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Old 04-23-2020, 03:19 PM #1
154RTP20 154RTP20 is offline
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Seized Front Caliper Piston

I have a '15 Trail Premium with about 90k miles. This morning I started the process of replacing my front brake pads and rotors. At first, it took about an hour just to get the seized caliper pins removed. Once they were out, I was able to remove the caliper from the hub and remove the pads and rotor. Once the old pads and rotor were off, I tightened the new rotor into place and started pressing down on the caliper pistons with the old brake pads.

Here is where the problem started...

I was able to push three of the four pistons in until they were fully recessed. I noticed the fourth piston was not budging whatsoever. I had opened the reservoir and tried to pump the brakes and pushed in again. Nothing. All I have for tools to help with pushing the pistons in are some c-clamps, and even those won't help with the last piston.

Here is my question... Should I shell out the money and get two new OEM pistons and fully replace the old ones, or should I bring it in to have a mechanic look at them and hopefully fix them? I try to do all of my maintenance, and I haven't trusted some mechanics in the past but that is subjective to certain shops.

If any of you recommend I buy new calipers, which ones would you recommend and what is the actual process of replacing them? I'm familiar with bleeding brakes, but not sure if there is extra work to be done on the brake lines when replacing calipers.

Thank you guys, I look forward to your advice.

Bobby
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Old 04-23-2020, 05:53 PM #2
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Just get a reman'd caliper. I would do both, for CDO.







Which is what amateurs call "OCD." "O-C-D" is not in alphabetical order.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:05 PM #3
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Reman is the way to go because most offer Lifetime Warranty vs OEM's 1 year. I put Carquest fronts on my 2004 Sports Edition 7 years ago and they holding up well still. Napa has good stock as well. Nothing needs to be done with brake lines, just calipers (clamp lines with locking plies to stop fluid, put soft hose on jaws). Easy 1 hour job. G.L.
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Old 04-23-2020, 06:16 PM #4
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I always replace calipers. Every time.
With drum brakes I replace wheel cylinders and all return & hold-down springs/hardware.
Rotors/drums were always turned (never to minimum) or replaced.
I also replace all the brake fluid, even if doing only one end.
This was the only way I did it when I was a mechanic. If you wanted a "pad slap" you are free to have someone else work on your vehicle.

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Old 04-23-2020, 07:20 PM #5
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Owned a pile of chit 4th gen that previously lived in Ohio and dealt with this.

G.L. is correct. Reman is the answer. RockAuto had a great deal on them and I had no issue getting credit for sending them my core.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:55 PM #6
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You could rebuild the caliper (if parts are available) but it's a fair amount of work. And, if you scratch or nick a piston - it will leak. Reman or new is the way to go.
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:24 AM #7
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Hey, I have oem calipers I took off at like 40k, don’t want much for them if your interested.
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:28 AM #8
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this is how I do the brake work for decades. pads worn so I use the C clamps set in place . then place a clear plastic hose on the brake caliper bleed port. put the hose in a clear bottle with brake fluid in it. open the bleed port then slowly push the cal pistons back. fully.. then close the bleed port. remove the caliper and clean up debris. then place silicone brake grease on the rubber seals so the pistons will keep the snow melt chemicals from the damage. the steel pins clean up with a small wire brush and put high temp anti seize on them so the corrosion will reduce in time.

when I do the tire rotations I check all the pads and if I see odd wear on a pad compared to all the others then I will remove the pads and check out for any binding issues. the steel pins do need cleaning and lube because we are in a nasty winter road salt issue ..

my 1996 Impala and 2000 GM truck still the same calipers ..silicone brake grease protects from the winter damage.2016 runner pads look very good .. even wear and no brake issues .

PUSHING THE CAL PISTONS BACK WITH THE BLEED PORT CLOSED NOT GOOD .. NASTY FLUID WILL KILL THE BRAKE SYSTEM !
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Old 04-24-2020, 09:29 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman2430 View Post
Hey, I have oem calipers I took off at like 40k, don’t want much for them if your interested.
Would you mind sending a photo of both? Looking for fronts obviously and as long as they have working pistons and aren't leaking at the brake line I'd be very interested.

Thank you
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:43 AM #10
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I went to do mine and mushroomed the slide pins trying to get them out. Both sides. No way they were going to move at all.

No one within 25 miles could get me both sides before 2 or 3 days so I went with the Raybestos coated calipers from Rock Auto. Install was easy and after a winter in the NE, they are still the shiniest part of my truck.

Bleeding was a typical simple bleed. Nothing special about it except on the rear you don't have to pump the pedal, you just push it down with the key on and the system pumps it for you.

I still had the dealer flush the system the next time it was there just to be sure I got all the air and old fluid out.
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