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Airheart calipher rebuild ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ohiovette, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Ohiovette
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 101

    Ohiovette
    Member

    I have a set of 4 piston calipers which have never been on a car. I got them with my 57 Corvette gasser project that I'm puting .
    I have searched the HAMB and spoke to most of the contacts mentioned and got lots of info.
    But, I still would like to find someone who can rebuild them for me. They probably just need the piston kits as the pads are new.
    I am attaching a few pictures.
    Thanks,
    Bruce B.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  2. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Speedway is now selling the old style Airheart 150 and 175 calipers, so they are still being produced. At one time they were here locally in Tempe, AZ., but that was a good ten years or so ago. Try Speedway for parts and work out from there.
     
  3. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,431

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

  4. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    "Never have been on a car".....They may be good as is.....? I'd install and try them first.

    4TTRUK
     

  5. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    Dane
    Member
    from Soquel, CA


    What he said - don't fix them if they ain't broke...
     
  6. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Modern calipers rely on seal flex to retract the piston when hydraulic pressure is released. I don't know much about Airheart calipers, but I know at least some of them had an internal mechanism that mechanically retracted the pistons. If yours have that feature, try to find a rebuilder who is familiar with the design.

    If the calipers are really old I wouldn't trust the condition of the seals.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  7. the pistons don't retract.There is a lot of drag on the rotors after the first time the brakes are applied.Inside is a bunch of different sized "O"rings.Getting the pistons out,then in of the caliper halves requires a lot of force.As already said,Speedway has some of the parts.Hat and rotors are the hard to find parts
     
  8. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,141

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Those in that good condition are worth good moneys to the restorationg crowd. If you have the hats and rotors and mounts also even better. You could trade those for a brand new set of Wilwoods which is better in the long run
     
  9. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    I assume you are talking about the OPs calipers, and I assume you are right. But as I posted, I have definitely seen Airhearts that had mechanical retraction. I don't remember what they were off of. It stands out in my mind because the only two times I have seen that were Airhearts and and '60s Campagnolo magnesium calipers.
     
  10. Yes,I refer to the calipers shown.
     
  11. Ohiovette
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 101

    Ohiovette
    Member

    Thanks for the replys.
    Here is what I found out so far: there are rebuilders on the west coast and the east coast and they both want $1300 to $2000 to resleve and rebuild the 2 calipers, way to much for my budget. I think there are some small guys out there who might rebuild for a reasonable price.
    The parts are available from Speedway and I will order them and try to rebuild myself after testing on the car, ain't broke don't fix.
    These calipers are called Airheart dual spot and they have a retracting mechanism which is a series of belvue washers. They do not have a model number. They were bought around 1968 and were never on the car. I'm hoping the bores are ok since resleveing adds a lot to the rebuild cost. They are complete with mounting brackets.
    I could buy a few sets of Wilwoods for the rebuilding prices quoted.
     
  12. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Check out what I learned. Looking at the pics of the calipers and searching the internet a little I realized these calipers have mechanical piston retraction. Per this illustration the piece sticking out the back of each bore is part of that mechanism:
    http://mail.tolomatic.com/archives/pdfs/3999-0059_02_oh_OBSps.pdf

    Not saying it works well, but it is there.


    The page where the above linked illustration came from shows some Airheart calipers with a different piston retraction mechanism.
    http://www.airheart-brakes.com/partsheets_airheart.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  13. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    Several years ago White Post did a excellent job on the same calipers for me.. Give them a ring they advertise in Hemmings..
     
  14. Well how about that.Thanks.I've had the calipers on my altered apart ,I don't know how many times,and didn't realize that.You must be right,it doesn't work well.:D
     
  15. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Keep us posted,...We'd like to know what the outcome is ,.. Thanks.

    4TTRUK
     
  16. Ohiovette
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 101

    Ohiovette
    Member

    I spoke to WR at White Post Resto in Virginia yesterday and they will resleeve and rebuild the calipers.
    The problem is that they get $160.00 per piston, that comes to $1280.00 plus shipping both ways which is way to much for me.
    I know they do a great job but lots of dollars.
    I am going to take one apart and check the condition of the bores and go from there.
     
  17. Just contact Airheart they are still in business and still building all the old stuff only new.

    http://www.airheart-brakes.com/
     
  18. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,141

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Chances are if they have never had fluid in them then you are OK and would be wise just to change the 2 O-rings per piston and the 3 between the bodies. I have done these before and if thats all that is needed I can do those for $100 (includes parts).
    I have delt with the people at TOL-O-MATIC/AIRHEART before--expensive and a waist of time, they had a brake kit simular to a Wilwood--$1700
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  19. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,141

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    All clips and O-rings are standard and available from McMaster/Car. What is not standard are the retracter shaft covers and the retracter drag washer which you already have. The biggest killer to the bores is when brake fluid is left in them and alowed to sit. Moistier gets sucked in by the brake fluid and the bores start to corode developing pits to where the O-ring cannot seal and the remaining fluid gels up and clogs the retracter and fluid ports. The brake pucks are another issue as they must be cemented to the piston for automotive use. Again unless you really have a need to use the airhearts you will be much safer with the Wilwoods.
     
  20. OK I am having a hard time grasping the metality here, airheart still makes all the old stuff only new. They offer rebuildinf services and there is no way that anyone can beat their prices they are the manufacturer.

    Hurst/Aitheart calipers are not magic, they are just calipers and still available over the counter.
     
  21. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,141

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    REALLY!!!

    $600 for ONE four piston caliper

    There new stuff is no where near simular to the old ones, Yes they might have some leftover kits and they are around $80 for one caliper. And when I called them about new pucks they wanted $20 ea ($160 for a complete set)

    I clicked on their link and they no longer carry complete rear brake kits for racecars
     
  22. The $$$ of being cool ! I would try the calipers first and see whats up, since they have been sittting with no brake fluid, I could see the seals going away from sitting.
    I had stainless sleeves done on my wheel cylinders and master cylinder on my 1962 Pontiac Bonneville Safari, it was well worth it.
     
  23. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 2,186

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    Rebuilding them is NO big deal. The kits are tad expensive, but the only thing I suggest you definitely do is buy the pilot as it makes installing the piston shaft in the seal and drag ring a TON easier. The rubber sleeve really can't be called a "retraction mechanism". The drag ring keeps the shaft from retracting.
    The cylinders don't have sleeves originally, so if they are new the cylinder pitting that is often an issue shouldn't be a problem.
    All that said, I would mount them and try them first.
     
  24. BOBBYA312
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 140

    BOBBYA312
    BANNED
    from Ala

    I would think you could bench test them with a thin block of wood between the pistons(to keep them from fully extending/coming out of the bore). A Pick up a few fittings from the local parts store to connect to a small air compressor. Make sure the bleeders are closed and then put the air to them. If they extend and you hear no leaks-all should be well.
     
  25. Ohiovette
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 101

    Ohiovette
    Member

    Thanks for all the info.
    Here is what I have found out:
    Airheart was bought by Tolomatic and they do not rebuild and have very few parts for the calipers.
    TheBrake Man in So.California was started by a engineer from Airheart and they are very helpful. They have the pads (pucks) and are willing to search for o-rings as they have lots since they rebuild most other calipers. I just need to give them dimensions.
    Actually Speedway Motors sells a complete rebuild kit for $50.00 which includes the rubber parts and the drag ring.
    I took them apart and they do not have a retraction mechanism which is a number of spring washer(Belville washer).
    When I took them apart I found them to be in perfect condition.
    I just made the assembly pilot tool and when I get the parts I will put them together.
    Thanks again for the great advice.
     
  26. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Did they never have the piston retraction device, or is it missing?
     
  27. When I called they said I could have a pair for a grand, shipped. But I am not in the habit of paying retail. No one will cut you a deal if you don't ask and a grand for a pair beats the last asking price that I saw of 1,800.00 for a pair of used ones that may or may not have needed rebuilt.

    Of course you could buy rebuld parts from a man who sells used head gaskets I suppose. :rolleyes:
     

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