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Old 01-24-2010, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Persistent Brake Caliper Guide Pin Freezing Problem

The lower guide pin on my rear driver side disc brake keeps seizing. I'm at a loss as to how to fix this permanently. Here is the history:

a) Replaced all rear pads and rotors. At the time, the driver side pads showed that they were wearing unevenly (and that the lower guide pin was stuck). As part of the service, I took out the guide pins, cleaned the holes and pins, put guide pin grease on the pins, and reassembled.

b) When I smell burning brakes after a drive (I never drive the car that hard or brake hard), I know that the pin has frozen again. The passenger side is always fine but the driver size lower guide pin keeps seizing.

c) Decided to replace the pin. Went to Subaru dealer and ordered one. Turns out the guide pin does not come with the rubber piece on the end and that it can't be ordered for some reason without ordering the entire caliper kit (ugh!).

Questions:
*) Ideas for fixing this?
*) What is the purpose of the little rubber thing at the end of the guide pin?
*) Do I really need to buy the entire caliper kit to solve this problem?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had the same problem, except mine seized solid, one of my front pistons seized as well. I picked up a set of calipers off a member on here who swapped to the 4/2 pots. Some parts stores may have calipers/brackets and some of the associated parts, I believe autozone has all the slide pins and rubber bits that are needed.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Purpose of little rubber thing is to keep crap out of the lube that lets the pin slide in the caliper bracket bore.

My guess is that you either used the wrong lube or the boot isn't sealing correctly because it's old. I would just buy a caliper reseal kit. They're only like $15 and come with new boots and the correct lube.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sylglide or Honda Urea grease works very well for lubricating the brake slides.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I used the permatex brake caliper lube. It says it's good for the guide pins. The rubber bit I'm referring to is not the boot (i.e., the one on the outside that keeps crap out). The one I'm referring to is the little one that goes on the end of the pin that goes into the caliper bracket. The boots seem fairly squishy and seem to make a good seal.

I guess I'll try replacing the guide pins/boots and use the stuff recommended above. Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't know if you have twin pistons in your caliper but if you have then make sure both are free to move. Also that the brake pads are free to slide in their holders and are not too tight.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Is the guide pin or the guide hole scored? Does/did the new pin move freely in the hole before you assembled the brake caliper? If there is a nick in the guide then the new lube will not help much.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the questions, James. I just disassembled it again. The last time I did indeed check that the pin was moving freely. After removing the caliper bracket, the lower guide pin (the one with the rubber at the tip) was completely seized in the grab position. I took the pin and the boot out, cleaned out the hole, cleaned off the pin. I did notice just a touch of residue on the pin... not sure what it was. It wasn't smooth but it also wasn't scored either. I took some really fine sand paper on the residue to remove it.

Lubed with guide pin brake lube and reassembled. It seems to be moving better, although I don't remember if it was better than the last time I reassembled it.

Thanks all for you help. I'm going to be replacing the rotors, pads, and probably the pins in the next couple of weeks (as the pads are a little unevenly worn at this point). Will let you know how the pins are doing after that.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Replacement calipers usually run about $50/side. If you are continuing to have problems, I'm sure the cost of just replacing the calipers will eventually save you money from constantly having to replace pads and having the rotors turned or replaced.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i've a problem where the front right caliper is stuck so that when i put in new pads, after using a clamp to push in the pistons, there's still not enough room for the rotor to fit in between the pads. anyone have suggestions how to get it unstuck...??
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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put in old pads, set caliper on rotor, step on brake, recompress pistons carefully.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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...sorry, should have said that the caliper bracket that holds the other pad from across the pads that come in contact with the pistons is stuck(in the closed/squeezed position) and not sliding along the pins... the pistons move and are not stuck, i need the bracket to come unstuck to slide farther away from the pistons to the "open" position...
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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a friend and i replaced the pads and rotors on my wife's impreza 08' we used dielectric grease on her guide pins. he is a ford mechanic. for what its worth!
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