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#1
Old 03-04-2013, 12:53 AM
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Location: Ottawa
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Brake pad replacement and frozen fucking solid caliper slide pins

Or whatever they're called.

What causes cemented caliper slide pins?

Doing my front brakes today, one slide pin on one front brake was frozen solid. This is a 2009 Hyundai Elantra.

Thankfully, the caliper pin is terminated with a 17 mm nut head. So I grabbed my 17 mm wrench and after maybe 40 minutes of twisting, and turning, and twisting, and hitting, and turning, and twisting, I got the pin free.

So, I cleaned it up with WD-40 and re-lubed it with high-temperature wheel bearing grease and reinstalled it.

The thing is though, the other pin on the driver's side was fine, and the two pins on the passenger side were fine?

Talk about one extreme to the next. Why is this possible on four similarly designed parts installed in two similar locations?

The stuck pin wasn't just stuck, it was thermonuclearly bonded to the caliper bracket. What's up with that? And yes, the rubber boot was intact.
#2
Old 03-04-2013, 07:03 AM
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Reusing that pin is a poor decision. You should replace it.
#3
Old 03-04-2013, 09:44 AM
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Location: Mooresburg, Tennessee
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Was it the pin on the left side?
#4
Old 03-04-2013, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the lone cashew View Post
Was it the pin on the left side?
Driver's side? Yes. Lower.

Salt perhaps?
#5
Old 03-04-2013, 10:00 AM
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Over-torqued on installation. each side of the car is assembled by different workers.
#6
Old 03-04-2013, 10:05 AM
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Salt, dirt, dust, just about anything can eventually freeze a caliper. In my limited experience it's always been after a car has been sitting for awhile.
#7
Old 03-04-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankJBN View Post
Over-torqued on installation. each side of the car is assembled by different workers.
It's a sliding pin; it doesn't get torqued.
#8
Old 03-04-2013, 10:11 AM
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Location: Mooresburg, Tennessee
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Yeah, I was thinking additional salt spray corrosion from oncoming traffic. Has the car seen a lot of sodium-chloride driving?
#9
Old 03-04-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the lone cashew View Post
Yeah, I was thinking additional salt spray corrosion from oncoming traffic. Has the car seen a lot of sodium-chloride driving?
Well, in Canada? Hell yeah.
#10
Old 03-04-2013, 10:40 AM
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Manufacturer quality problem. Not all pins are created equal or of the same metal compound mix. Factories source parts from various suppliers. Some are better than others and occassionally quality suffers. Swap it out for a new one.
#11
Old 03-04-2013, 12:31 PM
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"the caliper pin is terminated with a 17 mm nut head"

Who puts a hex head on pins?
#12
Old 03-04-2013, 12:32 PM
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Location: Upstate, NY
Posts: 224
I had that happen with my nephew's 1994 Geo Metro once. A caliper slide pin/bolt had not only seized but broke off when I tried to remove it. Slide pin bolts for that car are kind of small. After removing the caliper I had to heat the crap out of the steering knuckle to remove the rest of it.
#13
Old 03-04-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
What causes cemented caliper slide pins?...The stuck pin wasn't just stuck, it was thermonuclearly bonded to the caliper bracket. What's up with that?
Rust (or similar oxidation).

Quote:
And yes, the rubber boot was intact.
Nevertheless, moisture got in there. Maybe a flaw in the boot, maybe a porosity in the caliper casting.
#14
Old 03-04-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankJBN View Post
"the caliper pin is terminated with a 17 mm nut head"

Who puts a hex head on pins?
On most cars the pins are actually threaded into the steering knuckle (like a bolt) so they have a hex or other head on them. My friend's Ford Explorer has drive in retaining pins instead of the threaded pins most cars use so they are certainly not standard.
#15
Old 03-04-2013, 12:43 PM
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I miss the good old days when Ford just used these push-through pins to secure a caliper...

Grab a hammer, smack 'em through! Easy as cake!
#16
Old 03-04-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducati View Post
I miss the good old days when Ford just used these push-through pins to secure a caliper...

Grab a hammer, smack 'em through! Easy as cake!
As I said in my previous post my friend's Ford Explorer has those.
#17
Old 03-04-2013, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankJBN View Post
"the caliper pin is terminated with a 17 mm nut head"

Who puts a hex head on pins?
It's necessary to have a pair of flats or a hex on this style guide pin so that the bolt that attaches the caliper to the pin can be properly tightened and loosened. The pin (when not rusted into place) can freely slide and rotate within its bore. This diagram shows, from left to right, the caliper fixing bolts which screw into the pins, the caliper, the caliper guide pins, and the caliper mounting bracket into which the pins fit. Here's a view of the mounting bracket with the pins in place and the fixing bolts started into them, and here's a view of the of the same components with the pins withdrawn from their bores.

There are other designs with different types of pins, but this is what the OP's car has.
#18
Old 03-04-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankJBN View Post
"the caliper pin is terminated with a 17 mm nut head"

Who puts a hex head on pins?
I'm glad they did. Otherwise I would have had to remove the caliper mounting bracket and perform a pin-ectomy in the basement on a vice, using vice grips.

As it was, I just used a 17mm wrench and after many, many, many blows with a mallet I was able to start twisting the pin back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.... at first only by 10 or 20 degrees in each direction until I worked up to the point where it would pretty much turn 360 degrees, and even then it was a bitch to get out.

Last edited by Leaffan; 03-04-2013 at 01:11 PM.
#19
Old 03-04-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
It's necessary to have a pair of flats or a hex on this style guide pin so that the bolt that attaches the caliper to the pin can be properly tightened and loosened. The pin (when not rusted into place) can freely slide and rotate within its bore. This diagram shows, from left to right, the caliper fixing bolts which screw into the pins, the caliper, the caliper guide pins, and the caliper mounting bracket into which the pins fit. Here's a view of the mounting bracket with the pins in place and the fixing bolts started into them, and here's a view of the of the same components with the pins withdrawn from their bores.

There are other designs with different types of pins, but this is what the OP's car has.
How does a professional get these stuck pins out Gary?
#20
Old 03-04-2013, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
How does a professional get these stuck pins out Gary?
If I can't turn the pin on the car, I remove the caliper mounting bracket and clamp the pin's hex or flats into a vise. Then, using a good amount of penetrating oil, I get a prybar onto the caliper body and carefully coax it into moving. Carefully so as to avoid having the pin break, which means getting a new bracket and a new pin. Usually once it starts to move, it's just a matter of time working it as you did.

Once the pin is out, I clean out the bore in the caliper body with a drill bit. Sometimes I can save the pin, getting it good and clean with an abrasive disc, otherwise a new pin isn't very costly.

It's possible for it to be so badly siezed that the pin won't come out without breaking. Heating with a torch is not advisable as it can alter the temper of the bracket, which can weaken it.

I like to use synthetic brake grease for the lube.
#21
Old 03-04-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
If I can't turn the pin on the car, I remove the caliper mounting bracket and clamp the pin's hex or flats into a vise. Then, using a good amount of penetrating oil, I get a prybar onto the caliper body and carefully coax it into moving. Carefully so as to avoid having the pin break, which means getting a new bracket and a new pin. Usually once it starts to move, it's just a matter of time working it as you did.

Once the pin is out, I clean out the bore in the caliper body with a drill bit. Sometimes I can save the pin, getting it good and clean with an abrasive disc, otherwise a new pin isn't very costly.

It's possible for it to be so badly siezed that the pin won't come out without breaking. Heating with a torch is not advisable as it can alter the temper of the bracket, which can weaken it.

I like to use synthetic brake grease for the lube.
Thanks. I never shopped for brake caliper grease before. Now I know.
#22
Old 12-14-2013, 04:17 PM
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Poor Design for wet environments

This crap design is great if you live in the desert or dry areas. One little leak or crack in the pin boot will allow moisture in but not out freezing the pins eventually. This issue plagued me on my 94 Caprice with rear disks (calipers made in Australia) and my 03 Elantra GT. They should go back to the old designs which worked(Asian and American manufacturers used to use this design) where the pins float in the rubber bushings or they simply float in the caliper brackets on looser fitting pins without boots.
#23
Old 12-14-2013, 11:24 PM
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Location: Chicago, IL
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My BMW has Allen heads on the pins which were fine on 3 wheels but my front left lower pin broke 4 Allen drivers. I ended up using pb blaster, a hammer and heat to get it out. All the new pins got nickel anti seize and brake lube where needed.
#24
Old 12-16-2013, 06:15 PM
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One reason why dual piston disc brakes are better. seriously, how much more would it cost to have dual piston brakes? Maybe $5.00/car?
#25
Old 02-05-2014, 11:19 AM
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My theory for coroded / seized calliper guide pins !

Uric acid !! Dog pee, it's a theory anyway ! Cars parked with the nearside wheels to the kerb are a favourite with our canine friends. Cheers M.
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