Front Brake rebuild

Discussion in 'Steering, brakes & Suspension' started by Radar15, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Radar15

    Radar15 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    Hey guys,

    I did this job a few weeks ago and took pictures along the way, so I thought I may as well do a write up on it!

    So this is a pretty easy job if you have the right tools! This is a basic list of what you will need:

    A BIG HAMMER! (this is by far the best tool to invest in if you plan on getting your brake calipers off!)
    Fuel line/Brake line clamps to minimize brake fluid going everywhere!
    A one man brake bleeding kit, or a friend to help you (shout out to Bargearse for coming over many times to help bleed brakes!)
    A Torque Wrench
    A 19mm spanner to undo the caliper bolts
    A 7mm spanner for the bleed nipples
    A 10mm spanner for undoing the brake line to the caliper
    jack stands and a proper jack (I hope I don't need to remind anyone not to get under the car if it is only supported by a jack)
    A 'G clamp' for pushing pistons back into callipers
    a pin punch set
    an air compressor to push pistons out of calipers
    And a small flat head screwdriver to pry seals out of calipers
    WD40

    As far as parts go, you will need:
    2x caliper rebuild kits (I got mine from Mick Motors, they were genuine VW ones with new backing plates and I would recommend them any day of the week)
    Brake lube (can be purchased from Super Cheap for about $10)
    Brake fluid

    Step 1)
    You will need to jack up the bus, put it on jack stands and remove both front wheels.

    Step 2)
    Take a look behind the caliper and clamp the brake line. Remove the line from the back on the caliper with your 10mm spanner and put something over it so stop it leaking (You can use your bleed nipple dust covers if you don't have anything else). Then locate the two 19mm bolts holding the caliper in place. Using your hammer, 19mm spanner and WD40, remove the two bolts. Make sure to remember which bolt is in the top, and which bolt is in the bottom, because they will not go in if you mix them up.
    TRICK - if you are working on the drivers side caliper, turn the wheels to the left, it will be 100 times easier!

    Step 3)
    Once you have the caliper off, use your pin punch to remove the pad locators and remove the pads and backing plates. You will now be able to see what condition your piston dust seals are in.

    Step 4)
    You will need an air compressor for this bit. you will need to blow the pistons out of the caliper. Pry the two dust seals off with a small flat blade screw driver. I would suggest putting something between both the pistons unless you want them to collide and possibly cause each other damage. Remove both the pistons and give them a good clean. if they are a little rusty, you may have to take to them with some steal wool and GENTLY remove as much rust as you can.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5)
    Once the pistons are removed, you will be able to use your screwdriver to remove both the brake fluid seals.

    [​IMG]

    Step 6)
    Once you have removed the seals, give everything a good clean with some steel wool and prepare yourself for re-assembly!

    [​IMG]

    (just to show you how filthy mine were)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
    RyanSmith likes this.
  2. Radar15

    Radar15 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    Step 7)
    once everything is clean get out your brake fluid seals and soak them in some brake fluid for a few minutes.
    [​IMG]

    Step 8)
    place them in the groves in the caliper. If they are not a perfect fit, don't worry, they will swell up from being in contact with the brake fluid. then just rub some brake fluid in the bore to lubricate it.

    Step 9)
    The fun part! You will now need to put your pistons in the caliper. Note the cut out on the piston, this cut out is very important for your anti-rattle/squeal plates and you will probably need a little bit of trial and error in order to get them right (so don't leave the vicinity of your compressor!) You will need to put them in so the cut out in the top of the pistons, is opposite to the main direction of travel of the wheel. So the cut out is facing toward the bottom of the caliper. Rub some brake fluid on the piston and place it into the bore, grab your G Clamp and use it to push the piston back into the bore (leaving them out just enough to put the dust seals on). do this for both pistons.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Step 10)
    Grab out your anti-rattle plates and make sure that they line up with the cut out in the top of the piston. if they are a little bit off, grab a screw driver and a hammer and gently hit them into position. If they are a fair way out, just pop them back out and try again.


    Step 11)
    Once the pistons are in the bore, grab your dust seal and stretch it into place on the piston and seat it properly on the caliper. Then push them all the way into the bore. Grab out your brake lube and give the top of the pistons and backing plates a good application of it.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Radar15

    Radar15 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    [​IMG]

    Step 12)
    So now that everything is in place, get your backing plates and pads and fit them to the caliper.
    [​IMG]

    Step 13)
    Take the caliper back to the bus, and fit it with the two 19mm bolts (on a '73 onwards you need to get a torque wrench and do them up to 116 ft. lb.). fit the brake line to the back of the caliper and take off your brake line clamp.

    Step 14)
    Bleed the brakes!!! Once you have done this, just spin the wheel and make sure that the pads are not binding on the disk.
    put the car back on the ground!

    You're done!

    My calipers were so bad that two out of four pistons were cocked in the bore, meaning that my brakes were pretty much on all the time.

    Notes:
    Make sure you check your disks for wear and replace if necessary.
    I decided to wash my caliper with metho because it was quite dirty, and this was the result of just one caliper.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. nikferatu

    nikferatu Active Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Brisbane
    Good job. Got mine coming up in the next six months when I get the chance. Wasn't sure if Micks had those bits but now I know!
     
  5. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,208
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Mods,
    Any chance of a sticky for this somewhere?
    Good info.
     
  6. Radar15

    Radar15 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland
    It even has the tiny seals that go in between the caliper halves, but I didn't bother replacing mine.

    I will try to smash out the rear brake rebuild tonight if I get a chance!
     
  7. TheYorkieBar

    TheYorkieBar Active Member

    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Kurrajong - Sydney - NSW
    Great write up!!! Thanks....
     

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