Stuck Brake Caliper?

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CraigLloyd
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by CraigLloyd » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:03 pm

About two months ago I changed the brake pads in both front calipers and bled the brake line in the left one (bleeder screw snapped off the right one so that remains undone).

Fast forward to today and my wife gets home from running an errand and I notice a strong burning smell. Turns out it's coming from the front driver side wheel well. The wheel and the brake caliper are much hotter than the passenger side. So my guess is a stuck caliper.

Before I go dive deep into troubleshooting this, what are some things I should look for? Condition of the pads? Slider pins? The piston? Something else? All the above?
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Bookworm
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by Bookworm » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:15 pm

Basically all of the above.

It could be the piston, the piston bellows, the pin bellows (both of them), pin lubrication, and my favorite - the slider clips for the pads grabbing. I had to use a grinder on one pair of pads to make it stop binding on my wife's old car. I've also had to use a wire brush and extra lube on the caliper side, where the clips go.

If the bleeder snapped, you _really_ need to get that swapped out and bled.

zbyers
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Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by zbyers » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:48 am

Bookworm wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:15 pm
Basically all of the above.

It could be the piston, the piston bellows, the pin bellows (both of them), pin lubrication, and my favorite - the slider clips for the pads grabbing. I had to use a grinder on one pair of pads to make it stop binding on my wife's old car. I've also had to use a wire brush and extra lube on the caliper side, where the clips go.

If the bleeder snapped, you _really_ need to get that swapped out and bled.
I second bookworm. Our cars are also pretty problematic with calipers sticking, especially if you get remanned ones from parts stores.
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tpollauf
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Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by tpollauf » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:14 am

zbyers wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:48 am
Our cars are also pretty problematic with calipers sticking,
And if they stick too long and you still drive it, it can RUIN a nice rim !!! :o This happened to my Silverado just last month! Haven't attempted to polish the rim yet (bad weather) but it's probably too far gone and will need replaced :cry:

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zbyers
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Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by zbyers » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:50 am

tpollauf wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:14 am

And if they stick too long and you still drive it, it can RUIN a nice rim !!! :o This happened to my Silverado just last month! Haven't attempted to polish the rim yet (bad weather) but it's probably too far gone and will need replaced :cry:

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ouch. that sucks! hopefully you can polish it.
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Bookworm
Posts: 313
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by Bookworm » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:13 pm

Remember, if you polish aluminum, you MUST seal it _immediately_. The only thing that keeps aluminum from bursting into flame in air (like sodium) is that it oxidizes -so fast- that it seals itself off.

That brown is probably not even the aluminum - it's the polyurethane lacquer (paint).

lm7212
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:27 pm
Location: Watertown, WI

Re: Stuck Brake Caliper?

Post by lm7212 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:03 am

go ahead and get new calipers, I bought remanufactured off the big online reseller, with ceramic pads both calipers were $99. Because they are like new, they are a cinch to install as they are already retracted fully. 4 bolts and a quick bleed and you are done. Worth the time and money as they will give you years of service.

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