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Way to easy to remove the torque plates from the calipers, guide pins and boots should be removed first and cleaned, even replace the boots, and loaded up with silicone grease. Of course, pop off the pad clips.

While I do have a sand blasting cabinet, found it much easier to buy a gallon of hydrochloric acid, about $2.50 a gallon from Menards, 50-50 mix with water, let them soak for about 20 minutes, they come out spotless. Strictly outdoors, this stuff is super strong, and one breathe of it hurts, have a special mask for this. Rinse off with a hose and quickly dry them off.

Same can be done with the caliper, fronts are easy, but have to remove them first, won't get air in the ABS if you block the brake pedal first with a stick. Then comes the paint, piston boot pops off the the caliper, for my Supra was four bucks per wheel for all new rubber, never got this far with the Cruze. Also like that pack that piston boot with silicone, helps greatly to keep out road salt. Inside of the caliper is still cast iron lacking any nickel, that can really bind the piston.

Rear disc calipers are more of a problem, been to long ago, could remove the spring and work the lever by hand, piston should move outward. On my Cruze the piston would just go back and forth. Ha, had an argument with GM about this, but after about three months, gave me new ones, mine were not plated at all. New ones were plated.

Recall on older ones, has a nut to remove that lever so could be masked off for painting. Did my Supra last year, rear calipers were just like the fronts, completely inherently self adjustable with separate drum brakes for parking. While GM did copy the torque plates that Toyota came out with, should have copied the drums as well. Since the drums are only used for parking, shoes never wear out.

Reason for the torque plates, cannot use a C-Clamp to compress the piston, its on a screw, if the rotor is worn, with a rim on it, can use a power grinder just on the edge to slide the torque plates off, but never let them get that far. The clips on the torque plates trap road salt locking the pads. That's one problem, the other is rust build up on the piston binding.

So easy to test, spin the wheel, hit the brakes, spin them again, if binding, won't be able to turn the wheel. Kids that paid 99 bucks for new front pads, used a sledge hammer to install the new pads, talk about way over heated rotors plus very poor fuel economy.

Other problems I have had with locking brakes is brake hoses made in China, many layers not properly vulcanized or cheap crap, really don't know. The inner layer would break free and act like a check valve keeping the brake locked after you removed your foot from the pedal.

Have to screw in that piston on the rear calipers when replacing the pads, going back to 1978 on this, had a special tool for this, changed this on the Cruze. If salt water gets in either from the front or the rear seal, rusts that thread solid to the piston. Had this problem with a 78 GM, back then was 300 bucks per wheel. Cheaper now, with drastic inflation, only 106 bucks per wheel.



One reason why I prefer drums, really not that much difference in stopping power, but a heck of a lot cheaper.
 

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This is what the inside of the rear rotor looks like, doesn't stick any further than any other conventional rotor with plenty space for the parking brake shoes so a cheap conventional rear inherently self adjusting caliper can be used.



Posting this for the new engineer kids on the block, patent is long expired, and a heck of a lot simpler than putting piston on the screw. With no need to work the parking brake and hope it works to take up the pad rotor clearance. Simple is always better.
 
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