Brakes Complete Disassembly/Reassembly Of Rear Calipers (w/ Integrated Parking Brake)...

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by CarCrazyRDM, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Well I have yet to find a single post on any Mustang forum about taking these puppies apart so I figured I would take some pics and post up. And there is probably a reason for this... they're going to be a **** to get back together and secondly you can buy new ones for a reasonable price.

    BUT my reasoning was that I was going to have the fronts powder coated and I would really like the rears to match. It wasn't going to cost me any more to have the rears PC as well so I figured if worst comes to worst and I can't get them back together then I'll just buy some new replacements. Secondly, I really wanted to see how this crazy integrated parking brake mechanism worked. :)

    I got many mixed reviews about whether or not I could just leave the internals of the parking brake mechanism inside the caliper and just have it PC'd that way. My PC guy said even if the seals were OK he was more worried about the chemicals and grit that would most definitely get up inside the mechanism when dipping/blasting the calipers.

    Anyway, I decided to pull them apart and here is how it went:

    1) Parts/Assembly Diagram


    2) Caliper after removal from car


    3) After cycling the parking brake "lever" the piston comes all the way out (no need to unscrew or apply air pressure through the bleed screw hole)


    4) I had to give the piston a little twist at the very end and then it came right out


    5) Then just pull the dust boot off. And a view down inside the caliper and the back of the piston.


    6) Then I removed the bleed screw. It had some corrosion on it and down in the hole of which I cleaned off/out.


    7) Then I removed the inner piston seal.


    8) Now down inside the piston is a spring with a "cap" over it which is held in place by a snap ring. I could not get my snap ring pliers to fit down inside the piston (hence putting this back together while compressing the spring is going to be a PITA) but I used a small pic and just walked the snap ring around. It was a little difficult but only took a few tries. A warning for anyone that may attempt this... I had one spring/cap that popped out with pretty good force and shot my snap ring into the air, so you might want to wear some safety glasses. My other calipers just made a quick "snap" noise and all pieces stayed inside the caliper. Of course that was the second caliper I did and was prepared for and nothing happened, lol.


    9) First set of parts laid out.


    10) After you pulled those parts out then follows a small washer followed by a larger gold/silver washer with some idents in it. These two kind of just dumped out when I turned the caliper upside down.

    11) Then came time to remove the screw that the piston rides up and down on. At first I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was keeping it in there and I couldn't yet remove the lever mechanism from the back of the caliper (it was obvious the two were "tied" together some how but I couldn't see what was holding them). Finally I got tired of messing with it and just grabbed it with a set of pliers (with a rag on the end as to not scratch the screw) and sure enough it just popped out. It's got a little O-ring around the base of it that keeps it kind of suctioned into a hole (see pics for a clearer idea of what I am talking about). The screw also has a little swivel rod (don't know what else to call it) that just pulls out of the back of it. The other end of the swivel rod sticks into a hole in the parking brake lever (hence keeping it from being pulled out before).


    12) Then I just removed the parking brake lever from the back of the caliper.


    13) Everything laid out.


    14) Then the last step was just removing the rubber seal where the lever came out of and taking off the little O-ring that was around the back of the screw. The caliper rebuild kit comes with both of these O-rings (see pics below) Following that I just sprayed some brake cleaner up inside the caliper to clean everything out.


    15) Here's how everything goes when together inside the caliper.


    16) And this is kind of what I have in mind from trying to put it back together, except I will probably put an extension on the socket and try and put it in my vise so that the clamp won't be in my way and I'll have more room to try and finagle that snap ring back in there. If anyone has any better ideas please let me know! I have a feeling there will be a few four letter words spoken during this re-assembly process, lol. Or I may contact the manufacturer (if someone still makes these crazy integrated parking brake calipers) and see what they do. My guess is they have some sort of jig that holds everything.


    And here are the rebuild kits I bought for the calipers (front set (Cobra) followed by the rear set)...


    I'll be sure and update this post after I get the calipers back from powder coating (he was supposed to be done yesterday!!!) and HOPEFULLY back together. And if anyone has done this before please chime in with advice.

  2. You are suposed to hone the inner part of the cylinder before you put it back together. Be careful, if it's not done perfectly, it will seize.

  3. great write up!
  4. :stupid: This is why noone takes them apart.

    However, Nice write up.
  5. Well it won't be getting honed. I believe most just take some fine sand paper or emory cloth and clean off any build up on the side of the piston and maybe inside the bore. We'll see how it goes.
  6. The honing tool is only a couple of bucks at the parts store. It's just a couple of stones on a drill piece that you hook up to a slow speed drill. Nice choice on the rebuild kit. Tru Torque is one of those no name brands that is just awesome. I sold their stuff at Advance for years, and never had a single thing come back defective.

  7. Thanks for the info on the honing stone/tool Kurt. After the stuff comes back from the powder coater I plan on inspecting both the inside of the caliper and the pistons in more detail. If I see anything that looks or feels odd then I might look into that tool. As for the rebuild kit, if it is nicer than other kits I just lucked out, lol. I looked around but they all seemed to cost about the same $10-$15. I think I actually ordered these from Advance Auto.
  8. FINALLY got the calipers back from the powder coater. They were worth the wait though, they look awesome! I only re-assembled the fronts tonight (it was too late and I was too tired to mess with the rears) but I took a couple quick pics...


    I had the brackets powder coated black too while everything was apart
  9. It can be done!!! :) Just takes a lot of patience, perseverance and a little bit of luck, lol.

    I didn't take any pics with this side b/c I wasn't sure it was going to happen but I will update the post with my "how to re-assemble" once I've done the other side (hopefully tomorrow and hopefully it won't take nearly as long as the first).

    But here she is in all her beauty... lets just hope it actually functions when I step on the brake pedal.

  10. Well I got it all finished up last night, had the wife help me bleed the brakes and finally put her back on the ground! It was good to drive it again (I even took her to work today). Everything seemingly functions fine; the rears haven't locked up, not functioned or sprayed fluid everywhere yet so I think we're in the clear. :)

    Anyway, here is the how to process I used. I'm sure there are other ways but after I did the first one using this method the second one went much faster. Three quarters of my time messing with all of this was in acquiring the right "tools" and figuring out a method to make it all work. My disclaimer goes right here... I take no responsibility if your **** falls apart after putting it back together using "my method." :beer:

    1) You start with the bare caliper and your rebuild kit. Also, these are some of the very handy tools you will need.


    2) First slide in the new parking brake lever seal (put a little grease around the edge of it... Ford's instructions say di-electric grease)


    3) Then grease up the parking lever itself and slide it down into the caliper. Then install the spring retainer bolt.


    4) Next, per Ford's directions, install the parking brake spring. I debated leaving the spring off here but then decided it would be best, one b/c it would hold the lever in the correct position so the pin/dowel would line up and two b/c it would be a lot easier to put on while the caliper was off the car sitting on the work bench.

    I've used this method in the past for getting this PITA spring back on and it's worked quite well. I put the spring in the vice like so (see below) and then get a decent sized zip tie and hold the two compressed ends together. I usually tighten the vice up a little and then pull on the zip tie and then repeat. At least then you'll hold most of the pressure from the spring if it were to slip out. Be VERY CAREFUL here... if that bugger comes flying out of there it could take your eye with it so I'd throw on some goggles and maybe some gloves.


    5) Once the spring is compressed I've found it works best to put the end with the "hook" around the retainer bolt and then install the other end into the parking brake lever. I usually still have to grab it with some large pliers and squeeze a little but with the zip tie on there it takes away most of the awkward positioning in the pliers. You're about 1/3 of the way done now! That was the easy part...


    6) Now flip the caliper on its end. The bore should be empty and at the bottom the little notch/hole that was in the parking brake lever arm should be visible.


    7) Now grab the screw mechanism and the little dowel pin that goes in the end of it. Make sure to put a new O-ring on the end of it. Grease up the dowel pin and recess in the end of the screw. Then press these two pieces down into the caliper bore. I then chose to pull the screw back out and then double check the alignment of the dowel pin. There is enough grease down in there that you can just sort of stand it up centered in the hole and then put the screw back down on top of it. This just ensures its all centered up. I think you'll know if it isn't though b/c the screw will probably be sticking out past the leading edge of the caliper (it should be recessed just a touch).


    8) Then take the notched washer and drop it over the screw. Make sure to put the little nipple on the back side of it down and then make sure it aligns with the hole in the bottom of the caliper bore. Then put the flat smaller washer on top of it.


    9) Next I put a piece of padded foam tape on the bottom of the caliper b/c you're about to clamp it in a large C-clamp.


    10) Here comes the fun part! :bash: Here is how and what I chose to use as a "tool" to compress the spring and cap. I had to find just the right sized socket (I found a Husky 7/16", I think, socket meant for a 1/2 rachet) that the small end fit down inside the spring/cap but that was large enough up top to allow my C-clamp to press down on. HOWEVER, there are a couple potential hangups here that I found out the hard way.

    ONE, the hole/bore down the center of the socket has to be big enough for the screw to pass through as you compress the spring (I actually had to drill this socket out just a hair to allow enough clearance). You don't want this to bind up or you'll probably bend/break the screw and then your SOL.

    TWO, it also has to be tall enough so that when you compress the spring and the screw starts to come up it doesn't "bottom out" into your C-clamp. I started with a smaller/shorter socket of which wasn't deep enough and the hole in the middle of it was WAY too small. I spent ample time and MANY drill bits (see below) drilling that SOB out just to then discover it wasn't tall enough!!!! :fm: This socket actually still wasn't deep enough but I solved that with one little washer (again with a large enough hole that the screw can pass through the middle of it). I made my washer just a touch concave as well which helped keep it centered in the top of the socket. I first tried gluing it to the C-clamp base but it just kept F-ing up.

    But the socket works great for helping to keep the spring/cap centered as you compress it.


    11) Now drop the spring, cap and socket down into the bore of the caliper. And put your washer on top of your socket if it is necessary.


    12) Then put it all in the C-clamp (or the C-clamp around all of it). I quickly found putting the C-clamp into my vise made things SOOOOO much easier than just trying to hold onto all of this mess on the work bench. Plus you are going to need both hands, a flashlight and lots of patience for the next part.


    13) Next up comes compressing the spring. That part is relatively easy but you have to be very careful b/c of the little tines on around the perimeter of the spring cap. I would screw my C-clamp down until the edge of the tines were just on the lip down inside of the bore of the caliper and then take a long/skinny screw driver and kind of work my way around pressing inward on the tines as I slowly put a little more pressure on the spring via the C-clamp. You will kind of hear some of them "snap" down into the bore/lip. If you compress the spring/cap without getting the tines centered up you'll bend them (see pic below). I had to straighten them out several times, not too big of a deal. But what does becomes aggravating is if you don't know you've bent one or two of up them and then try and get your snap ring to fit down in there and you can't figure out why it won't lay flat or fit all the way in the groove... it will become obvious and you'll figure out how to get the spring cap compressed pretty quickly.


    14) Once the spring/cap is compressed all the way down take your snap ring and slide it around the C-clamp shaft. Do this BEFORE you "close" the snap ring and tie it shut (don't ask me how I know)! The tying of the snap ring with some thin but strong wire was what saved me on this whole endeavor. For the life of me I couldn't get my snap ring pliers down in there, not even if I had a smaller socket, and while I think it can be done by just using pressure from a screw driver I think it will take much longer and be much more aggravating. There is very little room to see and maneuver down in the caliper bore once everything is in place so the less you have to be down in there the better.


    15) Once you've got the snap ring tied off, drop it down into the caliper. Again, make sure you get it tied together BEFORE you drop it down in there (again, I learned from experience) b/c it is a **** to try and get that snap ring back out of there. I would then work the snap ring around with either my screw driver and/or a piece of coat hanger I had cut off (worked quite well actually). It will eventually lay completely flat down in there and you can usually get one side or the other to slide up underneath the lip that holds the snap ring in place once you release it.

    To get the wire undone I found I could just put my screw driver on it, lightly tap it with a hammer or piece of wood etc and the wire would break. At this point you may still need to work the snap ring into place a little more with the screw driver. And some frustration may occur with trying to pull the wire out of the little hole in the snap ring without pulling the snap ring from the groove it is in. I did this a couple times after removing it from the C-clamp jig and thinking I was finally done... pissed me off something fierce. But as long as you get the snap ring mostly in place you can remove the caliper from the C-clamp and then pull the socket out of the way and then you will be able to slide a long nose pair of needle nose down in there (see pic). Just be easy when pulling on the wire ends that are left. And make sure to get all of the wire out.

    SUCCESS!!! :rockon:


    16) The hard part is finally over! It will take several attempts and it is tedious b/c getting the spring and cap all centered and then the snap ring to fit just doesn't always work and then you basically have to start all over. :( But once you get it, you will jump with joy! :)

    Now just put your new piston seal into the caliper, lube up your piston with some fresh brake fluid and slide your new dust boot on. I first cleaned the surface of the piston with a scotch bright pad (lightly). I found it much easier to put the boot on from the bottom of the piston and leave it right at the edge. Then hold them both together and slip the edge of the boot that goes into the caliper into its recess. It may take a few tries doing it this way but I couldn't get the boot to fit in there if I installed the piston first.


    17) Then just screw your piston back into the caliper and you're done!!! Easy as pie, LOL. :rollseyes I found you had to put a lot of pressure on the piston when screwing it back in otherwise the mechanism that is actually in the top of the piston starts to spin and it doesn't screw into the caliper bore.


    Who knew it would take all these tools and so many drill bits to rebuild some rear calipers?! :)


    This was definitely a lot of work and is not for everyone but it can be done if you so choose. While I can't say it was all enjoyable I did feel like I accomplished something when it was all said and done and it was definitely a learning experience. Let me know if you have any questions or if you think I left anything out.

    Thanks for reading this extremely long post!


    PS If the mods would like to change the title to "Dis-Assembly and Re-Assembly" I would appreciate it.
    Cory Berg and sailormanashore like this.
  11. Hello Ryan
    I have just spent 2 very frustrating days on the web trying to find details of this type of caliper which I have on my 2007 Honda Accord and your post is of enormous help and extremely well presented.
    Please accept my very grateful thanks for going to so much trouble in presenting/ posting your superb report on these autoadjust handbrake calipers.
    Kindest regards

    Sid Fisher
  12. Sid,
    Thanks for the comments and I'm glad to hear my write up was useful to someone.

    Take care,
  13. Great write up, thanks for letting me know not to ever try rebuilding my calipers lol. Took a lot less tools to tear my engine down
    Cory Berg likes this.
  14. Great write up been looking for help with mine. I have two suggestions too make it a little easier next time or for some one else. To get the spring compressed what I did was use a small compression hose clamp like the ones used on atvs or lawn mower fuel lines. I put the screw mechanism, washers, spring and hat all together in a vise compressing the spring. Then I used the hose clamp on the threads up against the hat, this will hold the spring compressed. Then I put the screw down in the bore. I used a special type of snapping pliers that are bent at a ninety degree with a long reach. They are used in the motorcycle industry for rebuilding master cylinders. I hope this helps some people out.
  15. Paul, thanks for the tips. Is the compression hose clamp and the pliers you used something you could take or find a picture of (or a link to)? Just so I or others have an idea of what to look for, buy, rent.

  16. Love it when guys take the time to do these kinda write ups. Some day mine are gonna need work and I'll come looking for this one....:nice:
  17. Hey Ryan,
    I have attached some pics but they are not mine not mine I didn't take any when I did it. The first pic is the snap ring pliers tool. image.jpg The second is the way is is put together with the small hose clamp. image.jpg this last one is a tool used to rebuild Toyota calipers that will compress the spring on the threaded shaft not sure if this would work for Ford/Lincoln rear calipers. image.jpg One other idea I just thought of is to take the inside threads out of another brake caliper piston as this is held in with a snap ring. Well I hope this help some people out it took me a couple weeks of searching on and of together mine done. Ryan you did a awesome write up.
  18. First off, awesome job on this post! It helped me just finish rebuilding/ powder coating a pair myself. I originally tried to following your method to compress the piston spring. After many hours and much cussing, I decided to try something different. I tried using the compression clamp like shown above, the mustang springs are much too strong to be held by the clamp. Finally the method that worked for me was to disassemble a piston and hack off the shoulder with a cut off wheel. its the piece on the right.

    Attached Files:

  19. Attached is after hacking it up!

    Attached Files:

  20. Place a washer on top of the spring cage and then thread this on. Spring compression is much easier & its a lot easier to guide the spring cage into the pocket. Visibility is much improved it generally easier access to install the snap ring. I would highly recommend the 90 deg snap ring pliers shown above! If I had those it would have made this a 10 min job for me!

    Attached Files: