Broken caliper bolt nightmare.
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This is a discussion on Broken caliper bolt nightmare. within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Had a friend come over to do a quick and simple pad and rotor change on the 07 STI. All ...

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    Broken caliper bolt nightmare.

    Had a friend come over to do a quick and simple pad and rotor change on the 07 STI. All of the caliper bolts were on pretty tight took a box end wrench and a dead blow hammer to get the out except for one. The lower bolt on the passenger side is beyond stuck. Tried for 40 mins to try and break it lose, tried tons of penetrating spray, finally the bolt gave in and the head snapped off. Went and got a kit to try and back the bolt back out, drilled into the bolt pretty deep but no matter what we tried to do or used for tools the bolt was not moving at all. I've done a lot of maintenance on my own vehicles over the years and I've never seen a bolt this stubborn and this stuck. I'm going to have to have it towed somewhere to a shop for them to get that bolt out b/c I am completely out of options. What started out as an easy brake job has turned into a total nightmare.
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom351R View Post
    Had a friend come over to do a quick and simple pad and rotor change on the 07 STI. All of the caliper bolts were on pretty tight took a box end wrench and a dead blow hammer to get the out except for one. The lower bolt on the passenger side is beyond stuck. Tried for 40 mins to try and break it lose, tried tons of penetrating spray, finally the bolt gave in and the head snapped off. Went and got a kit to try and back the bolt back out, drilled into the bolt pretty deep but no matter what we tried to do or used for tools the bolt was not moving at all. I've done a lot of maintenance on my own vehicles over the years and I've never seen a bolt this stubborn and this stuck. I'm going to have to have it towed somewhere to a shop for them to get that bolt out b/c I am completely out of options. What started out as an easy brake job has turned into a total nightmare.
    This is a known problem with STI Brembos. You have a bolt (made of steel) in contact with aluminum threads (the Brembo caliper), which will result in galvanic corrosion. If you don't use copper anti-seize and/or you overtorque the bolts on installation, over time, they will get stuck and what you've experienced is typical of those attempting to remove STI Brembo calipers.

    Once you get the bolt drilled out, you should inspect the caliper threads in the Brembos. You may have to helicoil or timesert the caliper threads. The advantage in doing this is that it takes the galvanic corrosion concern out of the equation (since the insert will be of a similar material as the bolt). Once you're ready to re-install the Brembos, use copper anti-seize and do not over-torque the bolts on installation. Note: Subaru had an error on the caliper bolt torque specs for the 08+ STI Brembos (it was in ft-lbs, when the value was supposed to be in N-m), thus some of these calipers were overtorqued, which contributed to the problem.

    Hope this helps...

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    when we finished up the drives side I did use anti seize and this is the first time the rotors have had to be changed so these bolts are on as they were from the factory. I doubt Im going to be trying anything else w/ this. Id rather just have it taken somewhere and fixed. This is my DD I dont have the advantage of trial and error I just want it fixed.
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    Its it possible that this bolt may not come out at all? We had the hole drilled pretty deep into it and the bit to reverse it back out of the hole was biting really hard but no matter what type of tool we used to try to turn the bit it would eventually slip on the top of it. I could see the bit wanting to turn but it just would not break the bolt threads lose. It really sucks trying to do anything outside in the garage in the old in mid feb in Maine which is why I want to have it taken some where else
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    BTW, when Subaru installed the calipers, I don't believe they used anti-seize either. That's the word I'm hearing from folks attempting to remove the calipers from their cars for the first time. Preemptively, some people started removing their calipers to apply the anti-seize to their caliper bolts following purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venom351R View Post
    Its it possible that this bolt may not come out at all? We had the hole drilled pretty deep into it and the bit to reverse it back out of the hole was biting really hard but no matter what type of tool we used to try to turn the bit it would eventually slip on the top of it. I could see the bit wanting to turn but it just would not break the bolt threads lose. It really sucks trying to do anything outside in the garage in the old in mid feb in Maine which is why I want to have it taken some where else
    People who have had the bolts break in the caliper have successfully removed the bolt. Some have resorted to drilling it out, while some have used a torch sparingly (be careful...the caliper is cast aluminum). My advice is to take it to a shop and have them get it out. Bottom line: It will come out. You will likely have to helicoil/timesert the caliper threads after this, but you won't have any issues going forward.

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    Thanks Jimbo appreciate the info. I have an appointment to have it brought into VIP on Tues. Its the closest place to me that does any kind of automotive repair and being that I'm having it towed a shorter distance is better. I'm just going to have them throw on the new pads and rotor for that side and call it good then the front end will be done. I did use anti seize on the drivers side but it was not the copper. Should I redo that this spring ( when its much more comfortable to work in my garage ) or will the anti seize in the gray bottle suffice? I also have the rears that I have to do as well. This whole project started b/c I need a sticker and my pads rotors needed to be replaced to pass. I'll give a shot at doing the rears but if I cant get the bolt on the caliper to break w/ the wrench and dead blow hammer then I'll know its stuck like the front was but I at least want to try it before paying a shop to do it. Just having this caliper bolt removed will prob cost a good amount on its own.
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom351R View Post
    Thanks Jimbo appreciate the info. I have an appointment to have it brought into VIP on Tues. Its the closest place to me that does any kind of automotive repair and being that I'm having it towed a shorter distance is better. I'm just going to have them throw on the new pads and rotor for that side and call it good then the front end will be done. I did use anti seize on the drivers side but it was not the copper. Should I redo that this spring ( when its much more comfortable to work in my garage ) or will the anti seize in the gray bottle suffice? I also have the rears that I have to do as well. This whole project started b/c I need a sticker and my pads rotors needed to be replaced to pass. I'll give a shot at doing the rears but if I cant get the bolt on the caliper to break w/ the wrench and dead blow hammer then I'll know its stuck like the front was but I at least want to try it before paying a shop to do it. Just having this caliper bolt removed will prob cost a good amount on its own.

    If it's the graphite based anti-seize, get it off ASAP. Graphite based anti-seize is not good...it will cause extensive corrosion on the aluminum threads of your Brembos. You're essentially guaranteeing the same problem down the road.

    Stick to copper based anti-seize. I hear Nickel based anti-seize also works...

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    If it stays dry, they should be fine. However, if water or moisture gets in the threads, the graphite and aluminum will react and you're gonna have stuck bolts again.

    Stick with copper or nickel based anti-seize, torque bolts to the proper specs, and you should be fine down the road the next time you have to pop rotors.

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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    do you know what the proper tq specs are for those bolts?
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Registered User JimboWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom351R View Post
    do you know what the proper tq specs are for those bolts?
    Fronts: 80 ft-lbs
    Rears: 47.9 ft-lbs

    If you use anti-seize, you'll have to reduce the above torque values accordingly.

  13. #12
    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    awesome thanks. Its being taken to the shop today to get that bolt removed. Hopefully it all goes well. If its only 80ft lbs on the front I wonder how hard they are put on there from the factory b/c they felt much tighter then that. I'm sure a little rust may have had something to do w/ it as well.
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Generally in this situation I will heat the area with a torch,light tap the bolt in to break the threads loose,apply penetrating oil and if there is something to grab I use these Craftsman extractors. Irwin and Matco along with a bunch of other companies make the. They work awesome!
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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    I have no earthly idea how I never snapped a bolt on either of my STIs. But they are the bane of Subaru existence.

    I was changing the front passenger rotor once, car was on a lift and literally had a breaker bar on, pushing with my back against the wheel well. It was the equivalent of me bench pressing the breaker bar, and I was able to bench 300lbs at the time...how that bolt didn't snap is beyond me. I actually eventually broke it loose, and all was fine.
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    Registered User Venom351R's Avatar
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    anyone know what time sert size I need for the caliper bolt? Short of the long is that the STI has another caliper on it due to another issues I encountered due to a stupid mistake on my part but I have the one back w/the broken bolt in it. IT IS NOT COMING OUT. Believe me, suggest this or suggest that and it wont matter I'm done spending more money trying to get this bolt out, it has to be drilled out. I just want to know what time sert kit I will need so that It will still accept the same 19MM bolt that it comes with.
    2007 WRX STI- Stock 13.8@102

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