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Old 01-14-2015, 06:34 AM   #1
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Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

Napa's front disc brake calipers all seem to be remanufactured? And it looks like a lot of people have had problems with remanufactured brake calipers (not necessarily Napa).

The forparts.com genuine Ford calipers are $215, so are they new?

If they aren't new, should I get a genuine Ford rebuild kit with new pistons, slide pins and seals and rebuild them?

As normal, it looks like I have to do some research before spending money.

Here is a rebuild thread:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11371 ... build.html

What do you guys (and gals) say?
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

....I would assume that the rebuilts have have their cylinders honed, with new pistons and seals....and new slide pin thingies for the caliper halves, possibly with the holes for the slide pins cleaned up...

Come to think of it, I've never rebuilt or replaced a caliper......that I can remember anyway.

What's the issue with your existing calipers, leaking? If you just need seals, the question then becomes do I replace the seals or rebuild or buy a rebuilt.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:28 AM   #3
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

not speaking specifically about van calipers as i havent had to mess with mine yet, but in the past, all i ever needed to do when "rebuilding" a caliper on various cars was cleanup and regrease the slide pins. guess ive just got lucky in the seal dept as ive never had to replace any...yet. sometimes cleanup meant taking some steel wool or light sandpaper/emery cloth to the pin to remove rust deposits that kept the pin from sliding smoothly in and out of the seal. then a nice light coating of high temp grease and all have functioned properly again. keep in mind this is with single piston stocker type calipers. not brembo style or multipiston caliper setups.

if your mechanically inclined (and it sounds like you are), tear it off and take a look at it. most calipers ive messed with are really pretty basic.

keep us posted on what you do... and if possible. would be nice to see whats ahead of me someday
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

The deal is that the front brake pads are dragging on the discs with the existing (likely original 1995) calipers thereby blackening the front wheels with brake dust (ok, they are on my 1995 Ford Bronco, but I posted here because I appreciate your input and I promise my posts will transfer to the Ford E350 calipers).

Various theories I have heard for front brake pads dragging:

1. Stuck caliper slide pins. Cure replace and grease caliper slide pins with caliper slide pin grease;

2. 20 year old rubber brake lines internally collapsed or otherwise restricted preventing brake fluid from retracting up the brake lines to the master cylinder. Cure: replace rubber brake lines (Napa has them for $27); Suggestion from CampSpringsJohn on ford-trucks.com: "A real easy way to check if the rubber lines are acting like a check valve is to crack open the bleed screw and see if that frees up the caliper. I had that problem several years ago on a GMC service truck I had. One front wheel would get hot. I opened the bleed screw and brake fluid shot out and the wheel freed up. New line, problem solved!"

3. Stuck caliper pistons. Cure replace caliper piston, clean (any suggestions) caliper piston cylinder, replace caliper piston cylinder seal;

Any other suggestions?

And oh yeah, I will take and post photos! Here is a diagram from fordparts.com

Attached Thumbnails
RenderIllustration.jpg  
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:12 AM   #5
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

a dragging brake pad was the reason i looked into my first caliper rebuild. i went and bought all the crap recommended and went home to disassemble. was a pisser as it ruined one pad of the four. they were relatively new hawk hp pads i had just installed on my autox slut/dd integra. oh well, was just glad it didnt dick up the new slotted rotor too.

anyway, i removed the caliper off the car (didnt disconnect the brake line) and tore it apart. it was pretty damn obvious what the problem was. both slides were rusty and corroded all to hell. once i actually got them out i tried cleaning the slides off, but the rust was thick and didnt want to cooperate. i took some steel wool to them and removed all the rust. all the seals seemed to be in really good shape, so i just cleaned everything off really good, greased the slides with some high temp grease and put it back together. i was poor at the time, so i returned the rebuild kit and called it a day.

had that caliper off a few years later and decided to give a looksee at my work from before and there was some rust inside, but it didnt hinder the slide action at all. it wasnt pretty looking, but they were still nice and lubricated. wiped the slides down and regreased them real quick and called it a day. had that car another 8 years (autoxed it another 4 seasons as well) and didnt have to mess with that caliper again.

hopefully yours is just as easy and without blood
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

Thanks guys. Keep it coming. More research before starting the work should mean need for less "Profanity Grease" when doing the work.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:29 AM   #7
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

The new calipers from Ford are probably just that.

I've put in lots of reman NAPA calipers (hundreds), and haven't had any problems. Considering the parts have a lifetime warranty and labor a 1-year warranty, we would have had comebacks. Never happened.

PS - Permatex sells a brake caliper grease that looks like purple taffy, and is a ceramic compound. I highly recommend this for both the pads and the sliders.

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Old 01-14-2015, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

Thanks guys! I printed out the Permatex photo and will take it with me to Napa.

One guy on ford-trucks.com suggest that I buy the mounting bracket not just the caliper (because the slide pin cylinders are in the mounting bracket?) Any thoughts?

And some say to go with calipers with steel instead of phenolic pistons. Again any thoughts?
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

I put on some NAPA reman calipers:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...&hilit=caliper

They've been doing great. They actually came complete with the sliding bracket / frame thing. I just put a little extra permatex grease 'em.

Also, the parts counter guy said they would come with phenolic pistons, but when we opened up the box, the calipers had steel pistons. I was pleased.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:10 AM   #10
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Re: Rebuild or Remanufactured Brake Calipers?

BogusBlake: You also get a gold star for the photos in your thread and your discussion with carringb about Ford SuperDOT3 or DOT-5.1 and Motorcraft PM-1C. Can I assume that the latter is the replacement for both of the former?
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