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 Brake Caliper Overhaul

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Dam0n
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Male Age : 27
Location : Wallington
Leo Horse

PostSubject: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:23 pm

This is a quick thread to show people how easy it really is to overhaul their brake calipers.

Basically, I got these calipers off the crash damaged Fireblade my uncle and I are rebuilding. They were in a sorry state and hadn't been looked at in a long long time. Saying that however, the pads had recently been replaced before the crash. When I took the calipers off the blade they looked like this... pale





First thing to do before any cleaning is to remove the pad retaining spring and pins. On this caliper you remove the pins with an allen key, however, alot of calipers I have overhauled use small R clips instead. Each caliper is different. Once removed, the pads should fall out, giving you your first glimpse of the pistons inside.



Last edited by Dam0n on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:47 pm

Now its time to start cleaning. I used my Ultrasonic cleaner for the first time on a bike part and it came up great. I would normally use an old toothbrush and brake cleaner to clean the calipers but the ultrasonic cleaner is just that much better. It's a lazy way of cleaning. bounce







As you can see they have come out fairly clean. I quickly ran over everything with a toothbrush to get rid of any stubborn dirt.

Next on the agenda was to split the calipers. On the blade the caliper bolts were torx star bolts. This is the first time I've seen caliper bolts use this method (maybe its a Nissin thing). Usually its either allen bolts or a 12mm hex bolt. Like I said, every caliper is different. I haven't got any pictures of removing the bolts but it was a case of removing every bolt (4 on each caliper). Once these were removed, the caliper will just split into 2. Take care not to lose the O ring seal on the corner of the flat making surface on one side of the caliper. Take this out and keep to one side. If it is split or cracked, replace. If it looks ok, then its fine to use again. Once split, the calipers should look like this.





Next give the pistons a clean , making sure all the crud is removed from around the seals. Push them back into the caliper once cleaned. Be careful though, as brake fluid will squirt out when the pistons are pushed flush.


Last edited by Dam0n on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:00 pm

All the bolts were rusted up and covered in general crap/salt. They needed cleaning and polishing. I did look at replacements but going down that route can get expensive very quickly.




What I decided to do was to put each both into my drill press and using selection of wet and dry (240 grit, 800 grit and 1200 grit)



I proceeded to "sand" the heads of the bolts. I put the bolts into the chuck and set the drill to a slow speed. Using a square of sandpaper I wet the paper and pressed it against a moving bolt until I was satisfied that the bolt had been roughed up evenly. I then proceeded to move to the 800 grit, using the same method again, finishing off with the 1200 grit for a bit of a polish. The results came out great. See for your self, Much better. If you dont have a drill press, a normal drill could be used if secured in a clamp/vice.





Last edited by Dam0n on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:16 pm

Now its time to inspect the brake pads. As I said earlier, the pads in the fireblade were pretty new and only needed refreshing. I would however recommend that if overhauling your calipers, you should really change the pads too. They are cheap to change and well worth doing. What I did to refreshed the existing pads was to sand the copper back of the pads with some 120 grit wet and dry. This is to allow correct heat transfer to stop the pads from overheating. Once the backs were nice and shiney, I moved onto the pad itself.

I glued a piece of 120grit paper onto a flat surface and rubbed the pad front (the bit that makes contact with the disc) onto it until the whole pad surface was scuffed. This is to make sure the pad surface is flat, thus stopping uneven wear on both the pad and disc.



I then put both sides of the caliper and the pads onto the grill door to allow any excess water to evaporate.





Last edited by Dam0n on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:34 pm

Finally, its time to put everything back together. Make sure you refit that rubber O ring seal that you put aside safely earlier. scratch Then refit the caliper bolts using a small amount of thread lock on each bolt. Make sure each bolt is tight enough and that the o ring seal has seated perfectly. If it hasn't the caliper wont work full stop.

Next to refit the pads. Put a smidge of copper slip (high temp grease) on the back of the pad but make sure not to get any on the pad surface itself. Push the pads into the caliper and then refit the pad retaining spring and pins. Check everything is aligned (pushing the pistons back into the caliper as I said earlier helps) and then tighten up the pins. Push each pad against the caliper piston and refit to the bike.









And there we have it. Overhauling a caliper is really a quite simple prosess that consists of mainly cleaning. Next time I have to overhaul a caliper that needs new seals I'll do a specific seal replacement thread as I didn't cover it here. If anyone has any questions, feel free to post on this thread or PM me. Hope you enjoyed this basic write up.
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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:24 am

Love it! Fantastic Damon, well done, i'm going to use this when i clean my calipers!
Thanks!

cheers cheers cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Brake Caliper Overhaul   Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:50 pm

Excellent write up! king

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