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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey piloteers,

Weekend backyard mechanic is in deep trouble: I was at the 3rd wheel (driver side, front) to bleed the brake fluid and replace brake pads, and it seems that I have a long day. I am having 2 problems:

1) the bleed valve snapped -- I knew the risk after watching Chrisfix's youtube that the valve can be so rusted that it can break. I used WD-40 and waited like 5 mins. I was praying just another lb.ft would persuade it loose but ended up a snapped valve. What do I do now? Drill it out or replace the whole caliper?

2) one of the two slide pin is frozen and I cannot get it rotated or pulled it out. Any tip or trick to get it out?

Another question: with the bleed valve broken, is it safe to drive the car? There is no brake fluid leaking after it snapped.
 

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Two things going wrong with it, + rust scale, replace it, looking at the picture (most likely that's WD-40) but you're going to have to bleed the system anyway when you remove (drill out, or easy out) the broken bleeder screw. It doesn't matter air will get in the system either by broken bleeder or removing hose. Then unless you have the correct size tap or easy out etc you're spending more money and time. If you bump the threads you're buying a new caliper anyway.
 

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If it were me I would just replace the caliper. That is gonna be a little bit of work to sort out the bleeder and pin.

If the bleeder didn’t budge when you tried to loosen it and you did not take any of the brake lines loose I would not be afraid to drive it to give time to get the parts lined up. I would stick the old pads back on if the caliper pin is stuck.

If you do want to try and fix it I would see if you could get the slid pin to break loose first. If it will not turn if you put a wrench on the flats on the pin you could try taking the pin boot loose and spray some penetrating oil in it and let it soak. They sell a kit with the boots and the oring that goes on one of the slide pins. You will want to change the oring if you spray something in there if you plan to not replace the caliper. That oring can swell and bind the pin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I am not equipped to drill it and I suppose it will cost more than a new caliper ($70 at AutoZone) if I take it to an auto shop.

I will head out to get a new caliper.
 

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1) frozen slide pin:
lots of penetrating oil, and you can put the flat part of the pin in a vice, and turn the bracket back and forth to loosen it up. If you can get it to turn, you can probably use a hammer to tap the bracket off the pin.
Heat works real good as well, but then you might need to replace the boot. (and not a propane torch either)

2) snapped bleeder screw:
If you can stomp on the brakes and still get no leaks, it's driveable. (look closely while a helper pumps up the breaks and put pressure on the pedal baby) But I would replace the caliper as soon as I could. Rockauto sells the caliper/bracket combo with slide pints etc all included, I know because I just bought a set.
 

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Hey piloteers,

Weekend backyard mechanic is in deep trouble: I was at the 3rd wheel (driver side, front) to bleed the brake fluid and replace brake pads, and it seems that I have a long day. I am having 2 problems:

1) the bleed valve snapped -- I knew the risk after watching Chrisfix's youtube that the valve can be so rusted that it can break. I used WD-40 and waited like 5 mins. I was praying just another lb.ft would persuade it loose but ended up a snapped valve. What do I do now? Drill it out or replace the whole caliper?

2) one of the two slide pin is frozen and I cannot get it rotated or pulled it out. Any tip or trick to get it out?

Another question: with the bleed valve broken, is it safe to drive the car? There is no brake fluid leaking after it snapped.
I don't understand why you guys try it this way - just get the new pre-loaded calipers and slap them on, so easy. So yes, remove the old ones and get the new pre-loaded ones. Chalk this one up to learning.
 

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In regards to your frozen sliding pin - 3M car care silicon lubricant (readily available from Amazon)- after you break it loose. It comes as a paste and come with an applicator. If the rust is really bad try PB blaster from walmart to break it loose. After looking at this picture, I would have you reference the "legitstreetcar" youtube channel. He lives in Chicago and works on a lot of midwest rust belt cars. Check for the videos regarding the brake service videos. It'll give you some pointers. I would seriously recommend using a wire brush on the visible rust and coating your car frame "fluid film" just not your exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't understand why you guys try it this way - just get the new pre-loaded calipers and slap them on, so easy. So yes, remove the old ones and get the new pre-loaded ones. Chalk this one up to learning.
The cost!

I agree with you that labor wise it is a lot easier to swap in a new caliper, but 4 new calipers cost about $300. No reason to preemptively swap out a working caliper on a car with 200k+ miles, unless it's broken.

I did replace the caliper with the broken valve and frozen pin yesterday. I am back to business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
1) frozen slide pin:
lots of penetrating oil, and you can put the flat part of the pin in a vice, and turn the bracket back and forth to loosen it up. If you can get it to turn, you can probably use a hammer to tap the bracket off the pin.
Heat works real good as well, but then you might need to replace the boot. (and not a propane torch either)

2) snapped bleeder pin:
If you can stomp on the brakes and still get no leaks, it's driveable. (look closely while a helper pumps up the breaks and put pressure on the pedal baby) But I would replace the caliper as soon as I could. Rockauto sells the caliper/bracket combo with slide pints etc all included, I know because I just bought a set.
Yes, after testing that there was no leak, I drove the pilot to AutoZone to pick up the new caliper.
 

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if you're working on a vehicle 10+ years or older, be prepared to replace something on almost every "maintenance" project you do. if doing a brake job, I will make sure the nearby parts stores have everything in stock for those moments when something goes wrong.
a buddy of mine called me up to tell me his pads were grinding, asked if I would replace them. well no such luck on a 10 year old ford excursion. one of the pistons on the passenger caliper was frozen up so we had to do an emergency drive to the zone. one pad was good, the other had NO friction material left. I don't care where you live in this country, no part is immune to the effects of the elements
 

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I had a grinding nose from the left rear. turned out to be the parking brake drum had rust. Everything else was fine. Pads looked due for replacement so I replaced them and the rotors that had 214,000 miles on them. All good.
And yes, I would have replaced the caliper with those issues.
 

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Like others have said - given this situation - I recommend you find at least a used OEM caliper with working slides and a bleeder that isn't seized. If not that, then a good quality aftermarket one. If it was me - yeah - I would remove it and try to drill/tap out the bleeder and penetrating oil/hammer out the pin, but I've got a lot of tools around and have some time to spare. From a time/heartache point of view, better to just buy one.
 
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