Rear brake piston tool
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  1. #1
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    Rear brake piston tool

    Does anyone know if this tool fits the rear brake pistons on a 2003 1.8T FWD? Harbor freight has the $30 caliper tool set for disc brakes with all the attachments but I would only use one attachment in the set every other year. This might be a nice alternative for only $6.


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  3. #2
    Super Stealth Retired Moderator JayTheSnork's Avatar
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    can't see it at work. is it the squarish one that fits on the end of a ratchet? if so, don't waste the money - it doesn't work 95% of the time.

    the one from Harbor Freight goes on sale several times a year for $20.

  4. #3
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    yes, that's the one. thanks for the info! exactly what I needed to know.

  5. #4
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    yup the square took sucks, FYI you can rent the real tool from autozone or advance auto and when you bring it back you get all your money back as well.

  6. #5
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    great, even better.

  7. #6
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    I got my tool from a local Canadian auto parts store for $15. It looks good and seems like a decent design but you have to be really strong to compress that piston, I tried my hardest but couldn't get it to budge 1mm. Is there a trick to doing it if your weak?

  8. #7
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    is it the cube one? or the other one?

  9. #8
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    The other one, you have to turn the knob to make the piston go in but there is too much tension for me.

  10. #9
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    gotta ask the stupid question here, but you have the E-brake off right?

  11. #10
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    I don't remember really but I think so, yes.

  12. #11
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    Did you open the brake fluid reservoir to relieve pressure?

  13. #12
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    yeap

  14. #13
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    i bought a brake set just like this one. it works awesome and i havent had any problems with it yet. is this similar to yours?
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...2035_200392035

  15. #14
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    I had pretty good luck with the square thing. I put a 6" extension and a ratchet on the side opposite the one which fits the brake piston, and I pushed the caliper in while turning. The piston went back in without any issue. I'm sure the other tool works fine as well, but the first time I did this I turned the brake piston with a pair of channel locks while pushing in. That was very awkward and didn't work as well as actually having the right (or nearly right) tool for the job.

    You may have a different experience if the piston is frozen or badly corroded, in which case you may need a rebuilt caliper.

    On the fronts, I use a big "C" clamp which puts a lot of force on the piston. The advantage of this is that it always goes in easily, the disadvantage is that you can miss when one of the calipers is sticky (like the last time I did my brakes).

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skennedy1023 View Post
    i bought a brake set just like this one. it works awesome and i havent had any problems with it yet. is this similar to yours?
    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...2035_200392035
    ECS Tuning has that same set for $37 or so. I just bought it and it works perfectly. I've always wanted one of these. Should have got it years ago and saved myself the aggravation.

    -Nick

  17. #16
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    needlenose pliers and a normal caliper tool takes forever, but works.

  18. #17
    Super Stealth Retired Moderator JayTheSnork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritznh View Post
    I had pretty good luck with the square thing. I put a 6" extension and a ratchet on the side opposite the one which fits the brake piston, and I pushed the caliper in while turning. The piston went back in without any issue. I'm sure the other tool works fine as well, but the first time I did this I turned the brake piston with a pair of channel locks while pushing in. That was very awkward and didn't work as well as actually having the right (or nearly right) tool for the job.

    You may have a different experience if the piston is frozen or badly corroded, in which case you may need a rebuilt caliper.

    On the fronts, I use a big "C" clamp which puts a lot of force on the piston. The advantage of this is that it always goes in easily, the disadvantage is that you can miss when one of the calipers is sticky (like the last time I did my brakes).
    Quote Originally Posted by l5gcw0b View Post
    needlenose pliers and a normal caliper tool takes forever, but works.
    alternate tools sometimes work, but it depends on your rear calipers WRT the kind of shape they are in. the first time I did rear brakes on my Passat, I tried the ratchet tool to no avail. I couldn't apply enough force to make it work.

    considering the money you save by doing your own brakes (as much as a couple hundred dollars), I highly recommend spending a little of it for the proper tool. using the ratchet tool with the nubs (that may not align with the notches in the piston on the caliper) is a crap shoot - I prefer better odds.

    the amount you spend on the rear brake tool can vary widely, so take the time to consider how often you will use it to determine how much quality you think you have to buy. for me, its mostly for working on my own car (and I don't have to replace brakes all tha often), so the Harbor Freight $20 tool is perfect.

  19. #18
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    Bizarre heads-up about that Harbor Freight tool... the tool itself works great. However, the red ink they use to print the wrapper comes off easily and permanently stains semi-porous surfaces. Two years later, I still have pink ink-stains on the door to my garage and the handle of my fridge.

    SirWired

  20. #19
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    I've had this one for about four years. Well worth it. I've used it on my VWs as well as my freind's Toyota.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=97143

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisch View Post
    I've had this one for about four years. Well worth it. I've used it on my VWs as well as my freind's Toyota.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=97143
    +1

  22. #21
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    The Harbor Freight tools look really solid, but the only car I'd need them for is the Passat. Still, tools are always good . I've also got a Toyota, so it might come in handy.

    I've replaced the brakes three times (this is the fourth set) on my car. Ok, it has 180+K miles on it, but I've got 140K on my Ford and I've done the brakes once. Both cars have good brakes, but the German ones need to be replaced twice as often.

    Would the A8 brakes improve this? Anyone run those for a few years and have some experience they could share here?

  23. #22
    Super Stealth Retired Moderator JayTheSnork's Avatar
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    fritz, the Harbor Freight brake tool is solid.

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