GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Brake Caliper

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




CAUTION
Older brake pads or shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

  1. Remove 1 / 2 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall two wheel nuts in order to retain the rotor to the hub and bearing assembly.
  8.  
  9. Install a large C-clamp over the top of the caliper housing and against the back of the outboard pad.
  10.  
  11. Slowly tighten the C-clamp until the piston is pushed into the caliper bore.
  12.  


NOTE
Remove the bolt attaching the inlet fitting only when the caliper is to be removed from the vehicle for overhaul. If only the brake pads are being replaced, do not disconnect the inlet fitting.

  1. If the caliper is to be completely removed from the vehicle for bench service, disconnect and cap the brake line from the caliper. Discard the old washers.
  2.  
  3. Plug the exposed brake line fitting and caliper housing fitting to in order to prevent fluid loss and contamination.
  4.  
  5. Brace the sleeves with a wrench and remove the guide pin bolts.
  6.  
  7. Lift the caliper off of the caliper bracket.
  8.  
  9. If overhauling the caliper, remove it completely from the vehicle and follow procedures as outlined in the section under brake caliper overhaul.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Liberally coat the inside diameter of the mounting guide sleeve bores using silicone grease.
  2.  
  3. Install the caliper, over the rotor and pads, onto the caliper bracket.
  4.  
  5. Install the mounting guide pin bolts and sleeve assemblies. Tighten the mounting bolt to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the brake line to the caliper. Make sure washers are on both sides of the brake hose fitting. Tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Bleed the system as outlined in this section under Brake System Bleeding.
  10.  
  11. Remove the two wheel nuts previously installed.
  12.  
  13. Reinstall the wheel and tire assembly. Torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Pump the brake pedal several times to achieve a firm pedal before attempting to move the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder fluid reservoir and add fluid as necessary.
  20.  
  21. Road test the vehicle and check for proper brake system operation.
  22.  

OVERHAUL



  1. Remove the caliper from the vehicle and place on a clean workbench.
  2.  


CAUTION
NEVER place your fingers in front of the pistons in an attempt to catch or protect the pistons when applying compressed air. This could result in personal injury!


NOTE
Depending upon the vehicle, there are two different ways to remove the piston from the caliper. Refer to the brake pad replacement procedure to make sure you have the correct procedure for your vehicle.

  1. The first method is as follows:
    1. Stuff a shop towel or a block of wood into the caliper to catch the piston.
    2.  
    3. Remove the caliper piston using compressed air applied into the caliper inlet hole. Inspect the piston for scoring, nicks, corrosion and/or worn or damaged chrome plating. The piston must be replaced if any of these conditions are found.
    4.  

  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. For some types of calipers, use compressed air to drive the piston out of the caliper, but make sure to keep your fingers clear



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Withdraw the piston from the caliper bore

  1. For the second method, you must rotate the piston to retract it from the caliper.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the anti-rattle clip.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. On some vehicles, you must remove the anti-rattle clip

  1. Use a prytool to remove the caliper boot, being careful not to scratch the housing bore.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Use a prytool to carefully pry around the edge of the boot . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . then remove the boot from the caliper housing, taking care not to score or damage the bore

  1. Remove the piston seals from the groove in the caliper bore.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Use extreme caution when removing the piston seal; DO NOT scratch the caliper bore

  1. Carefully loosen the brake bleeder valve cap and valve from the caliper housing.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the caliper bores, pistons and mounting threads for scoring or excessive wear.
  4.  
  5. Use crocus cloth to polish out light corrosion from the piston and bore.
  6.  
  7. Clean all parts with denatured alcohol and dry with compressed air.
  8.  

To assemble:

  1. Lubricate and install the bleeder valve and cap.
  2.  
  3. Install the new seals into the caliper bore grooves, making sure they are not twisted.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the piston bore.
  6.  
  7. Install the pistons and boots into the bores of the calipers and push to the bottom of the bores.
  8.  
  9. Use a suitable driving tool to seat the boots in the housing.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Use the proper size driving tool and a mallet to properly seal the boots in the caliper housing

  1. Install the caliper to the caliper bracket.
  2.  
  3. Install the wheel and tire assembly, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Properly bleed the brake system.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. There are tools, such as this Mighty-Vac, available to assist in proper brake system bleeding

 
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