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Help with Stuck / Stripped Brake Caliper Bolts

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TallCowGirl, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. TallCowGirl

    TallCowGirl Registered Member

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    Hello guys....I have a 1973 K5 Blazer. I was in the middle of doing the front brakes this weekend when I discovered that the caliper bolts on the front passenger side were stuck. The threads were stripped inside of the screw holes on the backing plate. (I let a 4x4 shop in El Paso do it last year before I moved up to Illinois---now you guys now why I try and do this kind of thing myself...GRRRR.) The truck has the GM/Delco style brakes with hex-head caliper guide bolts. The only way I could remove the brake caliper was to get a hacksaw and saw off the heads and outer tips of these bolts. Now what do I do? How do I remove the bolts from the backing plate? The only two things I can think of is either to get grind off what's left of the bolts and drill them out or try heating up the screw hole on the backing plate with a propane torch and tapping them out. Where can I get some replacement hex-head caliper bolts? I"m only finding the ones with Allen heads at auto parts stores. I use my Blazer as a daily driver so I kind of need to get her going again. If you have any advice or sugesstions please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Diana
    [​IMG]
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    The only bolts you will find are the allen head type. You cannot substitute any other kind of bolt for this application.
     
  3. Polaris

    Polaris 1/2 ton status

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    That concerns me that they had hex head bolts /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif. Go with the allen head. I know it's kind of a PITA but it's for a reason. What I do for really tough bolts, especially like on the calipers, is give the threads a shot of PB Blaster, let it sit for a few minutes, then get my trusty 3/8 ratchet with the allen head socket - I think it is 3/8" - then take the floor jack handle end which is a good 3' pipe and slip it over the end of the ratchet, and usually that pipe give me the leverage I need to turn just about any stuck bolt. In fact, I modified my Hi-Lift jack handle so I can take it off easily and use it in that way. Saved my butt when I was out of town & my starter croaked /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif.

    I am jealous... you have a full convertible Blazer *and* a Scout. <sigh> I love full convertibles. Someday I hope to have one of my own!
     
  4. Polaris

    Polaris 1/2 ton status

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    Oh - duh. When the head of a bolt is broken off, if you can get Vise Grips on it and turn it then that might work. Or drill through the center of the broken bolt but be careful not to wreck the threads on the caliper.
     
  5. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    I would try everything you mentioned and see it if works. If not, you will probably need to replace the backing plate/caliper support. You can get those new or from a junkyard. The only prob with replacing those is that it is sort of a PITA.
     
  6. Beast388

    Beast388 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    That concerns me that they had hex head bolts /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif. Go with the allen head.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My '71 has the original hex head caliper bolts on the front calipers. They are exactly the same as the allen head other than the difference in head design. They are interchangeable. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif In fact, I am using both types, I have the allen heads on my rear disks! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  7. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    Diana,
    as for the hex head bolts i know what you are talking about. i have a set for my blazer. im not sure what application they came off of, but i got them working at the junk yard. they allow the caliper to slide the same as the allen heads do. my advice to you is to get the allen heads though. and new bushings and crap. the tool is like 8 dollars if that.

    as for the threaded portion left in the backing plate, is there enough to get a set of vice grips on them? soak them for an hour or so with WD-40 and then try that.

    if not, an easy out set is the next best bet, but still use some oil of some type.
    Good luck with it.
    Grant
     
  8. 45acpJr

    45acpJr 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That's not exactly true, GM did/does use a hex head type guide pin. I'm not sure of the application, but if you want me to look it up I san sometime.
     
  9. TallCowGirl

    TallCowGirl Registered Member

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    Stripped, Not Frozen...

    Hi Guys---thanks for the advice. The bolts aren't frozen. The threads are stripped and they just turn around forever without coming out. That's why I cut the heads off to remove the calipers. What's left of the bolts are still screwed into the backing plate. That's what I'm trying to get out.

    Diana
     
  10. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    If you need a replacement caliper support bracket, I've got a pair in the garage that will be identical to your '73. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  11. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    cool blazer!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. TallCowGirl

    TallCowGirl Registered Member

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    OK...How hard are they to replace? I suppose that you have to take the hubs and rotors off to get to them. They look like big iron dinner plates with a cut-out for the inner brake pads. E-mail me at TallTanBarbie@yahoo.com and let me know how much do you want for them.

    Thanks,
    Diana
     
  13. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    You just found the reason that GM switched to allen head from the hex head...People will put an impact wrench on anything that has a hex head on it. Like everyone else said they are interchangable. To remove them I would just beat on the end with a drift to drive them out. You will need at least a 2# sledge.

    For replacement you have a few options.
    1) Buy new ones, drill a hole in the end, thread it in and hold it there with a cotter pin. I don't recomend this as a perminate solution but have heard of it being done in a pinch.
    2) Buy a Heli-coil kit to repair the threads.
    3) Go to the j/y and buy some new caliper mounts.
     
  14. doctor4x4

    doctor4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    Like everyone else said they are interchangable. To remove them I would just beat on the end with a drift to drive them out. You will need at least a 2# sledge.
    oh NO NO NO NO
    THE LITTLE SPACER THAT SITS INSIDE THE CALIPER IS A DIFFERENT LENGTH SO if she usues the allen head bolts with the little metal sleves from the hex heads bolts they wont be long enough
    been there tryed that
    Hey its a good reason to service your hubs
    :-)
    good luck and welcome
     
  15. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    well I have a similar problem.

    <FYI> I have the hex head bolts on my 1975 dana 44 3/4 ton (I think dana's came with a hex and a 10B came with allens don't quote me though) /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    Getting it out is easier than fixing it. Finding a backing plate for a 1/2 ton is easy. replacing the plate is six more bolts than a bearing job.
    1. remove tire
    2. remove brake caliper
    3. remove locking hub
    4. remove spindle nut (uses special nut tool)
    5. ramove friggin lock washer thing
    6. remove 2nd spindle nut
    7. pull off hub.
    8. remove 6 bolts on spindle.
    9. tap spindle with rubber hammer till spindle is loose
    10. take off spindle and backing plate.
    11. replace hub seal/repack bearings.
    12. reinstall in opposite order.

    sounds harder than it is, probably 2 hours give or take your first time.
    good luck.
    p.s. where are the helicoils available and what thread to what thread am i looking for. 3/4 ton bakcing plate are kinda scarce. /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif
     
  16. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    Hex and allen are the same thing and D44 and 10 bolt use the same bolt.

    Not sure on the thread.
     
  17. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    I'm not sure on the thread but I know for sure it is a "standard" thread.
     
  18. jwduke

    jwduke 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Stripped, Not Frozen...

    The thread is 1/2" NF. If you can get it out, i'd try tapping new threads first. You could put it back togeather, and see if it tightens up. If it doesn't then replace it. Mine were striped out on my '87, and I did this. has held togeather for quite a while! Good luck!!!
     

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