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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey fellow owners,
Sorry for my extreme leave of absence. I am currently doing the fornt and rear brakes on the MKIII. I was plowing through the front right wheel, and things were going great. Unfortunately the caliper bolts are completely stuck. I have used penetrating fluid and slamed the bolt with a windy gun with full 150 psi. Both bolts will not budge. I am really annoyed. I have all the parts ready but a simple job is hung up by a couple of bolts.

Any ideas?
 

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Hey Storey,
Often a breaker bar and a long piece of steel tubing or really heavy duty pipe do much more than an impact gun. And, short of applying heat (Acetylene torch), the best method of loosening bolts and nuts that won't budge is bashing the schnitt out of them with a BFH (something I learned from an older German mechanic specialized in Porsche restoration). Direction doesn't make that much difference, just keep bashing until you can budge the bolt. Removing the sliding portion of the caliper and turning the wheel so that the caliper points out as far as possible should give you the room you need for both methods. You'll likely need to apply the BFH method to the rotor-hats too. I had to when replacing my discs a couple of months ago.

If you think the caliper bolts are bad, wait till you have to do front air springs and go to battle with the 2 big bolts that hold the strut to the steering knuckle... :|

So what was the reason for your absence? Work? Family? Is #2 on the way? :lol:

Cheers,
Steve
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #3
See here is my trouble. I start watching Wheeler Dealers on youtube and see old Ed China with his tools tearing through huge vehicle repair projects. Then I start thinking how much fun that is and go out there and get stuck imediately. I will have another go at it tonight. I will get both front wheels off the ground and make sure that I get good acces with a long breaker bar.

Surely it is ok to put jack stands on the front vehicle sub frame, right? It may have been my imagination, but I thought that I heard some metal creaking when I lowered one of the front tubular subframe components down on the jack stand.

Where have I been? Nowhere but in my basement working on diagnostic tools and answering emails `8)
 

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Put a ratchet on it and smack it with a sledge hammer that is what I do.
Being brake bolts they go through a lot of heat cycles.
 

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nsxxtreme said:
Put a ratchet on it and smack it with a sledge hammer that is what I do.
Being brake bolts they go through a lot of heat cycles.
Only if you severely dislike that ratchet. Otherwise use a breaker bar. `) (And even then - be prepared to duck if you're doing this with your head stuck in a wheel well.)

Yeah, the subframe is fine for jack stands. The whole front of the car sits on it and is subject to much worse loads on cornering and such (so it was your imagination :lol: ).

Two thing I learned wrenching cars professionally:
1. you can never tear completely through anything. Mr Murphy always calls. (that gets edited for TV)
2. you can tear through things - relatively speaking - with practice. And above all, with practice you'll learn to deal with Mr. Murphy more quickly. And you need patience.

So what's cooking in the basement? :think:
 
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Ratchets shouldn't be used, the mechanism for the most part is not built to stand excessive torque loads.
Use a good quality ring spaner, a sliding T handle or best of all, a flex bar and a loooong extension. The bigger size you can go, the better. 3/4' would be nice, but 1/2" will do.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #8
I have a 3/4 inch breaker bar. I also have a 3 foot long cro-moly tube that I use for my extensions. I just have to find it.
Once I have both front wheels off the ground, I will feel more comfortable turning the wheel and getting better access to the caliper bolts. A 3 foot breaker bar should get it.

I think I need to get a better floor jack for this car.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #9
Well...
It did not work. I tried everything. I tried hitting the bolt, yelling at it, and even whispering. I could not find my 3/4 inch breaker bar so I used the 1/2 inch. The 1/2 bolt cracked and broke almost in half with the pressure. This thing is really stuck. :evil:
 

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It sounds like you've tried just about everything. I know you already tried some penetrating spray, but sometimes repeated applications of PB blaster and letting it soak for a long time will eventually break stuff free. I'm assuming you prefer not to damage anything, so I'd keep trying for a while before you resort to more draconian measures, such as the blow torch mentioned above. I'd even be careful about using too much force on the bolt itself, you could break the bolt (been there, done that).
 

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Did you actually crack the bolt? Hope not....
Leaving PB for a few days can sometimes help. Never had that much time myself.
If a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar fails or cracks, a 3/4 inch drive should do it with a long extension. Those caliper bolts can be SUPER tight.....
If you end up breaking the caliper bolts, usually grade 8 or 10, you will have to drill out the broken bolt/s, NO FUN......
Good luck
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry, slip of the keyboard. I broke the socket. I did not break the bolt. The socket snapped.
I will try some penetrating fluid again overnight.

It means that the Old P38a will get a workout for another day in a row.
 
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Try using an impact socket even though you're not using air on tough bolts. Sometimes those Cro-Moly sockets just aren't up to the job.
 

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I've been working on the front suspension arms, ball joints and drive shaft boots of my MkIII this week and most of the bolts were seized. the calliper carrier bolts had to be heated with the oxyacetylene torch before they would move as had the lower ball joint torx bolts.

Once the bolts are freed off work them in and out a small amount at a time before you remove them completely to clean up the threads. The bolts get rusty where they go through the calliper carrier and if you don't work them in and out before removing them you will thread the carrier.

I would also suggest you replace the bolts with new ones which makes the rebuild a lot easier
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #15
I finally got the bolt unstuck.
It was about maybe 5-6 applications of penetrating fluid over several several hours. I also found my real good quality 3/4 inch drive breaker bar and impact gun sockets. The bolt came loose rather quickly. It is always amazing how the right tool does the job.

Thanks
 

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I finally got the bolt unstuck.
It was about maybe 5-6 applications of penetrating fluid over several several hours. I also found my real good quality 3/4 inch drive breaker bar and impact gun sockets. The bolt came loose rather quickly. It is always amazing how the right tool does the job.

Thanks
I am extreamly worried , this might happen to me. As I am planning on replacing my pads on my l322. But I am doning the rears ~ so I might be less of a challenge.

I will let you know how my caliper bolts do `!!
 

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203 ft lbs (140 n-m) is the correct torque setting for those bots. Try a heat gun after a good soaking with penetrating fluid. It really helps.
 

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While changing the lower front control arm (passenger side) i noticed that the heads on my passenger side calliper bolts appear rounded so I will order new ones. Those gaps in repair history show up at the oddest times but somehow seem to prove that another clown had been hired to work on her. I hope that when I get there I will be able to get them off without banged knuckles. I do concur that the longest bar with no extension will work the best if it is to work and 3/4 drive better due to minimal flex.
 
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