Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Replace brake caliper bracket

What is a brake caliper bracket?

First and foremost a brake caliper bracket or brake abutment is where

brake caliper bracket with brake pad clips

Typical brake caliper bracket

the buck, err the brake pad stops. You apply your brakes which forces the brake pads against a revolving brake rotor. The combination of rotation sideways squeezing force tends to move the brake pad until it’s stopped against a solid surface. That stopping component is called a brake caliper bracket or a brake abutment.

Brake caliper bracket versus brake abutment

A brake caliper bracket mounts to the steering knuckle and acts as both a stopping surface for the brake pads as well as a caliper mounting device. A brake abutment, on the other hand is built into the steering knuckle itself. The brake caliper also mounts to the steering knuckle.

Image of disc brake caliper bracket and brake caliper mounted on steering knuckle

Disc brake caliper and caliper bracket setup

Disc brake setup with brake abutment built into the steering knuckle

Disc brake setup with brake abutment built into the steering knuckle


What goes wrong with a brake caliper bracket?

Brake caliper brackets can be designed so the caliper guide pin slides

brake caliper bracket showing internal bores for caliper slide pins

Brake caliper bracket with internal bores for caliper slide pins

into a bore in the bracket or has a removable or permanently mounted caliper slide pin that slides in a bore in the caliper itself (see examples below). In designs where the caliper pin slide into a bore in the bracket, the rubber boot can fail and allow water and road salt into the bore, causing corrosion and binding.


brake caliper bracket with slide pins

Brake caliper brake with integral slide pins that engage with a bore in the caliper

When corrosion builds in the caliper bracket bore, one or both caliper pin may seize in the bore, preventing the brake caliper from releasing. Or, if just one caliper pin seizes, that can cause the caliper to apply uneven pressure resulting in tapered brake pad wear or inboard versus outboard pad wear.

When to replace a corroded caliper bracket?

If you or the shop encounters a brake caliper bracket bore with corroded bores, the best option is to replace the bracket with a rebuilt unit. The rebuilder drills out the bore and inserts a sleeve to bring the bore back into specification. You don’t need a complete brake caliper to correct a corroded caliper bracket issue, unless the price for a complete caliper is less than or more quickly available than just the caliper bracket itself.

The same applies to brake caliper brackets with integral slide pins. If the pins are not field replaceable, purchase a rebuilt caliper bracket with new pins. Then double check the condition of the bores in the caliper to make sure they’re not severely corroded.

Lubricate a new brake caliper bracket before putting into service. See this post for instructions

Brake caliper bracket replacement cost

Rebuilt caliper brackets vary in price from as little as $15-ea. to a high of around $36-eam (retail shop price). If you’re doing your own brakes, the seller will want the old brackets returned so they can be rebuilt.

©, 2017 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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