steer clear of Foreign Autopart rebuilds

Brett Dikeman brett at
Mon Apr 1 20:43:49 EST 2002

This is mostly for NE listers(I don't think FA is anywhere else
except in New England.)

Pulled both rear calipers this afternoon and turned out the
pistons(used Fred Munro's great tip...use needle nose vicegrips set
to match the notches, turn with a second set of pliers, took less
than a minute to turn each out) and discovered why the caliper ran
through the pad+rotor so fast(pads are almost down to the backing,
rotor is worn 1mm more than the passenger side, .8mm from wear limit.)

It wasn't the ebrake mechanism...the rebuilder put a ton of antiseize
in there, so the lever action is quite smooth and it returns fully.
Passenger side looks like it came off a california car...really
amusing.  Not a single bit of rust near the ebrake caliper, the
return spring, etc.  Rebuild unit looks like it spent 10+ years in
VT, but the action on the lever was quite smooth; the silvery goo
kept all the bad stuff out.

No, the problem might be the rather large amount of surface defects
on the sides of the piston, which has all sorts of scratches and
discolorations(like there was rust that was removed etc.)  There are
no large pits, but the difference from the much, much older passenger
side caliper is simply astounding...the passenger side caliper's
piston looks like it just rolled off the assembly line.  I'll post a
picture later tonight of the two pistons next to each other.  It's
obvious that the caliper was seriously neglected; I'm guessing that
the previous owner let the boot tear and the caliper overextend, and
probably never changed the fluid.

I suppose this means I'm screwed, since you can't get the pistons
separately, right?  I'm going to double-check the ebrake cable, since
it's the only other thing that could cause this.

I'll never buy another part(rebuilt or otherwise) from Foreign
Autopart again.  The rebuilt starter from them has already completely
rusted up(it WAS painted when I bought it) after less than 2-3 years.

Oh, also, the caliper wore the rotor+pads unevenly, very thin inside,
thicker outside...

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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