Thanks to David, Allen, Chris and epecially Peter for all your incite on my
piston caliper replacement problem. Well, After my frantic email I was able
to get one in. Using a piece of wood a hammer and a lot of patience. What
everyone is saying and what I've found out the hard way is to try and hit
the ring with anything at all points on the circle. What was mentioned to
me was a 2-3/8" socket. I didn't have one so I tore up an old Lucas coil.
Can you believe it is the same diameter? HA! Well, it is made out of
aluminum and I beat up it getting the guts out that I don't think the tool
is effective (good idea I thought). Well, another key to all of this, I
think, is the brake lube, which I didn't have. Peter is sending me a care
package so I can get the other three in this weekend. Thanks to all for
your incite; I love all the ingenuity! Oh, and the retainers I didn't use I
put in the freeze for the hell of it.
>...On: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 17:30:01 EDT
David Lynes writes:
I don't usually rebuild the calipers, I buy them rebuilt due to the close
tolerances and impatient big fingers.
But in the past when I have had something with such close tolerances, I
would put the part that needed to be larger in very hot water, and the part
that needed to be smaller in the freezer for a short time, then put them
Sometimes, the thermal expansion and contraction will give you just enough
clearance to make the difference.
David Lynes, Woodstock, Ga
>...On: Wed, 11 Oct 2000 16:57:44 -0500
Peter C. wrote:
Call me, I've done lots and I have many spare retainers only.
World Wide Auto Parts
2517 Seiferth Rd., Madison, WI 53716
(800) 362-1025 Fax (608) 223-9403
>...On: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 10:02:53 EDT
Allen Hefner writes:
I suppose this is too late for your situation, but I had the same problem
when I rebuilt the calipers on my Midget.
I made a circular piece of thin plywood that was just slightly larger in
diameter than the retaining ring. Push in the piston as it says and put the
seal in the retaining ring. Lubricate the seal and the outside of the ring
with brake assembly lube or brake fluid. Put the retaining ring over the
piston so that the piston is the same height as the top of the retaining
ring. Put the piece of wood on top of the piston and retaining ring.
I used a c-clamp to put some pressure on the wood, holding the piston and
retainer down against the caliper. Invariably, the retainer will be
larger than the opening it must seal.
With some pressure created by the clamp, but not enough to deform the
retainer, I used a small flat screwdriver to nudge the edges of the retainer
into the opening. When you get it right, the retainer will start to move
into the opening. Too much c-clamp pressure and it will bend the retainer
the opposite side, so be careful.
The procedure requires some finesse, and I would think that a lot of
experience helps. But we all have to start somewhere. I only bent two
retainers beyond recovery the first time!
Hope you figured it out.
SCCA Philly Region Rally Steward
'92 Mitsubishi Expo LRV Sport
>...On: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 13:13:05 -0700
Chris Attias writes:
>I had a similar problem a few years ago, and the solution was similar
>to Allen's piece of plywood.
> After watching me bend up the rings from a couple of rebuild kits,
>the old guy across the street made me a tool out of a slice of old
>pipe with a piece of steel plate tacked on one end. The pipe
>diameter was just big enough to fit over the piston, so that the wall
>of the pipe bore on the ring. It was a fairly thin slice, so that it
>would fit inside the assembled caliper. I drove it home with a
>C-clamp, which I modified on the grinder so that it and the pipe
>would fit inside said caliper--basically thinned out the back of the
>stationary part of the clamp. Lubed everything up with brake seal
>lubricant, and it all went together easily.