Rear brake caliper leak - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2005, 12:22 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Rear brake caliper leak

I recently replaced my drivers side rear caliper as it was leaking out the side of the piston. I bought a re-manufactured one, mainly because I didn't know how hard it would be to pop the piston out to do a rebuild (no compressed air) and figured it was added insurance.

So, with a re-built one I expected to have no problems - i mean it's almost impossible to screw anything up with this - isn't it?

I ask because the new one leaks now too. Is this just bad luck or could I really have screwed this up? This is a complete caliper with pads. All I had to do was disconnect the brake line, unbolt the old, clean the hell out of the rotor, bolt on the caliper and connect the brake line.

No it's not leaking at the brake line fitting, but from the inside of the caliper..

charles
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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bad rebuild. it happens
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2005, 12:33 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Yeah, just my luck Nathan's shipping me another.

charles
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  #4  
Old July 8th, 2005, 02:02 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Second rebuilt one leaks too. Is this just real shit luck? I can't possibly imagine what else it could be!

charles
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Old July 8th, 2005, 02:41 AM
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Where is it leaking from? Same spot every time?

-Hans
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Old July 8th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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From one of the pistons I assume. Enough brake fluid ends up sprayed around that its pretty tough to tell. I do know its *not* coming from the brake line fitting or the bleeder valve.

charles
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  #7  
Old July 8th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Thats crazy! Is this a Lockheed caliper? I have Lockheeds on mine, they have been there since before I bought my 90.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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And you are sure it is brake fluid and not a leaky axle? I only ask because of the bad luck you are having with the calipers. And get an air compressor! Single best investment toolwise you can get. And the bigger the better--I bolted a 60gal in my garage, but to do again, I would have gone 80 (I do some painting with it)
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Old July 8th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Might want to try a different brand. I second LockHeed. AutoZone $75 with core.

You should be able to look around within the caliper once you have it pulled off and see exactly where the leak is coming from. You will of course need to pull the pads out, there should be an imprint left on the brake pads. (Round circle with fluid) where the piston(s) hits the pads.



EDIT: You might want to do a search on this board. I had a d1 with a bad caliper too ..Good detailed pics as well that show where the leak might also be coming from. Maybe the hard brake line? IIRC the D1, D-90, RRC all use the same caliper.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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I feel pretty stupid, but I think your on to something here. Before you fall off your chair laughing, i'll explain why I think/thought it was the caliper - I see it dripping off the bottom edge of the caliper.

In retrospect, this is probably just accumulation from the pads scraping up the fluid on the rotor.

The other thing was the color/smell. The color looks to me what brake fliud and some dirt/brake dust would look like. I can't really smell it cold, but smelled what to me was brake fluid when it heats up.

I'll dissasemble and look for an axle leak. The dust cover prevents a good look from the inside bottom, so I'll remove that this time. Anthing specific I should do or look for? As i said its a mess under there so it tough to see hats going. I guess if I really had a caliper piston leak I'd be able to repeated press the brakes at a standstill and see fluid leaking wouldnt i?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis
And you are sure it is brake fluid and not a leaky axle? I only ask because of the bad luck you are having with the calipers. And get an air compressor! Single best investment toolwise you can get. And the bigger the better--I bolted a 60gal in my garage, but to do again, I would have gone 80 (I do some painting with it)
I hear you on the compressor - in fact it's the only reason I didn't just get a rebuild kit - i dont have a easy way to pop out the pistons on the caliper without air.

I think #1 on my shopping list are those toolboxes - my truck is too unreliable to drive without a full compliment of tools with me at all times

I think a compressor has moved up the list though.

thanks
charles
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  #11  
Old July 8th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
I guess if I really had a caliper piston leak I'd be able to repeated press the brakes at a standstill and see fluid leaking wouldnt i?
It all depends on the size of the leak and how bad the seal is busted. On my D1, I could press the petal hard and the fluid would run/squirt out of the caliper (piston), therefore instigating the RED Brake Light to illuminate as I was losing massive amounts of fluid.

Remember also that Brakes GET HOT! When the fluid hits the rotor (which is hot! hot! hot!) the brake fluid burns off making it difficult to see, however it still can impregnate the pads as well as the rotors. You would not actually be able to see it if the Rover was Hot and you had been braking for awhile ect ect. Just be careful when driving it, a friend of mine had a busted caliper and continued to drive with it leaking, he ended up rear-ending a truck and totalling his 1996 D1 when the brake petal went all the way to the floor and the fluid spewed out the bad caliper. (worst case scenario of course).
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  #12  
Old July 8th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Hey Charles, pull the axle out some and if it isn't just grease on the bearings I bet it's the inner seal on the axle that is leaking. Mine have done this a few times, and when it leaks out the caliper gets covered in gear oil from the diff. Might want to check the gear oil in the rear diff, I bet it's low. Not too much work to replace the seals, I would get all new seals for that side and make sure to put the inner axle seal in the right way! It doesn't seal very good at all if it's in backward (speaking form experience ). You will spend more time cleaning gear oil off everything then you will doing actual work. Oh and it's also a good time to check the bearings. When inserting the axle shaft back in be real careful that you don't move that inner oil seal that you just replace. How's that for a random jumble of help
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