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Old 12-07-2012, 03:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rear brake piston tool

Alright, I replaced my front brakes just before Thanksgiving and figured I could probably go a few more weeks until I needed to do the rears. The past day or so I've heard a slight squeak from the rear brakes under low-speed braking(no grinding or anything like that). This tells me I need to replace the rear pads soon.

I already know which pads I'm going to get, but I know that the pistons on the rear brakes need to be turned, rather than pushed, back in. What kind of tool is best for this job?

I see a few tool sets like
 this one this one
but they are all around $40-50. Not that expensive, but I want to avoid spending more money than I have to so close to Christmas. I also see cube-shaped tools
like this like this
that attach to a socket wrench and is much cheaper. Will the cube tool work on an 05 Montego? Or will I have to spring for the complete tool set in order to get the job done?

From reading around it seems like some people say the "cube" tool works fine and others claim it's worthless. Some say the tool kits with all of the disks are useless. Which is true? Why do some people have problems with the cube tool when it works fine for others on the same kind of car? User error? Which tool is better?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Rent for free with a deposit at a parts store with a tool loaner program or buy the kit from Harbor Freight Tools. The cube I have worked fine on a son's '89 Buick Regal, but isn't wide enough to fit the Taurus' piston face dimples. Napa (and possibly other parts stores) offers a round metal disc with nubs on ea. side that fits a 3/8" dr. ratchet ext. and works quite well.

Last edited by sheila; 12-07-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have actually used a pair of long needle nosed pliers to turn the piston while pushing in....works great on the side of the road when you have to change pads......
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The manufacturing quality of the cube tool has a lot to do with how well it works. There are good ones and crap ones for sale out there. Does it look machined or cast, etc. I prefer the other screw in tool myself, always works for me. I got mine at Harbor Freight for ~$40 and it will do many different cars. My buddies stop by to do their brakes in my garage and use it, and they always bring beer with them. Well worth the money!
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help.

Replaced the rear pads today. I figured I'd give the cube tool a shot since it was only $10. It did fit the piston like it was supposed to, but using a socket wrench and a ton of elbow grease just couldn't make the piston turn back in like it should. So I wound up using a C-clamp that I already had in addition to the cube tool. I put one side of it on the back of the caliper and the other side on the cube tool. I tightened it down really good and then put my socket wrench in the side of the cube tool for leverage and turned it. After I made 1-2 turns I would tighten the C-clamp some more and turn 1-2 more turns. Both pistons went in without incident. The whole job took about 2.5 hours but that includes about an hour for lunch and fiddling with the cube tool before I used the c-clamp.

I have to say that I'm surprised at how big of an improvement replacing the rear pads made. The car feels much more stable during braking even though the rear pads weren't extremely low(although they definitely needed to be replaced).

I'd still like to pick up the Harbor Freight brake kit sometime if they put it on sale for fairly cheap. The cube tool definitely works, but next time I'd like to have the whole kit instead.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They must make a larger and wider cube that fits Tauri, because the 1 I have will not line up in the piston face dimples no matter which side of the cube you try. I tried needle-nose pliers once and busted off the ends of the pliers, lol. Sometimes with stubborn pistons it helps to crack open the bleeder to facilitate spinning them in. You then need to bleed the wheel you opened up afterwards. Another tip esp. on the rears (fronts too), is to slather the slide pins with anti-seize compound instead of grease. That 3/8" dr. round metal disc with nubs from Napa works great if I don't want to drag out the HF kit.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheila View Post
They must make a larger and wider cube that fits Tauri, because the 1 I have will not line up in the piston face dimples no matter which side of the cube you try. I tried needle-nose pliers once and busted off the ends of the pliers, lol. Sometimes with stubborn pistons it helps to crack open the bleeder to facilitate spinning them in. You then need to bleed the wheel you opened up afterwards. Another tip esp. on the rears (fronts too), is to slather the slide pins with anti-seize compound instead of grease. That 3/8" dr. round metal disc with nubs from Napa works great if I don't want to drag out the HF kit.
I have one of those cubes and it does fit my 01(used it today), but that thing sucks with slippage and the amount of force you need to push on it while twisting that you are better off getting the HF tool or doing the loaner. That one would have helped the ears of my neighbors as I was doing a lot of cursing at the car........ in the rain trying to put the thing back together
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