Can not retract rear caliper!

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
I have run into this problem years ago, and do not remember the solution. Had to do pads on Mamma's '03, and I can NOT get the pistons to wind back in. If I go backwards, they will IMMEDIATELY wind out, but when I switch the reatchet and try to retract, they just sit there where I stopped and spin around.

Kind of a panic as I have to leave for the bush tomorrow and she needs her car.

Any suggestions?
 

dweisel

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Location
Wheeling, West Virginia
TDI
dweisel isn't diesel anymore!
You have to use the special tool the pushes and winds at the same time. You can borrow this tool from some auto parts stores.Try an AutoZone Store.
 
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Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
I have a winder that I made, but it does NOT have the press facility. That explains it: IIRC, you need the pressure to hold the adjustment mechanism still while the piston winds in.

Thanks.

Didn't know so many people actually hung out in the MkIV section.
 

Seatman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Location
Scotland
TDI
2007 Seat Alhambra 2L tdi
Where did you find that caliper assembly:eek:, the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean?

What is all that corrosion/debris on it from?

TW
That's Scotland for you, plenty of mud and salt. Only seen how bad they were myself due to swapping the wheels, ordering another pair for the rear.

I'll be able to power wash them now to, steels just hide to much.

Tell you what though, this one still works perfect lol





Amazing these Mk4 callipers, especially compared to the like of honda, they're just loads of grief over here.
 
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Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Got a C-clamp? It'll work in a pinch.
I usually use a vise grip C clamp to retract pistons, and that is what I ended up doing to this one.

Now that I have jarred my memory (and my knuckles a few times): you do NOT need (and when I made the tool, I did not want) constant pressure on the threads. It feels like you just have to bleed back a bit of brake fluid to let whatever holds the threaded bit inside against turning clockwise. After that, it winds in quite easily.

I DID encounter a slightly frustrating problem, though: the rubber boot on one side started to pile up, so I just sprayed the crap out of it with silicone lube and it popped back into a nice, neat, round accordian fold again.

Seatman: you have given me a new respect for VW bits and pieces!!!!!! I thought we had it bad over here.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
I have one of the winding tools and IMHO it's essential for these things; it makes it a 30 second job. I can do the rears in one beer.
 

Seatman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Location
Scotland
TDI
2007 Seat Alhambra 2L tdi
Most rear callipers are just a case of turning the piston but not the vags for some reason, they're supposed to be done with that tool. I've had plenty of other rear callipers apart and can see exactly how they work but not the vag ones, they don't make logical sense in the same way. Once I get the replacement callipers though I'll pull one of the old ones apart and take some pics so we can all see how they work inside.

And yeh + 1 Genesis

Lol Pat, my car just keeps on running and performing beautifully, I guess maybe being built in Wolfsburg helps. I'm at 180,000 so far, never really misses a beat other than the usual like vacuum lines but they're all replaced with silicone now.
I use 15/40 oil, the cam looks like new, I regularly take it upto 4500 rpm and I've had a slight chap from one of the pistons for the last 3 years, about 60,000 miles lol. What a machine.
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
Lol Pat, my car just keeps on running and performing beautifully, I guess maybe being built in Wolfsburg helps. I'm at 180,000 so far, never really misses a beat other than the usual like vacuum lines but they're all replaced with silicone now.
I use 15/40 oil, the cam looks like new, I regularly take it upto 4500 rpm and I've had a slight chap from one of the pistons for the last 3 years, about 60,000 miles lol. What a machine.
My wife's A4 is one of the lowest mileage vehicles we have now (only 290,000 kms), but it sure looks/feels like another 600k VW. BUT: I have to admit to being a proper Euro-snob and declare we bought a wagon because it WAS made in Germany (along with other reasons). I have to concur, this car is not only one of the best I have ever owned, but may well be the very best 2 seater ever built.
 

JB05

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Il.USA
TDI
Golf,2005,anthracite blue
The dust boot on my right rear was also binding until I sprayed it with PB blaster.
 

vwdieseling

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Location
Lima Ohio
TDI
Beetle, more bugs
Hold on, the VW calipers are aluminum. Heres the problem its permantly seized. Replace caliper. Once they are actuated all the way out they won't retract because of the aluminum from the caliper chaffing the sdes of the pistons and piston seals. Also internal hose debre (pieces of rubber) can enter the caliper and seize the piston. If you replace caliper bleed your lines to remove any hose debre. I gurantee you you could put it in a hydraulic press and it will stay seized, if it does retract it won't work because the piston seals are damaged. You gotta do your breaks more often. I get break jobs like yours all the time. The rear MK4 maximum disc runout is .004 inches or 0.1 mm thats front and rear. They can handle more, but once out completely for a period of time your gonna beat your head on the wall trying to get the pistons to retract.
 

Seatman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Location
Scotland
TDI
2007 Seat Alhambra 2L tdi
Mine went in beautifully, they really are that good imo but mine are getting replaced just because I'm like that.
 
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