Rebuilding Air Disc Brake Caliper vs. Buying a New Air Disc Brake Caliper

Blog thumbnail

Rebuilding Air Disc Brake Caliper vs. Buying a New Air Disc Brake Caliper

Blog thumbnail

The brakes on your car, truck, trailer, bus, or specialty vehicle are an essential piece of equipment.  If there’s a malfunction, there’s likely to be significant damage, injury, and liability.  Replacing your pads, shoes, drums or rotors yourself can be an easy and straightforward job, and some mechanics or owner-operators perform the job correctly.  With those components, you are likely going to see an immediate issue if those components were replaced incorrectly.  If there is an issue with the caliper, however, it might be something that presents itself over time and with gradual degradation of brakes or it also could be an immediate issue.   It’s important to start out with a fully functional caliper when replacing the caliper (and usually when replacing the rotor as well) and the options are to: 1) rebuild the caliper yourself or at a repair shop, 2) buy a rebuilt caliper (and incur the core charge until you return the old one), or 3) buy a new caliper (with a core charge if you buy from the OE or no core charge if you buy from DuraBrake) .

Some equipment owners still want to rebuild their calipers or have a repair shop rebuild their calipers because they think it will save them on the overall cost.  That could be true when comparing the cost against that of a new or rebuilt OEM brand caliper.  However, when compared against the price of a DuraBrake AltoÔ no-core all-new caliper, generally you’ll find that the actual cost of rebuilding it yourself including time and parts cost may be comparable.  However, the potential cost savings of using a DuraBrake AltoÔ no-core all-new caliperover rebuilding a caliper is much greater.  

In the best case, you buy a major caliper repair kit for $175 and spend one hour in labor (~$135 at a repair shop), a total of $310.  However, this assumes that there’s no pits, grooves or rust on any of the sliding mechanisms that should be addressed now to avoid problems later.  Also, if you have rust on the outside of the caliper, you’d want to clean it off and repaint it to improve its appearance and prolong the life of the caliper.  Once you add all this work and the unknown of what’s happening inside your caliper, the value proposition of rebuilding is significantly reduced.  In addition, there is the risk that you or the repair shop did not properly rebuild the caliper and you might have immediate or gradual degradation of brake performance. You also might have more downtime in waiting for parts and while the caliper is being rebuilt, if it can be successfully rebuilt.

Altogether, it’s not worth rebuilding a caliper yourself.  Either buy a rebuilt caliper from a reputable rebuilder or buy a new DuraBrake AltoÔ no-core all-new caliper, likely for less than a rebuilt caliper but of the same quality as an OEM brand caliper.  With a new caliper, you won’t have to worry about caliper body fatigue, cores, or the reputability of the caliper rebuilder.  If you are a truck, trailer, or bus dealer or a warehouse distributor (WD), contact us about our calipers.  If you are a fleet or owner-operator, contact us and we can provide you with a place to buy a DuraBrake AltoÔ caliper.  

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hit Enter to search or Esc key to close