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Front Brake Calipers - Dismantling

Work re-commenced on the car February 24, 2013, 8-years after the initial preparations were completed. Work began by relocating the car to a new fully equipped workshop. The car was washed of dust and grime, chrome brightened and the car checked over to establish a plan for refurbishing front and rear brakes and determining if any piston or valve seized from the long period of storage:

1. Cylinders/valves given a good shot of transmission fluid and allowed to sit while work commenced on brakes

  1. 2.Front right caliper removed, left caliper bolts stuck, soaked with WD40 and left to sit

  2. 3.Front right caliper degreased with non-hydrocarbon solvent, brake pads removed (full 1/4”+ thick, in good shape), pistons frozen, rusted in place

  3. 4.Dried and cracked rubber gasket material extending out from pistons was peeled away. Compressed air applied through the break line feeder hold pushed both pistons out. One removed fairly easily, the second piston took considerable more effort combined with increased air pressure from the compressor. Removing the residual material left behind by the degraded gaskets required careful cutting away and lifting with a sharply pointed knife making sure the knife blade did not cut metal edges the new gasket is needed to fill

  4. 5.Piston cavities looked acceptable shape for rebuilding, insides were polished lightly with fine-grade steel wool

  5. 4.Caliper rebuilding kits HYD-017 ordered from Healey Surgeons, Maryland, USA. Piston replacements are stainless

  6. 5.Rear brakes nuts saturated with WD40 and allowed to sit

  7. 6.A large spanner applied to the crankshaft dog nut gently lifted the pistons. Movement was slight, just enough to give the cylinder oils more opportunity to soak the piston rings before any major cranking. No resistance encountered, pistons moved freely. Pistons were lubricated in 1995, this appears to have done the job

upper image showing right front caliper before removal. Caliper was held in a vise to facilitate knocking out the retainers, Once out the brake pads come out. Because they float there are simply lifted out of the caliper. Images show one piston removed and the second, stubborn piston partially out. The two lower images show the bores and condition of the sealing grooves that will accept the new seal. Left lower image shows remaining left side caliper being removed.