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Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*

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Old 01-22-05, 10:53 AM
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Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*

Since I was unable to find any caliper rebuild how-to's with images, I thought I'd snap some pics of mine as I went, maybe share some insights along the way. Here are a couple "before" pics.

The caliper really is not as dirty as it looks. A summer of track days turned my cheap caliper paint dark / black. This was the Dupli-Color caliper paint - only rated to 500 degrees.

You can also see the calipers were in dire need of attention. Note the cracked dust boots etc.
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes01.jpg   Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes02.jpg  
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Old 01-22-05, 10:56 AM
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Here's how I went about removing the pistons. Ensure you have something to stop the pistons or they will fire out with surprising force and spray brake fluid everywhere. (Voice of experience...)
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes03.jpg  
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Old 01-22-05, 11:01 AM
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Here is a before and after of the pistons. It really took some work to get them back in shape. They were scarred from being forced unevenly into their bores, but fortunately the scarring came out with some red jeweler's polish. Before that I cleaned them with steel wool. Do NOT use sandpaper or anything abrasive that might scratch the mirror finish on the pistons!

Oh, and if you need an excuse to purchase a Dremel, this would be a good one!
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes1.jpg   Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes2.jpg  
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Old 01-22-05, 11:04 AM
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I definitely needed to clean up the calipers before putting any new paint on them... nothing else would even begin to remove it, so I had to use the intense stuff...

then lots more use of the Dremel to get it to this stage...
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes3.jpg   Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes4.jpg  
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Old 01-22-05, 11:08 AM
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This pic doesn't really fit here in the flow of the project, but at some point you need to remove the old seals. The "dental pick" tools are invaluable for this.

After you get these out, clean the bores, then clean them some more, then clean them some more. Get absolutely every little bit of dust and grime and grit out before inserting fresh seals.

Use only brake cleaner for cleaning, as any other cleaner can leave a residue.
And use only brake fluid to lube the seals for reassembly!

The seals and fresh dust boots come in a "caliper rebuild kit", available from Mazdatrix.
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes5.jpg  

Last edited by zullo; 01-22-05 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-22-05, 11:12 AM
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I'm missing a pic of the completed caliper with boots replaced... it was blurry. Sorry. Safe to say it looked much better than the "before" pic in the first post.

Anyway, several coats of Plasti-kote 1200 degree caliper paint later, and with some Dremel sanding and polishing of the Mazda logo...
Attached Thumbnails Caliper cleanup & rebuild *pics*-brakes6.jpg  
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Old 01-22-05, 11:13 AM
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I'll add a final pic with the wheels on in a few weeks when I get some shiny new rotors and am able to get the car out and give it a cleaning...
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Old 01-22-05, 11:14 AM
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Now, did you just use regular old brakekleen for this type of work, or did you use anything special for cleaning out the dirt in the caliper piston holes?
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Old 01-22-05, 11:17 AM
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I used regular old brake cleaner. Absolutely nothing else should go in the caliper bores. I'll go back and edit that post, cuz that is important. Clean with brake cleaner only, ensure it is all evaporated before reassembling, and lube only with brake fluid during reassembly.
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Old 01-22-05, 11:54 AM
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impressive work
what kind of pads rotors and fluid are you going to use and do you have ss lines?
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Old 01-22-05, 12:08 PM
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I wish I could say I had a pad and rotor I'm happy with, but I can't. On the street I'm fine with whatever rotor and Axxis Ultimate pads. For track days, I'm still looking for a pad that lasts longer than a weekend and a rotor that won't warp in a weekend. Suggestions welcome. I am installing the N-Tech backing plates and 3" ducts which should help significantly with this next summer. As far as fluid goes, I use Motul 600 for the track - and yes, I have Goodridge stainless lines.
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Old 01-22-05, 12:34 PM
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I use the ATE Super Blue in my audi with Porsche Boxster Calipers. Now, I couldn't tell you how much improvement that made, as I made the switch when I put the new calipers on, but I havn't had any issues when the brakes are hot.
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Old 01-22-05, 12:45 PM
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nice work! thanks for the "how to" .
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Old 01-22-05, 12:45 PM
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great write up and nice pics....should serve to help many of us in future brake rebuilds. THanks
RYan
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Old 01-22-05, 06:16 PM
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Cool, thanks.
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Old 01-22-05, 10:24 PM
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Nice writeup! The caliper looks awesome all new and shiny . You did a great job cleaning the pistons up - I'm amazed at the shine you got!

I've rebuilt my FC calipers a jillion years ago - it's actually pretty easy. Just be sure to use the right stuff for cleaning everything (brake cleaner and brake fluid for lube) and it's all good.

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Old 01-23-05, 07:48 PM
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looks dope

oo for u guysthat wants to paint your calipers dont use the duplicolor brand

that u have to brush it on instead of spray

it sux a$$, i got another pait from auto zone and looks clean!!!

i will start my own thread later with pics

nice work btw

mike
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Old 01-24-05, 07:10 AM
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Great post. People always wonder how the pistons come out and the rebuild kit is very cheap!
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Old 01-24-05, 07:37 AM
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Did you paint the entire caliper or just the exposed side? And also, has anyone tried to rebuild the rear calipers? I want to paint my rear ones too.
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Old 01-24-05, 10:46 AM
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Rears are probably due also, but fronts were my big priority.

I masked off most of the back and mounting points. No need to waste paint or have the mess in threads or on mounting points...
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Old 01-24-05, 01:18 PM
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Very nice indeed. Great thread.
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Old 04-16-05, 12:29 AM
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just curious do the piston seals have direction?

I noticed that the seals have a red and green line on them, I wouldn't know how but are they supposed to go in a certain way?


thanks
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Old 04-16-05, 03:26 PM
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Great timing!! I was just about to remove my front calipers to do the same thing!! I just got online to do a search on a how-to for this project, and it showed up right in front of the 3rd gen forum. Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-17-05, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Rip
just curious do the piston seals have direction?

I noticed that the seals have a red and green line on them, I wouldn't know how but are they supposed to go in a certain way?


thanks
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Old 04-17-05, 06:57 PM
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So Zullo, how much to send you my calipers and you give them your treatment in black with a polished mazda logo?

-Joseph
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