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Rear Brake Caliper Assembly


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#1 kev

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:08 PM

Thought I'd share my technique on assembling our rear calipers...primarily the part of installing the e-brake lever in the caliper.   I've seen many posts on here from members having trouble re-assembling the calipers.   The first time I did it, it took over 4 hours of cussing and fighting.  With this technique, I can rebuild an entire caliper in under 15 minutes.

Note:  I had full intention on making up a tear-down and rebuild thread with my set of good calipers on my resto project.  However, I didn't have a camera handly when I put them together...so it didn't happen.  These photos were taken on a set of old rusted ones that I had torn apart on my bench.   I literally popped 4 sets of these old calipers together in under 30 minutes.   The only reason I put them together was to avoid loosing parts for the future.



Ok, here is my technique:

Starting point...completely torn down caliper assembly including removed needle roller bearings.

I don't have pictures of this, but naturally the first step is to install the sealing ring in the caliper, the piston, and the dust boot.   I think that part is self explanatory...no different than rebuilding the front calipers.   So I'll start it off with the e-brake side of the caliper assembly.

First, install only ONE of the needle roller bearings into the caliper...THE UPPER ONE.   The bearings have a nice rolled edge on one side and install in seconds with a bench vise:

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Next, install the custom screw, bellville washers, and o-ring...lube as required.   Orientation of the bellville washers are shown in the service manuals.   Note:  none of the lubrication was performed here.  If these calipers would have been restored for re-assembly to a car, I would have bead blasted everything and lubricated as I went.

Note:  a few pics below show that upper bearing not pushed completely flush with the caliper clevis.   I found last night that it actually works better to have the upper bearing completely pushed in as described in the explanation and pics above!   Press it all the way in from the start and don't leave it sticking out some as seen in the following few pictures.   Sorry for the confusion with this...even when you do things several times, you still find better tricks.

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Turn all of the way in and spin it to this position (look carefully for orientation of the caliper):

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Slide the second needle roller bearing onto the arm...note the orientation of the curved edge of the bearing..OUT from the lever.

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Set the spring and the key in position:

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You may opt to put a little grease or lube on the parts at this point...but just use a dab.  Do NOT put a lot of grease on at this point because it makes the assembly harder.  You can add all the grease once you get the lever arm in.

Now, insert the lever arm.   With it inserted and almost contacting the installed upper bearing, use a screwdriver to push the key towards the bottom of the caliper (away from the installed bearing).  With the freedom of the non-constrained lower bearing and the pushed away key, it is very easy to start to lever arm into the installed bearing.  Just get it started in the bearing about 1/16 inch.


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Now install it in the vise as shown:

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Photo from the other caliper on the same step.  Added this pic to better show how the key is pushed to the lower side of the caliper...that was to help insertion of the lever arm into the upper bearing...don't worry that it is still not in position, it is easy to fix later.

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Tighten the vise with one hand and guide the caliper straight with the other.  It just presses right in.

Press it to the point where the lever arm contacts the vise on the upper side of the caliper.

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Release it from the vise and add a socket in-line to permit the arm from passing up past the clevis and drive it home.  

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Use a screwdriver to recenter the key.  And then pop the spring in position.

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Lastly, install the external snap ring.   Now lube the hell out of this area using high temperature grease and install the dust boot.  

There you have it.  Test for proper operation of the lever arm.  Naturally with these rusted up parts shown in the pictures above, it didn't operate too well in my case haha.  With restored components, the arm should move smoothly and you can see the piston extend.  


Kevin





#2 kev

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:02 PM

With the topic of brake assembly, here is another thing to add.  If your piston looks like this, DON'T try to reuse it, lol:

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I had one with just a single fine rust line and it still leaked.   The pistons corrode and are the most expensive part of the rebuild.   The only repair to a piston looking like this is to blast off the chrome plating and re-apply the plating by a shop that specializes in industrial chrome plating or armoloy coating.   You aren't concerned about looks when it comes to this plating, you want something applied properly that won't chip over the years.

#3 kev

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:05 PM

Don't be too concerned about rust on the inside bore of the caliper.  This caliper below...as ugly as it was...was reused!   Needed nothing more than a good bead blasting.

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#4 importwarrior

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:20 PM

Great post for the FAQ.
do they still sell the piston?

B-71 87 TSI ~ RIP
Black 87 Starion ~ Mess SOLD!!!
Proud New 89 slightly Rusted Fiji Owner !!!

The Ark was built by amateurs , the Titanic was built by Professionals.


#5 kev

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:21 PM

Yes, but they are fairly expensive.

#6 importwarrior

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

Rather do it right the first time.
Thanks!

B-71 87 TSI ~ RIP
Black 87 Starion ~ Mess SOLD!!!
Proud New 89 slightly Rusted Fiji Owner !!!

The Ark was built by amateurs , the Titanic was built by Professionals.


#7 randy

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:05 PM

Great info on the rear caliper rebuild keep the info coming.

#8 ZacMan

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:34 PM

Brilliant thread, have just re-kitted my rear calipers, but didn't take the handbrake mechanism apart because I'd heard they were very tricky to get back together. Next set I do I'll take them apart for sure!

#9 attack vector

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:16 PM

Kev, thanks for this excellent writeup. I'm actually struggling right now with trying to compress the handbrake piston so I can finish a normal caliper and rotor replacement job. I'm hoping that I can avoid tearing the entire caliper down and bleeding the hydraulic system. Is there a special technique for pushing that piston back? Is that roller bearing assembly ratcheted? Do I need to pull the entire roller bearing assembly out to be able to force the piston back? Any tips would rock. I'm totally stuck :-(

#10 attack vector

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:18 PM

Sorry I meant to say regular pad and rotor replacement job. I'm trying to mess with the caliper as little as possible.

#11 kev

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:17 AM

You have to spin the piston in with a spanner wrench..clockwise.   Harbor freight sells a rear brake spanner wrench kit, item 69053.

You don't have to tear any of the items shown above to change your brake pads.

#12 attack vector

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:21 PM

Kev, Thank you for the help! That kit looks great. I'm a bit dense so it took me a while to understand the functioning of the apparatus but I now understand what has to be done. Thanks to you, Convette and Dvenable :-)

#13 kev

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 09:08 AM

Adding a link to a thread with a P/N for sourcing replacement needle roller bearings for the e-brake mechanism

http://www.starquest...howtopic=133999


View Postkev, on 01 November 2012 - 06:45 AM, said:

They are KOYO brand needle roller bearings, P/N 15BM2110.   The specifics of the bearing are:  OD: 21MM, ID: 15MM, t: 10MM

As you said, these bearings are super hard to find.  I was able to find some on an ATV parts website once but that is about it.  

However, there is another choice.  The common size 15MM shaft bearing has the following specs:  OD: 21MM, ID: 15MM, t: 12MM.  The 10MM versus 12MM thickness does not affect the operation of the e-brake mechanism.  

The 12MM thick bearings are readily available from most bearing suppliers.  I bought my set from stock drive products (sdp-si.com), P/N S99NH2MBN1512.  

Being that these bearings are a little thicker, they make assembly of the e-brake lever arm even more difficult...as it if wasn't hard enough in the first plate.  But take your time and put some thought into it and you will get the calipers back together.


kev





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