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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:20 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i, M52TU w/stick
My heat shield looks the same as mjbennett9's.

Held on by three nut-type washers down below&beside the cats, and up along the top by one bolt on the top front corner, one plastic nut shared with the windshield washer reservoir filler neck, and one big flat round plastic fastener on the rear corner near the firewall.

I'm not going to say it's easy, but no, you don't have to remove the engine. Getting the top three fasteners off -is- easy but I needed to drop the undercover and crawl under the right side of the engine compartment to get to those lower three hex washers (the aftmost of which is in a fairly tight space next to the cats). Everything is 10 mm except the flat round thing in the upper corner near the firewall. So, getting under there meant having the front of the car on ramps.

Getting the shield unfastened is the relatively easy part; figuring out the puzzle of how to slide it up and out took a few minutes and then a few more to execute. I had to remove the SAP hose connection and slide the lower front corner of the shield upward, slightly bending that corner to finesse it around AC piping etc, while lowering/angling the rearmost section of shield to eventually get it all come up and out through the tight space alongside the ABS pump. (Installation is pretty much the reverse procedure but again, for me it required some more minutes of head scratching...)

Once I had the shield out, I lowered the car and backed the rear wheels up onto my pair of ramps. I used flare wrenches for the intermediate hoses and found that they actually loosened after about 1/8th turn, allowing me to uncrew the metal 11 mm hex connectors by hand. The hose removal/install was over in no time compared to all the other steps of this procedure.

I then called wifey out to sit in the car and press the brakes while I did the bleed routine from under the car. Plenty of space to do that with the wheels on ramps....

Only had a few bubbles come out from the right-rear wheel but the left-rear had a *lot* of air, and needed to top up the brake reservoir maybe three times....
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  #52  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:18 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Interesting. I know I need to fix the 50mph shake still but suspected braking vibration to brakes (did bedding several times and was fixed short-term). I'm putting new rotors and pads and rebuilding calipers today. I could see driver side wheel more dirtier often. Not definitive, but sign to me. Anyway, as I'm removing old rotors in front, I spun them. looking from inside the wheel well, down to the rotor, I could see slide outward movement of maybe a 1/16" of an inch. Pads did not stop the wheel and it spun freely to a stop. On the drivers side, wheel hard stopped half way. turned a little and spun again-same thing. Put new rotors on (not pads yet since I'm rebuilding still). But I could see a 1/16" movement. and while I moved the hub before putting on the rotors, I felt no free play in either. However, on the drivers side, I do hear a slight clicking. I suspect my bearings are gone. Which means if I put new rotors and pads on, I'll likely ruin them. But I think I'll move forward...and costly but not too costly learning lesson on if it fixes the problem of brake vibration or not. Only thing that makes me think it might not be bearings is if I bed brakes, they're good for several weeks.

off I go to rebuild calipers. Can only build front two today unfortunately. Stinks that I'll have to do rears and bleed again at a later date. But it's very cloudy, no garage, and some drops of rain here and there. Never ending "joy." :-)
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  #53  
Old 08-26-2012, 08:57 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Finished after about 8 hours, but that included painting the calipers. So far no vibration, but I think I need to give it about 150 miles to break in and then re-evaluate. Couple of things to share:

1. Two out of four calipers I still forget to compress piston to expel the brake fluid. I did not compress air into the piston to push out the fluid; I just manual expelled the fluid, but Could have been cleaner.
2. Speaking of compressed air. For me, 30PSI was enough to push the piston out, but not pop it out--which was good actually. At 35 PSI, it pops right out. :-) I'd say wood no thicker than 1/2" be best.
3. My calipers/pistons were in mint shape. Cosmetic caked on dirt, but looked great! The rubber boot and seal looked good too. It could be old rubber, so not bad that I replaced it.
4. I did not need plastx at all--no scratches whatsoever.
5. I used brake cleaner vs. WD40, but it was a preference for me.
6. I STRONGLY suggest to use brake cleaner on the inside of the old boot (brake tool for new boot). I nicked the first caliper boot pretty good (new one) because the old boot / tool slipped off the new one and the channel locks slipped with it and nicked new boot. From that point on, I cleaned inside of other 3 used boots / tool and it was a dry rubber to dry rubber connection. It made life easier. However, getting the new dust boots on was the hardest thing for me. I suggest taking your time and working it a little at a time so as not to take a chunk of rubber out of the new boot.
7. While I bought a brake tool to compress the piston in, it was not needed. A c-clamp would do just fine. Also, I didn't need anything. Use the ATE lube instead of brake fluid for a lubricant and it slipped right in.
8. When taking off the caliper, I would suggest loosing the brake host connection a little first. It's easier while the caliper is mounted :-) Ditto when putting caliper back on.
9. I put new boot/seal on caliper, covered, then painted. However, if you paint calipers, directions say to bake in over at 200 degrees before using. ooops. I should have cooked before putting rubber back on.
10. I used 12" channel locks (I don't think anything smaller would work on the fronts).
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Last edited by mjbennett9; 08-27-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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  #54  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:19 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Nice job Mjbennett9...!
What rotors did you install?
What pads do you have...?
Also, I really doubt that running new rotors on 'not-quite-dead' wheel bearings will mess-up your new rotors...

Plus, your car looks very familiar...

What is the production date of your car?

Thanks!
Jason
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  #55  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:28 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Nice job Mjbennett9...!
What rotors did you install?
What pads do you have...?
Also, I really doubt that running new rotors on 'not-quite-dead' wheel bearings will mess-up your new rotors...

Plus, your car looks very familiar...

What is the production date of your car?

Thanks!
Jason
Hi Jason,

I used this ATE lube http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00

For rotors, I have these (same in back but different part number): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o06_s00_i00

These are the pads, but I got from FCPeuro much cheaper: http://www.amazon.com/Akebono-EUR725...eywords=eur725
Note. They lowered their price so Amazon has a good deal.
I used akabono for rear and almost zero dust. :-)

There is less bite but not horrble. I actual like it that way.

Production date is 11/2001 but is a 2002 model. Great car. :-) It kicked my butt today though. :-)
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  #56  
Old 08-27-2012, 12:35 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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UPDATE: less than 24 hours later and about 60 miles of mixed driving. Too early to draw any conclusions, but definitely can point out some observations that may be useful to someone else.

1. Violent brake shudder is gone (was previously present at most speeds over 30MPH.

2. Mild brake shudder but only around 50mph or so (light going on about thrust arm shudder fix). Applying brake just amplifies what is already there an improvement over the violent shudder previously.

3. Hard to describe, but before major overhaul, the shudder was maybe felt 75% in the brakes and 25% in the steering wheel. Now it's just the opposite. Which is better for sure.

4. Overall, braking is significantly improved and MUCH more smooth can't believe I waited this long. But then again, I did try replacing the front rotors, twice already, but kept same pads (which only had 6k miles on them)

5. No noise whatsoever. Too early to report on dust, but if the same as the rears, I'm expecting almost none.

6. Interesting thing. For about 8 months (and several tire balance/rotates), I have not been able to go over 70MPH without getting the 50MPH like shake in the steering wheel. But since I did the major overhaul, I hit 80MPH+ at lunch time today-no problem. Since I've replaced the rotors twice up front, I do suspect that the culprit was the pads, or more likely a stuck caliper piston (even though they looked mint during overhaul).

7. I do not think the bearings are gone. I do think they are going. I listened to some online vids/noise as well as symptoms of wiggling the tire etc. I don't have those symptoms. The noise I heard while tire off and moving rotor was very very low. I had to put my ear close to it to hear. It's definitely audibably unnoticable while driving.

8. Even though I still have some shudder, after 8 hours of upgrades (including painting), I'm glad I did it, and would do it again for same results. Now I know I just need to save/work on the thrust arm fix (and possibly some other front suspension work while at it).

9. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with centric rotors. Granted it's way to early to recommend them, but I'm really liking the braking of them paired with the akabono pads.

Last edited by mjbennett9; 08-27-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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  #57  
Old 08-27-2012, 12:38 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Removed dup post

Last edited by mjbennett9; 08-27-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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  #58  
Old 04-02-2013, 02:06 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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caliper piston

Just completed a front disc and pad change and had a little trouble with the left hand caliper. When I removed it I could see that the rubber boot had parted from the caliper and was just loose around the piston. I could see some surface corrosion on the piston too.
The piston was also very hard to get back in the caliper to allow it enough clearance to refit it with new pads.

I went for a drive to bed the brakes and all seems good, albeit I know I have to overhaul that caliper (will do both), my question is can you get a new piston or would I have to buy the whole caliper if the piston is to corroded to re-use.

A local brake specialist told me 7 out of 10 pistons come up alright with a bit of wet and dry, but I don't want to take the chance and not have a backup plan.

A new caliper from BMW here is $928 Genuine from ECS Tuning $400 to my door but would rather just get the piston if possible.

Cheers
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  #59  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:20 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Try some used ones from a breaker's yard.
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  #60  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:54 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibo58 View Post
...I went for a drive to bed the brakes and all seems good, albeit I know I have to overhaul that caliper (will do both), my question is can you get a new piston or would I have to buy the whole caliper if the piston is to corroded to re-use.

A local brake specialist told me 7 out of 10 pistons come up alright with a bit of wet and dry, but I don't want to take the chance and not have a backup plan.
gibo,

If the boot is intact, then chances are your piston will be fine.
Just order the rebuild kit from the US, then have it shipped to Australia and do the rebuild.
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  #61  
Old 04-03-2013, 12:03 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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caliper

Thanks for the replies gents,

Doru, that is an option, but I live a couple of hours away from any euro wreckers.

Cn90, I think the boot was intact, it had parted from it base so to speak, and with the piston then exposed due to it being at its fullest extension surface corrosion appears to have started. I will do as you say and get the overhaul kits from the US and hope the piston can be cleaned up. Failing that I might go the Doru route, but was sort of hoping someone might know a part number for the piston just in case.


Cheers

Gibo
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  #62  
Old 04-03-2013, 12:33 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Ebay has some sellers selling the rebuild kit + piston.
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  #63  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:02 PM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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re-build kits

Hi Cn90, do you have a link to those sellers, I tried but can only see a UK seller that has one for a 530d. Never thought getting a piston would be this difficult.

Cheers
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  #64  
Old 04-03-2013, 10:09 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I am not sure this will fit your 530 model, but verify:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-5-SERIES...item3ccba76bc6

Also, check ebay for used E39 530i caliper.

Last edited by cn90; 04-03-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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  #65  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:09 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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piston

Thanks for that Cn90, I saw that one, it doesn't mention that it's for a 530i, just a '530', but I will contact the seller and verify. I googled another supplier for just the piston and it appears to be the same part number (BCP6019 60mm) , I am waitng for a reply about postage to Australia, I would prefer to get Ate seal/boot, dunno what's in that kit.

I wonder who manufactures BUDWEG pistons??

Thanks again for all your help.
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  #66  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:38 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Some ebay sellers (in the US) sell both front calipers for some US $50. Shipping is extra.

Go to ebay and enter "bmw e39 530i caliper" and ask the sellers re condition of the boots.
If the boots are good, the piston will be good.

Use realoem.com to verify the exact PN for your car model.
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  #67  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:00 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Hey, Gibo58, you can try this link for used parts.
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Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #68  
Old 04-04-2013, 04:24 PM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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caliper

I ended up buying this set after contacting the seller, seems like the only place in the world to get a piston

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-5-SERI...item3cd07a0a26

It works out to be $60 delivered so I'm ok with that. I can get the Ate boot/seal kits here in Australia for $25, so I should be able to recondition the front calipers for around $100.

Hey Doru that's a great site for locating parts!

Gotta love this forum
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  #69  
Old 04-05-2013, 02:26 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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Budweg

Just for info in case anyone else is thinking of getting these sets, this is a reply I got from customer service from the vendor:


Hello Glen

The seals are not genuine ATE, they are made by Budweg caliper in Denmark, as are all of our seal kits. This is because Budweg are, in our opinion, the best products we have used in the 20 years we have been trading. However ATE make a good product which is genuine for many manufacturers.

If you would you like me to refund the kits you have purchased and create a listing for 2 pistons please let me know.

Kind regards Dave


Customer support
Brakeparts.co.uk
Tel:- 01706 666999
Mon-Fri: 9AM-5PM PST
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  #70  
Old 05-04-2013, 02:56 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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caliper overhaul

Just an update om my caliper overhaul, completed the job today and wanted to share a couple of things for others with the same calipers as mine

I have an 02 530i and my caliper is different to cn90's. My dust boot doesn't have a internal metal base that clips on the caliper, mine is just rubber and has a ridge that fits in a groove next to the internal square o-ring as below shows



So I didn't need any multi-grips (channel-lock pliers) to seat the boot, there were instructons on how to get the my boot on properly but it seemed to just pop in when compressing the piston in. I couldn't understand the instuctions anyway

I was lucky I ordered a new piston as mine was totally cactus



This corrosion was due to the dust boot not seated correctly and the piston exposed to the elements. The photo shows the old and new piston.

All in all it was an easy job thanks to cn90's diy, the piston popped out with a little air quite easy, the hardest part I think was screwing the caliper back on to the brake line while trying to avoid brake fluid getting all over my newly painted caliper

Here are a couple more photos of the job:




Last edited by gibo58; 05-04-2013 at 02:58 AM.
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  #71  
Old 05-04-2013, 07:34 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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gibo58,

Nice job. In terms of the caliper's rubber boot, I think your 530i setup is very similar to 540i setup. See post #4 by JimLev:

http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/131...aliper-rebuild
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  #72  
Old 09-16-2013, 06:21 PM
fmzip fmzip is offline
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Nice DIY

Just ordered my hoses
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Last edited by fmzip; 09-16-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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  #73  
Old 04-24-2014, 07:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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In a somewhat related thread, someone probably let the calipers hang, during a brake job, where the consequences seem to be new brake hoses:
> 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003) > Brake Woes
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
I installed my Brembo rotors and Akebono pads tonight. That went well- almost too well.
When I got the car in the air, I took off the drivers side tire and saw a small puddle of something wet. I looked up and saw a wet caliper. I looked up further and the brake line was VERY wet at the compression fitting to the rubber line.
So, now I have to park the car and get new lines on all 4 corners ASAP.
any recommendations? Here is what I'm looking at:
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-41...-approved.aspx

Is there any real difference in braided vs stock? anything concrete to show better pad pressure from braided lines?
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #74  
Old 05-27-2014, 10:32 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Folks noticed a bad brake hose today ...
E39 (1997 - 2003) > My Brake Story / Solution


Quote:
Originally Posted by rexgo View Post
Replaced front and rear brake pads - not my first time, but first on a BMW. One of the easiest cars to work on. Getting the guide bolts/pins out are usually difficult, but the dust covers made it effortless.

When putting on the last caliper - something was not right - 1 guide bolt would not start - had bad threads. So, I assembled it less the 1 guide bolt.
Went to BMW on Saturday (suburban Chicago) $29 each and out of stock!
Looking for immediate options - ended-up at Pep Boys - 2 for $4.95 - not the same quality, but got me running.
Didn't even have to take apart anything - easy to get to:

Also, O'reilly's sells a repair kit for stripped threads. (oversize with lock-tite)
Maybe this info will help someone else.

OEM pin on right:

.
O'reilly's repair kit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Every car I see in junk yard (BMW, Volvo etc.) has decent rotors and brake pads and yet the hose is cracked but not replaced!
I don't understand what these mechanics were thinking when they serviced the car! Yeah, replaced the pads, rotors but left the cracked hose alone?
A good hose is 1000x more important than a pad.

Even a worn-out pad will stop the car.
A broken hose, hell no, you are asking for big problem, car accident, not to mention killing people when the car cannot be stopped.

Rexgo, do the world a favor, replace all 6 hoses now...

DIY: 1998 BMW 528i Brake Hydraulic System Overhaul (Brake Hoses, Caliper Seals/Dust Boots)
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=538290
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  #75  
Old 07-17-2014, 07:52 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, a caliper overhaul was performed today, that made use of this thread, and added a few observations about what problems rusty pistons can cause and why intact boots might not prevent a rusty piston:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Rusty caliper piston
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
A caution to those with rust showing on the pad contact surface of a caliper piston.

Like this


The piston face was rusty when I bought the car 4 years ago. The last few months, it finally caught up with me. I began having sticky caliper symptoms: mild steering wheel shimmy at highway speeds and braking roughness, also a hot wheel when checked after driving - all intermittent, day to day & even within a single drive over a few miles.

I checked guide pins, pads free in carrier, dust boot intact and piston movement - several times. All seemed OK each time.

Finally, one day the symptoms became violent. So I jacked up the car again. This time I found road wheel impossible to turn by hand due to a seized caliper. Deeper in, I found the dust boot pushed out of the seal groove in the caliper over a span of about 2 cm, wedged between the caliper & piston. Rust had progressed down the side surface of the piston and build-up was protruding enough to hang up on the boot. It had apparently been binding the piston over the last several weeks, until it finally wedged in and pushed out the dust boot.



After cleaning up the caliper and installing a new piston and seal kit the symptoms are gone.
I found the caliper overhaul DIYs helpful. I've two observations to offer:

1) you don't need shop air to remove the piston from the caliper. I used a small tire inflation pump with a conical plastic balloon filling attachment in the brake hose attachment hole. It took some fiddling with the conical attachment to seal at the bottom of the hole and time to build enough pressure to pop out the piston, but it did work.

2) be prepared for frustration getting the dust seal in the caliper groove. The boot wants to squirm around and slip off the piston as you feed them in toward the caliper cylinder. Be sure the boot is fully extended into almost a cylindrical shape over the piston, then worm the seal into the caliper groove, push the piston down onto the pressure seal to hold things in place. Then proceed with your C-clamp or whatever you're using to force the piston back into the caliper - I couldn't do it by hand alone.

3) the only source I came across for caliper pistons was RockAuto @ ~$17. They carry both front & rear.

And I can't emphasize enough the need to keep your fingers out of the pinch point when blowing out the piston. Mine released with an explosive bang that almost jerked the caliper out of my hands. Any fingers in the way would have been badly crushed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
the dust boot was (& still is) intact, even after being dragged out of the caliper groove by the rusty surface. I paid careful attention to the boot over the years, which was my rationale for tolerating the rusty piston.

So, an intact boot doesn't guarantee a good piston.
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