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Thread: Rear caliper

  1. #1
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    2003 Mazda Protege5

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    Rear caliper

    Looks like my left rear caliper has sprung a leak. I haven't gotten a good look at it, but I'm losing brake fluid and there appeared to be some fluid dripping from the brake cable spring, so I'm pretty sure that's the problem. Ordinarily, I'd just replace it and not worry. But reading reviews of rebuilt brake calipers gives me a lot of room to worry. I see many complaints that leaks from the parking brake cable area are common and often rebuilds don't seem to last for more than a few months without springing a leak.

    Does anyone know if one brand is better than others? In particular, Advance Auto's Wearever brand (which I think is A-1 Cardone) seems to have awful reviews. Raysbestos reviews I've seen are somewhat better, but not a lot. RockAuto says that AC Delco is a popular choice.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    148 views and no responses? No one has replaced a rear caliper and has a favorite or least favorite brand?

  3. #3
    Registered Member marshmallow's Avatar

    2003 Mazda Protegé5

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    I've replaced both of my rear calipers and I do not have a "favorite." However, on the barake pad adjuster on both calipers backs itself out, leaving me with no parking brake. I probably got rebuilt calipers from O'Reilly.
    2003 midnight blue 5-speed p5
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  4. #4
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    All the bad reports I remember about the rear calipers are about how the adjusters don't work.
    One guy had to get three calipers bought up from the back of the store before he got on that worked. (he brought a wrench and Allen key with him)

    @marshmallow... You may not be using your hand brake enough to keep up with your pad wear.

    Try holding your foot on the brake and pump the handbrake about 50 times to see if they self adjust. It's supposed to click 7 to 9 times.
    The Diagram Dude

  5. #5
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    As far as what brand is best, I think it's a bit of a crap shoot.
    Some companies may be only replacing the piston, seal and boot and not inspecting the adjuster mechanisms or seals where the cable attaches ??

    Our rear caliper is a bit of an oddball and I don't think it's used on any other car.

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  6. #6
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    My rear passenger side was said to leak and I have noticed some fluid loss in the master cylinder but I have yet to really have a good look at it. Taking it to get checked for an oil leak as I can't keep buying qts every time I have to drive a decent length. I got a new oil pan just in case but haven't actually installed it yet. It seems to seep out of the sides. Not enough gasket or...?

  7. #7
    Registered Member marshmallow's Avatar

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    pcb, I wish that was the case. I can adjust the brake and pull the parking brake a few times and it will just back itself out completely. If I wanted to, I could adjust the pads daily. Based on your picture, could I back the adjustment screw out completely and put some loctite on the threads to hold it in place? Or is there a c-clip preventing removal?

  8. #8
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    That's a picture I got off this forum years ago and I've never actually had one apart. (although I'm kinda curious now and might take one off my parts car and dissect it.)

    I remember some guys talking about how the adjusters just fall out and they lost one so they had to use the one for both sides.
    From what I remember, their parking brakes worked,.. and they had no adjuster at all ???

    Those ratcheting gizmos inside the calipers look like they have many ways to fail yours is the first I've heard of to fail that way.
    Apparently you can put a magnet in to pull the adjuster screw out. I'm pretty sure it's just a little splined rod that mates with the end of that screw to turn it's head.
    Loctite might work but I'm just guessing.
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  9. #9
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

    2002 mazda protege 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshmallow View Post
    .... Based on your picture, could I back the adjustment screw out completely and put some loctite on the threads to hold it in place? Or is there a c-clip preventing removal?
    No C-clip,... You just need a magnet.



    The gear was wet with brake fluid so I don't think loctite would work.
    If it were me, I'd try jamming something like a little piece of wood or plastic under the bolt to try to hold it still.
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  10. #10
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    Just figured I'd follow up... I ended up getting the Wearever calipers from Advance Autoparts which are refurbed by Cardone. I spoke with someone at tech support (for shops) at Advance Auto. He said that they had changed suppliers 2 years ago, so the negative reviews were based on the old supplier. He said there was no record of complaints/warranty claims from shops on the new part. So I paid my money and took my chances. I have yet to try to install it, given that it is freaking cold out, and I don't think I'd have the manual dexterity to do anything. Unfortunately, the leak seems to be getting worse. I don't know if the caliper is getting worse or if its the temperature. Hopefully the temperature will start coming up on Sunday.

  11. #11
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    I have had a long history of problems with reman calipers, but mostly with them seizing. I have had to purchase so many, and many right after the labor warranty expired.

    Over past few years, I have tried not to go to mechanics anymore, and been doing everything myself.

    At the end of the summer, I purchased ACDelco loaded rear calipers, and I think they are okay. I bought them from Rock Auto, and they were pretty cheap. I had to adjust the caliper parking brake twice, but it has hold since then.

  12. #12
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    I'm actually in the same boat, in need of a rear left brake caliper. I suppose you just buy the one portion of the caliper that's prone to fail. For me it's a missing hex adjuster for the piston and one of the mounting screws has lost most of its threading. So the ACDelco is the one I should get? It's the same as OEM, same adjustment for the piston?

  13. #13
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    I bought mine and finally installed them like 3-4 days ago and I haven't tested them out yet. I was sick when I started and then I also decided to slap on some SS brake lines I nabbed for free from the forum so that took some time. Flu kept me in bed for two days and then the rain started yesterday so, my poor car is still outside. I purchased the beck and arnley. Could've gone with raybestos, centric, or acdelco but opted for these.

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