View Full Version : Stupid 1st gen brake question

04-25-2002, 12:58 PM
Is there any real trick, or trick tool, to remove the lower caliper bolt on the front end of a 1st gen RX-7? This is the one that hides behind the steering arm.
Haynes just says use a box end and a screwdriver as a lever, but I don't think the calipers on my car were removed in a long time so they are semi seized. Any wrench I use tries to climb up the bolt head and slip off, rounding the top corners.

04-25-2002, 01:25 PM
YART, ya might try grinding away some of the bracket that is interfering with the box wrench siting on the bolt head nice & square.

After grinding & with the wrench square & true on the bolt head put a spacer betwen the box wrench head & the steering arm....


04-25-2002, 01:32 PM
its not a stupid question, take the two bolts off that hold the lower control arm to the bottom of the strut, then use a socket on the caliper bolt.
DO NOT forget to put loctite on those two control arm bolts afterwards.

Daryl Brightwell
ITA Mazda #77

Carl Johnk
04-25-2002, 01:38 PM
I have been doing that a lot lately. I went to Home Depot and got a fairly thin 14 mm closed end wrench. I then bent the end to give it an offset (you need to heat it up red hot to bend it) and then ground down the back abit to get clearance. It works really well, since it grips the whole bolt head.

04-25-2002, 01:46 PM
One of those lower control arm bolts are longer than the other, so make sure they go back in the same place. I would remove the rear lower bolt and just loosen the front so it would pivot on the front bolt. Some poelpe grind away at the backing plate, which is a nice trick to do, but don't remove too much material. ALWAYS replace the lock washers for safety, it's just cheap insurance.

There are two different lengths of bolts that hold the calipers on. Both of them have the same number stamped on them, but make sure that you don't use the one that is too long(1/4" difference), or it will rub against the rotor. I have found many street cars turned into racers that somewhere this bolt swap has occurred.

Tell me you have removed the backing plate dust shield!?

Corey. http://Forums.ImprovedTouring.com/it/smile.gif

04-25-2002, 01:48 PM
Those caliper bolts need to be the same length, and the short ones.


04-25-2002, 06:14 PM

The good news is it gets easier after you get it off the first time. I bought a handy 14mm/12mm offset wrench at Sears and it fits right up in there. I've never had to grind anything on the caliper mount. Interestingly I did grind a bit on the control arm to make it easier to get a wrench on those bolts.

04-26-2002, 03:59 AM
Sears makes a great combination open-end box-end ratchet wrench that will work wonders for most of your brake needs (8 10 12 14 17 19).

Side note:

Are you removing all of the stock little metal brake pad centering clips? I also found out that Hawk Blue Pads work great.

[email protected] (http://[email protected])

04-26-2002, 04:15 PM
The Haynes trick worked for me although I was nervous about attempting it. The only variation was that I used a square shafted Craftaman screw driver that fit more tightly. I will keep these suggestions in mind for the next time since it seems real easy to strip the head of the bolt when you expected to be loading the car.
Bill Emery ITA #67