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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i tried changing my front brake pads, but the caliper pistons is a PITA to compress.

what's an easy way to compress it?

how would you do it?

how does the dealership, or brake shops like midas do it?

is there anything i need to be careful of? what's safe and not safe to do?

a lot of questions, but i need to make sure i'm doing it correctly, and i need to get it done asap before it starts pouring rain. be as thorough as you like.
 

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R2.....Zap Balls
94 Ex coupe
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5,186 Posts
i use a BIG pair of channel locks... and a small piece of wood.
that works, or I bought a big c-clamp from autozone that does the job quite nicely
 

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c-clamp works on all makes and modles
Try useing one on a opposed piston, fixed caliper setup, then you need an actual compressor.
 

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1990 CRX DX
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126 Posts
Use a big C clamp to compress the piston or autozone sells a caliper piston tool for like $10 i bought one they work a little quicker then a C clamp, also after you do the brake job make sure to pump the brakes a few times before you testdrive you will feel the pedal tighten up. Top off your resivoir and your done. If you have an SI civic i know i did a brake job on my buddys the backs calpiers are twist type , you can compress the piston back in it has an X on it and i used a screwdriver to twist the piston back ! just a tip
 

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Discussion Starter #11
yea i was thinking about using a c-clamp and a block of wood, haha.

as long as it works and it doesn't mess up the piston.

thanks to all that replied, all were good suggestions.
 

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Brokedick Millionaire
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40,252 Posts
I don't use anything.........

just pull the caliper towards you before flipping it up away from the rotor.....

that way you don't force the piston to far back into the caliper....

If you do get the piston stuck....don't go jump on the brake pedal to try to move it out.....unless a camera is rolling!!!!!
 

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well when i remember, i unscrew the brake fluid reservoir lid to provide less resistance when you push the caliper piston back. i also use a c-clamp...
 

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i had to compress the two piston front brakes on my 91 volvo, and a large
c-clamp and piece of wood did the job
i had made the mistake of depressing the brake pedel after i had the brake caliper off, the pistons fully extended. doh
 

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d-series resident crybaby
88 Rex
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1,002 Posts
how does the dealership, or brake shops like midas do it?
I work at midas :D i use a tool off the mac truck, it's like a c- clamp only spring activated you pull it like a caulk gun and it spreads just like your pads, but pushes the piston in, super easy! was like $25-30? and it works on cars w/multi pistons too!
 

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I used a C-Clamp and a metal file (like a nail filer but it's metal and huge). Put the file across the piston and then c-clamp it down. Goes down with ease.

Just remember to pump your brakes before you move anywhere cuz depressing the piston likes that fucks with your brakes. Just pump the brake and you'll feel it drop to the floor but keep pumping and it'll go back to normal with a few pumps.
 

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93 Civic EX
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746 Posts
Dad made a tool that has a metal strip about 1inch thick and has the shape of the pad. In the center is a long threaded bolt with a handle on the end. The other end is a flat round piece. Place the old pad on the piston, press the round piece of the tool on the pad and the metal strip inbetween the caliper. Now twist the handle to expand the rod and it will compress it evenly and easily! :)
 
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