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Citroën C5 - N/S FRONT BRAKE CALIPER PROBLEM

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Jeff

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Citroën C5 - N/S FRONT BRAKE CALIPER PROBLEM

PostTue Nov 09, 2010 11:18 pm

My car recently passed the MOT and the examiner advised me the front N/S pads were binding on the discs. I noticed the O/S caliper Hand Brake lever (on side of caliper)had more travel than the N/S and adjusting the HB cable made no difference. I got a refurbished caliper for the N/S and swapped it over and bled that part of the system. I rebled the N/S caliper a few days later as the brakes were a little soft, now they are nice and firm.

The refurbished caliper is still pressing the pads against the disc (enough for me to notice when driving) and like the old caliper, has a reduced amount of travel in the HB lever at the side of the caliper.

I dont understand how to set the caliper so that the HB lever has more travel and will allow the piston to pull back? (I am hoping thats the problem) Any advice please on what could be causing this binding? The other three wheels spin freely (and the brakes passed the MOT).

Prior to the MOT I fitted new Pads and Discs to the front and Pads to the rear but have only bled the system when replacing the N/S front brake caliper.

Has anyone had this problem?
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DickieG

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PostTue Nov 09, 2010 11:24 pm

IIRC C5 front calipers need to be wound back in opposite directions when replacing pads, was this done when you changed the pad's?
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Jeff

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PostTue Nov 09, 2010 11:28 pm

yes Dickie, N/S clockwise and O/S anti clockwise.

One thing also, before I paid for the refurbished caliper I tried the lever on the side for movement? It moved fully (like the O/S one) but since winding back and fitting to car it only moves a quarter or so of the distance.
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PostWed Nov 10, 2010 12:35 am

Hi Jeff, if the caliper has been replaced then that can usually be ruled out as a problem area. Follow the trail backwards along the cable to find out where the problem lies.

If your stumped and want a chat and some help then give me a call on 0151 525 1764 between 8:30 and 17:00 I work besides a few Citroen independants; i can pick their brains on your issue :wink:
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dnsey

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PostWed Nov 10, 2010 8:12 am

Have you adjusted the cables?
Use the nut hidden ubder the rear centre ashtray to adjust for just-perceptible slack at the caliper end of each cable.
If one cable has more slack than the other, check the the balancing swivel device at the lever end.
OTOH, it might be just a sticky cable - not uncommon on C5s.
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Citroenmad

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PostWed Nov 10, 2010 5:04 pm

Sticking handbrake levers on the callipers are reasonable common on C5s. They should ideally be free'd on every service, as they get worse and worse.

My C5s handbrake cables were sticking too, so i had to replace those. Which might be the problem with yours. Or the lever is sticking on the refurbished calliper to.
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Jeff

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PostWed Nov 10, 2010 7:03 pm

I called to the motor factor today that sold me the refurbished caliper. They put me onto the suppliers specialist who advised me to wind the piston back flush with the caliper casing, disconnect the handbrake cable from the caliper, then wind back out and adjust the fit to allow 1-2 mil play on either side (pad to disc gap). Then to brake a few times and check if the piston is withdrawing back into the caliper. (He also advised rebleeding the caliper though I have bled it twice, maybe a third time wont harm).

I dont think its a handbrake problem as when I release the handbrake the car moves on an incline immediately. I think the handbrake lever movement is reduced because the pads are tight to the disc so the levers movement is reduced.

I will try the above out and report back. Still not sure though!!!!
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Re: Citroën C5 - N/S FRONT BRAKE CALIPER PROBLEM

PostWed Nov 10, 2010 7:59 pm

Jeff wrote:My car recently passed the MOT and the examiner advised me the front N/S pads were binding on the discs.
You were lucky. My van got failed for that very same issue today - amongst a few other things like Hazard lights (expected as I have a short circuit somewhere), and silencer bushes.
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PostWed Nov 10, 2010 11:01 pm

Remember reading somewhere that when you get a new/recon caliper with the handbrake built in it is imperative the the handbrake lever is not moved as doing so will render the caliper u/s.
correct way is
1 Take caliper out of box and fit straight onto car. do not push or pull anypart of it.
2 Conect hydraulic brake hose and put pads in.
3 bleed the system And pump brakes up
4 conect handbrake cable
5 work handbrake 20 times
6 set handbrake to 5 notches
7 Adjust handbrake cable (pull out rear ashtray to get to adjuster) until the front wheel locks up.
job done
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Jeff

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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 7:25 pm

Thanks Coastline Taxi's.

Is anyone else aware of this? i.e. caliper useless if HB lever tried before fitting. Is there a way around this problem?
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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 9:13 pm

Jeff wrote:Thanks Coastline Taxi's.

Is anyone else aware of this? i.e. caliper useless if HB lever tried before fitting. Is there a way around this problem?


I do recall reading that at the same place and at the same time as Mr. Coastline.
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Jeff

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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 9:25 pm

Does it mean that the caliper when foot braking will work as normal but the handbrake will not?
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myglaren

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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 9:40 pm

Couldn't say but my impression was that the caliper would be completely FUBAR.
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Jeff

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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 10:26 pm

Does anyone know what needs resetting inside the caliper? Very specialised work I suppose.

Incidentally, I popped a trolley jack underneath and checked the "binding" wheel this evening and its eased off a bit, I suppose the pads have bedded in a bit. It has never been a "full on" lock up, but enough to notice and not good long term.
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Citroenmad

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PostThu Nov 11, 2010 10:47 pm

You shouldnt have problems with it because you have moved the handbrake lever on the calliper before it was fitted with the pads in place.

I took my calliper off, sprayed in lubricant and worked the lever constantly untill it free'd off. With it fitted it was perfect, it still appears to be, with no binding brakes now.

Mine seemed to be stuck sometimes and others not. Though i ruined a set of pads and discs. It happened to mine on the motorway, i think the brake was binding when i set off, though it was not noticable. As i got on the motorway, the constant rubbing must have heated up the fluid and pads so they were binding on more and more. The steering was vibrating violently, it was a mile or so before i could get off the motorway. When i came to the junction of the services i couldnt see for smoke. As i was going off the slip road i did a few quick stops to get the brake off. It freed off a bit and after letting it cool i was able to drive it home.

So its not something you can leave. If the lever is very free and springs back on its own (it should do this without the help of the external spring, if its free enough), then the problem might be with the cables.
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