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Old 11-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rear caliper piston stuck? - '98 taurus

Went to replace my rear disk brakes on my 98 taurus. "Borrowed" a disc brake caliper tool set from O'Reilly's Auto Parts. Took about half the fluid out of the master cylinder and left it open. Piston wouldn't budge either way. The tool has a handle on the end of it and not a socket fitting, but even tried a breaker bar and only managed to bend the handle of the tool.

Is the piston seized in the caliper? I was going to buy new calipers but the store told me to open the bleeder valve, and didn't seem to believe that the piston wasn't budging.

Opened the bleeder valve and still wouldn't budge. Actually when I opened the bleeder valve only a little bit of brake fluid dribbled out.

Does it sound like I need a new caliper or is there potentially something else going on?

I am working on the driver side and haven't tried the other side yet. If I do have to replace the caliper, then how do I get the parking break cable off of the housing? I've got the cable out of the retaining clip, but it seems to go through a hole in the body as well. It was kind of dark, cold, and rainy so maybe I just wasn't looking carefully?

Right now this is my only car so I really need to get it back together.

I should add that I was trying a clockwise rotation to compress it, but it wouldn't move counterclockwise either.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by StLCards; 11-27-2011 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can't screw in the piston, then you probably need a new caliper. Are you turning it in the right way (clockwise)? You have to push in and turn at the same time. I would put silicone grease around the edges of the piston so it slides easily inside the rubber bushing.

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wouldn't go either way. Is it common for them to seize up?
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the piston hadn't moved in a long time (air in it?) and it lived in really wet and salty conditions, then it might. This happens in maybe 10% of cases?

Removing the parking brake cable should be fairly simple. Here's a how to:Ford Taurus SEL Im changing the two rear calapers and roters - JustAnswer
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I did the brakes in my wagon I had to replace one of the calipers as well. It siezed up from being so over extended and the boot being torn that the piston rusted.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The piston is definitely extended as the outside pad was next to nothing. Last year, or maybe two years ago, I had to replace all the metal brake lines as they rusted all the way through.

Seems like I read something about a rubber brake line could be collapsed. Would that be readily noticeable or cause the piston not to move?

Thanks for the link on removing the brake cable. Looks like I just need to get the e clip off and I should be good there.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StLCards View Post
The piston is definitely extended as the outside pad was next to nothing. Last year, or maybe two years ago, I had to replace all the metal brake lines as they rusted all the way through.

Seems like I read something about a rubber brake line could be collapsed. Would that be readily noticeable or cause the piston not to move?

Thanks for the link on removing the brake cable. Looks like I just need to get the e clip off and I should be good there.
a collapsed line is noticeable. but there might be a ton of junk in the caliper from being old. this will stop the piston from going back in. the dirt blocks the passages.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StLCards View Post
Wouldn't go either way. Is it common for them to seize up?
It seems to be fairly common, we had the same problem on our Sable and on our 04 Explorer. Both required to have the rear calipers replaced and I would think it happens on cars that are daily drivers and see a fair amount of bad wear. It is the down side to disc brakes.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know if it makes a difference but did you take the cap off the reservoir?
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I did take the cap off the reservoir as well as opened the bleeder valve.
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