Lotus Elan

Need Good Brake Caliper Rebuilder in U.S.

PostPost by: jbeach » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:32 pm

Dear Folks,

I'm rebuilding my front suspension (new bearings, bushings, etc.) and can readily see my calipers need refurbishing. I've seen recommendations for good refurbishers in the UK, but don't remember seeing any similar sources here in the U.S.

Can you recommend a source here in the U.S. to whom I can ship my calipers and know they will be returned clean, shiny, and working like new, within a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable price?

Many thanks!

John
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PostPost by: john1180 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:46 pm

Try Eric at PMB performance braking, in Sandy, UT.
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PostPost by: jbeach » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:03 am

Thanks John! I'll give them a call tomorrow. Have you used them?

I hope I'll get a few first-person testimonials. Surely not everyone with an ?lan in North America is rebuilding their own brakes?

Best,

John
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:17 am

I'm not very mechanical, but found rebuilding the brakes very straightforward. Just order new stainless pistons, rebuild kit and pads from Ray and it will take you a day, or at best a weekend. Dan
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PostPost by: john1180 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:46 am

Yes, Eric is an absolute pro! He does an amazing job with correct replating and upgraded stainless pistons. John
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:32 am

John, a call to Dave Bean or Ray will probably net you a contact or two, also.
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:09 pm

Brake rebuilding is not a rarity, and I'm certain that if you were to search the Yellow Pages, or ask your local auto parts store for a referral, you'd find a qualified brake specialist near you. It's not a big deal, or a service that's hard to find.

Brake & Equipment Warehouse is local to me, and I've used them repeatedly for brake work on various Lotus models, including sleeving cylinders. They accept mail-order work. Highly recommended.

Prior to discovering them, I also had brake components sleeved and re-built by Apple Hydraulics, Stainless Steel Brakes, and White Post Restorations, all of whom did excellent work

See below for a list of shops in the USA.

Regards,
Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North (LOON)

*~*~*
Brake Rebuilding & Cylinder Sleeving

Brake & Equipment Warehouse
(division of Federated Auto Parts)
(612) 378-3141 / (800) 233-4053 Phones
(612) 378-0805 FAX
455 Harrison St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
http://www.brakeplace.com/home.htm

Apple Hydraulics
(631) 369-9515 / (800) 882-7753 Phones
(631) 369-9516 FAX
1610 Middle Rd, Calverton, NY 11933
http://www.applehydraulics.com/
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank

PMB Performance (Eric)
162 W. 9240 S, Sandy, UT 84070
(855) 786-7101
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank e-mail
http://www.pmbperformance.com/catalog.html

Sierra Speciality Auto (northeast California)
(530) 283-1886 / (800) 427-2771 Phones
(530) 283-4845 FAX
3494 Chandler Rd, Quincy, CA 95971
http://www.brakecylinder.com
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank

Stainless Steel Brakes
(716) 759.8666 / (800) 448.7722 Phones
(716) 759.8688 FAX
11470 Main Rd, Clarence, NY 14031
http://www.ssbrakes.com/
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank for Tech assistance

White Post Restorations - Brakes
(540) 837-1140 Phone
One Old Car Dr, Post Ofc Drawer D, White Post, VA 22663
http://www.whitepost.com/brake.html


*~*~*
Brakes, Custom Rotors & Cryo-Treating

Frozen Rotors by Diversified Cryogenics (Bill Groschen, President)
(952) 746-8880 (888) 323-8456
2180 County Rd 42 West, Burnsville, MN 55337
http://www.frozenrotors.com/
http://www.frozenrotors.com/category/frozen-rotors/
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank e-mail


*~*~*
Brake Booster Rebuilding

Power Brake Booster Exchange, Inc
(503) 238-8882
4335 SE 63rd Ave, Portland, OR 97206
http://boosterdeweyexchange.com/

BrakeBoosters.com (Steve Gregori)
(559) 875-0290
2496 N. Zediker Ave, Sanger, CA 93657
http://www.brakeboosters.com
[email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank e-mail
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PostPost by: jbeach » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:33 pm

Thanks everyone. All very helpful.

Dan, your suggestion I should rebuild them myself is good advice. Unfortunately, while I believe I have enough know-how, I simply don't have the time. I have about 15 other one-weekend projects on this car and I'm having farm some of them out to have a chance of getting this car back on the road to enjoy it during my lifetime!

John, PMB Performance looks like exactly what I'm looking for. I'm going to give them a call tomorrow.

I do sincerely appreciate everyone's input and advice.

Best,

John
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PostPost by: ftsoft » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:53 am

It was cheaper for me to buy new calipers.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:59 pm

ftsoft wrote:It was cheaper for me to buy new calipers.


Not at all surprising if you think about it. A rebuilder not only needs to polish up the cylinders if required and think about those little "O" rings between the parts that most are told not to separate that are now decades old, but they need to make them look shiny, so probably soak them in something nasty (which in turn will affect that otherwise undisturbed "O" ring.) They're not going to be substantially quicker at it than you would be and they need to get paid. New ones are likely being assembled (possibly without SS pistons would be the concern?) for under $1 an hour somewhere around the Pacific Rim.

I do echo the point that anybody who is set up to work on calipers of any kind probably has done at least a few hundred Girling calipers before yours and this is not a rare or specialized skill. I would go local simply because of the risk of them disappearing in transit. And it's easier to yell at the guy in person if he botches the job.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:01 pm

Don't be confused with claims of needing the caliper bodies to be bored and re-sleeved. Our Girling calipers have grooves in the bore of the body and the seals go into these grooves. They seal off on the OD of the pistons and using new SS or otherwise pistons makes a perfect seal. No machine work needed. I've just bought new o-ring seals for between the caliper halves, as it is almost impossible to get the pistons out of the rear Elan calipers w/o separating the two halves.

Be wary of some of the newer rubber kits for the front caliper, as I've had problems getting the rubber dust seals to stay in place while the little wire rings are installed. I finally gave up on the kits on my SS 2 years ago, used the hydraulic seal rings, but reused the old dust seals.

Roger
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PostPost by: jbeach » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:34 pm

OK, in response to the last few posts, I've called my local Midas shop, who advertises they rebuild brakes. The owner has a nice looking Sunbeam Tiger that's parked out front occasionally.

I spoke to "Frank," who says he's been rebuilding brakes for more than 30 years. While it sounded like he didn't have any Girling-specific experience, Frank was completely confident he could do a good job, including the cosmetic refurb. Particularly if I was in no hurry and could leave the calipers with him for a couple of weeks (I can).

So I'm going to take this line of advice and let these local guys take a shot.

What could possibly go wrong?!?!

I'll report my results upon completion.

Best,

John
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:27 pm

They are just ordinary Triumph Herald/Spitfire units (at least on my Sprint) so it was easier and quicker (at least in the UK) to get an exchange pair form my local classic Triumph dealer??

Carl
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