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Rover Vitesse, Brake Refurbishment – Part 2

Well finally, the parts from Rimmers arrived!

We left Part 1 with the calipers off, and the pistons removed from one of the calipers. Because of the corrosion on the pistons I did remove, I chose to order a full set of pistons, instead of reusing some of them as planned.

In the meantime I tried some paint stripper to remove the paint from the calipers. It was a bad idea. Who ever would have thought caliper paint was pretty resistant to chemicals?

The whole lot kinda turned to a sticky mush, without doing a lot.

So I said bugger it, washed the calipers off, and hit them with the grinder and wire brush again. They came up pretty well really.

Before the next step, I had to completely strip the calipers of their seals and pistons. I popped the calipers out with compressed air, and used a small pick to gently remove the piston seal. The dust seal at the top of the bore was a bit harder because its held in with a metal retainer, which had rusted in place. To remove this I used a small pick to tear a gap in the seal, and then a narrow flat blade screwdriver to pop the retainer and seal out.

This is the top seal and retainer

With all those ripped out, the calipers went into 10L of Evapo-Rust for two days to clean any corrosion off them.

The calipers responded very well to the rust treatment, with no more corrosion hiding around the bolts on the back, and the seal retainer areas are spotless now.

Since the calipers were now just bare metal, I didn’t have much time from rinsing them off to get paint on them otherwise corrosion will set in again.

I smeared a ton of red rubber grease over the bores, just to make sure they wouldn’t corrode. Rubber grease plays nice with brake fluid, and wont swell seals.

And then on went the masking tape. I completely masked the flat areas around the bores

And the mounting tabs. I left these unpainted because the lower one is sandwiched between the hub and steering bracket. I didn’t want paint to cause issues there.

After a wipe down with wax and grease remover, on went the paint.

For some reason Mrs Petrol didn’t think it was a good idea to bake the calipers in the oven, so I made do with cooking them with a heat gun to set the paint. The true baking will happen on the car anyway.

Yesterday the parts I ordered from Rimmers arrived, so I set about rebuilding the calipers and preparing them to go on the car.

Off came the masking tape

A quick wipe out of the grease in the bores, and in went the piston seals. They slip easily into place. Just make sure they don’t get twisted during fitting and use lots of red grease.

MMM, new piston and seals

And with an old piston. This isn’t even the worst piston, but has a lot of pitting.

With the piston seal smothered in red grease and inserted in the bore, in goes the piston, also smothered in red grease. I assembled the dust seal into the retainer, and slipped it over the piston.

Now, you can’t just push this retainer into place by hand, it needs to be pressed into place. I have seen many ways to do this, but the simplest was posted in a YouTube video by an Alan Phillips. Big thanks to him for posting the details on it.

My version of it involves metric fittings, so it’s a 75mm long M10 bolt and a couple of nuts, two 2″ OD washers (minimum), and a handful of small M10 washers. I got these from Bunnings.

Because of the bolt I used, I had a lot of unthreaded shank to cover before I could use a nut to clamp all the washers together, hence the massive lump of washers.

Push the piston down by hand until it sits just above the seal retainer. Slip the tool into the caliper, being careful to not scrape the bore opposite the piston and unwind the lower nut to push the washer against the piston.

Using a spanner, gently wind the nut down, this pushes against the top of the caliper, and will push both the piston and the seal retainer down into the bore. This pushes them in completely straight, and wont bend the retainer like it can using other methods.

Does a pretty good job

Rinse and repeat, another 7 times. Love the nice clean metal.

I ordered a pair of new brake pipes. Only part number CRC3238 is available. This is the LH pipe for the single pipe caliper. The RH side is no longer available. I originally ordered two as I was going to cut one up to use the fittings with a new pipe that would be made up for the RH side. More on that later….

So with all the pistons and seals fitted, the only thing to do next was to fit them to the car.

Parts Used

606683P – Piston x8
AEU1547P1 – Caliper Seal Kit

Please note these parts are specific to my car and may vary. Please check before ordering.

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