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Loaded calipers: Limit the prep work

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The benefits of using loaded calipers is that all hardware and components are provided for quick installation -- perfect for the busy technician trying to move cars in and out of his or her bay. However, some techs might be doing too much to prepare new calipers for installation, according to advice from Chuck Kennedy, the Bendix Answerman.

Removing the pistons and pulling the boots off aren’t necessary steps as these components have been prepared during manufacturing and are ready to use. That’s one of the benefits of using quality loaded calipers.

( Bendix calipers are treated with an exclusive rust-prohibitive coating before assembly and are 100% pressure tested after final assembly to help ensure leak-free operation.)

These calipers will provide good service right out of the box, but with today’s focus on brake noise and performance, there are a few additional steps the technician can perform to add extra protection.

A thin film of quality brake lubricant can be applied on caliper mounting surfaces on slide bolts, abutment clips, the faces of the pistons, inside the caliper where the outboard pad rests, and on any anti-rattle clip surfaces that touch the pad. This process only takes a few minutes, but can help extend life and ensure a quiet braking.

It’s critical to use a non-petroleum based high temperature premium lubricant... since products containing petroleum could swell rubber parts and lead to restrictive caliper movement, locked calipers, excessive wear, pulsation and/or warped rotors.

Once all the necessary contact points are lubricated, the calipers can be installed on the vehicle.

For more information about loaded calipers and tech tips from Bendix, log on to www.bendixbrakes.com. -- Chuck Kennedy

(Bendix friction materials and hard parts are offered by Honeywell Friction Materials, a business unit of Honeywell International Inc.)

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