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Old 10-24-2006, 06:12 PM   #1
Jekster
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Cannot remove my break calipers

Hello,

So I went to change my break pads today. Jacked up the car, removed my tire, removed the caliper bolts and then when I attempted to remove the break caliper itself it wouldn't budge. It was almost like the break pad was constantly depressed on the rotor. People talk about being careful to watch the caliper falling off and hurting the break lines. However, I literally could not pull the darned thing off. Anyone ever have this happen or know why this might happen?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 10-24-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
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Sometimes there stuck on there. Try a rubber mallet and hold bottom of caliper and tap top of cal. up towards hood....or take a long pry bar and pry top of it off.

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Old 10-24-2006, 10:01 PM   #3
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Have you decompressed the brake piston? I've got a large 6" C-clamp and short 2x4 that I've used to push the piston and let off the pressure. Be careful since decompressing too much can overflow your brake fluid reservoir. You might have to drain off some fluid.

I don't know about the Focus but on most vehicles, your caliper will be hanging by the brake line afterwards. A good reason to have a few feet of baling wire close at hand to hang the caliper once it's removed so you don't have all that weight on the brake line.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:59 PM   #4
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If its a rear caliper....check and make sure the e-brake isnt on. Thats what happened to me.
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:20 AM   #5
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Odds are there's a thin strip of metal on the outer edge of the rotor that is hanging over the pad just enough to keep it from coming off. You just need to apply some brute force to the caliper to get the piston to back off just enough for you to slip the pad past the rotor.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by bananaboat
Have you decompressed the brake piston? I've got a large 6" C-clamp and short 2x4 that I've used to push the piston and let off the pressure. Be careful since decompressing too much can overflow your brake fluid reservoir. You might have to drain off some fluid.

I don't know about the Focus but on most vehicles, your caliper will be hanging by the brake line afterwards. A good reason to have a few feet of baling wire close at hand to hang the caliper once it's removed so you don't have all that weight on the brake line.
I'm guessing it's either stuck on like Ska said (and I just need to tap it with a mallet) or that I need to decompress the piston a bit. My only question is how do you access the piston without taking off the caliper? There isn't much room to get a C clamp in there let alone with a piece of 2x4. Can you describe this process a bit more?
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:09 PM   #7
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I don't think a mallet is necessary...when I pulled my stock calipers off, I just unbolted them and then just pushed and pulled on them until they loosened up enough to slide off the rotor.
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:16 PM   #8
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If you slide the caliper back and forth a little, it should clear the indentations on the rotor enough. But you won't be able to pull that caliper off without pulling those Torx bolts off first.

I found that the best thing for me to compress the pistons once the rotor is off is to use an old rollerblade wheel (not a deck wheel, it's too fat to fit in between the caliper!!!) Then I just use a pair of channel locks to compress the piston.
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Old 10-31-2006, 06:59 AM   #9
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Ska:

So you never actually compress the piston until the caliper is off? That's where I was confused, I thought you said there was some way to compress the brake piston with the caliper still on the rotor.

As for sliding the caliper back and forth I'll give that a try. Last time I was putting some decent muscle into pushing outwards. Darn thing wouldn't budge though. Does it usually take quite a bit of power to pull off the caliper when it's having this problem? I've just always learned that power is very seldom the answer when doing anything. I don't want to risk breaking anything.

Thanks again for everyones help!
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:31 PM   #10
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If you push the caliper back and forth it will compress the piston, if only slightly, which will allow the pad to slip past the edge of the rotor. You don't need to worry about being gentle with the calipers (at least short of hitting them with a sledge hammer), they're made from cast iron and will hold up to just about anything aside from hitting them with a blunt object, which could shatter them.
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