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Servicing Sticking Front Brake Slide Pin

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I recently had brake pad drag after replacing my front discs and pads. I thought it might be a sticking caliper...but it turned out to be a sticking slide pin. A quick lube of the pins worked for a few days...but then the problem came back.

So, here's how I cured it:

To service the slide pins you need to remove both the pins and the *rubber dust boots (*by carefully teasing them out from their seating on the brake pad carrier).

Now you can access the pin holders on the brake carrier - the likely problem area - clearing out any sticky gunge in the holes (a drill bit the same size as the pin TURNED BY HAND will help loosen any hard stuff) then clean and polish the pin holes using brake cleaner and a lint-free cloth...

You also need to clean off the pins with brake cleaner and a clean cloth. Check them for wear and damage (but note they are manufactured with a few flats on them!)

If the dust boots are damaged - replace. Cost around £4 each (ouch!).

I was advised by a Toyota mechanic to use Red Rubber Grease for re-assembling the pins. This makes sense as it will not react with the rubber boot - CAUSING IT TO SWELL - a problem with most petroleum based greases.


The pin is a very tight fit as it passes through the rubber boot at the carrier don't install the rubber boot before greasing the pin holder.

Grease each pin and rotate it inside its holder to ensure a THIN layer of grease is evenly deposited. Don't overdo it - with the grease - or you will create suction within the holder which can inhibit the free movement of the pin.

Give each dust cover a thin smear of red rubber grease inside the very top and around the outside lip of the bottom of the seal.

Install the dust cap; smear a VERY thin covering of grease on the pin and slide it into its holder. Most of this grease will end up in the bellows end. If you use too much it will simply create a vacuum in the bellows!

Hope this proves useful to a fellow enthusiast!

Happy motoring


p.s. I know LOTS of fitters use copper lube/LM petroleum on such parts. When you see what a tight fit the pin is through the rubber dust cover you'll understand why the rubber swelling could cause the pin to stick at a later date! I think the Toyota mechanic is spot on with his advice about Red Rubber grease (and yes I did ask about the lithium soap recommended by Toyota - but even he said it's as rare as rocking horse sh**)!

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Nice write up :thumbsup:

+ 1 on the grease and rubber miss match. :yes:

I have even used French chalk on sliders before today ;)

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Thanks's hoping for a long hot Summer!! :)



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