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Discussion Starter #1
Using needle nose pliers the rear passenger piston turned in just fine...took a while but turned in while pushing and turning clockwise. The rear driver side won't compress...it turns relatively easy but won't screw in. Is there a trick to this? Should I crack the bleeder valve loose? If I do will I need to bleed the brakes? Would "the tool" make it easier?

Thanks!
 

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Old Phart
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Moved to General Tech Chat, better for most DIY repair questions.

"The tool" covers a wide range these days, from a cube tool to fit the piston for turning it to a set with adapters to fit different calipers that both presses in the piston and turns it at the same time.

Pistons don't just "screw in" they need to be compressed as well and doing both can be tricky.

Some DO release pressure at the bleeder screw, if you end up getting air in then yes you'd end up needing to bleed the brake there. How lucky depends on your experience with that and the method used, a piece of clear hose to watch fluid come out and only cracking it a little can help. Fluid in hose resists air getting back in when you relax pressure for a moment.

Finishing one side before starting the next helps by lowering fluid level in the reservoir before starting the other side, are you checking the level?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Moved to General Tech Chat, better for most DIY repair questions.

"The tool" covers a wide range these days, from a cube tool to fit the piston for turning it to a set with adapters to fit different calipers that both presses in the piston and turns it at the same time.

Pistons don't just "screw in" they need to be compressed as well and doing both can be tricky.

Some DO release pressure at the bleeder screw, if you end up getting air in then yes you'd end up needing to bleed the brake there. How lucky depends on your experience with that and the method used, a piece of clear hose to watch fluid come out and only cracking it a little can help. Fluid in hose resists air getting back in when you relax pressure for a moment.

Finishing one side before starting the next helps by lowering fluid level in the reservoir before starting the other side, are you checking the level?
Thanks Sailor...yes, I'm checking fluid level and yes I'll definitely run a clear hose from the bleeder valve to a catch bottle with a bit of fluid in it.
I guess more than anything I'm wondering if these calibers are prone to failure in this way where the piston won't compress? And does using a tool (over needle nose) make the job much easier?
I find it odd that I had such an easy time with the one (took me 15 minutes total to remove and replace) and why this one would be so difficult?
 

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So mote be it
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Grey Friar
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...
I find it odd that I had such an easy time with the one (took me 15 minutes total to remove and replace) and why this one would be so difficult?
It's really not odd that one sticks more than another. Sometimes you will have one move freely and the other be frozen, stuck hard, and needing a rebuild. It just depends on tolerances, heat, and water impurities of the fluid.

Also, it's ALWAYS a good idea to bleed out the old fluid, until it runs clear, fresh fluid, every time you have to replace a pad (or shoe).
 

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X2, one being harder does not at all mean the caliper is necessarily bad. Water gets in around the parts to varying degrees and some try to seize up but if you get the piston screwed back in it may work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^^^
need the tool so you can push and turn at the same time
Check your local part stores, many have a loaner tool program. They should have the brake tool that will let you compress while turning. They just charge you a core charge that you get back when you return the tool. Id try that before just assuming the caliper failed in some way and replacing.

For example:
http://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tools/disc-brake-caliper-tool/oem-disc-brake-caliper-tool-set/298604_0_0/?checkfit=true
Well, thanks for all the help guys!
I fought it for atleast an hour and a half last night with needle nose...fought it for another 30 mins this morning to no avail....even backed out the bleeder valve a touch and still no go...went to O'Reilly Auto Parts and rented the tool shown below...took me 10 minutes to collapse the piston and bleed that caliper...Brakes are now perfect.
Lesson learned: Don't be a tight_ _ _ and just rent the right tool to begin with regardless of what you read on the internet!

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just buy a C-Clamp. 7 bucks at home depot. No need to open breeders or the tank (ford manual) . Just very slowly push in the piston as to not damage the ABS. First sign of caliper problems? Remove and replace,save yourself the headache of a rebuild.

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We are talking about the rear calipers....you can't use a c-clamp as they must be screwed in clockwise to collapse.
Fronts took me about 10-15 minutes after I removed the wheel.
 

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We are talking about the rear calipers....you can't use a c-clamp as they must be screwed in clockwise to collapse.
Fronts took me about 10-15 minutes after I removed the wheel.
Silly me, just finished reading the rest of the thread.

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You'd be amazed at how many low buck guys came in to buy C-clamp to squeeze those in and when told they have to screw in they insist on buying the C-clamp anyway like a dumb-ss. Without the spin-in tool of course.

Then, 2 hours later back with a broken C-clamp and sometimes caliper too now and wanting refund on the tool of course and the caliper if it was ours because 'it wasn't a quality tool or part'. Like there's a brain there to even tell.
 

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You'd be amazed at how many low buck guys came in to buy C-clamp to squeeze those in and when told they have to screw in they insist on buying the C-clamp anyway like a dumb-ss. Without the spin-in tool of course.

Then, 2 hours later back with a broken C-clamp and sometimes caliper too now and wanting refund on the tool of course and the caliper if it was ours because 'it wasn't a quality tool or part'. Like there's a brain there to even tell.
Gotta invest in one of those tools then. But why do they screw in? Anyone know the reason behind this design?

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Old Phart
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The reason is very simple actually, the screw is an automatic adjuster for the mechanical parking/emergency brake system.

No E-Brake - No screw.

Simple versions use an adjuster that's not automatic, often a screw/lock nut right at the lever on the back of the caliper which moves the E-Brake mechanism when the cable pulls on it.

All versions I can think of use a screw in the system to apply pressure to the piston for the mechanical E-Brake operation, how it adjusts for piston position as the pads wear is the only variation.

Adjuster screw and operation screw can be separate depending on the design.
 

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The reason is very simple actually, the screw is an automatic adjuster for the mechanical parking/emergency brake system.

No E-Brake - No screw.

Simple versions use an adjuster that's not automatic, often a screw/lock nut right at the lever on the back of the caliper which moves the E-Brake mechanism when the cable pulls on it.

All versions I can think of use a screw in the system to apply pressure to the piston for the mechanical E-Brake operation, how it adjusts for piston position as the pads wear is the only variation.

Adjuster screw and operation screw can be separate depending on the design.
Thank you Sailor.

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Rear caliper piston spins but won’t retract

Recently I did the rear brake pads in my 2015 Ford Explorer. The passenger side was a breeze, spin the piston and it retracted no problem. Went to drivers side and must had made 100 turns and it just wouldn’t retract. What I did was take my old C clamp and applied pressure on the piston as I spun it. It finally caught and retracted. Not sure why this happened but wanted to post in case anyone else has this issue. The c clamp I have is old school and has a ball joint on the tread side which allowed me to compress and spin at same time
 

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I haven't seen the internals of one but if the threads simply end with the piston then able to pop out you simply did not have the piston pressed back down enough to re-grab the threads, the c-clamp helped you do that. Basically the part adjusted out until it ran out of thread and loose then.
 

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im doing my rear brakes and i pulled them off before i put it into service mode, so i tried putting into service mode with them off and that was a mistake, now the pistons are fully decompressed like holding on to the rotor with no pads, they will decompress with the tool but only slightly, new calipers? or is there a way to decompress the piston
 

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im doing my rear brakes and i pulled them off before i put it into service mode, so i tried putting into service mode with them off and that was a mistake, now the pistons are fully decompressed like holding on to the rotor with no pads, they will decompress with the tool but only slightly, new calipers? or is there a way to decompress the piston
Did you ever figure this out? I just stupidly did this on my 2013 Fusion and now the piston is fully extended out and won't go back in.
 
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