Rebuilding a caliper - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 16th, 2008, 11:25 AM
Andrew Vick
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Rebuilding a caliper

How difficult is it? Left front is leaking a tad.
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  #2  
Old February 16th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Be gentle, and it's easy. Pop out the pistons, pry out the old seals. Clean it all up nicey-nice, and press it all back together. Though I definitely recommend new pistons as well as new seals. If the chrome plating is flaking off the pistons, they will rip up new seals in no time.



-Hans
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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I replaced the seals and its a piece of cake. takes about 30 min each one
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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I rebuilt a caliper this morning, Andrew!
I think Hans does a good job summing it up. I bought new pistons and a seal kit. I used two or three c-clamps(and wished I had a piston clamp, more on this later). The air compressor works great for popping out the pistons, two at a time while blocking the other two. Replace the seal that is just inside the caliper. Stuff in the new piston. New wiper seal and wiper seal retainer slide over piston and up against caliper. Here's where the piston clamp would have come in handy. the retainers have to be pressed in around the piston til they are flush with the face of the caliper. The piston clamp uses a distance piece to press the retainer evenly all around as it seats the retainer home. I didn't have one, so I had to rummage around the garage for a washer-like piece that would just fit around the piston without being so big around that it caused clearance issues with the other piston or the side of the caliper. I came up with the lid off a can of two part epoxy (kinda like a paint can lid) that just made it around my piston. A big washer on top that for stiffness, and a c-clamp, and I was in business.

It was my first time and, with rummaging around, it took over an hour to rebuild my caliper. If I had to do it again now, after having done one, and if I had a piston clamp, I think it would take 20-30 minutes.

The literature that came with my seal kit showed the rover part no. for the piston clamp as: 18G 590. I think I've seen piston clamps in harbor freight too.

Good Luck!
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Great information. Suppose I ought to do both sides. A quick search doesn't return much for piston clamp, but I'll keep digging. Where did you get your seals and pistons?
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Old February 16th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Got mine from DAP I think. Pistons can get pricey, mainly because you need 4 of them.

I'm used to working with very thin sheet metal parts, so I was able to get the seals in with just my thumbs. I do NOT recommend that method, the metal retaining rings are way too easy to bend out of shape, which ruins them. A bearing press may work as well.

-Hans
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Old February 16th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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I actually talked to George at RDS, and he has complete front kits for ~$129, including all seals and SS pistons. I think I'll go that route.


And what the hell does this mean, from the manual:

The fluid seal and the groove are not the
same in section so that when the seal is seated it
feels proud to the touch at the edge furthest away
from the mouth of the bore.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Vick


And what the hell does this mean, from the manual:

The fluid seal and the groove are not the
same in section so that when the seal is seated it
feels proud to the touch at the edge furthest away
from the mouth of the bore.
Imagine that the diameter of the inside of the fluid seal is smaller than that of the caliper bore. The piston "rides" in the fluid seal rather than actually contacting the bore of the caliper. When you drag your finger along the bore of the caliper, it will feel the edge of the fluid seal sticking out of its groove. I don't know why they bother to mention it. Its not like you could put it in incorrectly.

Damn, Hans...You have some frickin' strong thumbs! Remind me not to have a "thumb war" with you!

Andrew, I have a caliper tool kit coming from harbor freight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40732
I'm not positive it will do me any good next time I do a caliper, but for 30 bucks I thought I'd give it a try. When it shows up I'll see if it will do some good, and if you want to use it, you're welcome to.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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Andrew, like Rod said.... that long and wordy sentance basically means that the seal is going to stick out a bit and won't be flush with the cylinder walls.

Rod. actually I didn't use JUST my thumbs to push it in. I used a piece of wood to keep the pressure even, and pushed the wood with my thumbs. :-) So I guess you could say I was getting a full-handed squeeze on the stuff. Didn't seem that tough to me though. The main point I was saying though is that you have to be careful not to goober-up the retaining rings. They are easily twisted and messed up.

-Hans
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  #10  
Old February 17th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Andrew Vick
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Awesome. Great advice. I'll get the parts coming from George tomorrow, and see if I can figure this out.
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  #11  
Old February 17th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Andrew , use brake fluid as lubricant on the seals, piston when pressing the pistons back in. JP
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  #12  
Old February 17th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Andrew Vick
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Or better yet, you take a day off, roll over here, and show me how it's done
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