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Brake Caliper Rebuild -Photos-
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Brake Caliper Rebuild -Photos- Reply with quote

I rebuilt my calipers not too long ago with the kit from vancafe. I was shocked at what I found when I removed the piston from my caliper...although they are 25 years old!
Caliper removed
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Looking inside piston cylinder (piston removed)...I'm almost embarassed!!!
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A close up...I've seen this once before but it was after a long hard weekend in Tiajuana!!!
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Sand blasted and powder coated
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Nice new piston seals
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Just got back from powder coating
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Ready for install
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Do youself a favor and check your piston calipers if you've never done this. It's cheap and easy....I'll leave that one alone
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Last edited by captainpartytime on Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JunkYarDog
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy NICE WORK! Very Happy
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tds3pete
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good.

Now you know why it pays to change brake fluid on a regular basis.
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pete000
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the same thing to my bus. Mine looked very close to yours. Lots of sludge in there and dead dust seals. I poped for the stainless brake lines while it was all appart.
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Raynor Shine
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very cool, if yu don't mind telling, how much was the coating charge?
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tikibus
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks CaptainPartytime!

Did the search since my front passenger side caliper is pissing oil now coming home from a meeting tonight.

Any other tricks to it?

Looks rather simple, just make sure the rubber sits in cleaned, bright metal.

Thanks CP and to the Samba that makes a light head scratcher a no brainer!

Cheer!
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tikibus wrote:
Any other tricks to it?

Not really, just make sure you put a piece of wood in the caliper when you blow the piston out with compressed air...it really comes out with a lot of force (watch your fingers).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

When putting the piston back in I damaged one of the piston seals because it was dry and the piston did not want to move. It worked much better after I lubed the seal with some clean brake fluid.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I would get a couple extra bleeder valves as they are easy to strip or break off. If you can spare the cash the stainless steel hoses are really nice too! When everything is put back together make sure the outer boot is seated properly.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Have fun and prepare to get greasy!!!
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tikibus
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I owe you beer(s)!

Thanks for the pic's too.


Does this post say STICKY ?!!!!
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tikibus
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well,

That was too easy! I'm kicking myself for not doing it when the front suspesnion,etc. was out.

Since the V was born in May 1984, it has the Girling Calipers.
(Bently 46.2 thru 46.3)

Got a rebuild kit and went to town. The trick is if you don't have C-ed air, is to remove the caliper and leave the brake line on. Then with the aid of a person, pump the brakes until the piston "pop" out.

I'm guessing here that the Teve and Girling retaining spring,etc. are interchangable, since Tiki has the Teve springs. Works!

The main issue is to split the two mating cases and make sure to keep the piston with the respective halve. With the Girling caliper,there are two rubber seals that seat themselves between the assembly. They are the thinnest seals I've meet so far that play such a huge roll! Huh?

You may have to retorque slowly and bleed at the same time. Why? If two small ruuber O-rings that mate witht eh two halves don't seat properly, the brake fluid will bubble inbetween the the two halves and you'll get air into the system. The lower bleed valve is the culprit. There is no way to fully torque with these in the caliper. Some trial and error happened, but it worked!

Went with 50 Ft. Lbs. after pressing and bleeding the caliper.

For those who are going to do this... Clean and as CaptainPartyTime showed, clean them ( hone them if pitting has occured! Crsftsmn has a 2" hone perfect for the job) Make 'im spotless.

CPT is right, I'm still wearing gunk! Not a hard job at all. Just turn the wheel to get at the goodies!!

Cheers! Wink
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, a bump because I'm in the middle of doing this job...

Are the pistons supposed to be so hard to get back into the calipers with the new seals? I lubed them with new fluid as noted; one of them slid in by hand with a little effort, but needed a vise to compress the last 1/4 inch or so. The other was tighter, and I needed a vise to push it in at all after I got it started. The Bentley calls for some sort of brake caliper paste, which I didn't have...

Also, do I really need new bolts or is loctite good enough?
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the piston does not want to go in I would remove it and check the seal. My guess is a small piece of the seal has rolled up in between the piston and the cylinder preventing the piston from moving. You might need to install another seal and really make sure that the piston is straight when pushing it into the caliper. I always replace the caliper bolts just for piece of mind. I think the paste is either for the pins so they can move freely, or the back of the pads so they don't squeal. Depends on what kind of "paste" it is.
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update - I pulled the pistons out and checked the seals again, but they looked fine. After pulling a seal out and comparing with the old one, though, it seemed the diameter of the new one was a bit smaller...I streched the new ones out a bit, put them back in, and the pistons seemed to go back in easier by hand.

So I built a pressure bleeder (similar to that link that's been posted on here) and flushed out the rear brakes while I was at it, and pumped fresh fluid into the front brakes. I wasn't seeing any more bubbles, but when I went for a test drive, the first push of the pedal feels pretty soft - it firms up when pumped again once or twice. So there's still air in the system somewhere, right?

My only concern is that when I was initially pumping the pedal to push all the old fluid out (before I pulled off and rebuilt the calipers), I pushed it to the floor a few times before I remembered that was a no-no, due to the possibility of screwing up the seals in the master cylinder. But if I had indeed messed up the MC seals, the pedal wouldn't firm up with more pumping, correct? I have a feeling I just need to bleed some more...
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check your adjustment on the rear brakes. They are self adjusting, but could use some assistance. When they are not properly adjusted pumping the pedal moves the shoes closer to the drum surface with each pump. There is a dust cap in the backing plate you can use to make this adjustment. You may want to pull the drums and see for yourself that everything is proper. I adjust my shoes up and then back off about 4 or 5 clicks. Any time you take an old master cylinder and depress it past it's normal range you run the risk of damaging it. Be sure when you bleed, you start from the R/R then L/R, R/F and finally L/F. Use a clear peice of hose over the bleeder valve into a container and watch for no more air bubbles. Air in the system will give you a sinking pedal, but pumping should not give you a better pedal. The air is still there.
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about the rear brakes, but I haven't really touched them - I only cracked the bleeders to flush new fluid through...
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shenan-agon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, about those rear brakes...

I started out by reversing a few times and hitting the brakes to make sure they're adjusted as well as the auto-adjusters could set them. Jacked it up, took off the rear wheels, released the parking brake...and it seems as if the drums are seized to the hubs pretty solidly. I banged around with a hammer and sprayed liberal amounts of PB blaster, but no luck - maybe after a day of soaking they'll come off easier. Any tricks to these (without pulling the hub)?

I did notice, though, that they're just dragging slightly when I spin them by hand. That sounds like they're adjusted correctly, right? It at least seems like they're not too loose.

And if it were bad master cylinder seals, my understanding is that the pedal would slowly sink to the floor while holding it, as fluid seeps past the damaged seal. My symptoms are a slightly soft brake pedal on first push, but the second push is solid.

I'm also starting to wonder if my van was like this before I started...it's possible I'm just noticing it now. Is this normal pedal behavior for a van? I'm going to try back-bleeding all the brakes again - anything else to check?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At some point you will need to free up your rear drums. They can be a bear to get off. Soaking with pb blaster, I am assuming you got the locating bolts out? Back off the rear shoe adjustor as much as possible. Some good whacks with a hammer, not enough to destroy the drum, only to shock it. Once you get them off, clean the area and use a little grease or antiseize. They tend to seize at the center radius to the hub. Vanagon brakes have an odd feeling to me compared to my 2002 Acura, but feel superior to my 68 type 2 camper. How does the van slow down now? When you release the brake pedal and hit it again, you maybe noticing lack of vacumn assist. If you shut the engine off, how many pumps of the brake pedal do you get before you loose the assist. I'd think 4 or 5 pumps. My van is 25 years old. After the conversion was completed, I redid the entire brake system at one time including flex hoses. I wanted a few years of trouble free use. You should check your wheel cylinders once you get the drums off. One of the pistons could be seized, not uncommon on older wheel cylinders.
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SSWesty
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write-up! I used this when I rebuilt my calipers...thanks for the great pictures and the list of steps.

Mine had about 1/8"+ of goopy sludge in them and my dusty seals didn't have any tears. It took me about 5 hours to do the job which seemed like a lot of work given the fact you are only replace 4 rubber seals. But heck I can't complain too much since the rebuild kit was only $10.

Steve
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James 93SLC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good pictures.
I'm in process of rebuilding some dual piston G60 calipers for my brake upgrade. It really is pretty easy. Oh, and yes those pistons sure pop out with some unexpected force with the compressed air!
Now I'm trying to decide on getting them powder coated or just painting them with high temp engine paint.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job on the calipers, the powder coating looks great!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SSWesty wrote:
Great write-up! I used this when I rebuilt my calipers...thanks for the great pictures and the list of steps.

Mine had about 1/8"+ of goopy sludge in them and my dusty seals didn't have any tears. It took me about 5 hours to do the job which seemed like a lot of work given the fact you are only replace 4 rubber seals. But heck I can't complain too much since the rebuild kit was only $10.

Steve


SSWesty,

What was the source for the rebuild kit? The ones I found want $20 a set Shocked


Captainpartytime,

MANY THANKS!!! Its so funny sometimes when you need to do something and then all of the sudden a thread (WITH PICTURES) shows up. Cool

Westylife
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