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Stuck caliper bolt.

ilangford

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March 5, 2011
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 XLT
HELP! Attempting to change pads and rotors on my '06 XLT; I can not break loose either of the two 17mm caliper bolt (drivers side). Have tried PB pentrating lube, no luck. Used both 17mm socket and a 17mm wrench. Now nut head is starting to "round off". I dont have impact wrench, but will get one if that is what it takes!
 



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Grab a rubber mallet and a 17mm wrench and smack the wrench with the mallet, it should break free or you can try a breaker bar but becareful not to snap the bolt head off
 






Get a propane torch from a local hardware store, apply heat for a minute then crank.

In addition, use a 6-point socket, not a 12-point, to minimize the chances of rounding the bolt head.
 






still stuck

Thanks for suggestions; tried the mallet and wrench - wrench is slipping off bolt. Also heated up bolt with propane torch for about a minute - no luck either. Would an impact wrench possibly help (or hurt?):(
 






6 point socket

I had not thought of that! Great Idea - off to store to buy!
 






Still stuck

Well, heck fire. Got the six sided box end and beat it with maul until my arm hurts - no movement.
Open to any other suggestions!:(
 






The caliper bolts are usualy put on with lock-tite.I would use a propane torch to heat them to break the lock-tite's grip.Just keep trying to break them loose as you heat the bolts so you don,t heat the bolts any more than you have to.Hope this helps.
 






I came across the same problem, if you've never taken those off, theres usually some red loctite on the threads when you get it off. Last time I did the rotors on my Ranger, I broke 1/2" drive craftsman socket.

I have found it helps when you're about to do those, if you cut your wheel to the left or the right before you jack it up and everything, so you can have a little more room to work.

BTW, IIRC, those bolts call for a minimum of 90 ft/lb when you put them back on. So when I put them on now, I stand on the end of a ratchet.
Don't let this happen to you:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192818
 






BTW, for clarification, Advance Auto Parts calls it a "Disc Brake Caliper Bracket Mounting Bolt" and Autozone has no idea what it is, and didn't have it in stock when I needed one. I had to go to the local hardware store, just to find something the same size that would at least work so I could get my truck home.

If you ask for a "Caliper Bolt" they will give you something that looks like this: http://tinyurl.com/6emrk5m
 






welcome
 






Success! Thanks!

Just a note to all of you who responded with suggestions; just took more heat than I originally thought, and the six point wrench with 2# maul did the trick! No telling how many hundred's of dollars you guys saved me not having to take in to a shop! Thanks!:)
 






Dont forget to replace that bolt ;)
 












I came across the same problem, if you've never taken those off, theres usually some red loctite on the threads when you get it off. Last time I did the rotors on my Ranger, I broke 1/2" drive craftsman socket.

I have found it helps when you're about to do those, if you cut your wheel to the left or the right before you jack it up and everything, so you can have a little more room to work.

BTW, IIRC, those bolts call for a minimum of 90 ft/lb when you put them back on. So when I put them on now, I stand on the end of a ratchet.
Don't let this happen to you:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192818

Are you talking about the caliper bolt, or the caliper bracket mounting bolt? That seems a bit high for the caliper bolt.
 






Those bolts should be treated a lot like lugnut bolts. Don't use small tools on those, you will hurt yourself and/or the bolt heads.

Use a 1/2" breaker bar or a special long handled 3/8" ratchet. Turning the steering wheel is smart if you aren't used to those. Use a very good socket which fits well, I typically use my normal 3/8" six point deep sockets for those.

Put them on as tight as a lugnut, use a drop of loctite red if you are worried about it becoming loose.
 






Are you talking about the caliper bolt, or the caliper bracket mounting bolt? That seems a bit high for the caliper bolt.

This thread is actually referring to "caliper bracket mounting bolt"

You're right, I don't think a "caliper bolt" could take 90 ft/lb
 






The small caliper bolts should never be an issue, because those should never be loosened.

Remove only the large caliper bracket to spindle bolts. Those have no grease, no boot, no sleeve to wear out.

Removing the small bolts, which are part of the slider function, that is bad. That introduces contaminants into the bolt/sleeve/boot/greased area. That makes them wear faster, which leads to a caliper not sliding properly. It makes noises or squeaks and creates uneven braking.

Don't do that, leave those tightened permanently. There are more and more complaints now from higher mileage or older trucks with those symptoms, due to the calipers being worn there.
 






From someone in the braking industry, here is some help with terminology:

Very few calipers have a single casting anymore. These were the older style that mounted directly to the steering knuckle, and the knuckle had the rails that the pads slide on.

Most vehicles now have:
1. "Caliper Bracket", which holds the pads, and is attached to the knuckle with "Bracket Mounting Bolts".
2. "Caliper Housing", which holds the piston and other internal hardware, and is attached to the Caliper Bracket with "Guide Pins" and "Guide Pin Bolts". You could also call these "Caliper Housing Bolts". These pins and bolts are shown in that pic in post #9.

Brake torque from the pads are absorbed by the bracket (not the housing). That is why the bracket bolts are much larger. The Guide Pin bolts can be smaller, because they only need to react the sliding motion of the caliper when pressurized, and maybe a little twisting moments.

If changing the pads only, you only need to remove the guide pin bolts, and lift the housing off the pad and pins. Move the guide pins in and out (a little) without breaking the rubber boot seal. If they move freely, and even feel like they are building some vacuum as you pull outward, leave them alone. The seal is still good. If you feel scraping, metal-on-metal contact, pull the boots and inspect. These are easy and cheap to replace, so don't be cheap if you find corrosion. Replace with new boots, too.

If you are replacing rotors (or having them turned), you'll also need to remove the bracket bolts. More grunting involved, as the OP has found.

I'm a fan of the breaker-bar and rubber mallet method.

I am NOT a fan of using a torch near any rubber brake components. If it's the bracket bolts, OK, but keep away from the guide pin or piston boots. If the guide pins are tight for some reason, use another non-heating method.
 






...

If changing the pads only, you only need to remove the guide pin bolts, and lift the housing off the pad and pins. Move the guide pins in and out (a little) without breaking the rubber boot seal. If they move freely, and even feel like they are building some vacuum as you pull outward, leave them alone. The seal is still good. If you feel scraping, metal-on-metal contact, pull the boots and inspect. These are easy and cheap to replace, so don't be cheap if you find corrosion. Replace with new boots, too.
...

I disagree strongly. It is a very bad idea to loosen the caliper pin bolts ever. Huge masses of people are removing those to change pads, and much of the time they get the rubber boots opened up to the air, introducing dirt etc.

Those should only be removed about as often as a late transmission gets new fluid, almost never. maybe once every 5-10 years it would be smart to take those apart and replace the grease. But that's a purposeful task which would include cleanliness that people doing brakes don't observe.

Most people that do brakes yank it all apart quickly and if those slider bolts are part of their process, look out. At some high mileage point the truck will have an issue with squeaking or a complaint that something is rubbing etc. That, 99% of the time now with the typical mileage, ends up being worn out calipers. That is, the pistons are fine and the pad hardware is still good, but the caliper will rock too much on the pins. The pin bores and the pins will be worn too much.

FYI, already, now members here have discovered that parts sources selling rebuilt calipers have issues with those. The rebuilt calipers are turning out to be as worn as the parts people are taking off the truck. That tells me too many people do not take care of those slider bolts, the boots, grease etc.

The answer is way too simple, as I keep telling people. Do not remove those slider bolts, ever. It is far better to leave those alone and rely on that grease to remain usable, than to keep opening up those boots and getting dirt etc in them.
 



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I disagree strongly. It is a very bad idea to loosen the caliper pin bolts ever. Huge masses of people are removing those to change pads, and much of the time they get the rubber boots opened up to the air, introducing dirt etc...
I really think we have the same concern, regarding contamination. From my post:
"Move the guide pins in and out (a little) without breaking the rubber boot seal. If they move freely, and even feel like they are building some vacuum as you pull outward, leave them alone..."

Sure, some people may just "yank apart" their brakes. But the people coming to sites like this are already taking time to read instructions and recommendations. People here are already showing some restraint and caution.

I understand your concern. But as a brake design and testing engineer for the last 19 years, I stand by my recommendation:
1. Check by feel (and if things feel OK, do not disturb). Yes, this means removing the pin bolts. Just trying to move the caliper as installed is not enough for me.
2. If things don't feel right, there is a reason. Open up, clean, and replace components. Reusing the old components will simply repeat the problem.

If you aren't willing to do some investigating during maintenance, you will never know that you have a problem brewing until it's too late. I think it silly to do a brake job, and not do some careful analysis to find out if your calipers are still working as intend. If you don't check these pins (at least by feel, keeping them sealed), you may not know that 1 of the pin boots got ripped by some debris, and the grease is gone. Time goes on, and your inboard pad is gone and the outboard looks new, because the caliper hasn't been sliding properly. Caliper not sliding properly equals less effective braking, equals longer stopping distances, and/or unequal wear on the opposite pad and the other corners.
 






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