any tricks to breaking loose the calliper bolts on rear brakes?

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Old 10-03-08, 06:39 PM
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any tricks to breaking loose the calliper bolts on rear brakes?

I can't seem to break loose the bolts on the back of the caliper in order to change brake pads. Since it is rear brakes, I can't turn the wheel. Since I don't have the strengh of a guy, using a wrench or a socket has gotten me nowhere. I was able to get the lug nuts off on my own but these won't budge. I used WD40 thinking it would loosen them but no luck. I don't have a pipe to fit over either a wrench or a ratchet. But even at that, there is not much room for much else to fit in that area. Any advice other than having to have my son do it? I hate to have to depend on others.
 
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Old 10-03-08, 07:23 PM
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Get your hands on a breaker bar. You won't be able to get them off with an ordinary 3/8" drive ratchet.



You'll need a 3/4 female to 3/8" male adaptor as well.
 
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Old 10-03-08, 08:45 PM
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I actually had my hands on that breaker bar. I didn't know what it was called. But I couldn't find the adaptor for it. My husband passed away this year and he has tons of tools, I'm sure I'm just overlooking the adaptor for it. We use to work on all our stuff together, but I usually was the gofer and there for company. I've helped him changed brakes before but he did all the hard parts. It may be worth it for me to buy the adaptor if I don't find it. Thanks
 
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Old 10-04-08, 08:56 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

The adaptor will look like this:



I you need to purchase one, take the breaker bar with you. Some breaker bars have a 3/4" end, some might have 1/2". Autozone, ACE, etc type stores will carry them.
 
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Old 10-04-08, 02:45 PM
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I just got back from being with my son. He had an 18mm socket that fit the breaker bar so I don't need the adaptor for now. In a little while I will try my luck again. I may be just to big of a whimp to get it loose even with this tool. If I don't my son will help me tomorrow.
Thanks so much. You may hear more from me if I do get the bolts out and am a little confused on the next step. I know to pay close attention as I remove the pads, and also how to push the calliper back down.
Sending the pictures along with your message helps. Thanks
 
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Old 10-04-08, 02:50 PM
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Changing pads is pretty easy, even for a woman

What year and type car is this? I could try and bring up some step by step instructions for you.

Whenever you go to push your caliper piston back in, remove the brake reservour cap. Also, some rear pistons screw back in and some push back in.

Remember, you don't have to take the entire caliper off. You just have to take the piston out, which is usually the two smaller bolts. You can leave the other half of the bracket installed.
 
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Old 10-04-08, 03:14 PM
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If those babies have been on for a while, they can be a bear. Hey...it's ok...women have more stamina, men have more upper body strength.

When I changed mine last time after years of driving, I had to slide a hydraulic floor jack handle over my breaker bar to get enuf leverage.
 
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Old 10-04-08, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
If those babies have been on for a while, they can be a bear. Hey...it's ok...women have more stamina, men have more upper body strength.

When I changed mine last time after years of driving, I had to slide a hydraulic floor jack handle over my breaker bar to get enuf leverage.
one thing that will also work when you are having a tough time getting bolts broken loose with out air impacts available, use the breaker bar but just place it where you can get a jack under it. place the floor or screw jack under the handle and slowly jack it up to break the bolt loose. just make sure to be placing the force into the proper direction so you don't over tighten or break the bolt. as long as the bar is perpendicular to the direction of rotation it will work very well with out kicking out on you.
hot one of the best mechanics i know is female. i know you were not trying to be mean with your comment. just seemed to be worded a little off.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 10-04-08, 05:44 PM
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Speed, maybe YOU took it the wrong way

I never said woman were not mechanics. I happened to work along side many many very good female mechanics working on aircraft.
 
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Old 10-04-08, 06:06 PM
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it would be great if we knew what type of vehicle that we are giving advice on.If you are just changing pads there are two small bolts that hold the caliper on and two larger bolts that hold the caliper bracket on as hotihokc said you may be making too much work for yourself.we hope that we can make it eaiser for you.
 
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Old 10-04-08, 11:12 PM
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Wow alot of good advice has came my way while I was out trying my darnest to get somewhere on those brakes. I actually came on site to tell what kind of car it is, thinking it may make a difference. It is a 2000 GMC Yukon XL. I may not know the correct terms but one of the 2 smaller bolts I think that are holding the caliper which I believe has the piston part in, I was able to remove. It was the top one. The bottom one I finally got to turn the bolt but it keeps turning the other part that it screws into but yet that part is round and smooth so I can't hold a wrench on it to keep it from turning. Plus there is that rubber type cover at that area and I don't want to damage it. I can't budge the other larger 18mm bolts that houses the brake pads. I did notice that the inside brake pad is worn thinner than the outer. My rotor is still in good shape, as the brake had just begun to squeak after I had stopped and speeded up to about 40 miles per hr and then it stopped making the noise. Could there also be something wrong with the slider pins or caliper? I read something about them if the pads were wearing uneven plus me having trouble getting the one bolt to release from the caliper. Or I guess that is what it is.
Sorry I don't know all the correct parts.
I have to say this is an excellent site, everyone is very helpful. I just started using it recently because I wanted to take apart and clean a gunked up moped carb. I succeeded thanks to some very patient and knowledgeable members and moderators.
Sorry if I happen to word something wrong about being a woman working on mechancial stuff. I just know, me as only 110 lbs, doesn't have the strength of a man but my husband was always so proud that I had the mindset to tackle any project with him. He was such a super nice guy!
Thanks to everyone for all their advice so far.
 
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Old 10-05-08, 07:06 AM
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Honestly, good luck. Those bolts are a pain even with a hoist and an impact wrench. However, if you have access to a propane, or Mapp torch, heating the bracket around the bolt will help a lot. You don't need to get it cherry red or anything...just hot. Though, you will still need the breaker bar. Also, instead of getting an adapter for an oversized breaker bar, just buy a 1/2" breaker bar that's about 2 feet long. At that point you can get the appropriate sized socket, which I'm guessing is either 15mm or 17mm, and you'll be working a lot more safely.
 
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Old 10-05-08, 08:06 AM
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my husband does have a propane torch but I'll need to fill it. I'm not certain if I trust myself to not catch something on fire but if my son has no luck, between the 2 of us, we could try the torch. Could you tell me anything about the smaller bolt I previously spoke about that keeps turning. Just reread my last entry where I "tried" to described it. And my son did have the correct socket, 18mm, the size needed for the larger bolts, so I didn't need the adaptor but I still had no luck. I gave up on trying to budge them, but I'm close to getting that one last 12mm bolt off. I also have air impact tools but there's not enough room behind there to get the gun in. Thanks
 
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Old 10-05-08, 10:27 AM
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There is a product called PB Blaster. It is a spray like WD-40, but a lot stronger. With this stuff you could dissolve a styrofoam cup. I used it on caliper bolts for a Jeep and later found that those bolts were not supposed to be removed (whoops). I know that they have it at Advance Auto Parts, not sure where else. Just mentioning name of store, I do not work there.
 
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Old 10-05-08, 11:47 AM
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if you are not changing the rotor then you do not have to take the larger bolts off,just keep working with the smaller ones, I would not recommend heat with a torch, the caliper slides sometimes have rubber orings as guides, Wd-40 or any other rust inhibitor will do very little these bolts have threadlock on them from the factory. If you can move the rubber boot a little you should be able to grab the END of the caliper slide with a pair of vice grips and then remove the bolt.
good luck
 
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Old 10-05-08, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nightowlpunk View Post
There is a product called PB Blaster. With this stuff you could dissolve a styrofoam cup.
But just so that you, nor anyone reading what you said, does not get fooled -all that matters is if it can dissolve the rust and whatever is freezing it to the female threads. Bleach can be strong too. But it does not really remove soap scum, for example. Etc.
 
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Old 10-05-08, 01:43 PM
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My son came out and did exactly what you said and it worked. From here it looks very easy to change out the pads. I told him I'd try my luck from here on out and now I'll hopefully have better luck on the other side. He also told me there was no need for me to mess with the other bolts. Thanks again
 
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Old 10-05-08, 06:01 PM
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Changing out the pads was easy. I noticed on the side that had the squeal noise coming from, the inside rotor was somewhat lumpy as the pad on that side was worn down lower than the outside one and the metal on it was in bad shape from rubbing. I was so excited to get it all back together with ease but I still have the squeal. Maybe not as bad. It doesn't do it if I apply my brakes, only hear it as soon as I start to travel down the road and then when I hit about 40-50mph then it stops. The pistons compressed in with no problems, other than the back side of the rotor, I saw nothing else wrong. Could the noise stop after I've driven it a few days, perhaps the new brake will get "broke in"? Thanks
 
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Old 10-05-08, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by davenglo View Post
Changing out the pads was easy. I noticed on the side that had the squeal noise coming from, the inside rotor was somewhat lumpy as the pad on that side was worn down lower than the outside one and the metal on it was in bad shape from rubbing. I was so excited to get it all back together with ease but I still have the squeal. Maybe not as bad. It doesn't do it if I apply my brakes, only hear it as soon as I start to travel down the road and then when I hit about 40-50mph then it stops. The pistons compressed in with no problems, other than the back side of the rotor, I saw nothing else wrong. Could the noise stop after I've driven it a few days, perhaps the new brake will get "broke in"? Thanks
ouch if the metal was lumpy, then you should have turned the rotors if they were not to far gone to turn, however now it is back together i personely would drive it and keep a close watch on the rear brakes. next time you need pads you almost certainly will need new rotors. if you start feeling pedal pulsation that will probably be the cause. be aware pad life will certainly be less than normal with that kind of wear on the rotor. good luck.


Murphy was an optimist
 
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Old 10-06-08, 04:25 PM
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It be odd to have twice in a row the "wear indicator" (a piece of metal that mounts to the pad, set at a preset distance, so it rubs and squeals on the rotor when the pads wear down) hitting the rotor, unless the first time it squealed due to the wear, and this time it is doing it because you have it on wrong somehow or it got bent.

Also, I have had included in brake pad kit a gooey yellow stuff you smear on the back side of the pad to help stop squeal. It is an adhesive that helps pull the pad back away from the rotor. Did your pad kit include this?, and did you put it on, or forget to add this? You might want to inquire about this.

I'd jack up the car on that side and try to spin the wheel by hand and feel the uniformity of any drag, and see if you can spin it fast to see if you get that squeal. Also you could spray a brake clean spray on the rotors. Also, see if your wheel bearings are going on you, by grabbing the tire when it is off the ground, and tying to feel if there is looseness in it when you jiggle it from side to side and up and down.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 10-06-08 at 04:35 PM. Reason: added more
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Old 10-06-08, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for the tips, I'll try them out tomorrow. The brake pads didn't come with the adhesive. My son asked me the same but told me it doesn't always come with it. I was ever so careful with the pads and made certain I put the correct ones back in and I didn't have to struggle with them to slip them into place so I can't imagine I got them in wrong or the indicator bent. I also did use brake cleaner on the rotors before putting the new brake pads on.
Could you tell me why the pad on the inside wore down very thin with uneven groove marks while the outside one was only halfway worn but yet smooth? Thanks
 
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Old 10-06-08, 10:50 PM
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I just got done working on my freind's truck very simaur to your sistuation and what happend that the slider plate you will see it what you have to do is add a little anti sezure compound on the interal sliding bolt { you will see it on the calber itself }

it should slide back and forth { kinda like right and left motion } without much effort that mean it is ok but if feel rough or kinda binding you will needed to look more deeper on it to make sure that area is not pitted with corrosion or other.


most of them are holded by either 18 mm bolts or 15 mm hex bolts depending on the year and GVW rating.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 10-08-08, 08:00 PM
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french, I didn't understand exactly what you meant but that is only because I'm not real familar what each part is called or exactly located. I'm to inexperienced and it is a little over my head but I have a friend who is going to check it out next week, I'll pass your opinion on to him. thanks
Ecman- the tire is tight, nice and firm, no looseness. I jacked it up so both wheels were off the ground, blocked the front tires and put it in nuetral. Either tire I tried to turn would turn as long as I pushed it, there was no free spinning once I moved it, once I took my hands off of it, it didn't move any. There wasn't any squeals but that may have been that I couldn't move it fast enough. I'm not certain if this is normal for the tires to be this way. I guess I'll wait on my friend to take a look at it for me. He seems to think I may need to have the rotor turned. Thanks
 
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Old 10-16-08, 09:23 AM
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The last noise I could hear coming from my Yukon did not end up being anything to do with how I put my new brakes on or the rotors. This noise was bad back U joints. I started to suspect it when sometimes I could hear that clunk noise when putting it in reverse and the neighbor confirmed it for me. As soon as he heard the sound it was making, he immediately knew. A good friend fixed it for me! It is so nice to hear the sound of - no sound again. Just thought you would like to know what the last problem was. Thanks for all the input given.
 
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Old 10-18-08, 05:17 PM
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Interesting that we're talking about car noises. A friend once told me if you fix a car noise right away, it will cost you about $100. If you wait for awhile to fix the noise, it will cost you $300 and if you wait till the noise just goes away, it will likely cost you $700.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 09:17 PM
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That very well could have happened to me, the way my luck goes. Fortunately the costs have been very reasonable and were fixed while I could still hear the noise! What's worse is now I'd planned to try and sell a sharp coachmen van, thinking that it runs great, (no noises!) and find out the ball joints and steering gear sector are going out in it at the cost of $1000 to fix in order to sell it. I wish I knew what the signs are that indicate when these things are bad. Wouldn't I have noticed it somehow? The place I was going to try and sell it on consignment told me they found these problems.
 
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