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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:26 am 
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Saab Nut

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
Rebuilding the front calipers with Bill's kit. Rears went with no trouble but the fronts seem difficult. Having trouble entering the piston. Got it in about an inch then no further. Am using a big adjustable plumbers wrench that is wide enough to go across the face of the piston and the back of the caliper but cant get it toi move further. Dont have a screw clamp with wide enough jaws but does it really take that amount of pressure? Blew piston out with an airline, reset the seal, and started again-same problem. This is a common enough thing to do so what am I doing wrong or is there a trick?
Edit. Just has another go, same result. Can't see anything the matter. Piston/bores are fine. It seems to be in square, difficult to tell to a few degrees but i think so. Agree with 9000.com website, it should press in with firm handpressure but I dont seem able to do that. Persevered and now got the piston in. I had to resort to the plumbers grips. Not excessive pressure but couldn't do it by hand so its's tight. Problem now is to get the dust seal into the lip in the caliper.


Last edited by razani67 on Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:41 pm
Posts: 1527
Location: Kippen STIRLING
Car Models: 9-5s of most types '02 - '08
razani67,

I've done this job in the past and seem to remember that it was a bit of a faf. It is a pretty big diameter piston after all. I found that soaking everything in brake fluid helps and I used a joiners clamp to help press it in. Be really careful using a plumbers wrench on the piston since it is really easy to scrape the face. I think I used two pairs of ordinary pliers gripping the outer edge to get it started. The part further out from the dust cover groove. Also used a flat piece of metal across the piston when using the clamp so as to get parallel pressure.

Paul @ Kippen


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
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Thanks Paul. Not just me then, it clearly can be a sod. I tried using a brake pad with 2 screw clamps across each ear but just not enough space with 3" jaws and didn't have anything bigger so had to resort to the plumbers bodge. Any tips on the dust seal?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:27 am 
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Hmmm! Not having much luck here. Can get the pistons back in ok but requires much more than hand pressure. Problem now is the dust seals. Using the screwdriver method as shown on Bill's site has resulted so far in 2 punctured seals. You need to use a lot of effort to push in the rubber. I made up a plastic spatula which had the advange of flexing so it could enter horizontal-but it has broken! Trying to get in adjacent to the main body of the caliper with a screwdriver is difficult as you have to go in at a steep angle. What have folks done or do I have to persevere with the Saab 9000.com method ?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:12 pm 
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razani67 wrote:
Hmmm! Not having much luck here. Can get the pistons back in ok but requires much more than hand pressure. Problem now is the dust seals. Using the screwdriver method as shown on Bill's site has resulted so far in 2 punctured seals. You need to use a lot of effort to push in the rubber. I made up a plastic spatula which had the advange of flexing so it could enter horizontal-but it has broken! Trying to get in adjacent to the main body of the caliper with a screwdriver is difficult as you have to go in at a steep angle. What have folks done or do I have to persevere with the Saab 9000.com method ?

Do bear in mind that, although I don't see it written anywhere in the text of that article, the caliper GirlySaabFan rebuilt was the older Girling type as also used on rear-handbrake Classic 900 models. If you know what you're looking for it is apparent from the photos but perhaps it ought to be mentioned somewhere. Maybe it isn't quite as similar to the later type of caliper as is suggested in the introduction to the article. Apologies if that has caused you hassle.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
BillJ wrote:
Apologies if that has caused you hassle.

Nothing to apologise for Bill. I will be putting your name forward in the next Birthday Honours List for your role in " Care to the Saab Community"
Like a chump I did not read your listing properly and have used the wrong seal repair kit. I have been using SB000268 instead of the Ate one for my MY97 Aero, SB000316. Can you please ammend my latest order. Now, where did I put my tablets......


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:41 pm
Posts: 1527
Location: Kippen STIRLING
Car Models: 9-5s of most types '02 - '08
razani67,

I seem to remember having to clean the grooves in the caliper and in the piston really well to allow the dust seal to fit snugly. Pretty sure I tried the piston in 'bare' first to get the technique right then took it out again, fitted the dust seal into the groove in the caliper and around the inner end of the piston then entered again. Once you get the piston started in the 'main' 'O' ring then slide the dust seal up the piston towards the groove and work the piston fully in. Fit into the groove before fully home.

I then try to fill the caliper with fluid before fitting to the car. Pull the piston partly out and use a syringe to fill. Hand fit the bleed nipple to stop it all pouring out again and attach to the flexy pipe. Now fit to the car and, with the bleed nipple closed, press the piston back forcing fluid up the pipe and with it, most of the air. Now bleed normally.

Paul @ Kippen.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:15 pm 
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Saab Nut

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
Paul Anderson Kippen wrote:
Pretty sure I tried the piston in 'bare' first to get the technique right then took it out again, fitted the dust seal into the groove in the caliper and around the inner end of the piston then entered again

Tried that as a dummy run with the piston seal out having oiled the piston and the dust seal. Still couldn't do it but I think going that route has promise. However, whole thing on the shelf at the moment as I was using the wrong repair kit. I'll have another go when I get the new kits.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:38 am
Posts: 200
Car Models: Saab 9-3 Aero
I’ve rebuilt plenty of calipers, not on Saab but including designs with large single pistons.

Use red brake grease on reassembly.

The piston should always slide in with hand pressure, especially after cleaning/greasing, but it does need to be perfectly square to the bore. It will seize if cocked just a tiny amount.

Try putting both hands around piston from behind and pulling while rocking the piston at same time. At the point where it’s square it should suddenly slide in with relatively little effort.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:00 pm
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Location: Locks Heath
Car Models: 9000 Aero
When I did mine, I faffed about with it for a while, before noticing how dirt cheap you could get ready refurbished/rebuilt calipers off of ebay. In the end I just bought four refurbished calipers that came with all new pistons/seals/etc and with a nice anti-corrosion coating. I guess it's just a question of how much you value your time vs. the cost of the calipers. I haven't checked recently, but 5+ years ago it was so cheap that it made more sense to just buy the calipers, rather than try to clean up and service the knackered/rusted old ones.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
Yes ommony-some years ago I attempted a rebuild than gave up and purchased a recon unit. This time I had to crack it as the calipers had been powder coated so I wasn't inclined to bin them. I reasoned the recon outfits fit seals as a matter of course so there has to be a way. The proper repair kits turned up from Bill today so i got down to it again-and it's done.
Paul Anderson Kippen wrote:
I seem to remember having to clean the grooves in the caliper and in the piston really well to allow the dust seal to fit snugly. Pretty sure I tried the piston in 'bare' first to get the technique right then took it out again, fitted the dust seal into the groove in the caliper and around the inner end of the piston then entered again.


That was the trick. Cleaned the groove out thoroughly. Fitted the dust seal over the piston then pulled it down so that it was only on by a few mm and the large diam end was free off the end of the piston. Offered it up close to the bore and pressed the end into the groove. Angle the piston down slighty so the seal seats into the groove by the body of the caliper. You then have good access to seat it around the "open" area. Not too difficult, you just have to hold the piston so it can't drop and pull the seal away. Having got the seal into the caliper push the piston in. It only has to enter a few mm to lock the seal in position. Waggle it around a bit to ensure it is square and press home. This time I could do it by hand using a brake pad to give a better purchase. About 1/2 hr to do the 2


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:25 pm 
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Location: Island of Sodor
Car Models: The Pizza Taxi
I'm glad to see you've had success.

I've my rears to do, according to my invoice I bought the seal kit in 2014 - slacking - moi! I do appreciate reading your experience with the rebuild, your explanations are of an excellent level of detail.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
razani67 wrote:
I've my rears to do, according to my invoice I bought the seal kit in 2014 - slacking - moi!

The rears are no problem , follow the GirlySaabFan writeup on Saab 9000.com. It is excellent with detail photos. Unless you have a decent pair of angled circlip pliers however, you will struggle with that circlip in the bottom of the piston bore. On the rears the dust seal sits in an external groove on the caliper so easy to fit, unlike on the fronts.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:37 am 
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Saab Nut

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1710
They're on and look quite smart. I am using TRW pads and discs from Bill but I wont be giving them a workout for several months. I do like the finish on the discs. They came with the bells and edges painted. I reused the original discs on the rear and repainted the bells and edges at great prep time and cost. I should have bought TRW discs for the rears also

[url]Image[/url]


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