rear brake.
I've tried to knock the dam pin out with a long screw and a hammer, but no luck. I might try this in a different place (not in my carport) in the future, where I can happily hammer it. I left quite some marks on the pin, though, so I'd say he got serious blows. I was doing this while it was still mounted on the car (the thing that holds the pins), since "the thing" and fasteners and pretty much everything underneath my car is covered in serious rust (damn NY :)).
What methods would you suggest for getting the stuck pin out?

And as a second thought, I noticed that compressing the caliper piston is no easy task. I managed to bend the "handle" of my clamp, and bent a serious piece of metal from a self made tool. This only when the contact with the piston wasn't in the middle of the piston surface. I noticed things get a lot easier if the contact is in the middle, so it could spin possibly (I managed to loose track of that in my struggles to bend tools - I'm pretty skinny). Is my assumption correct?

10-02-2007, 11:59 PM
the caliper pins are usally a torx or hex bolt they untread

10-03-2007, 12:25 AM
the caliper pins are usally a torx or hex bolt they untread

Don't get me wrong, I can get the caliper off the slide pins. The caliper attaches to the slide pins through hex head screws. But the slide pins have no such head (at least not on my Taurus), and I don't think they're supposed to unthread, they're just supposed to slide :)

Thanks for posting!

10-03-2007, 01:59 AM
I hope I can help but what I know is based on a 95 or earlier taurus or just my experience/deduction of your described situation. The caliper pistons on the rear brakes turn in and out like a screw unlike the front which still can be pushed in like earlier models. On the piston head you will see two slots which you engage with a tool to turn it in. I think they designed it this way so that it could also serve as the parking brake.

I'm not clear on your slide pin problem. I understand your uneven brake pad wear problem. It is consistent with a caliper stuck on the slide pins which allow the caliper to slide, float, or automatically self-center on the disc to evenly brake on both sides of it, which is exactly opposite of what you are getting. Why do you need to remove the side pin? Can it not be cleaned, smoothed, sanded in place? Or are you wanting to replace it? Typically, the caliper gets stuck on the slide pin due to loss of lubrication or worse rust as you have emphasized rust is everywhere. Overall, you should make sure all slide, bearing and other points of contact involving metal to metal with the caliper, silde pins, and pad metal backing where it slides, needs to be clean, rust free and lightly greased with brake grease. With all of that corrected and in place, it should work. If the slide pin must be removed, I don't know how for certain, I guess I'd have to be there or done it before to know. Sorry.

10-03-2007, 08:43 AM
Are the slide pins located on the caliper, or the caliper mounting bracket? The piston on the caliper is rotated in. You should use a speacialty tool that you can borrow from autozone to do it. You can do it with a pair of nose pliars, but its no fun.

The caliper mounting bracket has two slide pins on it. These pins are greased with a rubber boot protecting the meeting point between the pins and bracket. If this is frozen, they are difficult to remove. What I do is soak it with rust remover (my personal choice is PB blaster), then I hit it a couple of times (not to hard) with a hammer, then try to rotate them out with a pipe wrench. If that doesn't work, I heat it up with some mapping gas and try to rotate it out. After you get it out, you will need to replace the slide pins and boots. You will also need to pack them in greas. If cost (and time) are not a significant factor, you can pick up new mounting brackets from either a parts store (call first, not all of them carry them) or from I don't remember them being expensive.

Let us know if this is your problem, and how fising it goes.


10-03-2007, 10:25 AM
Thanks tripletdaddy and Dave_s!
The caliper piston compression is clear then. I was doing it wrong. It does have the 2 slots.
The slide pins are located on the caliper mounting bracket (my "thing").
The magic word is pipe wrench. Why didn't I think of that? I'll be of buying one today.
I need to cut and take out the rubber boot in order to apply rust remover.
I'll look into changing the whole mounting bracket too, although I'd rather recondition it.

10-04-2007, 05:45 AM
If the pins are stuck , you should probably give up on them and buy new brackets and pins. They are galled and will never float freely.


10-05-2007, 10:49 AM
I had an identical problem on the front brake of my 2000 windstar. I tried penetrating oil, then a torch and penetrating oil. No luck. Then I drilled a small hole in the mounting bracket to spray oil in from the other side of the pin, heat it all up, insert a small punch and drive it out. No luck. I ended up taking the bracket off the car, putting the head of the slide pin in a vise, and by pushing and pulling on the bracket, loosening it up and getting it out. The replacement slide pins were ~$45 a pair. The bracket seemed fine after all this.

10-05-2007, 10:13 PM
Thanks every body for your posts!
I found a possibility to exchange my rusty rear caliper&mounting bracket assemblies for remanufactured ones for about 35$ + tax for each side. The rotor is included also. I will probably be doing that next week/weekend (this way, I have time to document myself on the replacement procedure), although I may be doing only one side (I know it is not reccomended).
I'll keep you up to date! Thanks again!

10-06-2007, 01:23 AM
$35 for all of that? DO IT!!! Replacing hardware like you are talking about is just fine to do only one side if only one side needs it. Usually that rule applies to things like brake pads and shoes. But if you question the smooth and proper braking operation of the slide pins, at the very least you should definetly inspect it, clean or replace it if you have any questions about it, especially at that price!?!

10-12-2007, 01:23 PM
I checked the left rear brakes on Sunday, and guess what? Both pins were stuck. But they got stuck in the right position, as I had no issues with that wheel.

I was able to get only one out, with a combination of hammering and twisting the pin. The twisting was the most effective, that's how I got it to move. I took it out, cleaned it, flushed the old dead grease out with new grease (by applying excess grease on the pin and pushing it back in), and I was able to turn that into a nice working pin.
I've put this in bold, for the sake of the thread title.

But as I still had a stuck pin on each side, I went ahead and replaced all of the rear brakes a couple of days ago. All shiny and nice now.
Except for the right rear wheel, which still has some kind of drag at a certain point off the revolution (spin). I had this before too, I think those guys just resurfaced my rotors (I wasn’t there, and my wife has no idea, but only through her did I get good pricing on the parts). They tricked her into changing the brakes themselves (40 $, not bad), and they had issues with the parking brake, the parking brake cable still hangs, I have to tension it myself.

The point is, I still have the knocking/pulsation sounf on the rear right wheel, regardless of whether braking or not. I will rotate the tires soon, and see how that goes. The bearing might be a goner too, as I recall hearing sounds from it (while working on the brakes) once, like there wouldn’t be grease in there. My guess is the bearing and its grease were cooked by the high temperatures caused by the “high drag” brake on that wheel.

If I notice that the wheels will not get hot in the future, I might just leave it like that, and wait for the bearing to die. ( I assume there’s no way of getting some grease in the bearing right?). But then again, there’s that drag point on the rotor. Maybe the drag point is connected to the bearing issue, some how?

10-13-2007, 07:00 PM
If the brakes are rubbing at some point on the revolution, you are going to burn through your pads quick. If the issue is the caliper (I'm not sure if it is) than it will be cheaper long term to replace the caliper now and save the brakes. If they had trouble with the e-brake and did not fix it, it could be that they were not as carefully about some of the other details either. Specifically, if you look at the caliper there are two notches in the piston. Those notches need to line up with the pad where there is a little bump (unfortunately the name of the bump escapes me at this moment). If that is not lined up correctly, I think that the result is brakes that rub. It could also be something else (there are others here who who know better than I do).

Let us know if you resolve it.

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