Lockheed calipers

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Mar 27, 2008
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I have a couple of Lockheed calipers in need of rebuilding. One caliper has the outside piston stuck and the other has both pistons stuck. Are they worth saving or better used as paper weights?
You can try to unstick them by putting them in DOT 3 brake fluid for a few days. If they don't unstick in a few days throw them out.
If the pistons are not all the way in the bores you can remove the dust covers, put copper grease around the pistons and push them inwards with a clamp. If they move in they will move out, you might be lucky with compressed air, or connect up an old master cylinder and hydraulic them out, or sometimes you have to hammer the edge of the caliper down onto a soft piece of wood to force them out.
I have used a grease gun in the past to push them out,3/8 nf thread on end of hose so it just screwed straight in.
You can also boil them in water for a bit. Then best is to use hydraulic pressure to press them out as less messy. If that fails insert a grease fitting and force them apart. If they are worth it you could sleeve them.
Are they proper lightweight calipers? Then they're worth saving. If they're the heavy standard Triumph T140 type, then I'd use them as an anchor :)
All serious mechanics should have a can of AeroKroil. This is without a doubt the best penetrating oil ever. Spray on liberally, go away for ten minutes, stuff comes apart like magic.
Used Commando calipers, cleaned and polished but not rebuilt, sell for $300, when you can find them; rebuilt units are $600. You should try to recover the calipers. Soak the piston-cylinder interface with a penetrating oil like PB Blaster for a few days. Apply 90 psi of air pressure at the hydralic port, after placing a thin piece of wood loosely between the pistons. I've done several bike and car calipers using this technique and never had a piston that didn't move; 90 psi is a powerful and uniform motivator. Inspect and clean the cylinders, toss the pistons, and buy rebuild kits and new stainless pistons. Check Fred's tech article on rebuilding calipers on the Old Britts website. The rebuild is quite simple once the pistons are out. Oh, and fill your rebuilt and purged hydraulic system with deaereated DOT5. You'll never feel the difference in compressibility, corrosion virtually disappears, and your paint job will remain intact. (This last sentence usually generates controversy).
rick in seattle said:
Used Commando calipers, cleaned and polished but not rebuilt, sell for $300, when you can find them.

Hmmm. I sold a refurbed and polished caliper with new SS pistons along with a cross drilled rotor, blanchard ground and nickel plated for $325.

I couldn't even give my other used one away and sold it for $125 with the stock rear MC.
My observations tally with Coco. So many Norton owners upgrade their braking systems that a lot of the standard stuff is available and cheap or even sometimes free. I don't think many people would buy a standard caliper for $300 regardless of the condition.
Thanks for all of the suggestions and will be trying them out this weekend. Interesting thread Cookie posted. Brake fluid/acetone or atf/acetone for penetrating oil.

I had checked the prices for Lockheed calipers. Plain rebuilds start around $250 and polished with stainless pistons get to $590.
$220 (caliper and adapter plate) and you are ready to go. I paired this Grimeca caliper with a 11mm master cylinder and have an excellent front stopper.


Lockheed calipers
JimC said:
$220 (caliper and adapter plate) and you are ready to go. I paired this Grimeca caliper with a 11mm master cylinder and have an excellent front stopper.

...i am absolutely with Jim. had the old lockheed caliper rebuild with new pistons and so on....worked better [of course...].
then i fitted a 13mm mastercylinder [a brembo ps13 for a few euros from ebay...] instead of the original lockheed master cylinder [think original lockheed has a 15mm piston or so? in any case too large for the system!] and braided steel hose...also an improvement.
But: then i changed to this grimeca caliper with a 12" floating disc [FRONT BRAKE UPRATE KIT TWO from RGM for 195 bpounds].
and this is realy an improvement!!!
next time i have to change to a 11mm master cylinder like JimC then i think it is the best you can get for a reasonable price.
maybe also interesting for you is this ratio chart from vintage break:

ad exhaust system.....how about a ss system? not so much weight on only one bracket.....

bye, chris
After a couple days soaking with brake fluid/acetone I got chance to see if it worked. The caliper I thought was useless actually came apart with a little nudge with compressed air. It was fairly clean inside and should be fine. The other one needs a bit more work.
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