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Old 12-02-2022, 05:57 PM #1
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More caliper failures!

dropped my 2007 off at a local independent to have the front pads/rotors replaced. picked up all the stuff i needed at toyota. got a call, one of the front caliper pistons was seized!

now, these front calipers have a history of issues. the OE were replaced at 158k with A-1 Cardon/CAP calipers (before i owned the vehicle). at 183k, right one failed, at 196k, left one failed, at 203k, right failed again. now one of them has failed again.

unfortunately, they needed to rush to grab a caliper to finish the job; i had little ability to decide on brand. i hate this!

Last edited by rwh963; 12-02-2022 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 12-02-2022, 06:46 PM #2
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That's pretty much normal on Toyota trucks.
I've rebuilt or replaced so many calipers over the decades
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:02 PM #3
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My 03 ate front calipers and my 11 is on the same path... sadly seems normal.
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:32 PM #4
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Got my pads and rotors replaced at 60k and the dealer stated they would try to save my calipers if they could.....


I was like WTF??? It only has 60k and all my other cars never had calipers go, even at 300,000mi.

I guess this is a Toyota thing....
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:49 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripper238 View Post
Got my pads and rotors replaced at 60k and the dealer stated they would try to save my calipers if they could.....


I was like WTF??? It only has 60k and all my other cars never had calipers go, even at 300,000mi.

I guess this is a Toyota thing....
i was going to say something similar. calipers should go 150k+. what is causing them to fail here? is this common on other trucks, or even other toyota trucks?
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:36 AM #6
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I think we need to break this problem down into 1) Toyota OEM caliper problems, and 2) rebuilt / remanufactured / aftermarket calipers. I've actually had very good luck with original equipment calipers, and most have gone well over 100,000 miles. And OEM calipers that I've rebuilt with OEM parts seem to last nearly as long. Aftermarket rebuilds seem to last nowhere near as long.

Why would this be true? I'd suggest several reasons. First, there's the rebuild / remanufacturing process and second there's the replaceable parts they use. Both are highly suspect - mostly because low price is the single most important factor here. Third, there's the cores they start with. Are they Toyota cores or aftermarket cores. (There is a difference.)

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2022, 09:15 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripper238 View Post
Got my pads and rotors replaced at 60k and the dealer stated they would try to save my calipers if they could.....


I was like WTF??? It only has 60k and all my other cars never had calipers go, even at 300,000mi.

I guess this is a Toyota thing....
Are you guys with caliber problems cleaning them every 6 months or 10,000 miles? I had issues with the rear callipers on an Accord because of road salt and road crap getting in them. I almost bought a 3rd gen Tacoma mainly because it has rear drum brakes.
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:02 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Stroked View Post
I think we need to break this problem down into 1) Toyota OEM caliper problems, and 2) rebuilt / remanufactured / aftermarket calipers. I've actually had very good luck with original equipment calipers, and most have gone well over 100,000 miles. And OEM calipers that I've rebuilt with OEM parts seem to last nearly as long. Aftermarket rebuilds seem to last nowhere near as long.

Why would this be true? I'd suggest several reasons. First, there's the rebuild / remanufacturing process and second there's the replaceable parts they use. Both are highly suspect - mostly because low price is the single most important factor here. Third, there's the cores they start with. Are they Toyota cores or aftermarket cores. (There is a difference.)

Just my 2 cents.
i replaced the rears with toyota remans, which i was told by parts dept. that they are rebuilt under toyota supervision. the fronts i have been stuck in a aftermarket loop. i had this shop mount new tires a couple of weeks ago, and asked for a brake update. was told i needed fronts very soon. no mention of caliper issue. if i had known, i would have put a toyota reman on the front as well.
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:23 PM #9
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so, picked it up. an expected $170 bill became $430. apparently the brake line was frozen into the caliper and had to be replaced. tied up the lift for several hours due to delay in getting caliper. owner said he usually just replaces calipers each brake job (assuming every 75-100k miles) due to issues with not replacing them. i wish i had had the ability to grab a toyota caliper. had to settle for Wagner, which they said is very good. only a one year warranty though.

btw, that left caliper was the third replacement since 160k miles (240k now). so, caliper at 160k, 196k, now 240k. see a pattern, every 40k. my right was replaced at 203k under warranty (third one there).
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:59 PM #10
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Quote:
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btw, that left caliper was the third replacement since 160k miles (240k now). so, caliper at 160k, 196k, now 240k. see a pattern, every 40k. my right was replaced at 203k under warranty (third one there).
That would be my experience with aftermarket calipers. And remember, there are far fewer folks doing the rebuilding / remanufacturing (and they are different terms) than there are brand names on the boxes. So many of the supposedly different brands actually come from the same production lines.

If I could ask, how long did your OEM calipers last if the aftermarket ones only lasted 40,000 miles?
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Old 12-03-2022, 02:54 PM #11
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Quote:
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That would be my experience with aftermarket calipers. And remember, there are far fewer folks doing the rebuilding / remanufacturing (and they are different terms) than there are brand names on the boxes. So many of the supposedly different brands actually come from the same production lines.

If I could ask, how long did your OEM calipers last if the aftermarket ones only lasted 40,000 miles?
the front originals were replaced at 158k. against my recommendation, the PO let the shop use aftermarket calipers(as well as aftermarket front cv axles, which also are failing). each side has had several warranty replacements (no warranty this time). costing me additional in labor charges of $160/ea. what many shops don't tell you is the labor warranty may only be 1 year, even if the part has a several years warranty. you may get a free caliper, but not free labor.

when rear originals needed replacement at about 220k, i picked up toyota remans (also needed new brackets). we'll see how those hold up.
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Old 12-03-2022, 03:26 PM #12
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the front originals were replaced at 158k. against my recommendation, the PO let the shop use aftermarket calipers(as well as aftermarket front cv axles, which also are failing). each side has had several warranty replacements (no warranty this time). costing me additional in labor charges of $160/ea. what many shops don't tell you is the labor warranty may only be 1 year, even if the part has a several years warranty. you may get a free caliper, but not free labor.

when rear originals needed replacement at about 220k, i picked up toyota remans (also needed new brackets). we'll see how those hold up.
Wow, 150,000 miles for OEM vs 40,000 miles for aftermarket. If more folks knew that, the decision would be a no brainer! And as you pointed out, the warranty doesn't mean you'll get a new aftermarket caliper and installation for free. Sorry you had to go through this.
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:14 PM #13
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You guys should try the Raybestos Element 3 calipers, they're brand new, not re-maned and don't require a core exchange. Several years ago I installed a set on my '05 and (so far) they've been great. I live in the northeast and the winter road-salt played hell on any of the after market calipers I had purchased.
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Old 12-03-2022, 09:11 PM #14
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The main cause of calipers seizing is that brake fluid is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture.

Since the fluid in the brake system does not circulate, the calipers are like 4 "dead ends", moisture collects in the caliper and gradually the piston seizes.

While the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir looks nice and clean, the fluid down in the calipers becomes contaminated crap.

Bleeding each caliper just a little to get rid of the crappy fluid every couple of years can make the calipers last a lot longer.
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Old 12-03-2022, 10:36 PM #15
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Quote:
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The main cause of calipers seizing is that brake fluid is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture.

Since the fluid in the brake system does not circulate, the calipers are like 4 "dead ends", moisture collects in the caliper and gradually the piston seizes.

While the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir looks nice and clean, the fluid down in the calipers becomes contaminated crap.

Bleeding each caliper just a little to get rid of the crappy fluid every couple of years can make the calipers last a lot longer.
Sort of, but not really.

I own a caliper rebuilding business...mainly specialize in air cooled porsche and vintage british, but do everything. Also worked for Centric Parts for about 20 years.

A caliper that has been in use almost never has rust in the wet side of the system. I take apart calipers that have been sitting for 30 years on a car in a barn or a field and they don't have rust in them. Where the issue lies is on the dry side of the seal, between the dust boot and the seal.

Out here on the west coast we don't have these issues...but anywhere you have road salt/brine...it's a problem.

Whatever coating/plating was used on the casting will degrade, and when that happens we'll get rust. That rust holds moisture, much like a sponge. It will eventually creep underneath the dust boot, up the dust boot boss on the casting and start down the bore. When it gets to the bore, it will grab the piston. There's only about .005" of so of diameter difference between the bore and the piston, and it doesn't take much to fill that space with rust.

Cheaper reman calipers don't have any coating on them at all. These suck and should be avoided. Some calipers will have a paint or powdercoating...these should also be avoided, because the critical areas are all masked off before the coating process, and are left as bare iron (bore, under the boots, mating surfaces, etc...

Zinc plated calipers are as good as you're gonna get. Most of the new aftermarket calipers coming out of china (where they all come from) are pretty good and are zinc plated. You can further increase the chances of success by taking one of those little syringes with the curved tip like these McMaster-Carr
And fill it with silicone dielectric grease...like the stuff they try to sell you when you buy spark plugs (or for the older folks...spark plug wires), then peel the boots back with a pick and squirt the dust boot bellows full of this grease. That will create a boundary seal and help prevent rust.

You might consider getting a can of some high end clearcoat like POR15 aerosol topcoat and spray the whole caliper too...as the paint (clear) will seal the zinc, adding a second line of defense.

I've got the original calipers on my 2003 4runner with 240K on it, but nothing rusts here. lol.
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