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Rear calipers seizing frequently

7382 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MARK_C
Hey guys,

My 06 L322 SC is not getting a lot of use lately, due to the fact it has 350,000km on it now. I drive it once or twice a week on average, otherwise it's parked in my laneway.

A few weeks ago I take it to the carwash and give it a good cleaning. Drive home at night and park over night. The next day I drive 3km into town to the corner store, and 3km home. When I back in my laneway I can smell hot brakes. The rear driver side caliper was clearly sticking or seized, the rim was so hot I couldn't touch it.

Front brakes and passenger rear caliper were just fine.

I drove it to the store and back the next day again, using the brakes on and off to see if I could free up the caliper. Made no difference. I got home and it was overheating still.

So I order a rebuilt caliper, and a week later replace it. The driver's side caliper was seized on and couldn't compress the Piston once I took it off.

Replaced it, test drove it to the next town over, 7km away. I get there and the PASSENGER SIDE caliper is now seized/sticking and hot to the point where it is smoking.

So I let it cool for 15mins, and drove home at a reduced speed to try and prevent excessive heat.

I get home and now the rear passenger side is cool, not sticking any more.

I test drove it a few times and checked the rear brakes constantly, no problems. I then drove it for a 300km trip, with no issues.

So I already knew these were kind of notorious for rear caliper problems. But if I only drive it once a week, is this going to be a constant issue for me?

Both rear calipers were no more than 2 years old....

Anything I can do to prevent them from sticking/seizing?

Thanks guys. And sorry for the long story.

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Drive it, sitting in the driveway is about the worst thing you can do to a vehicle, they rust up underneath pretty fast. My 06 is beginning to exhibit the same issues at 180K miles, although drive mine about 70 miles every day. Left front caliper has one pretty well seized piston (out of 2) and my right rear rotor runs consistantly 50degrees hotter than my left rear so I think its on its way out as well. Calipers on order and when they get here I'll put them on, then rebuild the old ones for spares. Just hope I don't burn up a fairly new set of Akebono Ceramic Pads before then.
I drive it at least once a week, 100-200km.....

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Pistons usually seize up because of rust, or dirt that gets past the rubber seals. Once that happens the only way to fix it is to pull the calipers apart and rebuild them. If its the slides, you can pull them apart clean them up and relube or replace them, but beyond that I don't think theres much that can be done.
Interestingly enough I just decided to do rotors and pads out back, neither caliper piston would fully compress to fit the pads over the new rotors.... Luckily new rear calipers are $20 after core return.
Amazing price. I just reworked a caliper retaining bracket on my van as one pin was rusted into the retainer. the exchange cost of its twin piston alloy calliper and bracket after core is 130 plus tax. The pistons pushed in without a hitch. 10 years in michigan and the rest here in toronto. Curious if the piston has to be rotated to compress fully. I think on our old 92 trooper the pucks had to be rotated to fully set in their bores but I have not read that anywhere on ours.
You don't have to rotate them on a RR, they should press straight back into the bore. If they don't go all the way back either the piston/bore is messed up OR your brake cylinder reservoir is over filled, and the fluid has no where to go when you're pusing the piston back into the bore. Just finished my front caliper replacement, only took an hour, but now after seeing the color of the fluid, that was bled out I'm going to have to flush the whole system as the fluid was kind of a dark muddy gray color.

You can get rebuilt calipers from Rockauto for abut $50 after the Core charge. The core charge is more than the price of the new (rebuilt) caliper.
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