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Thread: Disposable calipers - use once then dump!

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ridgerider's Avatar
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    Default Disposable calipers - use once then dump!

    MOT week for my GSI.

    Took it to the local garage who noted worn front pads and thinning disks.

    No problem, says I, I happen to know that VX sell 304mm disk/pad sets for around £75, can you put new ones on the front.

    Job done, MOT certificate issued.

    Driving the car though, I noticed that it wasn't running right, and was stopping with a jerk. Out of the car, I could smell smoldering brake pads. The garage were apologetic and I returned the car to get the brakes set up properly.

    I got a call today to say that the brake pistons were not returning properly and were jamming in the cylinders, pushing the pads onto the disks all the time. They had done all the cleaning/resealing possible so they had called Vx for advice. They were told that this often happened when calipers were "disturbed", the only solution being new calipers at £48 each.

    New calipers are on order for next week, but has anyone else heard of this before?

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    Regular Member Gsi3.2's Avatar
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    unless your caliper seals are split and the piston is rusty this is a new one on me.....

    it could be that the pads are binding on rusty and dirty pad rests

    did you tell them you needed 302mm discs or 314's..?...

    TBH, the fitter should have noticed.. the pads would have been tight to fit over the disc and they would have had to use a lot of force to get the calipers back on..this should have made them think.....

    they should have spun the wheel to see if there was any binding... if they didn't then it tells you something...

    i'd strip and rebuild the job again elsewhere before condeming the calipers..

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    Regular Member leeroy's Avatar
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    I had the same problem and still have!!! My garage has temporarily solved mine by havin the pads skimmed enough for the piston to return!!! Why a plastic piston????? I'm afraid mate the only way would be new calipers which i am looking around for too!!!

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    Regular Member Ridgerider's Avatar
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    I was disappointed that they handed the car back with binding brakes. However, I have found them to be honest with their assessments in the past.

    I am off to chat to them this morning to see if they can show me the problem (and to check the disk size...).

    Anybody want any calipers, only used once?

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    I have just had a similar problem - replaced front disks, pads, and pad wear sensor on a '52 GSi. The wheels spin first time but then bind on once the brake pedal has been pressed a few times - you can't turn either of thewheels by hand. The only way to 'unbind' them is to take the capliers off and push the piston pack in. There is some space spare when re-fitting the calipers - they just slide over the new disks and pads once the piston has been fully retracted. To me, this says that the calipers/pads are not releasing pressure from the disks when the brake pedal is released. Any ideas would be appreciated as the MOT is due, of course!

    Disks 93171500.
    Pads 93176121 (or 93186121 - I don't have the boxes and can't read my writing).
    These came together in kit 93186298.

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    Further to my last post, replacing the new pads with the old pads (so that the piston comes further out of the caliper) results in the brakes working fine - they go on OK then release (so the wheels can turn) when you take your foot off of the brake pedal. Haynes suggest that brake binding means either the calipers or the master cylinder. I presume that because it only happens when the new disks AND pads are installed means that it is morely likely to be the capliers. 2 dealers have confirmed that we have the right disks and pads.

    All suggestions and advice gratefully accepted. Thanks.

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    Regular Member Ridgerider's Avatar
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    That is exactly my situation.

    When my garage rang the main dealer to get advice on the situation, they said we needed new calipers and that they were £48 each.

    My garage said they were probably that cheap because the dealer obviously sells so many!

    We are asking for a contribution to the cost from Vauxhall.

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    Let me know how it goes. I will post here later this week if I can - the GSi is booked into our friendly local independant garage. I suspect they will look at the calipers first and find that they either need cleaning up or replacing. This is the car's first new disks and pads - it's a 2002 but not high mileage. I suspect it's been so long since the calipers have been pushed right back that some dirt or rust or a seal inside is making them stick and so stopping them releasing the pressure on the brake disks.

    How do you go about asking Vauxhall for a contribution? Would they do it on a car of this age and with it going to a non-Vauxhall garage?

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    The brakes are fixed now. The garage could not get the calipers to work (i.e. the piston to slide in and out smoothly) when the piston was pushed right back in (as it is with new disks and pads) so fitted a new set of calipers. They did not attempt to dismantle and repair the original calipers because there is not much you can do with them if you do - especially what was likely to he wrong with these particular ones. The cost was the new calipers at about £100 for a pair plus around £100 labour for the dismantling/testing/refitting.

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