Torque Specs for Brake Caliper Bracket Bolts: Everything You Need To Know

One crucial aspect of the auto system is the brake system, its components and how it works. Replacing faulty components with improper or wrong ones or having wrong specs can cause severe breakdown or damage. You may spend needlessly your hard-earned money on repairs. Knowing how to change worn-out components of the brake is critical. But having the basic technical knowledge of the torque specs for brake caliper bracket bolts is more crucial.

Relax and read this guide to this end. It details the torque specs for brake caliper bracket bolts. To set the ball rolling, first, you deserve to know what exactly a brake caliper is. Shall we?

What Is a Brake Caliper?

A caliper is one of the elements in the brake system that houses a vehicle’s pistons and metal pads called the brake pads. If you’re wondering what the pistons do, here it is. Usually, a car’s caliper needs one, two or up to six pistons to connect with brake pads. 

When you step your foot on the brake pedal, the pressure from the brake fluid gets to the pistons. In turn, the pistons cause friction between the brake pads and brake rotors. As a result, the friction helps stop the car or at least keeps the wheels from moving.

What then are the Torque Specs for Brake Calipers Bracket Bolts?

Typically, the torque specs for a brake caliper should be in the neighborhood of 101.69 Nm to 128.80 Nm (75 to 95 foot-pounds). Does this range vary from car to car? Well, I will say no. Why? On average, your car brakes should last 20,000 to 40,000 miles. Once it hits this threshold, the braking system or some of its components need replacement. 

You won’t just go to the part seller or dealer and order a new set. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mechanic or a DIYer. There’s the need to have the torque specs for brake caliper bracket bolts and the technical replacement and installation know-how. A loose bolt or unsuitable part can cause issues later. Installing and tightening the bolt caliper may require some special expertise in some vehicles. A guide will help you with these specs and other things. 

To get the torque settings, you will need a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the required tightness. For instance, a torque of 47.45 Nm to 67.79 Nm (35 ft/lbs to 50 ft/lbs) is enough for the bolts guiding the caliper. You’ll need a 1.3cm wrench to achieve this. A good idea is to utilize the repair manual and follow the stated tightness.

Why Follow the Proper Torque Specs?

Caliper bracket bolts can be tightened to different extents depending on factors like vehicle type, model and driving comportment. Still, brakes are said to last 32,187 to 48,280 kilometers or so. Torque specs are the amount of force exerted when the hardware is installed. It is vital to put this into consideration because over-tightening can not only damage rotors but also the wheels. 

On the other hand, the wheels may begin to wobble and become too loose, if less than the required torque is followed. As a result, the wheels may fall off the car just because the lug nuts are too loose. Therefore, to avoid risks and expensive repairs, the right torque specs should be followed. Yes, it is advisable to let a professional handle the job for you.

3 Simple Steps to Removing the Caliper Mounting Brackets

  • Using a compact torque wrench, remove the caliper bolts by moving them counterclockwise. The bolts are usually 10mm hex drive, 14mm, 15mm or 18mm. 
  • You can then detach it from the caliper mounting bracket.
  • Replace or repair any damaged parts around the caliper and brake hose.

Can I Reinstall Caliper bolts with the right Torque specs?

There are no hard and fast rules about this. It all depends on your mechanical knowledge of these things. To reinstall the bolts with the right torque specs, follow the steps below:

  • Ensure the slides are in good condition.
  • Gently fix the caliper slides with the mounting bracket.
  • Insert the bolts into the housing bracket.
  • Properly screw the bolts using 70 to 90 foot-pounds.

Dos and Don’ts When Changing your Calipers, Brake Rotors and Pads

When replacing your brake rotors, calipers, and pads, you must avoid a few mistakes. Here are a few precautions to take: 

  • Never remove a caliper guide with a wrench longer or shorter than 13mm (1.3cm). If you do, you can break the heads off as a result of overtightening. 
  • Don’t install the brake pads backwards. This can happen, especially if you’re in an emergency or a dangerous drive or safety zone.
  • Incorrectly torturing the brake caliper bracket bolts is dangerous. While some brake caliper bracket bolts can accommodate up to 110 feet-pounds in torque level, you must be careful not to damage it. 
  • You may need liquid tread locks when torturing the brake caliper bracket bolts. You may be lucky to get torque-to-yield bracket bolts. 
  • Never install new pads without cleaning or replacing the brake slides, hardware, and/or clips. You should also lubricate the caliper guide pins.
  • Installing a torn boot on your car braking system is suicidal and safety-risky.

How to Know Your Brake Caliper Bolts Are loose

Hereare the symptoms of loose caliper bolts:

  • Crushing Noise: You’ll experience this sound once the brake caliper is trapped and the brake pads are worn out. The grinding wheel bearing sound is an indication that your caliper bolts need tightening.
  • Car pulling to one side when braking: Loose caliper bolts might cause your car to pull to one side once you step your feet on the brake pedal or the wheel hits a pothole.
  • Spongy brake pedal: A soft or spongy brake pedal is what you feel when your brake caliper bolts have a hole in them. It may also be a seized caliper-bound cylinder. 

Other symptoms include uneven brake pad wear and leaking brake fluid.

Final Wrap

The average torque spec range for brake calipers is 70-90 foot-pounds. For caliper guide bolts, a torque spec of 25 to 35 foot-pounds is ideal. Following the specific torque tightness is vital as it prevents disastrous endings and unnecessary expenses. As for the bolts and nuts, they fail and become quickly worn out, if the right torque is not followed.  

  • James Smith

    I'm James Smith, a car enthusiast and a content writer for Daily Car Tips. I have a passion for all things cars, from classic muscle cars to the latest electric vehicles. When I'm not writing about cars, you can usually find me tinkering with my car or checking out the latest automotive trends.

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