Monday, January 18, 2016

The following article appeared in the June 2011 edition of Fast Ford magazine and explains the steps we take at Bigg Red when refurbishing your calipers.

Over the next couple of issues we will show you how you can squeeze massive 300mm discs and bigger Mk3 Mondeo calipers behind the wheels of the little Mk4/5 Fiesta and the Puma. It's a conversion which is proving ever more popular due to the hugely improved braking performance that can be had for very little cost.

But before we show you what's involved with fitting this set-up to the car we're going to explain exactly what's involved with refurbishing the Mk3 Mondeo callipers prior to fitting. Instead of just bolting on a dirty second-hand set of calipers that you have no idea of the history of, a full refurbishment will mean you know that the stoppers you are fitting will work to their full potential. Not only that but they look so much nicer, cleaner and newer too, so you can really show off your latest upgrade.

To see exactly what's involved with the job we took a trip to see brake refurb specialists Bigg Red. They offer everything from full rebuilds right through to all the seals, pistons, sliders and bleed nipples you could ever need if you fancy tackling the refurb yourself.

And Bigg Red were more than happy to show us exactly how it should be done...


The Bigg Red Brake Caliper Refurbishing process

1With the calipers removed from the car, the first thing to do is start to disassemble them. Start by prizing out the brake pads with a flat blade screwdriver.

2With the caliper held securely in a vice you can undo the two 13mm bolts that hold the caliper and carrier together...

3...then you can split the two halves of the caliper set-up.

4The next job is to remove the piston. Bigg Red does this by blowing air into the piston bore. Then remove the 11mm bleed nipple too.

5Then you can remove the bore seal with a small flat-blade screwdriver...

6...before removing the dust seal. This has a metal case so may require tapping with a hammer too.

7Now you can begin cleaning the caliper and carrier. Bigg Red shotblasts all its calipers which really does get them looking like new.

8With the caliper cleaned off and the holes bunged, the next thing Bigg Red does is apply the finish. Here a polymer coating is being applied, but a number of options are available.

9The polymer coating requires oven curing at 180deg for 45mins, then allowing to air cool for 2 hours. A second coat is then applied and the curing process repeated.

10Now you can begin rebuilding. The first thing to do is ensure no excess coating is in the threads by tapping them all.

11You will also need to ensure the recess for the bore seal is thoroughly clean by scribing out any excess dirt and debris, then blow out with an airline.

12Then you can fit the new bore seal. It is a good idea to apply some silicon grease to it to make fitting the piston easier.

13Before you can fit the piston you will need to fit the dust cover seal to the piston itself first...

14...then you can push the piston into the caliper. If it doesn't push in by hand something is wrong so you should stop before you damage the bore seal.

15With the piston in place you can tap home the dust cover seal with a hammer and drift.

16Next you need to clean out the carrier where the slider pins will fit before fitting the new slider boot covers.

17Then you can fit the slider pins and rejoin the caliper and carrier with the new pre-thread locked 13mm bolts. A 19mm spanner will be probably be needed to stop the slider pin turning.

18The final step Bigg Red conducts is a full pressure test up to 400psi to ensure the caliper is ready to be fitted straight to the car with no problems. And there you go, job done!

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