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Old 05-03-2016, 08:35 AM   #1
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How to: Brake caliper rebuild (with video)

My step by step video on how to remove, strip and refurbish brake calipers


Here are the Tools and Parts youíll need

Socket set
Breaker bar
Flare spanners
Old brake hose
Assorted bolts
Large screwdriver
Dental pick
Thread lock
Brake fluid
And caliper rebuild kit

1. First lift the car, remove the wheels and remove the brake pads. My three guides from Series 1 can be found here and step you through each of these items. Click the screen or Suggested card link at the top of the screen.
2. Now gently press the brake pedal. This will move the pistons out making them easier to remove later. Watch the pistons when you do this as you only want them about half way out.
3. Next you will have to remove the brake hose from the caliper. If you have rubber hoses you can simply clamp them then unscrew from the caliper. If you have steel braided lines then these canít be clamped so youíll have two options. The first is to remove the steel hose and fit a spare rubber one and clamp that. The second is to screw a similarly sized bolt into the hose to plug it. Here Iíve used a M8 bolt and a piece of plastic so seal the hose. A pack of assorted bolts can be bought from most online retailers and thereís a link to where I got mine in the Description box (http://road-and-race.co.uk.tools). Click the screen to see my step by step guide from Series 2 on how to remove brake hoses.
4. Now we need to remove the caliper from the hub. Itís kept on with two large bolts. Take a breaker bar, crack them loose and remove them.
5. So hereís a look at what weíve removed so far.
6. Next up is to remove the brake hard line. Use a flare spanner for this to avoid rounding the nut.
7. Now remove the bleed valves.
8. Remove the dust boots. You may need to use the pick to get some out.
9. Now to remove the pistons. Some may simply pull out. For the rest the safest approach is to use compressed air and blow them out. I donít have an air compressor so Iím going to use the budget option which is a large screw driver. Take your time with the screwdriver and apply controlled pressure as you donít want to damage the piston.
10. Hereís the caliper with all 4 pistons removed.
11. Youíll see that two are slightly larger than the other two. This is the rear brake caliper and we have 30 mil and 28 mil pistons. The fronts use larger 40 mil and 38 mil pistons.
12. Now inside each piston bore is an inner seal. This stops brake fluid leaking out. Using the pick gentle pry it out. Repeat on the other 3.
13. If the pistons or piston bores are dirty you should clean them with brake fluid. You should inspect the pistons and bores for rust and replace if damaged.
14. At this stage you have the option of preparing the calipers for re-painting. I may do a video for this in the future but mine are still in good condition so Iím just going to clean them up with some brake clean.
15. So here you can see what needs to go back on. We have two bleed valves, four square cut inner seals (apologies only two are shown here) and four dust boots.
16. Unpack the first inner seal, coat it with new brake fluid and insert into the bore. Take care that you are using the correct sized seal for the bore.
17. You should be able to see here that the seal is fitted flush in the groove. Repeat on the other 3 bores.
18. Take a piston, coat it in brake fluid then insert it three quarters of the way into the correct sized bore. They will be stiff to push in but you should be able to do it with just your hands. Worst case you can use a clamp to help but you risk inserting them badly so be careful.
19. Now attach the dust boot to the piston. Make sure it fits correctly over both the piston head and into the caliper slot.
20. Repeat on the other 3 pistons.
21. Now weíll fit the bleed valves and dust caps.
22. Push the dust cap on the valve and screw into the caliper. Repeat with the other valve.
23. Gently tighten both valves with a flare spanner.
24. Hereís an overview of the new bits next to go back on.
25. Gently screw the brake line back onto the caliper. No need to tighten yet as we will do that when itís on the car.
26. Apply thread lock to the caliper bolts.
27. Place the caliper back onto the wheel hub and screw both bolts in. Look in your manual and torque to the correct spec. In this case itís 85 Nm.
28. Move the brake line to the correct position and tighten it up using a flare spanner.
29. From this point on you need to reconnect the brake hoses and fit the brake pads. My previous guides that step you through this are in Series 2 and are available by clicking the screen now or the Suggested card link at the top.
30. With all the new bits back on the brake caliper it should now look like this.
31. Once all 4 calipers are rebuilt you will need to bleed the brakes. My guide from Series 1 steps you though how to do this.

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Old 05-03-2016, 11:00 AM   #2
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Thank you! I haven't been able to find a good write up like this and also with video that I will be watching when I am no longer at work.
2001 Silver Box
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:25 AM   #3
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If you press the brake pedal down and hold it down (I use a jack stand pressed against the seat) it blocks and brake fluid coming from out of the master cylinder and draining out of the lines. The majority of the fluid in the lines will stay similar to the way liquid stays in a straw when you hold your finger over the end. The first time I opened my brake lines I didn't do this and it was a terrible mess. On subsequent times, it worked like a champ :0

Edit: this way, you can just disconnect the caliper from the hard line and not have to fiddle with the brake hoses at all.

Cool videos BTW!
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #4
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Be very careful if using compressed air to remove pistons. They can exit the caliper with great force.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:33 AM   #5
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Saw the video last night, thanks for posting!
2002 Boxster 2.7
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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Kroll is your friend on the mounting bolts and lines.
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
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That video URL doesn't seem to work (says unavailable) but the video is still available here:


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Old 08-23-2017, 04:03 PM   #8
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another dumb question

what are the 2 - 1/2" round pins inside the caliper?
I bought new drilled rotors and the pins touch the side of the rotor,
anyone else have this problem?
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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The brake pads rest on them, there should be clearance, although it is minimal. Do you have any aftermarket parts or using rear base calipers on an S? (which may work for all I know but I thought I read something)

Is your rotor loose for any reason, like you are disassembling? Maybe it is wobbling and when you get the wheel bolts on it will hold it. A totally trashed wheel bearing may allow enough run out to where it might contact the pins as well.

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brakes , brembo , caliper , rebuild , refurbish

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