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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, my first new post in a while. I took a trip with my wife last weekend to the NC mountains to see the fall foliage and had severe shaking from the front end when the brakes got hot coming down some of those mountain roads. So I ordered rotors and pads, then this past Saturday my 16-year-old grandson Ryan and I jacked up the car and got to work. The right side went fairly easily. On the drivers side I was letting my grandson do all the work and he was having a hard time pulling the caliper up off the pads. I suggested he collapse the pistons a little but he was determined to use brute force; I didn't think he could hurt anything. However, one of the pistons was stuck hard to one of the pads and when the piston cap came loose from the piston it broke off an edge of whatever that material underneath is. It looks like cast iron. However, it's not magnetic. I thought maybe it was aluminum but it's really lightweight, like maybe bakelight plastic? Note in the photo, there is still a cap on the second piston, while the first one is broken. I just can't figure out what that material is.
So, anyway, I didn't make a big deal of it; called the O'Rylie's a mile from the house and a replacement was about $100 but they would have to order it. Our stealership is just another mile and a half so we went there and it was just over $200 with core trade. Ouch. Anyway, got a nice bleeder kit from Harbor Freight, replaced the caliper, put on new pads and bled the brakes. Smooth as glass now!
BTW, I have almost 50k miles on those OEM brakes and the pads were only about 1/4 worn, and the rotors looked totally smooth. If the rotors hadn't gone bad I might have gotten 200k out of those brakes. I was replacing the pads every 20k miles on my previous car, a 2013 Focus ST. Yeah, I was having some fun in that car!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Those pistons were never compressed, it's a wonder you managed to get it apart at all.
They were compressed a little, but the piston cap stuck to the pad pretty solid. When we got it all apart we put the pad on a vice and had to use a hammer and scraper to get the cap loose. If I had been pulling it apart I'm not sure I would have broken it; my grandson is eager to learn car stuff but just doesn't have the feel for it that one gets from 50+ years doing their own brakes! :-D
 

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Phenolic pistons are an improvement over the metal of yore. They will not corrode or pit, or scar the caliper cylinder. Or hold the heat of the metal ones.
Not sure of what lead up to your problem. Never seen that one.
 
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