Stuck Caliper lol?

Discussion in 'E3 General Discussion' started by Haseeb, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Haseeb

    Haseeb Active Member

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    Well today was an interesting day, as we finally got the e3 started again! (will post a vid eventually). However, it appears that I seriously screwed up on this rusted old caliper while I was trying to take it out (I have a new one I want to put in). As I tried to take at those two big bolts (pictured), one of them broke and its pretty darn stuck in there. Any advice on how to take this caliper out? Or do I need to take out the entire shoe, and if I do, how so?
     

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  2. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Remove the caliper, see if the bolt still sticks out. Soak for a day with PB Blaster or equivalent, perhaps grab with locking vise grips or grind two sides flat. If it is inside you will need to remove the strut to drill out the bolt I’m afraid.
     
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  3. Ohmess

    Ohmess I wanna DRIVE! Site Donor $

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    If your question is how to remove the caliper, I think you should try to separate the two halves of the caliper. Take the wheel and tire off the vehicle, then disconnect the brake lines from the caliper. You will see four bolts running through the caliper itself, identify the nuts and work on this side. Soak the nuts (not the bolt heads; you want to use the rust on the bolt side to help) with PB blaster or Kroil (which I prefer). Then get a pick and go around the perimeter of the nuts, scraping away the rust right where the nut meets the caliper. Then hit it with PB or Kroil again. Let it soak overnight. Do not attempt to move the nuts before they have had a chance to soak.

    When you first attempt to move them, do not attempt to loosen them. Instead, attempt to tighten them. Because the threaded areas of both the bolt and nut required to tighten the nuts onto the bolts are not exposed to the air, they will not be rusted. You can often break nuts free without breaking the bolt if you are trying to tighten them. You don't need a lot of movement, but just a tiny bit makes it much easier to get them loose. Obviously, make sure you are holding the bolt end tightly so that you are actually tightening the nut and not just spinning the entire bolt/nut assembly.

    Once you remove all four nuts, you should be able to spread the caliper apart by prying against the rotor.

    As Chris notes, unless you have a portion of the bolt to grab on to, removal of the broken bolt will probably involve dropping the strut out of the car.
     
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  4. Markos

    Markos Parts Hoarder Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    I grew up in the rust belt, I could get that bolt off! :D

    Before getting started hit it with PB Blaster for a day if you can swing it. Revisit the bolt a few times. You want the penetrant to go between the threads.

    As west coast Chris suggested, getting the caliper off will help. I figured it was a lost cause but east coast Chris has a good suggestion. Since you are sending these back as cores, split the caliper. Now you may run into similar issues. Before tightening those caliper bolts whack them with your BFH.

    I don’t recommend removing the strut just yet. You want the leverage of the strut in place for turning the stuck bolt.

    You will want to buy a decent sized screw extractor, and a set of hardened drill bits meant for metal. You will ideally want a socket that fits the end of your extractor also. I would use one about half the diameter of the bolt. If you broke that bolt it is highly likely that you will break the extractor. Give it a try first but if it isn’t budging you may need heat.

    If it doesn’t come out pick up a propane torch nozzle and a can of propane. You can find it in the plumbing section of your box hardware store. Heat the area surrounding the bolt, close to the bolt but not on it. Do it for a long time before cracking the bolt.

    Tools:
    Screw Extraxtor set
    Hardened drill bits
    Drill, if you don’t have one just get a cheap corded drill from HF. Drilling metal eats batteries.
    BFH - 5lb mini sledge. Perfect for stuck rotors.
    Six point sockets. I only use 12 points if I need double the range of movement that they provide.

    I didn’t watch this video but it shows the drilling and the extracting.

     
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  5. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    Using extractors can be dangerous. I've broken extractors inside the bolt, and then it's REAL HARD to get them both out!
     
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  6. Phemisg

    Phemisg Member

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    I wouldn't be splitting the caliper unless absolutely necessary. Are those o-rings still available? PB Blaster is your friend. Use liberally a let soak for hours before attacking old bolts. In this case an extractor is worth a try but results vary. If that fails, you may need another strut.
     
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  7. jmackro

    jmackro Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    I agree with Phemisg. I'm not getting why splitting the caliper has anything to do with a bolt broken off in the strut.

    My strategy would be to soak the brake line fittings with penetrant, disconnect the brake lines, remove the caliper, and then deal with the broken-off bolt.

    Loosening the two brake lines from the caliper could be an adventure too.
     
  8. teahead

    teahead aka "Rob" Site Donor

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    Ya, I don't understand too.

    Can't the caliper come right off? And the strut, the bolt is right there sticking out enough to get some vice grips on it???
     
  9. jmackro

    jmackro Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    In thinking about this some more, if the broken bolt is protruding from the face of the strut, then it would prevent the caliper from sliding outward over the disk. However, I would think that removing the pads from the caliper would give enough "wiggle room" to free the caliper from the broken-off bolt.

    Haseeb says he has a replacement caliper, so I suppose there's no harm in splitting the old one. I just don't see why it's necessary.
     
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  10. Phemisg

    Phemisg Member

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    Its easy to chew up the fittings on the brake line, as appears to be the case with these. Soak with PB and try a proper flare wrench or vice grips. If all else fails, I'd be prepared to saw off the lines above the fittings and then use a socket to get them out (holding the rubber hose end in a wrench). The idea is to avoid getting metal saw dust in the caliper or rubber hose (unless you are rebuilding). Get a few lengths of universal Euro brake line from Advance, NAPA, et al, and a simple tube bender, and make new ones.

    That said, if the rubber hoses are original, might as well change them too. A set of flare wrenches from Harbor Ft would be useful.

    I agree, pull the pads and the caliper should clear.
     
  11. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    Just save the strut, the rest is fairly easy to deal with. If it were my problem I'd probably go the split caliper route and cut the brake lines. Looks like one of the fittings is already boogered up!
     
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  12. Markos

    Markos Parts Hoarder Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    Exactly! If the bolt snapped inside the caliper it would come off. Since these are cores he can split without concern.

    Yes I pretty much don't have any small extractors left due to them snapping. :D
     
  13. Haseeb

    Haseeb Active Member

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    Thanks Markos you're the homie! And I like the rust belt thing LOL I'll try that as soon as I get some PB Blaster from Walmart tomorrow!
     
  14. Haseeb

    Haseeb Active Member

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    Brake lines are horrendously rusted! I tried taking them out too and now they rounded out /:
     
  15. Haseeb

    Haseeb Active Member

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    Broken bolt is indeed protruding which is what is keeping the caliper stuck unfortunately, I had not considered removing the pads like that until you brought it up but thats a pretty good idea!
     
  16. jmackro

    jmackro Well-Known Member Site Donor

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    Even if the bolt hadn't broken, you would still probably have to remove the pads to get the caliper out. A ridge usually forms on the out edge of the rotor surface that prevents the caliper & pads from just sliding off.
     
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  17. Phemisg

    Phemisg Member

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    Now as an expert in scope creep, I am hesitant to point this out, but... you might want to check the other metal brake lines around the car for rust. As above, if those are the original rubber hoses, I'd change them all. Old hoses swell internally and create all sorts of issues. If you plan to keep the car, buy more a PB, and a propane torch which is handy for getting out rusty bolts. Try to get the PB on the backside of the broken bolt and let it soak.
     
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  18. Markos

    Markos Parts Hoarder Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    So do you pull the pins and slide them out the top? Assume that the pistons are fully pressurized and the pads are snug against the rotor. How do you get the pads past the ridge that you mention. With the caliper bolts out you can always whack the caliper with my previously mentioned BFH, forcing the caliper over the often brittle and flakey ridge.

    I’m going to try this tonight! I’ll post some pics for Haseeb. Maybe I’ll even break a caliper bolt! :D

    Photo credit: Bert P.
    Brakes.JPG
     
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  19. Markos

    Markos Parts Hoarder Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    Although I called for a different reason, Don confirmed and advised against splitting the caliper. :)
     
  20. Haseeb

    Haseeb Active Member

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    omg you're a lifesaver :D
     

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