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Old 07-18-2020, 01:52 PM   #1
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DIY: How to Rebuild Brake Calipers (VIDEO)

Video tutorial on how to rebuild brake calipers on your vehicle. For this Iím using my 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 as an example, these are two piston calipers, however the same process still applies to single piston calipers too. Being that the truck is going through for a safety, these do need to be repaired. When I priced out new calipers, they were about $150 per side and a rebuild kit was about $20 per side. Calipers will need to be rebuilt if theyíre leaking, sticking, or having ripped dust boots.

Tools/Supplies Needed:
-wire brush
-brake cleaner
-brake fluid
-socket set and ratchet
-wrench set
-standard screwdriver
-new seals
-block of wood
-air compressor
-scuffing pads

Loosen the master cylinder to relieve any pressure build-up when removing the calipers. Use large interlocking pliers to compress the pistons if possible. Pinch the rubber flex line so the all the fluid doesnít drain from this line. While the caliper is still in place, use the appropriate sized socket to break the bleeder screw free. The caliper is still in a stationary position so itís a bit easier to work with if the bleeder is seized. Being that the caliper is being rebuilt, you can use a little heat from a propane torch. Try not to strip it, if that happens, replacements can be purchased. Disconnect the brake flex line, have a drain pan ready to catch any dripping fluid. Remove the slide pin bolts and then pull off the caliper. Flip it over to help some of the fluid drain. Using brake cleaner, wash the caliper to remove any dirt or brake fluid. Even spray the fluid inside the caliper, this will reduce the amount of fluid being sprayed out when the pistons are removed. Use an air compressor, I set the regulator to 50psi. Too much pressure will push out the piston with too much force which may cause damage and has a higher risk of harming yourself. Make sure the bleeder screw is tight too. Keep your fingers far away from the pistons as they can come out with force and Iíd also recommend wearing safety glasses. Use wood or plastic to give the pistons something to hit against, donít use the frame of the caliper or steel as itíll damage the pistons. It helps if you have something wide enough where it can push both pistons out almost fully, that way if one sticks, you wonít have to struggle keeping the other in place. If one piston comes out too soon, then push it back in, then wedge it into place until the other comes out. Remove the dust seals, these just fit into a slot and they can sometimes be stuck in place due to rust. Clean the pistons using brake cleaner, then inspect to ensure thereís no excessive rusting, pitting, scraps, or any other type of damage which can cause leaking or premature failure of the seals. Wash the caliper with brake cleaner, removing any brake fluid. Clean up any loose rust and dirt using a wire brush and wash using brake cleaner. Use a standard screwdriver or scriber, some which can clean the groove sufficiently, remove any dirt or rust for the dust boots slot. The standard screwdriver to remove the fluid seals. Gently remove then, donít damage itís slot as this can cause a leak. Use a 600 grit or higher scuffing pad to clean up the sealís grooves. Use a 1000 grit scuff pad to clean up the pistons, removing any debris. Finish up with a metal polish to leave a clean finish which will ensure we have a good sealing surface and all the surface debris has been removed. Then give them a final clean with brake cleaner. Only using brake fluid as a lubricate, anything else would cause contamination, apply it in the seal grooves and seals. Install the fluid seals and then finish up install the dust boots. Install the pistons, more brake fluid is applied to the outside surface where the seals will be in contact with. I used a standard screwdriver to pull around the dust boots, once they're in place, then push the pistons in by hand. Give the caliper a final wash using brake fluid. Install the newly rebuilt caliper and tighten up those slide pin bolts. Reconnect the brake line and install new crush washers and torque the banjo bolts to the correct factory specifications. Then finally bleed the brakes, start from the furthest wheel first.
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