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The front brakes on my '91 have become just about useless, and I know it's not air in the lines (I checked) or the lines themselves (they're ss). So I have to face the messy truth - I need to rebuild the calipers. Besides taking the pistons out and removing any gook that might have become plastered on there and inside the caliper, and replacing the dust seals and the piston seals, is there anything else to it? Thanks all,
 

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If the seals on the calipers aren't leaking... then assuming everything you said is correct, something else is bad.

Calipers... bad if they're leaking or the brakes are dragging excessively. Rebuild means cleaning and replacing the seals.

MC. Its a piston that pushes the fluid into the lines. And if looses its seal... if you put a rubber band on the brake lever... it will look good when you first pull it but after a while... the lever will be pulled all the way to the handle.

If it feels spongy... I'd look at new fluid, look at new pads and bent rotors.
 

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If the seals on the calipers aren't leaking... then assuming everything you said is correct, something else is bad.

Calipers... bad if they're leaking or the brakes are dragging excessively. Rebuild means cleaning and replacing the seals.

MC. Its a piston that pushes the fluid into the lines. And if looses its seal... if you put a rubber band on the brake lever... it will look good when you first pull it but after a while... the lever will be pulled all the way to the handle.

If it feels spongy... I'd look at new fluid, look at new pads and bent rotors.
Thanks bro. I have no leaks whatsoever, and the lever feel is firm - but no matter how hard I squeeze the lever, I just can't get much gripping power at the rotors. The rotors look/feel straight, and there's no wobble on the wheel when I squeeze the lever or any weird noises. There's plenty of meat left on the pads. I have not replaced the fluid in a long while - but I don't see how the fluid could become so compressible, even after so many years??
 

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the seals could be swollen, which i recently found is common in 10 year old (and older) brakes.
this will cause them to drag excessively, so go for the rebuild man.
 
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