Car Brakes

How to Install Brake Calipers on Car Wheels

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Replacing calipers is a fairly simple process that requires some specialty tools on some cars. These instructions are merely a guide and not a substitute for professional assistance.


  1. Raise the vehicle, support it with jack stands and place blocks to keep the vehicle from rolling.
  2. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  3. Using hose clamping pliers or vice grips pinch off the brake hose (not the steel line but the rubber part) so you don't lose all your brake fluid. If using vice grips for this place a rag around the hose to protect it from the teeth of the vice grips. On the rear of a vehicle with a solid axle the hose may be near the wheel or near where the control arm meets the frame of the vehicle.
  4. Open the bleeder screw with a socket or the box end of a wrench. Note: these are made of soft metal and are easily damaged.
  5. Compress the piston back into the caliper using your hands, or the pry bar or slotted screwdriver. Do this until the pads are no longer pressed firmly against the rotor.
  6. Use a flare nut wrench to loosen the hose where it is connected to the caliper. Do not turn hose more than half a turn to avoid kinking the hose. (On some vehicles a banjo bolt secures the hose to the caliper, in which case the hose can be removed in this step, and step 8 may be omitted.)
  7. Remove the caliper from the steering knuckle using wrenches or hex sockets as required. On rear disk brakes the parking brake is removed from the caliper and the procedure varies from vehicle to vehicle. The parking brake will need to be off to remove the rear caliper.
  8. Once the caliper is free from the steering knuckle, turn the caliper to the left to unscrew it from the brake hose.
  9. Retain the caliper in case you need to reuse any hardware or the bleeder screw.
  10. Make sure the piston is fully retracted and install the new brake pads.
  11. Attach the brake hose to the caliper making sure to use the new copper washers that came with the new caliper and fit the assembly over the rotor.
  12. Secure the caliper to the steering knuckle the opposite way of step 7.
  13. Finish tightening the hose to the caliper if not done already, being careful not to over tighten it.
  14. Release the hose clamping pliers or vice grips and install the bleeder screw loosely.
  15. Open the hood, and monitor the fluid level in the brake reservoir to maintain the level above minimum.
  16. Monitor the brake bleeder screw, and close it when a steady stream of fluid with no bubbles comes out.
  17. Pump the brake pedal with the engine off until a solid feel is obtained.
  18. Reinstall the wheel and tire, and lower the vehicle. Make sure to tighten lug nuts to appropriate torque specifications.
  19. Fill brake fluid reservoir to appropriate level, reinstall the cap and close the hood.



Things You'll Need

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Brake Repair
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How to Install Brake Calipers on Car Wheels
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