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A detailed and revealing photo tour of Tesla's Brembo brake calipers

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by artsci, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #1 artsci, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    Yesterday I worked with a local shop to remove all six brake calipers so they can be shipped to Armortech Powder Coating in Florida to be powder coated (see this thread). Together all six (two each front and rear and the two parking brake calipers) weigh about 35 pounds.

    Thinking a few tech geeks like me would be interested, I took photos as the work proceeded. We clipped off the brake fluid hoses to minimize fluid leakage. Worked like a charm. As they're attached to the suspension mechanism with only two bolts, the main calipers are quite easy to remove. The two parking brake calipers are another story. More about that below.

    Here's one of the front calipers. The peeling G2 paint can easily be seen here and in the other photos as well.

    IMG_0496.jpg

    Here's the back side with the pads still in place.

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    Here's shot of the underside with the pads removed.

    IMG_0492.jpg

    Here's the back side that one never sees when they're on the car. Note the brembo label.

    IMG_0493.jpg

    In the shot below, the two pistons are visible. Fortunately, they don't have to be removed for Armortech's powder coating work.

    IMG_0495.jpg

    The pads on parking brake calipers are driven by a screw-drive electric motor which is actuated when the car is place in Park. As there's not much room in the wheel well to work, they require more hand work and steps to remove. First the electrical connector has to be removed. It plugs into the receptacle on the far right in the photo below. Then the two bolts that hold the caliper to the rear suspension mechanism have to be removed. Here's a shot of the underside of the removed parking brake caliper. The motor is on the right side. Note the set screw in the center. It holds the sleeve for the piston in place. For power coating, the motor, which has a plastic housing, has to be removed.

    IMG_0506.jpg

    In the photo below the four screws holding the motor onto the caliper are being removed. Note the brembo label and the peeling G2.


    IMG_0510.jpg

    The underside of the parking brake caliper. Note the two pads which squeeze on the brake rotor when the motor drives them together.

    IMG_0511.jpg

    Here the motor is being removed from the parking brake caliper.

    IMG_0512.jpg

    A detail of the piston drive gear head. When it turns clockwise the piston tightens the pads on the rotor. It all happens very quickly with very little movement of the pads necessary.

    IMG_0514.jpg

    With the parking calipers unplugged the dash display shows a warning fault in the upper left side.

    IMG_0504.jpg

    Finally, here's a naked front rotor with the calipers removed. Note the nearly pristine condition of the outer hat around the bolts, which was painted with silver epoxy when the calipers were painted with G2. That paint has proven far more durable than the G2.

    IMG_0515.JPG

    Rolling the car out of the garage with no brakes of any kind scared the hell out of me, but Jeff and Richard at Wise Automotive in Timonium, MD, where all of this work was done this morning, did it with aplomb. It was second nature to them and no problem. They arranged for it to be plugged in to a 120v power source so the battery's charge is maintained during the week I'll be in Germany.

    The newly powder coated calipers will be delivered back to Wise Automotive on December 14 and be reinstalled that day. I return from Germany the day before so I'll only be without the car for one day.
     
  2. sickfox

    sickfox Member

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    artsci - i love this detailed writeup and pictures. what's the color of the calipers when it comes back? would love to see the pictures after it's painted and installed. awesome job!
     
  3. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I'm sticking with red and special silver decals that Armortech has developed. I will post photos of them next week when they have been reinstalled.
     
  4. Larry93428

    Larry93428 Member

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    Thank you for sharing the photos.
    ~Larry
     
  5. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    Well done. Any suggestions / product recommendations for painting on the car?
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Not sure what you mean by "painting on the car." Please explain.
     
  7. Tdriver

    Tdriver Member

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    flatsix911...........I did mine with VHT spray can, didn't worry about the back side of the calipers...applied the decals, then two coats of VHT clear. Paint is available on Amazon. I did one each day, about one hour each. Masking the disc was pretty easy. Has held up well for six months and six thousand miles.
     
  8. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    That's cool, but I can't imagine you'll get more than 18 months before it starts to peel and needs to be redone. But let us know in two years what you've found. If it endures for 24 months or more it's a viable solution.
     
  9. HyperMiler

    HyperMiler Member

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    Any pictures updates on the finished / installed calipers after coating?:smile:
     
  10. PatD

    PatD Member

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    Yeah, pics please! Also, what was the epoxy paint you used on the rotors? They DO look like the held up great!
     
  11. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    There's a single photo on this thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not the rotors -- they're called the hats. It was this paint. It's looks like new after two years.
     
  12. Cal1

    Cal1 Member

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    Remind me what you needed to do to release the parking brake. Your rotor wear looks none existent (no dishing that I can see) so I don't anticipate needing new rotors for years.
     
  13. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    The pads on parking brake calipers are driven by a screw-drive electric motor which is actuated when the car is place in Park. First the electrical connector has to be removed. Then the two bolts that hold the caliper to the rear suspension mechanism have to be removed. There's a set screw in the center. It holds the sleeve for the piston in place. For powder coating, the motor, which has a plastic housing, has to be removed.
     

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