Front Brake Reassembly

Hello All,

New to this forum and new to this beautiful (needs work) car :slight_smile: So thanks in advance for your help. It’s much appreciated.

I’m reassembling my front brakes after replacing the all calipers and pads. This is to remedy a front brake locking issue (doing one thing at a time…lines were first). Everything went together well on the stand until I attempted to put the assemblies back on carrier. I recall the order of assembly on the 2 mounting bolts being a lock washer, a large flat washer , the caliper assembly, the shims, then the carrier. BUT the large flat washer seems to interfere with caliper causing a misalignment over the caliper assembly hole not allowing the bolt to go through (see photos).

In the end, do I have the order of assembly correct? If not, what is it? It seems the large washers are causing the issue. I assume the new calipers are within spec and I’m assembling incorrectly.

ps. I also forgot to mention the rotor shroud is between lock washer and caliper assembly.

Thanks for you insight! Cheers,


bolt won’t go through…because of washer

Or does it assemble with the large washer on the inside w/ the shims? Seems like the washer isn’t toleranced like the shims and it will offset the calipers to one side too much. I’d post more pictures but can’t because I’m new…

I do not recall the large flat washer on the outside of the bolt, just the lock washer… the caliper needs to be “centered” on the brake disk, using various shims. Typically this does not need such a thick washer. Hope this helps. Jeff S. Atlanta, GA

Sean, Welcome
It could be an optical illusion but that bolt looks bent? Probably just the picture.

I like your workshop. Lighting and ventilation seem good. Where? Tom

Thanks Jeff.

If I don’t use the large flat washer the bolt bottoms out on it’s shoulder before tightening the caliper assembly. Maybe the bolt was a replacement bolt not sure.

Hi Tom,

Ha, no it’s not bent just cocked to one side because the large washer is not centered over the hole. That’s happening because the washer is being pushed to one side because of the new caliper

Yes, it’s a bit of a backyard mechanic since I don’t have a proper garage. I’m Asheville NC. Plus I have a 3 year old toddler trying to help between his bouts of playing with the dog, riding his bike or whatever he’s trying to get it. I need a large field of vision.

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Welcome to the forum. There are lots of helpful knowledgeable folks here so I’m sure that someone will sort this out for you.

Would I be correct in assuming that your photo illustrates that the large plain washer cannot be centered over the hole in the caliper because the new piston assembly interferes with it? As a result, the bolt will not pass through, and is angled as shown in the photo?

If my above assumption is correct, it would appear that the replacement piston assembly is a little too close to the hole. Have you tried slackening the bolts that secure the piston to see if there is any slack there that allows the piston to move enough to clear the washer? Alternatively, shaving a small flat on the outside diameter of the washer would do the trick. All of this assumes that the washer is supposed to be there, which I don’t know as I’ve no personal experience with this particular caliper.


Mine has the washer and lock washer outside and as per David ,the calipier could be upside down is it after market
There’s problems with these parts compare it to your old one
Don’t see the car type and you may have parts from a different model that someone installed

Thanks David, your assumption is correct.

I have done exactly that on one side but I’m getting to the point of removing too much material from the washer for it to be effective as a washer. Only the calipers themselves are a replacement, not the housing. It doesn’t seem like they can be loosened and moved much but will try. It just seems like a slightly bigger, not noticeable with the naked eye. I’ll have to put the old ones back on to see if it goes back together. Jerry’s is telling me these Girlings are standard replacements. I just need more time to work the problem…

Jim, thanks. I’m glad to hear I’m not crazy with the flat washer on the outside. The caliper is a new Girling from Jerry’s and I just wonder if it’s a few thousands bigger creating the issue.

I did forget to mention that it’s a '67 Series 1. Maybe there are some bastard parts…TBD.

Why not just file a flat on part of the washer if everything else fits correctly?

It seems to me that Girling was used on earlier cars but don’t quote me . Mine are the Dunlop Callipers maybe something there

All, I finally procured some calipers to check size of the new Girlings vs. the old ones and they are larger. Hence the issues it’s caused. The distributors are measuring the TRW brand to see if they are smaller in size / closer to the ones I’ve removed.

Finger crossed. I’ll reply to all again once we figure that out. Hopefully what we find out will be useful for others. TBD…


Trw fit wise are ok but I believe they are made offshore and suffer Quality issues or so I’m told

Everywhere is ‘offshore’ to someone…

So are you implying that something made on a different continent than your own has intrinsic quality issues, or can you be more specific in your cultural stereotyping?

You’ll have to figure it out Steve and don’t put words in my mouth