Caliper strip­down

Classics Monthly - - Workshop -


One method of ex­tract­ing pis­tons from a caliper is to force com­pressed air through the hole where the flexi-hose was fit­ted. You’ll need a suit­able air tool, such as a duster gun. Wear gog­gles and see the next two steps for more de­tails on spe­cific types of brake caliper.


Sin­gle pis­ton calipers are eas­ier to strip than multi-pis­ton calipers. Hold a thick cloth over the pis­ton and make sure your fin­gers won’t get trapped when it pops out. Feed the com­pressed air into the caliper via the flexi-hose at­tach­ment and the pis­ton should be forced out.


Forc­ing the pis­tons out of multi-pis­ton calipers is not so easy. All of the pis­tons have to be ex­tracted pro­gres­sively. Use a piece of metal/wood or an old brake pad to pre­vent one pis­ton pop­ping out fully. Once all the pis­tons are fully ex­tended, they can be ex­tracted with pli­ers. In some cases, the caliper can be un­bolted to split it in half and ex­tract the pis­tons.


After ex­tract­ing the pis­ton(s), ex­tract the outer dust cover/seal with a pick or a small screw­driver. This is usu­ally per­ished and split, so it will let mois­ture in­side the caliper – it should al­ways be re­newed.


Ex­tract the main seal in­side the caliper us­ing a scribe or a pick. This can be awk­ward to do, but avoid los­ing your tem­per, which could re­sult in scratch­ing or dam­ag­ing the in­side of the caliper where this seal is fit­ted.


Once the caliper has been stripped, clean in­side it and all of the pis­ton(s) us­ing a parts wash or white spirit. Avoid us­ing any­thing abra­sive to re­move cor­ro­sion. If the pis­ton is cor­roded for in­stance, and can­not be cleaned with a so­lu­tion, re­place it.

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