Hubs, Calipers, and Hoses... oh my....

TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
I'm currently embroiled in replacing all 4 calipers and hoses. To kick it all off, I started with the fronts, doing wheel hubs and moved on to calipers, brackets, and hoses...
After a full day of wrenching, my test drive was more than just a little underwhelming. It seems my cavalier attitude towards the cardinal rule of brake bleeding is going to lead me to do way more bleeding than I had hoped I would do.
While I successfully "gravity bled" the front calipers, I didn't touch the rear bleeders (or anything on the rear, yet). and I must have a large amount of air in there somewhere. I did do the pump, pump, bleed with the help of my kids.... and I didn't stop until I had all the air out of both front calipers. But still, spongy pedal.

So it looks like I'll be doing a ton of brake bleeding soon.

On a brighter note, my new red powder coated calipers from PowerStop look amazing... as I sail through every stop sign.... Pics to come...
 

6716

Well-Known Member
I read to start with the rears, actually right rear, farthest away from the master cylinder, and then continue left rear, right front, left front. I mean I think. I mix up my right and my left a lot.

When I did mine a few weeks ago I was solo on it, but I got one of those squeeze bulb pump things that helped a ton to get the brake fluid flowing. I don't know that I would have missed having help on it though, trying to communicate when they are stepping on the brake to open the bleed, and then closing it before they take their foot off. It took longer probably but I don't have to worry about air in the lines from miscommunicating.

Those caliper sound cool tho.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I've had to replace all four calipers on the Avy. I used the vacuum pump method after putting teflon tape on the bleeder threads. After the fluid was clear, I left the bleeder open with vacuum still on it and I pressed the brake pedal to force bleed and possible air out. Close the bleeder and on to the next wheel. It took me nearly 2 liters before it finally all ran clear.

If it is still soft, maybe the ABS needs to be bled. You'd need either a Tech 2 or a high end scanner to activate the ABS bleed function.
 

JerryIrons

Well-Known Member
If you don't have a tech 2, you can activate the ABS on a gravel road, parking lot, etc a few times to get any air past the unit, you should bleed them again after. Usually you only get air in the ABS then you disconnect a master cylinder brake line, although if the line was left open and drained enough for air to reach the ABS unit that could do it I think.
 
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TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
If you don't have a tech 2, you can activate the ABS on a gravel road, parking lot, etc a few times to get any air past the unit, you should bleed them again after. Usually you only get air in the ABS then you disconnect a master cylinder brake line, although if the line was left open and drained enough for air to reach the ABS unit that could do it I think.
My post-install test drive included a half dozen or so panic stops on a gravel road to the point of ABS activation - although I haven't re-bled the fronts since. I plan to once the whole job is complete.

I removed the hose from the hard line at the frame mounting point and just chucked the hose and caliper as an assembly.
It did take some time for me to get the new hose installed - which I then left off the caliper while I mounted the disc, bracket, pads and caliper (having done the wheel bearing before even removing the hose). It was at this point that I realized that the new calipers, though they included new copper bushings for the banjo fitting, did not include a new banjo bolt :blinkhuh:. So, I let the hose hang and gravity bleed while I cleaned the bolt, pads, disc, etc... Once I mounted the hose I removed the bleeder and let it gravity bleed some more. Basically, I was trying to let the air just work itself out of the system. Thinking back, I now wonder if I let the reservoir go dry for a short time... It took a lot more fluid than I expected.

Now my intention is to source a couple of quarts of new DOT3 brake fluid, replace the hoses and calipers in the rear (along with the e-brake hardware and rear sway-bar end-links) and re-bleed everything from back right to front left until I get "new" fluid to come out and no air. Drive it like I stole it and then re-bleed. At some point I need to take pics, 'cause the red powder coated fronts look amazing.

Oh, and just a quick note... the fitting for the hard line at the frame rail was seized. I used the method I picked up here (not sure who posted it) - that of heating the fitting then giving it a good tap before loosening. Although I added the step of using a freezing spray followed by brake cleaner so I didn't contaminate the lines. So it was heat, freeze, clean, loosen - and it worked a treat. I was seriously worried I was going to have to replace or splice the hard line. First time in close to 30 years of wrenching that I didn't say "F" it and just let the line destroy itself.
 

JerryIrons

Well-Known Member
You can try the trick of pinching a rubber hose, carefully, on one side vs the other and see if that affects the brake feel as well. I guess that it's possible when doing the 2 man bleed process, if the pedal pusher really bottoms out the pedal you can screw up the master cylinder to cause that as well. That's never happened to me though and my pedal pusher has been known to not be gentle. That's down the road when you are at wits end though I think, then, if it were me I would cap off the master cylinder fittings and try the pedal out. But of course you will have all kinds of bleeding to do all over again.

Not sure about others but I've always had a bit of pedal travel I don't think its ever been a vehicle where you just move the pedal 1/2 inch and those babies are grabbing and stopping like other vehicles I have.

I just had a rusted brake line bust, I am now about to embark on replacing all 4 lines from the abs modulator valve to the wheels, all 4 rubber hoses, and possibly the front 2 calipers, the rears I just replaced this past winter. Yay! Not looking forward to disconnecting and connecting at the abs valve. Going to craft my own lines and run new routes most likely, not even going to bother getting old ones out I think.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I found that the brakes were never really firm and had a bit of pedal travel on my 02 with the aluminum calipers. Different story on 06+ trucks with the cast iron calipers. When I first got the 02, I thought I had a problem too, replacing just about everything including the master cylinder. Even had the dealer bleed it and the ABS with the Tech 2 (I didn't have one yet). It was its "normal". Braked fine.
 
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TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
The pedal is definitely softer than before... now I'm wondering if that's because the front calipers I just removed were essentially seized and wouldn't expand back out - which is probably why I kept turning the front rotors blue. I'll finish the rears, bleed everything, drive / engage abs, and re-bleed and report. I'll also try and get pics after finishing the rears.

Does anyone know the torque spec for the banjo bolts on the calipers?
 
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TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have any thermite they wanna ship me?

Started on the rear brakes... driver's side first.... ok, only. I could not get the hard line broken free from the hose at the frame mounted connection. I did the "heat and beat" / freeze / twist & pray and could not get the fitting to turn free of the line. So... I swapped out the caliper and bracket. BUT FIRST.... my stupid @$$ decided I don't like the silver "anti-corrision coating" applied by the manufacturer... it's cheap paint and was obviously "dipped". Brake cleaner stripped that right off... no scrubbing necessary. So I repainted it with ceramic infused red caliper paint... bracket and all. Looks great. Aaaaaaand brake cleaner strips that right off, too.... :duh:. I got the new bracket, old pads, and new caliper mounted and swapped the hose onto the new caliper... and it promptly leaked despite using a brand new banjo bolt and copper bushings. Retorquing took care of that. I sprayed brake cleaner to get rid of any remaining brake fluid to make it easier to check for leaks... and took more of that fresh paint off.... :duh::duh::duh:. I skipped the complete e-brake hardware replacement I had planned as well as the rear sway-bar end-links and sway-bar bushing replacements.... all sitting in a pile of parts.... "to-do" so to speak....

I wanna run a thermal lance through this damn thing.... I still have the rear passenger to do...
 
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TequilaWarrior

Well-Known Member
FINALLY.... got the fourth wheel done. Rebled both back calipers. Also replace both back sway-bar end-links while back there. Had the same difficulty removing the break line from the hose.... so both rears are on old hoses... Does anyone have any tricks for removing the rear sway-bar bushing bolts? I couldn't get them to budge with my impact and broke 2 ratchets before giving up... I have brand new bushing sitting in the box on a shelf.

Fronts are powdercoated "PowerStop" brand. Rears are painted by me... poorly... I kept the old pads and rotors as they're in perfect shape.

Pics, as promised.... 20210722_203225.jpg20210722_203235.jpg20210722_203243.jpg20210722_203250.jpg
 

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