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Matt, Engineer
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 21991
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
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I apologize in advance length of this post and any ranting

Customer Question

I apologize in advance for the length of this post and any ranting on my part... BACKSTORY: I just wanted to put new rear rotors and pads on my 2005 S40 (easy, right?), then the 'fun' began. Snapped three studs off just removing the wheel, necessitating hub/bearing replacement as well. Got part shipped to me a couple of days later. Then went to work on trying to take the two (13mm) caliper bolts off. They wouldn't budge. Soaked 'em with PB Blaster, lit them up with propane torch and they still didn't move. Managed to strip up and round out the bolt heads too, while destroying two wrenches. Even clamping on a vice grip and whacking with a hammer didn't work. Went and got a Irwin 13mm bolt extractor. Due to the limited bit of room available, I had to remove the handbrake cable from the caliper and there's still not enough room to properly seat the bolt extractor (tap/hammer) firmly enough. This is where I'm stuck right now. I need to detach the brake fluid hose from the caliper. This seems to be seized now too. I can't win. Does anyone know how the heck to take the brake line off the caliper while the caliper is still mounted in place without twisting the crap out of the brake line and wrecking that too? Or, is there another way? I'm on my last nerve and sick and tired of this frustrating BS!!! I can't be the only person cursed with issue (mainly due to the midwestern climate, ie road salt/chemicals that have managed to seize up every threaded fastener underneath my car). I'm seriously at the point where I'm gonna start acting like a madman with tourette's syndrome while kicking my dog!! This stupid brake job should have been finished in about an hour or two and I've been battling this for over a week now and I NEED my car rolling (and stopping) pronto. ANY AND ALL ASSISTANCE IS APPRECIATED! Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Volvo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
PRIMARY ISSUE: Removal of caliper bolts. Would like to avoid removing brake line, if possible.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


good lord you've been through the wringer with this

I do sympathise as I've been there myself where every bolt is seized or snaps as you apply the spanner

PB blaster is prety good but it needs time to soak in and do its work

So I'd heat the joint up cherry red then cool it down with PB blaster and keep applying it until the joint is wet then leave it

the idea is to expand the joint with heat and then by cooling it with the PB blaster oil it will be drawn into the gaps by capillary action

also brake unions are amongst the worst to unsieze as the pipe is so thin its just twists and won't resist any torque as you try to undo

often in these cases you will have to replace the solid brake pipe with new

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Matt,I have done everything you've stated (using red hot thermal expansion followed by oil cooling contraction) several times to no avail... Like yourself, I have an engineering background (BSME, typically clean hands guy who connects the dots on AutoCAD and Solidworks), but, humbly, I'm not an everyday auto mechanic, just an occasional backyard type. With that said, I guess I'm looking for specific advise in terms of a "path of least resistance" in accessing and removing these stripped hex bolts without creating more issues for myself. My major problem is not having having the room to allow for the proper attachment of a fluted extraction socket so they can be torqued loose. As an expert on Volvo specific repair, if you were me, what exactly would be your procedural methods/steps moving forward, given what has already been attempted. I very much want to avoid chiseling the hex heads off and drilling out and re-tapping the calipers or replacing the calipers. In your experience, is there a way of salvaging this situation in a manner that I'm not seeing? Disconnecting the brake line would be my favored option, given that then I could have straight line access to the top bolt, but since the brake line connector is crimped rather than swiveled, I anticipate (correct me if I'm wrong) a problem (brake line twist) with removal while the caliper is still bolted up. To summarize in a nutshell, what would be your next move? I'm open to ALL and ANY ideas I may have overlooked. Are there other options I don't already know about?I know, I can hear your eyeballs rolling backwards (another damn, detail orientated engineer...) Thanks for putting up with me man.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


I would concentrate on getting that corner off the car so you can work on it on the bench as things are usually eaisier off the car as you can hold the part firmly in a vice to undo bolts and apply hammers, easiouts etc

so try once again to remove that brake hose joint where the flexi hose bolts to the solid pipe on the car

if you can't break this joint then I'd trace the brake line back to find the next join with the solid line and remove it there

if this is all frozen solid then I'd cut the solid line where it forms a straight line as this will allow you to get a pipe flaring tool onto it later and add a brake pipe union

Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


do you still need help?

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