Are we this lazy?

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Did you ever try exploring the logical consequences of your comments?
I was responding specifically to your suggestion that using a C-clamp to retract the caliper piston -- which needs to be done when changing pads -- risks damage from contaminated fluid. If that's so, the logical conclusion is that the fluid should be flushed and replaced whenever the pads are changed, in order to avoid that damage. Is that your contention?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Not as often as I should.

Perhaps you didn't fully read my post that finished with this: "Seriously, this little gadget works great and is a lot easier to manage than a c-clamp. http://tinyurl.com/ybhpm4 You probably have the parts to make one sitting on your bench... "
So my suggestion that that using a c-clamp to push the caliper back in could contaminate your system was partly in jest. However None of the many manufacturers procedures I have read mention a c-clamp. Most have a part # referencing a specific tool to retract the calipers. So a c-clamp is usually wrong but most DIYers use them. The biggest problem with using a c-clamp is that you can't always get them to press on the center of the piston. Scoring, cocking the piston and tearing the seal are much more common than pushing dirt backwards to damage another component. Several manufacturers recommend changing your brake fluid as often as once a year to reduce the chances of corrosion. So that could mean a fluid change more often than your pads are changed.
Do I use a c-clamp to retract the piston? Almost exclusively. Do I flush my brake fluid and replace with fresh annually? Nope. Can using a c-clamp to retract a piston damage your brake system if the bleeder isn't opened? Yes, but you probably have a greater chance of breaking off the bleed screw than damaging something else by not opening it.
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Yes, I read the whole thing. Including the part quoted above, which simply shows another mechanism for pushing the caliper piston back -- which you said could damage the system by forcing contaminated fluid backwards.

You're starting to sound like John Kerry -- it was just a botched joke.

You need to get out more.
I have a Dodge truck, a Suburban, and a Saturn. I have the factory service manuals for both trucks, and a Haynes manual for the Saturn. _All_three_ say to use a C-clamp. None of them even mention the existence, let alone the use, of any special tool, and the illustrations accompanying the text show a C-clamp.
I've also had a Fiat, an Oldsmobile, a Buick, and two Mazdas, all equipped with disc brakes at least on the front, and the factory service manuals for each -- and I have yet to see a brake-pad procedure that does not recommend a C-clamp to retract the piston on the front calipers. (Rears are a different story, but that's because of the emergency-brake mechanism.)

In my experience, most DIYers use them because they're the tool recommended by the manufacturer.

That's not a problem with using a C-clamp per se -- that's a problem with using a C-clamp that's too small.

I'm sure that's true -- partly because using a too-small clamp or putting it on cockeyed is fairly easy to do, and partly because pushing dirt backwards isn't anywhere _near_ the problem you made it out to be.

Which manufacturers would those be?

No. Not likely anyway.

You did get that part right.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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You're right.
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Hey guys, lets come down to earth here. I've been working in vehicle maintenance for 26 years, the last 10 or so as a supervisor. believe me, most of the time those C clamps sit in the toolbox. Especially in flat rate shops. Unless the piston is stuck, 9 time out of 10 the mech will just jam a medium sized prybar in there wherever he can get a bite and get that piston retracted before he even removes it from the disc.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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Doug Miller wrote:

Hi Doug.
Please don't take this as gospel, but I've been told the correct way to do antilock breaks is to open up the bleeding valve, and then use a vice grip to pinch the brake line. Then the theory is that when you push the pads back, the fluid comes out the bleeder valve instead of "backwashing" back into the system where it could hurt the antilock break mechanism. Personally, I was too lazy and just changed it the old fashioned way. My ABS breaks were fine, but that doesn't mean it always works. My car was old enough that I didn't worry about hosing up the anti-lock feature.
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The Haynes manual for my Saturn doesn't mention any such procedure; it just says to remove the cap from the master cylinder reservoir, and use a C-clamp to retract the piston.
And I can't imagine that pinching the brake line with a vise-grip pliers does anything good for the brake line. Yes, I know you mean the flexible rubber line and not the rigid steel line.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

that was part of the reason I hestiated to do that procedure. Someone that makes a living as a mechanic told me that procedure. Of course, that doesn't make it right...just giving you an explanation that was given to me.
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On Mon, 06 Nov 2006 20:41:27 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

As do mine for a Chrysler T & C, Dodge Dakota, and Honda Accord

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bf wrote:

I've heard this before and would never do it (pinching the line that is). Even though the lines are tiny the amount of pressure inside them is very high and forcibly deforming a high pressure hose doesn't sound good to me.
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I seldom learn anything new on the web...that was a pleaseant surprise to find out about those critters:
RayV wrote:

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On Mon, 06 Nov 2006 10:11:32 -0600, Frank Boettcher

It doesn't look like it's nearly that strong. I mean, I ended up bending a c-clamp on my wife's car when I was redoing her brakes, those pistons are a pain!
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RayV wrote:

5251
Thats B&D for you...always looking to turn a tool into a gimmick. On saying that I have strugggled a couple of times when I wish I had 3 hands. :-)
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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The ad says that a set of batteries will operate the clamp 60 times. I can just imaging how frustrating it would be to be all set up and depending on that "one handed operation" when the batteries quit.
--
Often wrong, never in doubt.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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People are going to be using a lot of batteries then. The first several dozen times the clamp is used will be people playing around with it.
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RayV wrote:

Thanks for the laugh.. I needed that. LOL.
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To me, that seems as 'bout worthwhile as putting a laser beam on a cordless drill.
--
Rick Nagy
Johnstown, PA
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On Mon, 06 Nov 2006 23:00:31 GMT, "Rick's Cabinet Shop"

Hey, then you could play Laser Tag with your tools! Cool idea! ;)
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Not everyone has two completely functional hands, but they still enjoy woodworking safely. There's another thread going on here about vibration induced pain from tools, and some of the responders mentioned their carpal tunnel syndrome. I can see it being used by them to get something placed, then following up with standard clamps when there is less to hold still. I'd like to see if it goes down straight and holds firmly enough to allow someone to do that. The advertised battery life does seem poor, though, and it appears that it could sell for $10 less. My 2 cents.
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Would be foolish to buy one of those when you can buy another K-body Bessey!
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