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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, folks. I am going to replace the front calipers and pads on my 97 Outback. Before I get just anything I'd really appreciate and suggestion as to good quality parts that will last.

Thanks.
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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1,602 Posts
There are a number of good ones on the market. Check out rockauto.com. You can buy calipers unloaded(just the caliper), semi-loaded (caliper and bracket), or loaded (caliper, bracket and pads). If you have the time, you can save a bunch by just getting the seal and hardware kits then rebuilding them yourself. if your parts are in good working order, this is the best route although it is time consuming.
 

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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are a number of good ones on the market. Check out rockauto.com. You can buy calipers unloaded(just the caliper), semi-loaded (caliper and bracket), or loaded (caliper, bracket and pads). If you have the time, you can save a bunch by just getting the seal and hardware kits then rebuilding them yourself. if your parts are in good working order, this is the best route although it is time consuming.
Ouch, the rockauto website is terrible.

I'd likely buy the caliper and pads separately in order to pick the best quality parts.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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4,940 Posts
Why are you replacing your calipers? Are they no longer working? If not, why not rebuild them? Here is a video you should watch about brake calipers, they are not all made equally, and it is really important to get an OEM quality caliper if you do replace them.

Subaru Repair Seattle: Brake Caliper Woes! - Seattle Subaru Repair

You can get OEM calipers from one of the online retailers for about $200 a piece, or you can get a reseal kit for $22 bucks and just fix the ones you already have. Hopefully, your's weren't previously done at Les Schwab or the like, and aren't the crappy calipers shown in the video above.
 

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Registered
97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is OEM really required or can I use an aftermarket part?

The brakes are very mushy and pads need changing. I figure I'll replace the calipers as well.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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4,940 Posts
Unless they are leaking, the calipers are probably fine. Mushy brakes usually comes from air in the lines, or brake fluid that needs to be flushed. You may also need rotors, but you won't know till you measure their thickness.

So, what you really need is a fluid flush. What you MAY need is pads and rotors. What you DON'T need is calipers. As for brake pads, that has been discussed here a LOT. Favorites include Hawk, EBC Greenstuff, Axxis Metal Master (aka PBR). Do some searching around and you will find plenty of discussion.

Also, when it comes time to do the job I have a DIY here.
 

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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am slowing replacing most all of the guts of this vehicle. I guess I'll do some more research on to caliper replacement. I know that the mushy brakes are due to air in the line or bad fluid. I'll be taking care of that tomorrow.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Outback Wagon, Mystic Blue Pearl
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4,940 Posts
I understand wanting to replace older parts. But there are some things, like brake calipers, that tend to hold up quite well, and are hard to match in quality with an aftermarket part. If you can find an aftermarket caliper that has a good coating, similar to OEM, it should be fine, but I really doubt you need calipers, or would benefit from new calipers.

If I had a problem right now with my calipers, I would rebuild them before I replaced them. You can get rebuild kits for 20 bucks a caliper, and if done properly the caliper will function like new.
 

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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand. Perhaps I'll find some calipers in the junk yard.
 

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'05 OBXT
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453 Posts
I'd like to replace mine because they suck. I love the car, don't get me wrong, but the '02 LGT brakes were WAY better than what is on my '05 OBXT. My very first exposure to a sea of brakes lights with my "new" car was like WTF? I had to check to see if I wasn't pushing the gas pedal too.

I'm looking to do the conversion to LGT front brakes.
 

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'01 OBW 2.5/AT; '99 BMW 528i/5-spd
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146 Posts
Why are the existing calipers a problem?

I flushed the brake fluid on my 01 OB myself, extremely easy (just a little tedious and required the assistance of my sweet wife to press the pedal). First time my car's fluid had ever been flushed; had quite a few "large" jelly-bean bubbles come out the line on the front right one before fresh fluid began to appear. The results of that exercise alone were excellent. I suspect it may have even improved my ABS system.... (the self-test is much more apparent now).

I changed my pads and rotors too. OEM front pads were actually only half-worn at 47000 mi (rears were almost gone....), but the front right rotor was warped, causing a lot of pulsing whenever I used the brakes.

RockhopJohn, thanks for the tip on rebuild kits. My own OB's brakes are just fine (right now....) but nice to know about that rebuild option.... I doubt it could be as hard as just getting the dang caliper brackets unbolted for a rotor swap....
 

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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The drivers side front caliper is leaking oil and the brake light is on. Thus, I have purchased a replacement part.
 

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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just replaced the front left caliper. It ain't leaking no more. I bled it like 10 times. Taking it for a test drive in a few minutes. Will drive to Advance to turn in the old core for a $30 rebate.
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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Junk yards won't sell calipers due to liability issues( here anyway). The ones you buy at the part store are just rebuilt oe calipers. If they aren't painted, you can get caliper paint at the same store for about $8. I got pads and rotors fo my '98 off ebay from seller Brake Overstock. Pads and rotors fit with no issues and were $60.00 per set with free shipping. I rebuilt the three good calipers and replaced the seized one. Also replaced the bracket that had a seized pin. Everything now works as it should.
 

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'06 LOB, '03 Taco, '97 MX-5
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97 Outback 2.5L DOHC 220k miles
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661 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I do not understand this thought process...
It was a joke. I bought a reman caliper from AutoZone and turned in my core for a $30 rebate. Now the caliper doesn't leak and my brakes are good.
 
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