Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have replaced the brake pads and bearings on the front end of my 03 TB EXT LT 4X4 after sitting for four years (long story you don't want me to write out right now.) Between brake pads and bearings was about a year, and the left front bearing had been locked up for some time in all of the waiting. When I finished up putting the bearings on the front end, I took it for a drive and opened it up for a few minutes, to get rid of the cobwebs, and it started smelling like it was burning a belt. This was after about 20 miles total and I pulled off the highway to check it out. The left front tire was almost ready to burst into flames, it was so hot. Not sure if it was the bearing, brake pads, or something else, I took the wheel off and let it cool down. The next day, I had to drive it another 15 miles (going much slower seemed to help keep it from getting too hot) to a place I could work on it.

I tore it down again and found that the caliper on the left side was locked on the brake pads. The rotor was still good, the new bearings didn't seem to have any problems. I took off the caliper assembly and discovered that it needed to be rebuilt because the pistons weren't moving (unfortunately I have no money to get a new or rebuilt caliper.)

I bought the rebuild kits and after getting them, started working on the piston removal. Using a helper to pump the brakes, I got the left piston (of the dual piston caliper on LF) almost completely out but the right piston was lagging a bit. I evened them out with the brake pad and then the right came out with a few more pumps of the brakes. So did a lot of fluid (don't forget the clamp on the line!) and after getting the right piston back in and securing it with a C clamp, the left was no longer moving. I pushed it back in bit by bit, and tried again and again - until it was bottomed out in the caliper and too stuck to move at all.

I took the caliper assembly off of the truck and was attempting to use an air compressor to move the left piston, to no avail. I considered using a grease gun to try to get it to move but didn't want to have to clean all the grease out of the caliper after I was done, if I could help it.

I called around and finally found someone who was willing and able to help me get the piston out (which was NOT an easy task!) I took it in on Thursday and finally had to go over to his shop and stand there until he did it on Tuesday. He finally brings it out to me at the counter and both pistons are completely pressed into the caliper, which was the exact opposite of what I asked them to do (I needed them removed, not installed!) Then, I also got charged twice as much as he told me it was going to cost. Not wanting to keep spiraling down this vortex of misunderstanding, I told him I would just take it and get them out on my own. The stuck left piston had gone in crooked and that is why it had jammed. He said he had them moving freely now. I can work with that and I had a plan.

Not a bad plan, since the pistons are both freed up and able to move now. I can hook it up and bleed the brake lines while pushing them out with the pressure from pumping the brakes, and then I can rebuild the caliper and be on my way... Right?

Not exactly. The banjo bolt will not seat into the caliper anymore for some reason. *See photos* It almost looks like the inside threading at the bottom is stripped, or the banjo bolt bottoms out inside the caliper (not sure how that could possibly happen but there are now grooves in there.) The reason doesn't really matter, because since it won't go into the caliper with the crush washer settled in place, it leaks everywhere. It just keeps running brake fluid all over the place.

Help! Anyone able to give me a way to fix or work around this?

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice you can give me!

Brendan
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
Joined
·
97 Posts
Go to any auto parts store in America, buy TWO copper washers of appropriate size.

One goes between caliper and hose end, the other goes between hose end and bolt head.

Your photo shows that one washer is deformed. I can't tell for sure if the second washer is in place or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I have replaced the brake pads and bearings on the front end of my 03 TB EXT LT 4X4 after sitting for four years (long story you don't want me to write out right now.) Between brake pads and bearings was about a year, and the left front bearing had been locked up for some time in all of the waiting. When I finished up putting the bearings on the front end, I took it for a drive and opened it up for a few minutes, to get rid of the cobwebs, and it started smelling like it was burning a belt. This was after about 20 miles total and I pulled off the highway to check it out. The left front tire was almost ready to burst into flames, it was so hot. Not sure if it was the bearing, brake pads, or something else, I took the wheel off and let it cool down. The next day, I had to drive it another 15 miles (going much slower seemed to help keep it from getting too hot) to a place I could work on it.

I tore it down again and found that the caliper on the left side was locked on the brake pads. The rotor was still good, the new bearings didn't seem to have any problems. I took off the caliper assembly and discovered that it needed to be rebuilt because the pistons weren't moving (unfortunately I have no money to get a new or rebuilt caliper.)

I bought the rebuild kits and after getting them, started working on the piston removal. Using a helper to pump the brakes, I got the left piston (of the dual piston caliper on LF) almost completely out but the right piston was lagging a bit. I evened them out with the brake pad and then the right came out with a few more pumps of the brakes. So did a lot of fluid (don't forget the clamp on the line!) and after getting the right piston back in and securing it with a C clamp, the left was no longer moving. I pushed it back in bit by bit, and tried again and again - until it was bottomed out in the caliper and too stuck to move at all.

I took the caliper assembly off of the truck and was attempting to use an air compressor to move the left piston, to no avail. I considered using a grease gun to try to get it to move but didn't want to have to clean all the grease out of the caliper after I was done, if I could help it.

I called around and finally found someone who was willing and able to help me get the piston out (which was NOT an easy task!) I took it in on Thursday and finally had to go over to his shop and stand there until he did it on Tuesday. He finally brings it out to me at the counter and both pistons are completely pressed into the caliper, which was the exact opposite of what I asked them to do (I needed them removed, not installed!) Then, I also got charged twice as much as he told me it was going to cost. Not wanting to keep spiraling down this vortex of misunderstanding, I told him I would just take it and get them out on my own. The stuck left piston had gone in crooked and that is why it had jammed. He said he had them moving freely now. I can work with that and I had a plan.

Not a bad plan, since the pistons are both freed up and able to move now. I can hook it up and bleed the brake lines while pushing them out with the pressure from pumping the brakes, and then I can rebuild the caliper and be on my way... Right?

Not exactly. The banjo bolt will not seat into the caliper anymore for some reason. See photos It almost looks like the inside threading at the bottom is stripped, or the banjo bolt bottoms out inside the caliper (not sure how that could possibly happen but there are now grooves in there.) The reason doesn't really matter, because since it won't go into the caliper with the crush washer settled in place, it leaks everywhere. It just keeps running brake fluid all over the place.

Help! Anyone able to give me a way to fix or work around this?

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice you can give me!

Brendan
I had a problem with mine after changing calipers also. What I ended up doing was using the original smash washer on the caliper side along with the new one from the kit. On the head side I used the new one. This gave me enough to tighten it down more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I don't know why you would spend so much time on a caliper.
The rebuild kits are not even common and some places don't even stock them.
If you can't simply push a piston our or use air hose, it is probably to bad and rusted to rebuild anyway.
Even after you clean it up/polish it it will probably leak much sooner than it should.
If one won't blow out easily it is time to get a new or reman caliper at store.
They are fairly cheap and even cheaper online.
People really don't put kits in calipers and wheel cylinders anymore, they just replace the caliper etc.
Also many stores are only carrying the caliper with bracket in applications that often stick and cause problems.
Last one I got was 8.95 more for the bracket that if you ordered just the caliper- a deal really.

I did put a kit in an older E450 super duty van a few years ago. Those calipers are HUGE and not common and cost 50-70. The kit was under 6.00.
A common car/suv caliper is usually well under 40-50 locally and cheaper online.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top