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Old 06-24-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Default Rear brake caliper problems

Anyone else have rear calipers freeze up every few months? I keep replacing them with the same shitty rebuilds from a local parts company my work deals with, but they are under warranty so I'm stuck in a bit of a rut... But come on I mean i've been throuh 5 in the last year... Why does this keep happening?!?! What is the next step as far as an upgrade? Once they won't cover them under warranty anymore i'm gonna have to figure something else out.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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Use better lube on the slider pins.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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Mine too were doing this. Once I replaced with said auto parts store calipers mine have been fine.

I hope Im not being too obvious here, but make sure you do a thorough brake bleed each time. I ran into this problem b/c I was too lazy to do the proper procedure of replacing calipers.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Use better lube on the slider pins.
Yeah I have been using Anti-Seize, and the caliper pins were free when I took the caliper off last night. When I attempted to press the piston back in with the caliper tool that I had, I'm not sure the hulk would have even been able to press that bitch back in.

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Mine too were doing this. Once I replaced with said auto parts store calipers mine have been fine.

I hope Im not being too obvious here, but make sure you do a thorough brake bleed each time. I ran into this problem b/c I was too lazy to do the proper procedure of replacing calipers.
I just priced out 99 calipers / brackets and they are only $55/each from Planet Miata. I just got another warranty caliper and I am going to throw it on and then do the swap at the end of the summer. I am going to have to get new rotors, pads, and also do the rear stainless lines at the same time so it's going to run me around $350 for everything after shipping. No $$ for that at the moment so I hope this caliper I just got makes it through the summer haha. Oh yeah and I do bleed the lines every time using a Mighty-Vac bleeder.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
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When I attempted to press the piston back in with the caliper tool that I had, I'm not sure the hulk would have even been able to press that bitch back in.
YOU IDIOT.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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YOU IDIOT.
???? Why?
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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You cant use a compressor on the rear caliper, thats how to break the e-brake mechanism. We have an adjuster in the back of the caliper that you back out to release the piston on the rear calipers.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
You cant use a compressor on the rear caliper, thats how to break the e-brake mechanism. We have an adjuster in the back of the caliper that you back out to release the piston on the rear calipers.
Oh F#*k me..... I had no idea! Learn something new every day with this car lol.

That being said, I still believe the problem lies in the caliper because the pins were sliding perfectly fine when I took the caliper out. Unless my rubber lines are breaking apart from the inside and causing an obstruction in the fluid flow.

Also, the rubber boots for the sliders got over-heated and fell apart when I ripped the caliper off last night.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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The problem lies in the installer, not the caliper. Compressing them with a c-clamp badly damages the caliper and will cause all the issues you're talking about.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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The problem lies in the installer, not the caliper. Compressing them with a c-clamp badly damages the caliper and will cause all the issues you're talking about.
I never touched the caliper that just froze.... It was replaced in march and I never used a c clamp on it they come with the piston already fully seated
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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#frontcaliperproblems



This time my front locked up.... My brakes are possessed!!!
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Rear brake caliper problems-20130710_084318_zps374f58f0.jpg  
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:09 AM   #12
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I had this problem years ago on a Celica. It's because of water in the fluid.

Drain, and flush it with cheap auto parts store brand fluid. Put at least a quart through the system. When everything is running clear, bleed as normal.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #13
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When I bought the car last year I did a flush on the entire brake system. I used a Mighty-Vac and ran tons of fluid through. I also did a complete fluid swap when I did the 4 wheel brake job in January. Fluid from my shop is free, so I have ran so much fluid through these lines lol. Next step might be stainless lines just to eliminate the possibility of the rubber lines breaking down from the inside and causing problems in the calipers.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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1. The rear calipers have a screw mechanism to compress just like Leafy said. Get a manual for your car. There's a FSM in a sticky on here.

2. Assuming undamaged calipers, the rears on the Miata are prone to seizing due to corrosion. Your location is one of the worst imaginable for this issue. You should be pulling your rear calipers and re-lubing the slider pins (I recommend disc brake grease, BTW) about every 6 months. Also, check the rubber boots and make sure they are in good shape. Replace as needed. Boot kits are readily available and cheap.

3. The fronts on the Miata generally don't freeze up. So, brake fluid condition + lube + boot condition, just like others have mentioned.

In other words, basic maintenance.

You might also consider getting out of Jersey.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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What froze? The piston or the sliders? I'm guessing the piston since you got the caliper off the brackets.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
1. The rear calipers have a screw mechanism to compress just like Leafy said. Get a manual for your car. There's a FSM in a sticky on here.

2. Assuming undamaged calipers, the rears on the Miata are prone to seizing due to corrosion. Your location is one of the worst imaginable for this issue. You should be pulling your rear calipers and re-lubing the slider pins (I recommend disc brake grease, BTW) about every 6 months. Also, check the rubber boots and make sure they are in good shape. Replace as needed. Boot kits are readily available and cheap.

3. The fronts on the Miata generally don't freeze up. So, brake fluid condition + lube + boot condition, just like others have mentioned.

In other words, basic maintenance.

You might also consider getting out of Jersey.
Yeah I'm glad I know about the rear caliper trick now... That was definitely me being a and not looking into things. I've done a million brake jobs as a tech for Ford/Nissan and never ran into a vehicle with a set-up like that. Chances are that I have been replacing calipers that were most likely perfectly fine.

The brake fluid condition when I bought the car last summer was pretty bad. It might have been the original fluid, not sure. I bought the car with 61,000 miles, so it's definitely a possibility. I am going to buy a nice big tube of good quality disc brake grease... I have been using Anti-Seize but I guess that might not be working very well on these calipers.

Unfortunately, the wife and I just bought a brand new townhouse, so we will likely be in Jersey for a while Lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
What froze? The piston or the sliders? I'm guessing the piston since you got the caliper off the brackets.
Yup piston froze. Tried to push it back in with an old brake pad and it's not budging.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #17
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Are you getting free fluid from a sealed container, or fluid from an old drum or something?
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:10 PM   #18
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Brand new sealed brake fluid... We buy small bottles by the case, so it's never exposed to air for very long. I always am sure to crack open a brand new one
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