AE86 Brake Caliper Slider maintenance
The process and pictures below are for the front brakes, but the steps followed can be used for the rear brakes as well as other similar brake systems. This is meant more as a temporary fix which will probably have to be repeated once or twice a year, but should drastically improve the effectiveness of your braking system if it's in bad shape.
First remove the 12mm bolt at the bottom of the caliper, then try to flip the caliper up and off the brake pads and rotor by pivoting it on the top slider. Use a pry bar if need be to clear the caliper from the pads and rotor. If the top slider is badly seized, you'll have to swing the caliper up and down while constantly pushing inwards towards the car to get it off. The picture above shows just how bad a slider can corrode.
First begin by cleaning the slider with steel wool and some brake cleaner/WD40/etc. If you use a lubricant, be sure not to get any on your brake pads or rotor! If the slider is badly corroded, you may have to use a high grit wet sanding paper to smooth it.
The slider is easy to clean because it is galvanized from the factory, but the hole it slips into in the caliper is usually the main problem. They seem to corrode fairly easily should the brake system go unmaintained. In the picture above, I've wrapped a long piece of steel wool to the 12mm bolt that was removed from the bottom of the caliper. After spraying a generous amount of brake cleaner/WD40 into the hole, I use the wool-wrapped bolt to clean the loose corrosion in the hole by plunging it in and out repeatedly. < insert dirty joke here > I'll do this for a couple minutes, usually cleaning the steel wool and the hole with more brake cleaner.
After using the steel wool, if you can see the hole is still badly corroded, wrap the 12mm bolt with a piece of wet sanding paper, add more brake cleaner/WD40, and do the same as you did in the last step.
After using the steel wool and sand paper, wrap the bolt in paper towel and repeatedly spray brake cleaner into the hole, then clean it out again by plunging the bolt into the hole just as you were before. Remove as much dirty particulate as possible, or until the paper towel comes out of the hole just as clean as it goes in.
In this pic I've put some slider lube into the hole and the rubber slider seal (dark green), and used a sealant to stick the seal back against the caliper hole the way it's supposed to be (brown). Ideally I'd use blue sealant in place of the brown stuff...but that's all I had at the time and no shops were open at 2:30am.
This is the slider lube I'm using. It has to be synthetic so it doesn't cause the rubber seals to expand.
Here's a shot of the lower slider (which the 12mm bolt goes through) removed, cleaned up, with the seal refilled with slider lube. Everything is ready to be put back together.
I took this shot just to show another use for the 12mm bolt that I'm sure many people don't know about. That little hole is there so you can put the bolt into it and hold the caliper up when you change the pads!
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