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removing brake calliper bolts


nicks90
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at the weekend i decided to do a bit of pre-mot maintanence and strip each hub down and repack the bearings with my lovely new blue JCB grease and get everything set up nicely and then re-do the tracking.

came across a problem though, i could not for the life of me get the brake calliper bolts off the front right corner. The other 3 corners came off nice and easy, but that last one was a complete pig and would not let go.

At one point i was lying on my back with my feet braced against the front bumper hauling on a 2foot breaker bar. I twisted off the 1/4" stub that goes into the socket!!!! - resulting in me flinging back and cracking my head on the tarmac, hitting myself in the chin with the end of the breaker bar and then having to spend 5 minutes struggling to bash the 13mm socket off the end of the bolt. I;m extremely surprised the bolt didnt shear and the breaker bar did! I'm also quite unimpressed that i now have to buy a new 1/4" breaker bar...

So the question is, whats the best way of getting these 2 bolts out without a) snapping them b) getting the gas axe out?

Ideally i;d rather not use heat, as the flexi pipe is quite near the top bolt and i dont want to go to the hassle of stripping all the pipes off and then re-bleeding the brakes - snapping off seized bleed nipples etc etc etc and it turning into a 3 day slog-athon.

cheers

Nick

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Nick,

Thing 1: Use a 1/2" breaker bar....

Thing 2: They should be loctited in so a bit of heat may well be a good idea - not to the point of getting everything red hot, but enough to get the thread locking compound to soften. I would imagine you can rig up a shield of some sort with a bit of scrap ally to protect the brake pipe? Even an old bean can would work for this purpose.

Thing 3: careful you don't round the corners off, cos they're even harder to get off once the socket keeps slipping as well! (guess how I know!)

Enjoy ;)

Mark

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1/4" drive is a bit weedy for undoing caliper bolts is it not?

perhaps try the same approach but with a 1/2" drive tool?

All you can really do is apply force. If you dont want to warm it up then you can try applying a constant pressure with the breaker bar while getting someone to hit the end of the socket drive (as though trying to hammer a nail in) with a big hammer to see if it will shock free?

If your careful with a blowtorch you'll be able to keep the heat pointing away from the rubber pipes etc

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The bolts are Grade 10.9 high tensile, you'll have a job shearing the heads of them, more likesly you'll strip the drive head flats of it first.

Try drenching it in plusgaz or another good quality penetrating fluid, not WD40. Then give it a pull to agrivate it a but, more plusgaz then leave it over night, I'd try every "cold" removal techinque first before putting heat anywhere around that area, there are all sorts of sensitive bits around there that wont like even the most well placed blow torch.

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The bolts are Grade 10.9 high tensile, you'll have a job shearing the heads of them, more likesly you'll strip the drive head flats of it first.

I snapped 6 10.9 high tensile bolts when trying to remove the stub axles from my old rear axle... 4 in one side, 2 in the other!

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I snapped 6 10.9 high tensile bolts when trying to remove the stub axles from my old rear axle... 4 in one side, 2 in the other!

Now you're just showing off, M10's ok, M12 are a bit fatter, but still its generally not an easy thing to do.

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1/2" 4' bar for me when undoing caliper bolts.

i know you lot may cast scorn and mock the 1/4" ratchets that exist in this world - but they have served me well in virtually all my landrover spannering duties on nuts/bolts up to 15mm without an issue.

i reserve the 1/2" stuff for big bolts! I was gonna give it a go, but the only 13mm socket i have for my 1/2" drive is a thick walled 6 sided affair and it wouldnt go on the bloody star headed bolt. Its recessed a bit and you need a fairly slim socket (and 12 sided or proppa star head) and there aint enough room to get a spanner on them either.

I did have that caliper off 2 years ago and it wasnt lockited back in (i know, i know) so i'm not quite sure why its so fantastically stuck now. Will try giving it a stout 'slap' and a soak in plusgas and try again.

cheers for the advice

Nick

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i know you lot may cast scorn and mock the 1/4" ratchets that exist in this world - but they have served me well in virtually all my landrover spannering duties on nuts/bolts up to 15mm without an issue.

i reserve the 1/2" stuff for big bolts! I was gonna give it a go, but the only 13mm socket i have for my 1/2" drive is a thick walled 6 sided affair and it wouldnt go on the bloody star headed bolt. Its recessed a bit and you need a fairly slim socket (and 12 sided or proppa star head) and there aint enough room to get a spanner on them either.

I did have that caliper off 2 years ago and it wasnt lockited back in (i know, i know) so i'm not quite sure why its so fantastically stuck now. Will try giving it a stout 'slap' and a soak in plusgas and try again.

cheers for the advice

Nick

I thought it was a typo' you are seriously saying you fit/remove components like brake calipers on a L/R with 1/4" drive stuff? :blink:

What make are they that have a 2 foot breaker bar? They're normally only about 6" long in 1/4".

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Smack the head of the bolt a few times with a hammer, also try tightening it a bit before undoing it, 1/4" won't do it, nor will rubbish makes of 3/8" either. You really need 1/2" or better. Heat (not excessive), will make torqueseal or similar go soft, and more easily let go of the thread.

Les.

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You may be able to dribble some plusgas into the end of the hole that the bolts screw into, so that it soaks in from the other end. If you don't fancy heating and you know there's no loctite on the bolt, there are freezer sprays - use one to shrink the bolt. BTW you can buy breaker bar repair kits if the big bit is Ok, but I'm not sure if they make them for 1/4" - it would be a special ironmongers that stocked that.

Nigel

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I have this exact problem in the same wheel, but I have ABS, so I really can't make a lot of force due to sensor location (don't know if being a LH and export specs makes some difference). I can't heat it and it's almost impossible to get in there any bigger than 5 inches long. This weekend I'm going for it again, so any idea will be tried...

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Last resort almost appears to be (looking at) removing the hub complete. The biggest snag (above the additional nuts to undo) is that you no longer have the weight of the vehicle to work against, so the work bench + vice has to provide the reaction force to all the effort you are putting into the tight bolt.

The other thing that is often overlooked is the use of an impact screwdriver on a nut. Most IS have 1/2" square drive so will take a standard socket. The hub / axle assembly does need to be held firmly. It's a waste of energy to hit anything very hard, and just see the axle bounce on its mountings.

HTH

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I second the above, the big advantage is that you can wander off secure in the knowledge that in time it will do it's job. The other method that has never let me down is to get short 1/2" bar and socket and whack the end with a decent weight lump hammer, it sometimes takes a while but it always works.

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ignore me, it aint a 1/4" breaker bar - its 3/8"

getting my sizes mixed up cos i;m a flid... :ph34r:

yes 1/4" is them tiny little efforts for doing meccano... :blink:

Thought that might be the case :D

3/8" Is still too weedy, I doubt the bolts are siezed, just tight. Get a good quality 13mm 12 point socket and 3 foot breaker bar in 1/2" drive, they'll soon shift.

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Careful smacking the calipers; it does make you feel better, true, but I removed some a bit back, the vented front kind, and had to use percussive encouragement. The result was I cracked the little spacer between the 2 caliper halves. As it happend it didn't matter as I was replacing anyway, but it could be annoying if you aren't.

Nigel

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