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Wet Braking

Brake Caliper Technical Tips and EPB

Quality remanufactured brake calipers can be as good as the OE equivalent, vitally important for such a safety critical product, and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK Aftermarket.

 

With an annual replacement growth of 5%, calipers represent one of the few organically growing replacement parts markets.

The technology for this product is also developing rapidly with the latest EPB (Electric Park Brake). This has been developed to enhance vehicle safety and, because the handbrake lever is now eliminated, provides improved interior design and additional space in the vehicle.

The opportunity for remanufacturers is on those calipers where the electric motor is integral to the brake caliper itself. These electric calipers are fitted mainly on the Audi A6, VW Passat from 2005 & VW Tiguan from 2007. Remy are already seeing the Passat and A6 calipers coming back, as they have just come out of the vehicle manufacturers warranty period. The market demand seems to be already indicating that there is a high failure rate on them, although it is acknowledged that these are fitted to some of the highest selling vehicles in Europe and they are popular company cars with high mileages.

Remanufactured calipers offer fantastic value as a replacement part, but because they are a safety critical item, it is essential that installers select a brand they can be confident will most definitely not let them or their customers down. In terms of standards, the hydraulic side of remanufacturing these calipers is exactly the same. The electric motor side, however, is reworked and tested to OE standards using specialist test facilities in which Remy has recently invested. Other than the OE manufacturer itself, Remy will be the first Aftermarket supplier to have this latest technology available.

The Brake Caliper Remanufacturing Process

Being such a safety critical item, brake calipers and their castings in particular, are of an extremely rugged design, generally being cast in iron, steel or aluminium. This makes them eminently suitable for remanufacture. A quality remanufacturer will adopt a remanufacturing process along the following lines:

1. After the castings have been stripped, washed, inspected and shot blasted, they are electro-plated to give a bright, corrosion resistant finish.

2. 100% new pistons should always be installed as this is the key to ensuring that the best performance is achieved. Re-using pistons is not appropriate and would most definitely increase the failure rate.

3. 100% replacement of all rubber components, such as seals and covers is also very important to ensure that the best hydraulic performance is achieved and protected.

4. With handbrake calipers it is very important that the bore in the casting for the handbrake mechanism is inspected to a very high standard and is re-bushed when any damage is found.

5. It is also important that units are 100% stripped and should be cleaned in furnaces to carbonise all fluid and dirt, a process known as pyrolysis. This allows maximum cleaning without damaging the unit itself. Bodies should also be heavily plated using nickel plating to ensure that corrosion protection is optimised to provide the highest quality unit. In fact, in most cases a good reman unit will be better than its OE equivalent. This is why Remy manufacture many components such as pistons, slides and bushes in-house, to retain and ensure that the highest quality standards are achieved.

6. All finished Remy calipers are pressure tested on purpose built test rigs. A calibrated, computerised, self-checking three stage air pressure decay tester/leak tester is used, which upon successful completion of the test, will produce from a computer, a pass label to accompany the caliper.
 

Having chosen to install a remanufactured caliper from a quality remanufacturer, it is important that installers should take great care when fitting these safety critical components.

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