Front Brake Caliper Dissection/Rebulid -EricTheCarGuy

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If you’re wondering what makes a front brake caliper work or you’re just curious about what’s inside one this video is for you. After replacing the front calipers on my Subaru I decided to dissect one of the calipers to show you what’s inside and how a caliper works. This video shows that operation. I don’t recommend you rebuild calipers as often I find that the piston or the caliper bore is rusted up so much that it requires machining to repair. Even after you clean the rust there may be enough pitting to prevent a good seal. However if you have an application where a caliper is difficult to find or parts are prohibitively expensive this is the way to go. Otherwise I’d recommend purchasing calipers that have already been rebuilt.

Here’s a link to the video about Front Caliper Replacement:

Discussion about this video:

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48 thoughts on “Front Brake Caliper Dissection/Rebulid -EricTheCarGuy

  1. i actually rebuilt my calipers 3 years ago using ur videos (Thx)
    00:50 They hav failed and the pistons are seizing on me again due to water getting around this Dust Boot and rusting up the exposed piston and dust boot seat. =( They were seated properly. I had to drive thru water deep enough to submerge the caliper so maybe thats how water got in, dont know. That was a few months ago
    i used a caliper rebuild kit from AutoZone. He said dont even sell them anymore 0.o

  2. Quick question here. Just bought everything for my caliper rebuilt including new piston. The piston seal are clearly oversized compared to the piston and the fit is not tight. Is this normal?? Looks to me its not going to make a good seal but i guess its hard to tell when the seal is not installed in the caliper.

    I have double checked and the parts are the good ones. I just want to make sure before removing the calipers for the rebuilt.


  3. i have a question and a concern that id like to share. my question is can u remove the piston in any way without compressed air and if so what ways will work without damaging the piston. my concern that i recently did a full on brake job replacing my rotors and pads as well as a caliper on my 95 subaru impreza lx, bled out all brake lines and the master cylinder got my brakes in working order but when i step on the pedal i will stop but my brake pedal will jutter and vibrate as if there is air somewhere or something. again everything was redone on my brake system and refreshed and done properly. what would be some suggestions as to what may be my issue with that. my pedal is stiff like it should be but it jutters and vibrates as if there is air or something trying to keep me from stopping properly

  4. My 08 wrangler has been turning hard left on and off. It's like my alignment was coming and going to and from normal. My mechanic says it's a seized caliper, if it was wouldn't it stay seized?

  5. Hopefully eventually you will make a video just like this for the rear caliper. With the rotating piston screw and e brake mechanism.

  6. How can such a critical car part (brakes) rely on a mechanism of action as PATHETIC as a square cut washer twisting?

    Has anyone rigged these type of brakes with something more reliable to release the brake pads from the disc?

  7. Eric.  I'm a big fan.  I have a 98 4runner and the front calipers keep seizing or at least not release after braking.  I've replaced the calipers, pads, and rotors but still have one caliper that wants to seize.  Is this a master cylinder problem?  Seems to be a cronic problem with this vehicle.  Any help?  Thanks,

  8. I usually pump the piston out with the brake pedal. It never fails to work and is much more controlable than air pressure plus it already is hooked to the caliper unlike a grease gun.

  9. Question here, can you rebuild a calipers without taking the break line off?

    I have a 95 F150 that has spent it's whole life in Pa so the break lines are rusted really bad and I would like to fix my sticking caliper (90% sure the piston is shot) without having to mess with the brake lines at all.

  10. Great vid I need to do this on a Peugeot 307 1.4 8v 2003 on the rear which has to be wound back with rewind tool,
    Would it come out straight like the 1 in vid with air/grease

  11. If another piston or caliper is not available, you can clean off the rust with white vinegar. The weak acid will dissolve the rust but not the steel. Make sure all the rust is removed, if any remains it will rapidly grow back.Then polish with 1200+ grit sandpaper wet with brake fluid and finally wax free polishing paste. If the rust pitting was not too bad it will seal up and work fine.

  12. Good stuff Eric.  I don't think I've ever commented on your videos but I have to admit I like your attitude and love your knowledge.  You simplify these fixes saving us money.  Thanks for your videos.  

  13. The caliper slides back and forth on pins. There is only force needed on one side because when the piston extends and pushes the inner pad, the caliper then slides and pulls the outer brake pad in towards the center, thus squeezing both pads with one piston.

  14. Again, very useful video mate..Will come in handy for rebuildingoverhauling my own calipers as it looks pretty much the same setup as on my '96 v6 audi cabriolet. Thanks for sharing your knowledge bud, saves me a fortune in garage fees!

  15. Hi Eric, do you think you could use that rusty cylinder even if you clean it well with a brass brush and then use some 600 grit sand paper to smooth the pitting?

  16. Hi there,
    I have a new rubber dust boot with a iron open ring, which should be placed in the dustboot to fit it into the extra seals off the dustboot and the caliper.
    But such an iron ring is very hard to put into place
    is it necessary to put the ring back??, because in several videos about rebuild i never see that ring put in.

  17. so back in the pad and rotor replacement videos you said you pinch off the brake line and compress the piston with the bleeder screw open to protect the master cylinder… what did you mean by protect? how would it be harm the master if you did not go that rout? TY for all the great work have learned a lot of from your vids..

  18. paparker21, I'd like to address your question if you don't mind, phenolic vs. steel.
    Phenolic pistons are used primarily because they do not transfer excessive amounts of heat to the brake fluid unlike their steel counterparts. However, that comes with a price. They tend to not have the structural integrity that the steel ones have.
    I do not recommend rebuilding calipers. It's not cost affective and I can't justify the labor involved, they tend to leak because of corrosion and porous castings.

  19. Hey Eric, thank you very much for accepting my video reply! You are a great source of inspiration that has led me to create my own DIY videos 🙂 Keep up your excellent works. A warm greeting from Portugal!

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