Rear brake pads seized? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016 Thread Starter
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Rear brake pads seized?

Just got my 2012 Mustang and am prepping for my first track day. I purchased some HP Plus pads and installing the fronts was a breeze.

When I moved to the rear, first, the caliper took a TON of forced to slide off the pads. When I put in my disc pad spreader to compress the piston, the piston would not recess back into the caliper even after a TON of pressure. I even tried loosening the bleed valve and the caliper still would not budge. I tried hard enough that my disc pad spreader even broke.

This happened on both sides of the rear, as well.

Can anyone tell me if this may be normal and perhaps I'm missing something???

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016
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Welcome to the site! I'm sure one of our knowledgeable members will be by shortly to offer some advice.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016
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Are the 2012 calipers like my 2006 calipers where instead of only pushing the piston back in that instead it requires a special tool to turn it back in? I had a similar issue until my friend and I realized you have to twist it/push it back in.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016
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The rear calipers twist in, you can usually rent the special tool from autozone or you can do what I did and buy a full brake piston tool set from harbor freight for like 50 bucks. It comes with everything you need to compress the front and rear pistons.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016
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As Fuel said, they screw in. Believe me, get the tool. Makes the job a breeze.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuelforFire87 View Post
The rear calipers twist in, you can usually rent the special tool from autozone or you can do what I did and buy a full brake piston tool set from harbor freight for like 50 bucks. It comes with everything you need to compress the front and rear pistons.
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Originally Posted by RoboStang View Post
As Fuel said, they screw in. Believe me, get the tool. Makes the job a breeze.
Both of these guys just answered my question and backed my thoughts exactly. Best advice is to rent the tool for free from an auto parts store as no need to buy one unless you do brake jobs often, but even then why not just rent it for free?

Second do inspect the caliper to make sure that it is not damaged from excessive pressure. Also since you opened up the bleeder I am sure you already plan to bleed all the brakes to make sure to get all the air out of the system.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016
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Exactly. They don't press straight in, they screw in. You also have to line-up a mark on the piston with a mark on the caliper correctly, when screwing the piston in.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016
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If you pressed them in, they are ******, get new ones. At least rebuilt ones are cheap. Screw in rear pistons on disc rears have been a fixture of cars for decades. I can't recall the last car I worked on that had smooth rear pistons.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-11-2016
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Originally Posted by NoVa5.0 View Post
Exactly. They don't press straight in, they screw in. You also have to line-up a mark on the piston with a mark on the caliper correctly, when screwing the piston in.
Ahh yes that is a great point. I forgot about that minor detail.

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If you pressed them in, they are ******, get new ones. At least rebuilt ones are cheap. Screw in rear pistons on disc rears have been a fixture of cars for decades. I can't recall the last car I worked on that had smooth rear pistons.
Not necessarily I started to push mine before realizing. Then started turning whit pliers while trying to push. Then gave up and went and rented the special tool. After about 10K miles brakes are working like a champ still.

I would defiantly inspect them though and also keep a close eye to make sure that 1. They are working and 2. They aren't hanging.

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Past Mustangs in order and color of text.
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(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)
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You can use the elcheapo cube with various tits on it to fit various calipers. They cost about $5. One which I purchased DID NOT FIT the caliper I was working on and I had to return it and get my money back. I used one for years and it is a real ***** to try and twist and apply pressure on the free caliper piston. Even with someone holding the piston it takes several minutes and a lot of strength to get the piston in. Also MAKE SURE you have the piston with the groove in the same position it was when you started or the brakes might sieze up. There was also a problem on the 2005 Mustangs with the emergency brake cable freezing up when water got into the end. There was a TSB or recall on this and it happened on our 2005 Mustang. They had to replace the cable and the caliper. I finally broke down and got the compression tool at Harbor Freight and now changing any rear brakes with the twist in pistons is a breeze. On some cars one side twists in clockwise and the other side counterclockwise. The HF tool has both the CW and CCW twisters and about a dozen different heads to fit almost any caliper made. On sale it is about $35.
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Originally Posted by bighank View Post
You can use the elcheapo cube with various tits on it to fit various calipers. They cost about $5. One which I purchased DID NOT FIT the caliper I was working on and I had to return it and get my money back. I used one for years and it is a real ***** to try and twist and apply pressure on the free caliper piston. Even with someone holding the piston it takes several minutes and a lot of strength to get the piston in. Also MAKE SURE you have the piston with the groove in the same position it was when you started or the brakes might sieze up. There was also a problem on the 2005 Mustangs with the emergency brake cable freezing up when water got into the end. There was a TSB or recall on this and it happened on our 2005 Mustang. They had to replace the cable and the caliper. I finally broke down and got the compression tool at Harbor Freight and now changing any rear brakes with the twist in pistons is a breeze. On some cars one side twists in clockwise and the other side counterclockwise. The HF tool has both the CW and CCW twisters and about a dozen different heads to fit almost any caliper made. On sale it is about $35.
Now having the groove in the same place I can't say I payed any attention to as I didn't know. Hope my friend did as that is not something I knew or thought about... I guess my friend did as I haven't had any issue with the brakes hanging... Yet... haha

Current Garage
(11.)2012 GT500 silver with red stripe, SVT performance package, and Recaro seats.
2018 Honda Civic Type R
Past Mustangs in order and color of text.
(1.)2000, (2.)2004, (3.)2006GT/Auto traded for (4.)2006GT/Manual, (5.)1996, (6.)2011GT, (7.)2003GT, (8.)2006GT, (9)2013 Boss 302, and (10.) 2002GT
(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)
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Just to be a bit more precise, they twist AND press in when you are resetting them, hence the need for the tool that allows you to compress AND turn.
The tool looks like this http://www.amazon.com/Brake-Caliper-Piston-Compressor-Windback/dp/B00CWRDQEQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighank View Post
You can use the elcheapo cube with various tits on it to fit various calipers. They cost about $5. O . . . . The HF tool has both the CW and CCW twisters and about a dozen different heads to fit almost any caliper made. On sale it is about $35.
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Just to be a bit more precise, they twist AND press in when you are resetting them, hence the need for the tool that allows you to compress AND turn.
The tool looks like this Amazon.com: Disc Brake Caliper Piston Compressor Windback Wind Back Pad Tool 12pc W/case: Automotive
Learn from my mistake and don't try one of those stupid cubes. They are a waste of time and money. Get the real kit, they are only about $50 (or less like he said) and they pay for themselves the first time you use them.

But if you already crushed it without turning, yeah you need to buy new calipers. They are about $75/each at Advance Auto or the local parts place. I know because I did this job wrong the first time and they got hung up and so hot that some of the seals melted.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmastin View Post
Just got my 2012 Mustang and am prepping for my first track day. I purchased some HP Plus pads and installing the fronts was a breeze.

When I moved to the rear, first, the caliper took a TON of forced to slide off the pads. When I put in my disc pad spreader to compress the piston, the piston would not recess back into the caliper even after a TON of pressure. I even tried loosening the bleed valve and the caliper still would not budge. I tried hard enough that my disc pad spreader even broke.

This happened on both sides of the rear, as well.

Can anyone tell me if this may be normal and perhaps I'm missing something???
I have to do the same maintenance myself (2012 GT500 Shelby) within the next few weeks, will let you know if I encounter any similar problem.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbr3rd View Post
I have to do the same maintenance myself (2012 GT500 Shelby) within the next few weeks, will let you know if I encounter any similar problem.
Make sure you read the other responses to the OP's post and use the right tools and you should have no problems.


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