Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

Which brake caliper guide pin goes on top? If you forgot which one to use while reinstalling the brake calipers, then our guide will help you out.

The brake caliper is an essential component of the disc brake that helps in stopping your car. You will find two round metal pins on each caliper which are known as guide pins

We call them a guide pin because they guide the brake pads to meet at an appropriate angle with the rotor.

After using the brake caliper for several years, its components become damaged, and you need to replace it with a new one. But while replacing it alone at home, you may get confused about which brake caliper guide pin goes on top.

In this article, I will discuss the brake caliper and guide pins that will help you reinstall a new caliper on your vehicle.


Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top?

I researched this topic a bit and concluded that you would find one guide pin with rubber bushing, whereas in another pin, you would not find any bushing. 

The guide pin without bushing will fit on the top of the caliper. However, you need to remember that inappropriate insertion of the guide pins can affect your car’s stopping ability, which can be dangerous.

What Is a Brake Caliper?

The brake caliper is one of the essential components of the braking system, which can start and stop your vehicle. In most cars, you will find disc brakes either on the front wheel and rear-wheel or at least on the front wheel. 

In a disc brake, you will find a rotor or disc attached to the wheel of your car. The disc will have so many vents or holes to liberate all the heat generated within it. 

This is where the brake caliper comes in. It can fit over the disc or rotor just like clamps on a door. The caliper’s work is to slow down the wheels of your car by creating friction on the rotor or disc.


Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

How Brake Caliper Helps In Stopping Your Vehicle?

In disc brakes, you will find a master cylinder. Whenever you apply brakes, the brake fluid from the master cylinder moves towards the brake caliper. Inside the brake caliper, you will find pistons. 

These pistons are attached to the pair of brake pads. These brake pads are metallic plates. You will discover an outboard brake pad outside the disc or rotor, and the inboard brake pad is towards your vehicle.

Once the brake fluid reaches the brake caliper, it exerts pressure on the piston equally in all directions. As a result, the piston will force the brake pads against the rotor or disc. The brake pads have a high surface area of friction which can slow down the rotor.


Nowadays, manufacturers are switching from drum brakes to disc brakes. It is because, in disc brakes, the brake pads are outside of the disc. So they ventilate efficiently, and the heat does not build up quickly. 

But if I will talk about the drum brakes, then the brake shoes lie inside the drum. So the heat builds up inside the drum, which finally leads to loss of efficiency in braking power.

What Are Caliper Guide Pins?

The guide pins are two round pins that are present on each caliper near the piston assembly. If Your caliper does not move freely, then the culprit may be guide pins. The round pins may become flatten or swollen because of excessive heat on the brakes. 

Again, if you don’t lubricate them from time to time, they will cause excessive movement of the brake caliper, which can cause a rattling sound even if you don’t apply brakes. A damaged guide pin can also cause the brake pad to become wear and tear within a short time.  


Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

Why Is There a Rubber Sleeve On the Lower Caliper Guide Pin?

Whenever you disassemble the caliper from your wheel and try to open the guide pins, you will observe that the upper caliper pin does not have cute rubber sleeves, but the lower one has it. So people wonder why these rubber sleeves are present in the lower guide pin?

The rubber sleeve helps in providing extra friction and prevents the caliper from creating a rattling sound.

You need to lubricate the rubber sleeves from time to time. But choosing the proper lubricant matters a lot. It’s best to use silicone grease or any synthetic lubricant because they can withstand high temperatures.  

Other lubricants can make the rubber sleeve swell or damage. If the rubber boots fail to seal the caliper, then water may enter inside the caliper. Water is dangerous for your braking system. Once the water mixes with the brake fluid, it can create spongy brakes or total brake failure. The water may heat along with brake fluid and convert into steam. The superheated air decreases the efficiency of the vehicle.

Again, you need to remove all the dust and dirt from the two guiding pins before lubrication. Once you complete all the above tasks, you reinsert the guiding pins back into the brake caliper. Then you are ready to start your vehicle.

Answers To More Questions About Brake Calipers

#1. Where does the caliper pin with rubber go?

The caliper pin with rubber goes on the bottom hole of the caliper bracket. These rubbers will prevent the dust, dirt, and water from entering inside the caliper.


Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top


#2. Why does one caliper pin have a rubber?

The lower caliper pin has rubber sleeves that act as an anti-rattle device. It provides extra friction by which the brake caliper doesn’t produce a rattling sound.

#3. Should both caliper pins move?

Both the caliper pins should move freely. You need to clean both the guide pins and the bracket where you will insert the pins to get rid of dust, dirt, and old grease.

#4. Does it matter which caliper goes where?

Yes, it matters a lot. Insertion of the wrong guide pin on the caliper bracket can cause your brake pad to become wear and tear within a short time. You will have other brake problems which are dangerous for your life and other drivers on the road.


Which Brake Caliper Guide Pin Goes On Top

Wrap Up

The brake caliper plays a vital role in stopping your vehicle. So you should keep it neat and clean and lubricate the caliper components from time to time. If you disassemble the caliper to change brake pads or any other purpose, you need to insert the appropriate guide pins on the caliper bracket while mounting back the brake caliper.


I hope this article has helped you give some information about the brake caliper and its guide pins. Please don’t forget to share your suggestions for this article. I would love to read your suggestions in the comment section.


Happy Driving!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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