You are on page 1of 16

Rebuilding16Pcalipers

Discoveredthereisnotmuchdocumentationoutthereinregardstorebuilding16Pcalipers.Buckeye
Triumphshasagoodoneon16PB,andthathelpsalittle.

Herearemyfindings,struggles,andsuccesses.

MybrakesworkedjustfinewhenIparkedmyGT6forrebuild.Somehowsittingidlefor18yearscaused
notonlythesealsinthebrakeandclutchmasterandslavecylstofailbutthebrakecalipersalsohad
theirownshareofproblems.(Ididntbotherrebuildingtherearcyls.Ijustboughtnew)

Myfirstindicationwasthenearlynonexistentdustboots.Whatwasleftofthemwasbrittleandfell
apartwhenremoved.

Idonthaveanaircompressor,butIhaveheardofpeoplepoppingthepistonsloosewithagreasegun.I
didntreallywanttosplitthehalves,andcleaningoutthethickgreasewouldrequirealotofeffort,soI
workedoutanothermethod:Iusedthemastercylinders.
Ihadalreadyremovedthemfromthecar,andasmytubwassetonacartsome4feetofftheground,
doingthiswiththeminplacewouldbeadaringexercise.NeedlesstosayIworkedupabenchsetup.

NoticetheboardIhavethemastercylmountedto.Becauseitismuchthickerthanthesheetmetalshelf
itisnormallymountedtoIwasunabletouseapedalasIhadoriginallyintendedasitchangestheangle
ofthepiston,soIjustworkedthepistonwithawrenchinsertedasyousee.
AsIalreadymentioned,mymastercylswerelockedup.However,theydidoperatefreelyafewyears
agoasIhadbrokenthemoutofstorageandworkedthem,soIhadgreathopesofgettingthemfree
oncemore.Filledwithfluid,ittooklittlemovesatatimeandafterabout10minutesIhadthemmoving
freely.(IsaythembecauseIusedthebrakemasterforonecaliperandtheclutchfortheother).
Convenientlyabrakehosefitsinthemastercylinder,asyoucanseeintheabovephoto.
IusedaCclamptostopthetravelofonepistonandworkedthepedal(thewrench)andtheloose
pistonslowlystartedeasingout.IdiscoveredifIleftonebrakepadinstalleditwastheperfectitemto
usetheclampon,insteadofinsertingaflatbarorsomethingelse.Butdontcrankdownonittootight
rememberyouonlywanttopreventthatpistonmoving,sojustsnugitupsothecclampstaysinplace
byitself.

Now,becareful.Thispartcancauseyougriefifyouarenotcareful.Ifonepistonpopsfreebeforethe
otherisfreedremovingthestuckpistoncouldprovetobedifficult,especiallyifyouintendonreusing
yourpistons.Iwas,oratleasthopingIwouldbeableto.Ifyoudontplanonsavingthepistonsit
occurredtomethatabarorsomethingcouldbeweldedtothepistontoaidinitsremoval(depending
onthemetalitismadeofandyourskillinwelding)
IhadonecomefreeonmebeforeIgottheotherloose,butIwasthankfullyabletogetthepistonback
inandclamped.

Freedpiston

Asyoucansee,mypartsandpistonswereinbadshape.Onlyonepistonwasclosetosalvageable,but
all4hadrustringssoIoptedfornew.

Andashotofsomeofthenewparts,enoughforonehalf.

Ispentalongtimeresearchingthevariousvendorsandhowmuchitwouldcostme.Iweighednewvs
remanufacturedvsrebuildingmyself.
Thepistonsarethemostexpensivepart,astheyrangeinpricefrom$11to$40each,dependingonthe
vendorthematerialused.
IoptedforthenitridepistonsfromBritishPartsNorthwest.Thatsthe$11one.Seemslikecheaper
wouldbebestavoided,butinalltheresearchIdidonnitridecoatingsIfoundnothingnegative,andthat
hydraulicsmaybemovinginthatdirectioninsteadofS/Sorchromeplatedandthatwastheonlyarticle
Icouldfind.(Donttakemywordonit!Thisistheinternet,afterall)

BeingtheDIYtypeIdecidedthenitridewouldbethewaytogo.Anyotherpistonsmakeitnearly
uneconomicaltodoyourself.TedatTSIsellsremanufacturedcalipersfor$69.95ea,and4$20pistons
(letsgomidrangehere)plusa$30rebuildkitputsthecostat$110vs$140(notincludinganyshipping
orcorecharges).Forthatextra$30itwouldbeworthhavingsomeoneelsedothejob.

Anyway,downtothenittygritty.Youwanttherebuild,soherewego.

Makesuretheboresareniceandcleanandsmooth,andmakesurethesealanddustbootgroovesare
niceandcleanaswell.Norustorpittinganywhereontheinside.(Although,alittlepittingmaynotmake
muchofadifferenceinthebore,butdonttakemywordonit.Imsimplyspeculating.Remember,your
brakesareyourlife.)

Thesealgroovelooksdirtybutitiscoatedwithgrease.Moreonthatinabit.

Youwillneed1seal,onedustboot,andonepiston.Alsosomeredrubbersafegreaseandbrakefluid.

Coatthesealringwithredrubbersafegrease.Thissimplyletsitslideinthegrooveasyougetitseated.
Slowlyworkthesealintothegroove,beingcarefultokeepitflatintothegroove.Thelastlittlebitmay
wanttoturnslightlyinthegroovesoyoullwanttohelpitlayflatwithasmallscrewdriverorpick.

Runyourfingeraroundthesealandmakesureitisindeedflatwithnoturnededgesorprotrusions.
Protrusionsindicatedsomethingbetweenthesealthegroove.Youllneedtocleanbehindtheoffending
sectionandtryagain.
Whencomplete,thesealisslightlyhigherthesurfaceofthebore.Smearsomeredgreaseonseal.

Now,takesomeofthatlovelyredgreaseandworkitintothedustbootgroove.Thegreaseisnot
necessary,butItriedthefirstonedryandIfoughtitasitkeptfallingout.Thegreasehelpsholditin
place.


Makenoteofthedustboot.Onesidehasalittleliponit.Thislipfitsintothegroove.

Slowlyworkyourwayaroundthegroove,workingthelipintothegroove.Icouldntgetagoodpicture,
butyoullseewhatImeanonceyoustart.Itgetseasierasyougo.

Hereisthebootinstalledproperly.

Nowtoinsertthepiston.

First,coatitwithbrakefluid.ImusingDot5silcone.

Nowsetthepistondowninthecenterofthedustboot,cupsideup,carefulnottopullthebootfrom
thegroove.

Thetrickatthispointistogetthatbootuparoundthepistonwithoutpullingthebootfromthegroove.
Ifyouhaveaskinnyhooktoolofsortitwillworkbest,somethingtothiseffect:

IdontcurrentlyhaveonesoIjustusedapieceof14gabarehousewirebenttomyneeds.

Aproperhookwouldhavemadethejobalittleeasierasthewiretendstobend,butitwasgoodenough
forthejobathand.

Slowlyworkthedustbootuparoundthepiston,againbeingcarefulnottopullthebootfromthe
groove.

Whendoneitshouldlooklikethis

Thepistonshouldalsobefairlycenteredovertheborenow.
Aslongasthesealisincorrectly,allyouneedtodonowispressthepistondownward.Simplypickthe
caliperupandwithyourthumbsoppositethebore,squeezewithevenpressureandthepistonshould
justdroprightintoplace.Itwilltakealittleeffortbutwhenitstartspastthesealitwillsliprightdown
intothebore.Theinnerringofthebootshouldautomaticallyslipintothegrooveonthepiston.


Simplyrepeattheprocessfortheotherthreebores.Addthebrakepads,andvoil,youredone

maybe.

Now,ontomymistakes.Youllnoticeintheabovephotothepistonhalfwayintothebore.Icouldnot
getthepistoninanyfurther,evenwhenIpersuadeditwithacclamp,soIknewIhadaproblemand
thepistonneededtocomeout.
Iconnectedmybicycletirepumptothecaliperandpressurizedit,poppingtheoffendingpistonfree.I
luckedoutwithmypump.IthasarubberhoseIcandisconnecttheendfrom,andwithalittleeffortI
cangetitovertheendoftheflexiblebrakehose.Notalltirepumpswouldworkunlessyoubuildupan
adapter.

Idiscoveredsomecrudbehindtheseal,andoncecleanitwentbacktogethernicely.
Now,thereasonforthegreaseonthephotoImentionedearlier?LuckyforallIhadtoremovethe
piston.Iwentthroughthewholeprocesswithouttakinganyphotos,soneedingtoredooneallowedme
totakephotos.
Infact,Ihadtoredothree.ThefirstbeingthepistonoppositetheoneIneededtoremove.Mysongot
gunghoandbeforeIcouldgetaclamponthatpistonheranthepumpanditpoppedfree.

Hereistheotherpiston.IdiscoveredwhenIwenttoputthecaliperonthecaroneofthedustboots
hadnotcompletelyseated,Iconnectedmybikepumpandpoppeditloose.

Afterdoingthis7times,itgotfairlyeasytodo.Reallythehardestpartsofthejobareinitiallyremoving
thepistons,andgettingthedustbootproperlyseated.

Andforme,forlessthanthepriceofevenasinglerebuiltcaliperInowhavetworebuiltcalipers.(Sorry
Ted.Maybenexttime.)