Monday, March 01, 2010

Ring Around the Caliper

So, the grinding noise was just what I suspected. When I redid the front brakes last month, or was it the month before, a caliper bolt on each caliper stripped. My temporary fix was to jam the bolt back in with some JB Weld. Well, that fix did prove temporary. The grinding noise was the loose caliper pressing up against the inside of the wheel while braking. I only drove with it like that for a couple of miles, so the damage was minor.

I had four options for fixing it. One, go to a junk yard and find a spindle from another Dakota or Durango and waste an entire day pulling mine off, pulling the donor's off, and putting the whole mess back together. I thought this would be the best option for longevity, since a truck from down here should be less rusty than mine, but did not feel like wrestling with ball joints, axle nuts, bearing assemblys and tie rod ends. Not on two trucks. Two, drill and tap the hole which is actually impossible because caliper bolts are pretty unique and the chances of finding one a size bigger when the guy helping you at the auto parts store, is, well, you know, not bright. Third, install a helicoil. I liked this option, however, nobody around here had a 3/8-24 helicoil and I didn't want to wait for something to arrive from an online vendor. The third option is the plan if the fourth option fails in the future. Four, install this magical little thing called "an oversized self-tapping caliper bolt". At 20 bucks it wasn't cheap (although about the same as a helicoil), however, it truly was magic. I had it in in 5 minutes. Let's see it it lasts the week, and then I will put one in the other side where apparently I did a better job with the JB Weld.

Inspection tomorrow.

"Godspeed, little doodle" ~Ned Flanders


Rob said...

Interesting. This lesson may prove helpful to me as well. You're a trailblazer.

gagknee said...

well, i made it to work. thats a good sign.

rburnsy said...

An "oversized self-tapping caliper bolt"? Obviously this is not the first time someone has had a problem with them. Could you drill it out and get a bolt with a nut through?

rburnsy said...

My mustang caliper bolts had Torx heads. Not the most ideal when they are all rusted up.

gagknee said...

yeah, i found it by googling "dakota caliper bolts" trying to find if anyone had success with using a larger size, maybe from a full size dodge.

nope. i thought of that but there isn't enough clearance.

the other option i had, and it was indeed a desperate one, was to find a bolt the next size up, is that 7/16ths?, and put a sleeve over it to make it make the diameter of the caliper bolt.