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Front Brake Caliper Question

 
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  • 4 Post By LionPT
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Sep 2018, 12:35 pm
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Default Front Brake Caliper Question

Good Day Everyone!

I replaced my Cruiser's front brakes over the weekend. Installed new rotors, pads, & calipers.

I had clamped the brake linings to minimize fluid loss.

After all was done, I was able to pump up the brake pedal till it was nice and firm so I figured I got lucky and didn't need to bleed the brakes. Pedal stays firm when the engine is off, but goes to the floor when the engine is running.

Brakes were fine before except the rotors were shot and I had a brake caliper hanging up.

Plan tonight is to bleed the front brakes at least and see if that resolves it.

Anyone else run into this and have any input?
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

You always bleed, no matter what you do.

You most likely have air in the caliper.
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 02:16 pm
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Cool Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

I agree with Lion.
The calipers hold a pretty good amount of air and the only way to get it out is bleeding...

I have had good results using a vacuum bleeder to make it a one person job. But the old school two person method of pumping and holding the pedal and cracking open the bleed screws works well too.

Either way make sure the master cylinder doesn't run low/dry!

I would also caution against clamping the rubber brake lines as that can cause internal damage to the lines. They have a metal core to help withstand the high hydraulic pressures....
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 02:31 pm
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Smile Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

I just did the same thing to my 06 Gt.
Had to bleed the system a couple of times
before I could get all the air out.
But finally we got good brakes again.
I love me new brakes! PTpreacher
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 02:34 pm
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

I haven't had to bleed the brakes on any of my cars for several years after a pad change. I remove the cap from the reservoir, compress the caliper piston with a C-clamp and replace the pads. I put the caliper and pads back over the rotor, put the reservoir cap back on and start the car and step on the brake pedal. I pump the brakes once or twice, put it in reverse and check them. Then I go forward about 10 feet and test them again. After that, I take a drive about 2 miles up the road and test the brakes several times on that drive. No mess, no brake fluid and new brakes for another 50-100,000 miles.
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 03:00 pm
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
I haven't had to bleed the brakes on any of my cars for several years after a pad change. I remove the cap from the reservoir, compress the caliper piston with a C-clamp and replace the pads. I put the caliper and pads back over the rotor, put the reservoir cap back on and start the car and step on the brake pedal. I pump the brakes once or twice, put it in reverse and check them. Then I go forward about 10 feet and test them again. After that, I take a drive about 2 miles up the road and test the brakes several times on that drive. No mess, no brake fluid and new brakes for another 50-100,000 miles.
Big difference between a pad slap and changing calipers. I have never changed calipers without bleeding and I am probably as slack-y as they get.
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Old 10 Sep 2018, 03:56 pm
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

Consensus is in, bleeding the brakes will happen tonight... thanks all!
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 03:37 am
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

It is always necessary to bleed the brakes when a caliper is changed. Never clamp the brake hose to prevent the fluid from draining out. I've had brake hoses collapse internally over time even though they never were clamped or squashed. They caused the calipers to not fully release which caused the rotors to drag and overheat. You can use a piece of rubber tubing or any round item even if it is wrapped in tape to push into the hole of the brake hose fitting.

Whenever I change pads only, I open the bleeder screw [with a clear piece of hose attached] before I clamp/squeeze the caliper. This allows the dirty brake fluid to go in a jar rather than get pushed back into the brake system. Then bleed the caliper till the fluid is clear. As said above, NEVER allow the master cyl. to go empty.
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Old 11 Sep 2018, 09:58 am
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Default Re: Front Brake Caliper Question

If the brake system is in good shape and there's not already air in the lines, you can just loosen the cap on the master cylinder and compress the caliper pistons. There should be no fluid loss and no air gets into the system. I've done this over a hundred times. But there's a problem with doing this and nothing else.

The problem with doing this is that the old fluid remains in the system. Most brake fluid is somewhat hydrophilic. It readily combines with moisture from the air. So over time, it become contaminated with water and particulates from metal and rubber breakdown. The fluid is also somewhat sensitive to heat and breaks down from brake heating as well. So the fluid needs to be flushed when doing a break job or even more often under some conditions.

Ideally, no air gets into the system anyway. But you bleed the system to flush out the old brake fluid and replace it with new fluid. When I was young and poor, I often couldn't afford to do this. When older, I used a piece of tubing and a clear plastic coke bottle with a few inches of new fluid in the bottom. Today I use a small hand-operated vacuum pump which is very fast and works better. There's no spills, one person can do it alone and no air gets into the system.

PS: When compressing the calipers and you find there's air in the system, this is often from the master cylinder tank running low at some point due to the calipers being hyper-extended due to the worn brake linings.

It should be noted that while I am an ASE Certified Master Automotive Tech and an excellent lover, I primarily work as a Safety Engineer among other things and I haven't worked as a professional mechanic since I was young strapping lad with long sexy flowing hair before college. And even then, I mainly worked on big trucks and heavy equipment. Nowadays, I enjoy working on these funny looking little cars for fun and relaxation. And I help others when I can.
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