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Thread: How do you check brake calipers

  1. #1
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    Default How do you check brake calipers

    Need to know how to check brake calipers. Lost a rotor last night to a new set of semi metalic pads. Pads were installed on Sunday and the rotor and the exterior pad on the left side of the car are destroyed with less than 2 hours of driving. My thoughts are caliper piston could be sticking or that the caliper is not sliding on the pins. How do you check both of these for proper operation?

  2. #2
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    A C-clamp.
    '01 540it, 6/01
    '03 325i 5 speed, 9/02
    '10 535ix. 9/09
    '10 mini 6 speed
    '15 mini countryman 6 speed

  3. #3
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    I think I may have found my problem. I normally hi-temp grease the caliper pins but looking on this forum I have discovered they should be installed dry, or at least using a specialized coating. I bet the grease has caused the pads to bind up. I will pull the brakes tonight and do a through cleaning. New rotors and pads with a clean caliper should do the trick. I will look into the pin lube though

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibokojoe View Post
    Need to know how to check brake calipers. Lost a rotor last night to a new set of semi metalic pads. Pads were installed on Sunday and the rotor and the exterior pad on the left side of the car are destroyed with less than 2 hours of driving. My thoughts are caliper piston could be sticking or that the caliper is not sliding on the pins. How do you check both of these for proper operation?
    With no pads in, you should be able to move the caliper on the pins by hand. The piston can go in crooked and jam and I use a G clamp push it in. I'd leave a small gap between the clamp and the piston and press the pedal. Then check to see if I could back the piston in again easily. If thats ok, I'd chuck the old pads in and stand on the brakes to see if I could make it jam-no point messing up a new set unless you are happy. HTH

  5. #5
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    Will give it a go. Parts are suppose to be in this afternoon

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Nope, that wasn't your problem

    even though you're supposed to put them in dry and clean a number of people here have greased them in the past without the problem that you had

    Even with a sticking caliper i haven't seen one kill the pad in only a couple of hours, it usually takes weeks and is pretty obvious by the pull on the steering wheel



    Quote Originally Posted by Kibokojoe View Post
    I think I may have found my problem. I normally hi-temp grease the caliper pins but looking on this forum I have discovered they should be installed dry, or at least using a specialized coating. I bet the grease has caused the pads to bind up. I will pull the brakes tonight and do a through cleaning. New rotors and pads with a clean caliper should do the trick. I will look into the pin lube though


  7. #7
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    Back looking at this stuff for todays issues. Amazing info.
    95 E34 530I V2.31
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  8. #8
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    we had some cases especially on E32 750 with the H31 brake unit in our warehouse which were long time parked, that the brake calipers were stuck. The problem is the brake master cylinder, inside there are some seals and a bakelite ring, this bakelite ring 'swells' by age and then the master is stuck at some point. I know of some people which has disassembled the brake master and 'polished' a bit off the diameter of the bakelite ring.
    Here a pic how it looks inside a H31 brake master cylinder, probably the others look same / similar
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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