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Front brake slide pins

667 Views 11 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rsanges
This is regarding the front brakes on my 2015 Trailhawk.

About once a year (when I switch between summer and winter tires -either way) I pull my calipers off and lubricate the slide pins with the Permatex purple "extreme" brake lube.
For the last couple of seasons, when I unbolt the calipers, the slide pins (top and bottom on both sides) won't slide by hand. They require a tool to grab them and slowly work them out of the carrier.

So, here's the thing... Once I get them out and moving they slide in and out super easily. Just the pressure built up by the slide pin retracting is enough to force them back out (like a hydraulically locked piston), but until they are freed up they are as stiff as frozen sh*t. I can't imagine they are allowing the caliper to move back and forth properly. When I get them out, they still have purple grease on them. It doesn't appear contaminated and the slide pins don't show any sign of unusual wear. Plus, it's all four front slide pins acting the same.

I read about bent slide pins online, but I don't think that is my issue because after they are moving - they move super easily. I pull them out and regrease them. Even before I regrease them, once they are freed up they move like butter. As they go back in they seem like happy campers, but come to the next inspection- they won't budge without some force from channel lock pliers.

I do the same with the rears and they have always been smooth as silk upon initial inspection.

I work on a lot of mechanical things, but I'm really just a shade-tree mechanic and don't have a ton of experience to draw on. What do you people think is going on with my front slide pins? Should I just get new ones and see if there is an improvement? Is this normal (it's not in my experience with other vehicles)? Looking for your opinions. Thanks.
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Thanks, XFiber.
I use a shop rag to clean them off. It appears I'm cleaning off the grease I just put in. I really don't put much effort into cleaning them. Maybe that's my problem.
Good question about the temperature. I've never needed to use heat. The force required to get them out is not ridiculous - just way more than a slide pin should need. Maybe I'll throw some heat on the carrier at the next inspection and see if they free right up.
I have never looked inside the carrier. I will attempt next time, but I assume it's going to be a small, greasy, dark hole.

I appreciate your thoughts.
Good ideas. I will use brake cleaner on them next time.
What's the function of that sleeve, and why is it only one one of the pins?
Mine has that sleeve on one pin (each side). I will try Sil-Glyd next time. I'm not sure if anything has gone wrong with the sleeve because the pin does move smoothly after I get it moving. Both pins (on both sides - with or without the sleeve) behave the same.
I appreciate your suggestions. I'm probably not taking any action now until spring. Unless someone has a revelation regarding this, we can probably let this thread die for now. Thanks!
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