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Calipers: Sliders/Pivots

The calipers have 2 single pistons; that is, there are 2 pistons that press on the outside pads, whereas the inside pads are held against the caliper body. Therefore, the caliper body is mounted on sliders or pivots to allow side to side movement. The pivot pins and sleeves often have not received proper maintenance and are corroded, sometimes to the point of being frozen. This can result in the inside pads wearing rapidly, and even eating up the (very expensive) rotor ($360 list for a rear one). The pins and sleeves should be cleaned up with a wire brush or emery cloth and lubricated with high temperature silicone grease. If they are badly pitted they should be replaced, as they might eat into the aluminum of the caliper. The protective rubber boots should be inspected for cracks and tears and replaced if damaged. Pivots should be inspected periodically and cleaned and lubricated if necessary.

A power/cordless drill can be used to help remove uncooperative pad pins. Knock each pin out of the caliper body with a punch pin far enough to remove the brake pads. Grab the flanged end of a pad pin with the chuck (while it's still in the caliper), spin it and hit it with emery paper or a small file. I had a couple really stubborn pad pins and after spending 90+ minutes trying to force them out, they came right out after I sanded them a bit. Pad pins can be nicely polished using the drill and crocus cloth. Apply a thin coating of grease to the pad pins when reinstalling.

Here's how to reinstall the slider sleeve and boots. After cleaning apply some grease to the slider hole in the caliper. Install the first boot. Apply grease to slider sleeve. Push sleeve from opposite side of caliper into boot and push far enough so the groove for second boot is exposed. Install second boot, push sleeve back toward second boot and work sleeve so both boots are seated in both grooves (caliper groove and sleeve groove) on both sides. Sleeve should move freely but with resistance due to dust boots and grease.

The pins and sleeves can be cleaned and lubed in just a couple minutes if they're not frozen. This is a good thing to add to your preventative maintenance list.

The Honda shop manual doesn't specify the torque for the caliper bolt (the one that goes through the pivot collar or sleeve).


In the front on p. 1-6 there is a table of standard torques. The pivot bolt is an 8mm flange bolt, for which the standard torque is 20-30 Nm (14-22 ft-lb). Clymer gives the values 30-40 Nm (22-29 ft-lb) except for '87 Magnas, for which the value is 25-30 Nm.