An old car that’s been sat for a while can suffer from a number of problems, but the most annoying of these is seized brakes. Even high performance brakes like Brembo can seize thanks to water being sat on them over a long period of time. With seized brakes, you’ll find that you get uneven pad wear and sometimes even warped rotors. Thankfully, it’s not overly difficult to fix.
Seizing can happen in a couple of places.
Caliper sliding pins need to be well lubricated to function properly because they’re responsible for the brake pads hitting the brake rotor at the right angle. These can however rust and corrode over time and seize, meaning it doesn’t let the brake open and close like it should, especially if the rubber boots are damaged, too.
Another area which can seize is the brake pistons. These can rust and often need high pressure air to release them from where they’re stuck. These parts can often become problematic when the rubber seals have been damaged, allowing water to get in.
How the professionals do it.
This is where it gets really good. First of all the Brembo caliper is taken apart and all the rubber boots and seals are removed, as well as the old brake pads. The pistons are also pushed out with compressed air.
After that, it’s given a good wash and a sand blast ready for a gorgeous green powder coat. You can see all the areas where contact occurs are covered up before this. A new Brembo sticker is then applied.
The next step is replacing the rubbers. These should be lubricated with a bit of brake fluid first so they’re not ripped on installation, then you can push the pistons back in gently and evenly. Threadlock is added to the bolts and screwed in, then the brake pads and fittings are lowered in.
I rebuilt the brakes on almost every car I’ve owned, and none of it has gone that smoothly thanks to sheering bolts and my own idiocy, but watching a professional do it with the right tools and plenty of skill, it’s so, so satisfying.
We have a big project series coming up, so keep your eyes peeled for that, and if you’re a brake company and want to work with us, drop us a line by going to our ‘contact us‘ page.