Monday, January 2, 2017

Now that the metal work is done on my control arms, I decided to work on some other suspension parts.  I am disassembling the brake calipers so I can strip the original paint, smooth out the castings, and have them powdercoated satin black.

In the front I'm running an 11" rotor upgrade with Girling 60 calipers, and in the rear I'm using 10.1" vented MK3 front rotors (on a MK3 front spindle) with VW MK4 GLI/20th/337 rear calipers and a modified carrier.

The fronts came apart easily, I just blew out the pistons with compressed air.  They were brand new, so nothing was worn or rusted.

The rears were a bit more difficult.  After twisting the piston out, I had to remove the internal parking brake mechanism.

This required a new tool!  Not many companies make these, and I couldn't find the Hazet version in stock, so I settled for these Motion Pro extra long retaining ring pliers to remove the retaining ring down at the bottom of the parking brake mechanism.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the disassembly, my hands were covered in brake fluid and it required my full attention to get them apart without ruining anything.

I also had to remove the seals at the rear of the caliper, thankfully they came out without tearing because I'm not sure these are easy to get.

Next I had to remove this bronze bushing that guides the parking brake actuator rod.

I fired up the lathe and made this removal tool.

I set it up in the press...

... and it popped right out!

Now the caliper are completely stripped to bare metal so I don't have to worry about ruining anything inside during the next steps.

Next step: remove all the original paint. I think these were powder coated red, it didn't come off very easily even with multiple rounds of Aircraft Remover.

I started by removing some of the raised casting marks, including the "Lucas" and "VW / Audi" symbols.

I'm using bluing to see where each curve ends, there are a lot of complex shapes in these caliper castings and I'm trying to make everything as smooth, uniform, and symmetric as possible before powdercoat.

I still have a lot of work left, but I've made good progress recently!

In other garage news, I stopped to check out my Uncle Rich's garage over the holidays.  He's just about ready to start laying tubing for the floor heat, then it's time to pour the slab!

I helped him choose a spot and make a sketch for the location of his 2-post lift.