Rebuilding Brake Calipers

A good annual maintenance task for the Spec Racer Ford is replacing the brake caliper seals and pistons if needed. Good brake maintenance is the key to having car control in the braking zones and being fast.

Parts needed:

  • Brake Calipers Renault PN: 89 32 000 367 left / 89 32 000 366 Right
  • Brake Calipers SCCA Enterprise PN: 800366 RR/LF / 800367 RF/LR
  • Brake Caliper Seal Kit Renault PN: 89 83 500 034
  • Brake Caliper Seal Kit SCCA Enterprise PN: 800035

Tools & Supplies:

  • 19mm socket/wrench
  • 10mm socket/wrench
  • 7/16 flare nut wrench
  • Large channellocks
  • Blunt screwdriver
  • Spring clamp
  • Small pick
  • Caliper Seal Kit (new caliper seal and dust boot)
  • Brake cleaner
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Drip tray
  • Compressed air
  • Brake Fluid

Rebuild Instructions

  • Loosen lug nuts
  • Jack up the car
  • Remove the lug nuts and wheels
  • Place a spring clamp one of the lug nut studs to hold the rotor in place
  • Remove brake caliper pins with 10mm socket/wrench
  • Place a drip tray below the caliper
  • Loosen braided brake line use a 7/16 flare nut wrench
  • Undo the brake line and raise in air above the master cylinders to avoid losing fluid
  • Slide brake caliper off the hub, pads and rotor
  • Check the rotors and pads for wear, replace if needed
  • With the caliper off the car place a rag in the body between the piston and brake pad tabs
  • Using compressed air blow the piston out of the seals. WARNING: be extremely careful to avoid hand and fingers being in the way the piston comes out with a lot of force and wear safety goggles to avoid any brake fluid that might come out.
  • Remove the piston from the dust cover seal
  • Remove the caliper seal using a pick careful not to scratch any of the sealing or piston mounting surfaces
  • Clean the caliper using brake cleaner
  • Wipe out any dirt or residue inside the caliber body
  • Blow out the caliper body with compressed air to remove dust or paper towel fibers
  • Clean the caliper piston
  • Check for scratches or burrs (replace if present)
  • Clean the sealing surface using extremely fine rubbing compound
  • Use fresh brake fluid lube the caliper seal and place inside the caliper body
  • Place the dust cover over caliper piston making sure it is seated in the groove (you must do this before inserting the piston into the caliper because it is near impossible to get it seat right with the piston already in the caliper)
  • Lube the caliper seal and machined surface with fresh brake fluid
  • Place the piston into the caliper as far as you can by hand
  • Very carefully using large channellocks with a rag to prevent scratching press the piston into the caliper
  • Using a blunt screwdriver press the dust seal down to the caliper body and ensure it seats
  • Place the caliper back onto the car ensuring the pads and rotors are in good condition and properly placed
  • Re-install the lower caliper pin, check for smooth operation of pin 
  • Re-install the braided brake line
  • Re-install the upper caliper pin, check for smooth operation of pin
  • Replace all the other brake caliber seals
  • Pump the brakes to press the pistons out against the pads and rotors
  • Then bleed the brakes in the following order rear right, rear left, front right, front left
  • Top off the brake fluid
  • Take it easy and check for any leaks after the first track session

James Chartres

San Jose, CA