Mechanics

OVERHAULING FRONT BRAKE CALIPERS- STILL SOME RUST, WHAT DO I DO?

1998 Saturn SL2 • 175,645 miles

I'm overhauling all four brakes on my '98 Saturn Sl2 and getting ready to paint the front calipers / torque plates. There is still a little bit of rust and/or scaling on the calipers on the indentation where the dust boot goes and also in the torque plate holes where the dust boots go. I've wire-wheeled them and scraped and picked as best I could but some remains. Can I use something like carefully applied CLR or muriatic acid or should I just leave it alone? On the torque plates I'm concerned with how the new long dust boot is going to install, how the Guide Pin bolt is going to work in a rusty surrounding (even lubricated), and how the caliper dust boot is going to seal.
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Dandywolf
April 26, 2012.



Leave it alone and put it back together and see if it'll leak

Rasmataz
Apr 26, 2012.
Just to add to this one are you trying to rebuild a old rusty caliper?If so why replace it even when I worked at the saturn dealer it was more cost effective to just replace them. Also on the caliper brackets that you call torque plates I used to clean them up with a epoxy filled wire wheel on my air die grinder. As far as the bore where the caliper pin slides I used a bore brush with a good rust penertrant.

Saturntech9
Apr 27, 2012.
I'm rebuilding them because it was cheaper to buy a $3 kit that contained 2 boots and rings rather than spend $60. I'm not working, times are tough. I did decide to get new boots for the bracket or torque plate; I don't remember what they cost. I call it a torque plate because that's what my manual calls it and when I said bracket to the guy at the parts store he looked at me and said 'the torque plate?' Thanks for the advice; the first guy seemed like he didn't give a care and just gave me an offhand answer. Would a good rust penetrant be something like PB?

Tiny
Dandywolf
Apr 27, 2012.
Yes I like pb blaster its called a c aliper bracket though I worked for saturn for many years and its called a caliper bracket. Never heard them called torque plate before that really doesnt make sense to me considering its the bracket for the caliper. Good luck rebuilding them though also make sure you use new copper washers on the banjo bolts that attach the brake hoses the calipers. If you dont the hose ends tend to leak.

Saturntech9
Apr 27, 2012.
Yep, already got 'em. Definitely. Thanks again.

Tiny
Dandywolf
Apr 27, 2012.
Your welcome thats what were here for.

Saturntech9
Apr 27, 2012.
I'm rebuilding the calipers on my 98 Saturn SL2 and am having a really hard time getting the piston back down into the bore. I even tried a large C-clamp but even that didn't work. I followed all the instructions; submerged then installed the rubber ring, put brake fluid all over the inside of the bore and on the piston but the piston just doesn't want to go in. Any help?

Tiny
Dandywolf
Apr 29, 2012.
Like I said before I have never rebuilt a caliper I just looked up the repair data on the caliper and for over haul and it says to refer to the exploded view of the caliper. There are no specail tools listed to over haul it. The seals going to be a tight fit have you tried putting the seal on the piston and inserting the pistonand seal together?

Saturntech9
Apr 29, 2012.
Yeah, but there wasn't enough room; the seal had to go in first. But I got the piston in using a hand-crank brake pad compressor with a deadblow hammer. That did the trick but now I'm having a hard time getting the metal ring into the lip of the piston dust boot- if I can still see the ring I'm not convinced it's inside the lip so I tried different things until my hands hurt so much I had to stop. But thanks for your advice- I appreciate it. The big joke on me is that the high-temp paint I so carefully applied after wire-wheeling all the rust off the calipers and brackets and taping everything off so carefully- as soon as brake fluid hit that it ran like watercolors. I will NEVER do this again. And the manual made it sound so easy. Thanks again.

Tiny
Dandywolf
Apr 30, 2012.
. And the even bigger joke is that once this is done it will probably fail and I'll end up buying the calipers I tried so hard to save money by not getting. Oh, and I tore a new dust boot trying to put it into the bracket. There's another 8 bucks and more time wasted. Ah well, I guess things could be worse. The only good part about this whole thing was when my black Lab would come into the garage to see what I was doing. She's a great dog and always makes me feel better when things aren't going right.

Tiny
Dandywolf
Apr 30, 2012.
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