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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 01-10-2006, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Brake Help

I lost one of my caliper guide bolts. I needed to move my car so i figured id just press on the brake pedal a few times to extend the caliper piston all the way out and i could just use the other 3 to stop the car so i took a zip tie and tied it to a bracket on the fender well. Well i soon realized how incredibly stupid that was. The piston came out of the caliper and brake fluid went everywhere. I cant get the piston back in. Somebody please help me.
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First mistake everybody makes in trying to get the piston in. OPEN THE BLEEDER SCREW FIRST!!

You will need to get a new rubber seal and dust cover. Just clean the remove the old seal and clean the bore with brake fluid. Rub a little vasoline on the new seal and install it. Clean the piston with brake fluid and carfully push it back in. Slowly and evenly. It WILL go!
Finish by installing the new dust seal. A large "C" clamp is the tool of choice to compress the piston all the way home, but open the bleeder first!!! Re-install the caliper and bleed.
Not to hard a job, just messy.

Good lucky. Do you have a manual? The proceedure is outlined there.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Next time zip tie a block of wood in there.
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Old 01-13-2006, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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DO NOT USE VASALINE ON ANY OF THE SEALS Vasaline is petrolium baised and will mess up the rubber making it weak and prone to leaks. The only thing that should be used as a lubricant when putting a caliper together is brand new clean brake fluid.
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Old 01-13-2006, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes that would have been a great idea to use some wood. I'm getting new seals today so ill see how it goes.
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Aj's 320i is correct about the use of vasoline, I misspoke when I suggested it. It can degrade the rubber seal. The correct lube is clean brake fluid. Still, it's not a hard job. Let us know how it goes!

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Old 01-17-2006, 08:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, do not use vasaline. Only use brake fluid. Good job AJ.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, you guys may not like this... But i was able to get it back in while it was on car, i didnt replace the seals. I'm not driving the car right now, when i get a chance i will rebuild both front calipers. Thanks alot for the advice guys.
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