Basic Brake Caliper Installation

Chase: Basic caliper installation's pretty simple. John: Two bolts and a hose. John: It really is. But you know, if you're doing a professional caliper installation, there's a few things to consider. Things like the bleeder location, torque specifications, and then identifying what caliper you have. I mean, there's fixed calipers, floating calipers, sliding calipers. That's going to determine the lube, where it slides, and how you put it on the vehicle. And speaking of those calipers, I got them set up on a table so we can look at each one of them. You go ahead and disassemble this one. Chase: All right. Well, the first thing I like to do before I disassemble anything is to give it a good visual inspection, make sure everything's intact. And we'll start right up here at the brake hose and just follow it down, make sure it's intact, look at all the associated hardware. And then we can go and start removing. I'm going to start removing the brake line here. And make sure you put a catch pan down there. We've got a few washers in there. Make sure you catch them; don't let them fall. All right, now what I'm going to do is I want to go ahead and break these big bolts loose back here in the back that attach from the caliper bracket to the spindle, and I did that with this big breaker bar. Now I can go ahead and run those out. Once you got all the bolts loose, you just want to grab a hold of it real tight, back this one last bolt out ... Got him. And just carefully remove your caliper, and that's how you do it. John's got some really cool tips on brake calipers. John: Now calipers come in all shapes and sizes as well. Let's start out right here with the fixed caliper. Now a fixed caliper's bolted on both sides, so it doesn't have to move. What happens is the pistons come out, both pads kind of squeeze the rotor that doesn't move, and that's how the stopping occurs. Now these other two, they're both moving calipers. One's a sliding caliper, because it slides back and forth on these slides right here you can see. Now when you're doing a caliper installation, it's very important to lube both sides of these slides. You have an inner one and an outer one over to the bracket, and this one as well, so you have four places on this one. And this one's pretty unique, because it's aluminum as well. So when you're dealing with torque specifications on that banjo bolt, make sure you use them here. It's very easy to pull these threads out and damage the caliper. Now the one we're installing on our Impala here is actually a floating caliper or a sliding caliper that floats on pins. This is pretty cool, because it's not on slides itself. It's floating on the pins, and you can see that right here. If I pull this out right here and pick it up, the sliding mechanism's located right here, and I can actually pull it out and show it to you. When I pull it out, you can see it rides in and out. It allows it to move. Well then, how does this one work? Well, what happens, the pistons come out when it contacts. The whole caliper assembly moves, and when it moves over, the outboard pad then contacts the rotor, you get the squeezing and clamping force, and it does the stopping. A couple of tips for you: when you lube these slides right here or these pins, make sure you put a little bit of lube on there and not too much. The nice one with this one we have actually comes pre-lubed. Another one: when you put these back in there, you want to make sure that the boot's in contact with both the bracket and the actual pin itself, that it doesn't pop off. I'm going to push it in here and get it back on the pin. Once I get it on the pin, I want it on both sides. I don't want any moisture, any liquid to get in there and corrode it, or it's not going to slide. If it doesn't slide, we've got problems. It's going to hang up. Now you got a banjo bolt right here, very important that you have these copper crush washers, and this one is really special, because it's the original ODID thickness and density. That's huge. You can't go to the bin. Any size won't work. You have to have the right ones, because this is the clamping force that's going to be put on that's going to seal this when your brake fluid's going in there with immense amount of pressure. Once again, use the torque specifications when you put it all together. Really nice, comes with all the associated hardware. Make sure that these are clipped in there. Once these start to get worn, the pads don't move, or they get loose in heat check. They're not going to hold the pads. When the pads aren't secure in the actual caliper assembly, that causes vibration. Vibration causes noise, so you want to make sure it's secure as well. Well, you got a good look at calipers. All we have to do now is finish the installation. Chase: Installing a brake caliper is just as easy as removing it, just simply reverse the procedure, and always make sure your bleeder is in the up position on the top. Now the first thing I like to do is get our caliper bracket to spindle bolt and put a little bit of thread lock on here, because we definitely don't want that to back out. Then we'll push our caliper up ... So, switch hands here. What I like to do is I like to get everything intact and then come back and torque it then. So now we'll go ahead, and we're going to put our brake hose on. As you can see here, I went ahead and put our new copper washer in the back, and I got another new one right here. I'll go ahead and slip him on. Be careful with these, because sometimes they can cross thread on you. Now what you want to do ... As you can see, we have all our new hardware in here. Everything is intact. All we need to do now is get everything torqued to specifications. John: Chase, it's coming along pretty good. It looks like you got it all in. Now the key here is a professional installation is definitely used to torque specifications. And you can look at the graphic. We printed them right off. The brake hose bolt is 40 foot-pounds. The actual caliper bolts are 26 foot-pounds. And the bracket bolt that you put in there with that Loctite, believe it or not, is 133 foot-pounds. Just what you said, it's so critical to make sure that that's tight and secure. Because if that comes off, you don't have any brakes. After we get the torque specifications, and you get started, there's nothing more than bleeding the system, and now you know how to do a professional caliper installation. Chase: All right, let's do it.

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