AVON, Ohio – Air disc brakes (ADBs) have been proven to deliver advantages on the road, in the service bay, and for a fleet’s bottom line, driving a continued increase in adoption and standard positioning across a range of vehicles and trailers. And since their stopping power makes ADBs the most logical choice for supporting advanced driver assistance (ADAS) technologies like collision mitigation, we’re likely to see even more air disc brakes on North America’s commercial vehicles as these safety systems become more commonplace. This installment of the Bendix Tech Tips series covers what to do if it’s time to replace an ADB caliper and how you can protect your investment in the technology.
Know the Signs of a Bad Caliper
“Regular ADB preventive maintenance includes examining and addressing issues that could lead to caliper damage and the possibility of a voided warranty,” said Mark Holley, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – Wheel-End. “Don’t forget to inspect guide pin movement and take a look at tappets and boots for damage and contamination, for instance, along with checking seals and bushings.
“The potential for caliper damage is one reason Bendix recommends replacing ADB wear components with genuine replacement parts during a pad change – pad retainer, pad retention springs, and shear adaptors – and includes them in a complete friction replacement kit.”
In the shop, technicians conducting an annual wheel-off inspection should make sure the caliper slides freely and take a moment to examine the rotor. Look at the overall condition of the rotor and evaluate the color. If the rotor is a bright rusty-red color, then it could be an indicator to inspect the caliper more closely. For further information, refer to your air disc brake manufacturer’s Service Data Sheet.
Choose the Right Replacement
“It may seem obvious, but we can’t stress it enough: Not all calipers are the same, and the replacement you choose can have a huge impact on safety, performance, and uptime,” Holley said. “Bendix introduced air disc brakes to the North American commercial vehicle market in 2005, and there have been significant advancements in the technology over the years since. Thanks to continuous product improvements, our production ADB adjusters today are more robust than previous generations and can better maintain the proper running clearance, where some other supplier’s versions can over adjust, increasing the potential risk for dragging brakes and thermal events.”
Additionally, if you’re exploring remanufactured calipers as a replacement option, then make sure to ask about the reman process. True remanufacturing adheres to the same rigorous processes and standards used to make OEM (original equipment manufacturer) calipers. Remanufacturing also always involves replacing or repairing a core’s components to bring the part up to OEM specs. Bendix remanufactured calipers, for instance, are produced on the same line used to produce OEM calipers, using OEM processes for assembly. Other suppliers don’t have access to OEM-quality components and production processes, so you can’t truly call that a fully remanufactured part – which means you can’t be sure what components are going into it, and whether all the proper quality control steps are in place.
To view the entire tech tip, click HERE.