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Installing new caliper pads on '81 ... help!

rilko

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
12
Location
W. Canada
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue
Hi ... I just finished installing new front calipers on my '81. What a job! Had great fun loosening rusted caliper bolts and frozen flare nut at metal to rubber hose junction. If anybody needs help on this email ... I can lend a few tips! Anyways, now I'm at the stage of installing new pads. ANy tips on getting these guys in? I'm can start on one piston but how do you depress 2nd piston, rotate pad and get it in???? There must be a trick here?
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2001
Messages
5,979
Location
SouthCentral Ontario
Corvette
www.67HEAVEN.com
Welcome aboard, from Ontario. ;)

The way I do it is to insert the pads in place in the caliper prior to dropping the unit over the rotor. I squeeze the pads tight against the pistons and ease it all down into place.
 

Mr. Chuck

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
230
Location
Southern California
Corvette
1981 Two tone silver / dr grey
Brake Caliper Installation Tips

Hi ... I just finished installing new front calipers on my '81. What a job! Had great fun loosening rusted caliper bolts and frozen flare nut at metal to rubber hose junction. If anybody needs help on this email ... I can lend a few tips! Anyways, now I'm at the stage of installing new pads. ANy tips on getting these guys in? I'm can start on one piston but how do you depress 2nd piston, rotate pad and get it in???? There must be a trick here?

I have replaced / rebuilt my 81 brake calipers several times over the 26 years I have owned it. Start by loading caliper with both pads, next measure the rotor thickness (space needed to slide the caliper assy in place over the rotor). Make two wood blocks about 1 - 2" wide x 3" long and a thickness slightly greater than the measured rotor thickness, to give some work clearance between the pads and rotor faces, as you slide the caliper in place. With the loaded caliper assy on the work bench, carefully spread the two pads and insert the two wood blocks between the pads ( place each block gerenally inline with the brake pucks). Now the caliper assy can be installed over it's respective rotor. The blocks will slide up and out of the caliper assy as you lower the caliper in place. Repeat the process for each caliper to be installed. You may want to identify the wood blocks for future use and place in you tool box. The width and length of the wood blocks are variable depending on the raw wood stock you have on-hand.
 

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,321
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic
WOW!!!!! That is a great Tip!!!! :upthumbs
Can one of the admins or a mod put this in the 'how-to-section'???
 

rilko

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
12
Location
W. Canada
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue
I wanted to give a big THANX to Mr. Chuck for the great idea re: spreading the pads with wood shims prior to easing onto rotor. It worked like a charm!
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
Messages
274
Location
Charleston, SC
Corvette
1981 Dark Blue Metallic, 2003 AE coupe
If I remember correctly, when the calipers are still attached to the system, the pistons are significantly harder to compress by hand due to the hydraulic backpressure, but I have found success by using a C-clamp and a block of wood to get them far enough out of the way to slide the pads in. Once that's done, Mr. Chuck's tip for sliding the caliper down over the rotor seems like it would work well. I'll certainly have to try that next time.

Mike :w
 

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