Mini caliper rebuild – Part 2

Having received the new wheel stud, I could complete the left-hand side. It all went back together beautifully and with an attractive assistant (the wife) on pedal duty, it was soon bled and functioning correctly. Lovely.

New brake caliper and disc fitted to proper Mini

Hmmm. Sooo shiny. seems a shame to cover it up with a wheel. New disc and pads plus refurbished caliper

Now attention could turn to the opposite side. I lowered the car back to the ground as I needed to reposition it – space is tight in the garage. This time,  I remembered to undo the main driveshaft nut BEFORE jacking the car up. Having read the Haynes manual, I decided to remove the caliper complete with pads this time. That was stupid – I then couldn’t get the pistons out. So, I connected the caliper back up and with the handy assistant again, could use hydraulic pressure to force the pistons most of the way out – using a spanner to stop the first one from popping all the way out until the second one was also easing outwards. It was then an easy job to use pliers to pull the pistons out – you wouldn’t want to do this if you were planning to re-use the pistons, but I wasn’t. They were in a dreadful state.

The only seized bolt on the entire job caused some issues – I couldn’t get the caliper into its two main parts. Eventually, I managed to smash a slightly-too-small socket onto the corroded head, and out it came. There may have been some colourful language before this! I then had to locate another bolt, which involved a trip to see a Mini enthusiast in Aberystwyth. Thanks Dave!

This was the side that had seized the most ferociously, and getting the old seals out proved a real ‘bind.’ See what I did there? The new seal holder things are incredibly soft and easy to damage but on this caliper, I actually managed to get one of the new ones to fit – though had to resort to an old one for the second piston. Then it was a simple case of swapping the disc and then re-fitting the caliper. New pads completed the job and with another bleeding session, she was ready to go!

The difference on the road was marked. When you’ve only got 45bhp to play with, binding brakes can be a very noticeable drag. I’m still to bed the brakes in – only 8 miles covered so far – but look forward to seeing how they go.

Very rusty brake disc

Yup, that'll be scrap then. No point putting this back on.

Betsy the 'proper' Mini

With fixed brakes, Betsy the Mini is ready to go!

What do you reckon?

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