Consensus on rebuilt calipers?

Discussion in 'E9 General Discussion' started by dang, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    I need to get some rear calipers for my coupe and after reading a bunch of different stuff online I'm still confused. How do the aftermarket rebuilt calipers actually perform and last? I can't afford the PMB rebuilt units and I'm okay with rebuilding my own, they're not that bad, but I was wondering if anyone here actually has real experience with aftermarket calipers being on their car for a while?
     
  2. sfdon

    sfdon Well-Known Member

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    E0EAEACF-6920-4A58-84DD-FDC9AF59B67B.jpeg I tried buying Cardone..... Always offered-never in stock.. Total waste of time. And no zinc. 3 weeks later the rust starts.
    Tried the company in so cal whose name I won’t mention and I just stared at them when they arrived. Look closely at the nuts to understand why.
    That looks like a judgement against me if there’s an accident involving those brakes if I installed them.
    CK and I only use PMB now.
     
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  3. Honolulu

    Honolulu Well-Known Member

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    Okay I'll bite, what is it about those nuts we're supposed to see?

    Lemme guess.... the left bolt to be torqued by tightening the bolt from the other end There are no washers, though Realoem doesn't show washers. Realoem also shows the front nuts, and the rear bolts as NLA. The bolts don't have full purchase on the nuts and should have been longer.

    Ya got me...
     
  4. Markos

    Markos Parts Mule Staff Member Site Donor $$

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    I was thinking along the lines of partial thread engagement. They also look a lot like stainless steel, which pales in comparison to a metric 8.8 or 10.9 bolt(not sure what bmw used but they were black hardened steel). The only stainless fasteners that I’ve used in a car are license plate screws, trim screws, and valve cover fasteners. I would never consider using them for brakes. Even if they aren’t stainless, they look like medium grade steel to me.

    Curious to hear from Don. Am I close?
     
  5. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    My guess, since I just took mine apart last night, would be that they use the wrong nuts at the very least. Too tall and too wide. I can get a 10mm socket on the nuts and the nuts are thinner so there isn't any extra threads on the nuts. Using those nuts you would also have to tighten the bolts from the allen head side, which are softer and wouldn't allow as much torque to be applied with the extra friction of the bolt spinning instead of just the nut spinning.
     
  6. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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  7. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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  8. sfdon

    sfdon Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good input- wrong nuts. Too tall. Looks horrible.
    When it’s your business you don’t install wrong parts.
    The bolts should extend past the nut by several threads
     
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  9. bluecoupe30!

    bluecoupe30! Active Member Site Donor

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    OK so, who is PMB anyway? Where are they located, and what price are their rebuilt units that Dang feels they are expensive?
     
  10. shanon

    shanon Well-Known Member

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    Ok fellas, I'll add to the fodder too.

    I had my calipers rebuilt over a decade ago by a 'firm' in Socal. They've been great and have seen some hard use.

    Mind you I'm not a show/concourse car, so didn't need zinc. Yep, i painted them red, cuz , yep, that makes them wirk bettah.. ;)

    Just had excellent experience with someone in SoCal and would refer them...unless they have fallen from grace in the last ten years.....

    Hth....
     
  11. sfdon

    sfdon Well-Known Member

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  12. stphers

    stphers Active Member

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    I rebuild all of mine, just taking a bunch of Alfa and a couple of BMW calipers all apart to get the tumbled and then off to the plater to get them zinc coated. Waiting on maybe just a little longer socket head bolts to show up. Here is a set of calipers that I just media blasted and powder coated in a semi gloss and then plated the bleeders myself. Cleaning up all the pistons to see what can be used and what needs to be replaced. Once I have the pistons media blasted in the open area and then polish them, I paint that exposed area with hi temp gray Por -15, install new half o rings and kits. Ready to go
    Here are pictures of the calipers after powder coating. I like them, plus they were pretty corroded so I laid the powder on a little thicker, baked them a little longer and got the powder to really flow out nicely.

    Thanks, Rick
     

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  13. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    I didn't say they were too expensive, I said I couldn't afford them. Big difference. :D
     
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  14. m_thompson

    m_thompson Active Member

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    One of the issues with the buying rebuilt calipers is that many are missing the spacer that allows the caliper to fit over the rotor. The vendors insist that they will fit a 3.0 CS, but they won't.

    I rebuilt my calipers with pistons and seals from W&N.
     
  15. dang

    dang Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    I had wondered if the limited use (limited wear) the rear pads get contributes to piston/caliper failure. The piston doesn't move out of a very small area for years, which seems like it would be bad for rust build up and wear.
     
  16. Luis A.

    Luis A. Well-Known Member

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    Don's post confirm everything I believe about "rebuilt" calipers from unknown quality and workmanship sources. It's really not that hard to do yourself, even if you have no access to a plater, then paint them. Get quality rebuild kits. In all probabilty your pistons will be good to go after a light scuff with steel wool, unless neglected for decades. My local plater charges $25 for a bucketful of parts for plating, per color. So for the calipers, it's $50 for the yellow zinc and the black oxide for the bolts. Of course, you have to do all the prep so the finish looks good. There is a very good thread here where Eric from PMB detailed the steps of the process.

    My own calipers:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. sfdon

    sfdon Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful...
     
  18. Ajay

    Ajay Member Site Donor

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    Jim at Mesa Performance rebuilt mine and did a great job. Sent them out to be rebuilt and re zinc plated. They were terribly rusted. Price wasn't bad.
     

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  19. shanon

    shanon Well-Known Member

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    +1 for Mesa :)
     
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  20. sfdon

    sfdon Well-Known Member

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    Obviously - my effort to NOT publicly disparage a company has fallen flat.....

    The Caliper in the pic was from Centric.


    All my front calipers I install these days no longer have any problem with bolt length or size of nut as they don't use nuts.
     

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