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Caliper Adjustment

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  • Brakes: Caliper Adjustment

    The disc brakes on my ‘63 GT Hawk are binding, and I think it’s high time I centered them over the rotor. I’ve never done it in the 33 years I’ve owned it and I’m sure in that time I’ve screwed it up.
    Can someone explain to me how to go about this?
    I’ve read the procedure Bob Johnstone wrote about on his resource page at least a dozen times and it just doesn’t make any sense to me.
    Per his instructions, with the shims removed and the caliper snugged down, I have .025” space between the rotor and caliper at the front inside and .016” at the rear inside. The outside space is WAY too big to measure with feeler gauges I’ll bet it’s at least 1/8”. He says you’re supposed to add those 2 inside measurements together and then divide that by 2 and then by 2 again and then to insert that measurement of shims to center it. That’s only a .010” shim so it’s not even close.

  • #2
    Before you do any shimming/measuring, pull the pads out and clean everything so you know the pads aren't sticking on built up brake dust or worn unevenly front edge to rear edge of pad. I too am interested in centering mine, but I've never seen the need to do far. I replaced my pads about 6 years ago and made the mistake of putting a little anti-squeak compound on the piece that locks the pad to the cylinder, but the compound crept and caused the pads to bind every now and then so I had to remove them and clean the stuff off. I just let them squeak now...


    • #3
      The caliipars need to be both centered on the disk and parallel to the disk.
      This is what I would do and have done prior to changing over to Turner Brake.
      Remove the front and rear shims. Don't mix them up. Measure the thickness of shims used on the front and rear. Just in case you want ot give up and return everything to how it was.
      Bolt the clippers unto the mounting bracket without any shims. Might be easier to measure things with the pads removed
      Measure the front clearance between the rotor and the calipers. Add the numbers together and devide by 2. That number is the thickness of shims to put between the caliper bracket and its mounting bracket.
      Do the same for the rear of the caliper
      Install the required shims and measure the clearences again. If all four measurements are within 0.008 you are good to go.
      You might also want to check the rotor to make sure it is not warped. If it is you will never get the alionement correct.


      • #4
        All very clearly explained in the Shop Manual. Please, support our vendors and buy one!


        • #5
          I’ve had one for 33 years. Thanks for the very helpful comment.