Are Brake Caliper Brackets Side Specific? (Our Recommendation)

When you are overhauling your car, and you need to do a brake job on the vehicle, you might end up removing the brake caliper brackets.

Or, if that’s not the case, you might end up having to replace the calipers with new ones when the calipers have become worn out. In such cases, it is important that you reinstall them. But are brake caliper brackets actually side specific, or are they interchangeable?

Are brake caliper brackets specific to any side?

Most calipers are sided for the purpose of fitting them, which means that the entry for the brake fluid and the bleed nipples are positioned in such a way that allows them to work well. You can still interchange them but bleeding the brakes will be more difficult if you were to do so.

The thing about brake caliper brackets is that they are not entirely specific to any side if you look at how they are constructed.

However, because there are cars that have calipers that have specific positions for the brake fluid entry and the bleed nipple, it is better to make sure that you install the caliper on the right side as this will allow the calipers to work at their best.

Does it matter where the brake caliper is mounted?

There are some people who might be overhauling their vehicles and may end up having to remove some of the different components of the brake system.

In some instances, there are those who have to remove certain components so that they can work on replacing some of the parts or materials that have become too worn out.

When it comes to those instances, one of the things you may need to remove is the brake calipers found in the car’s brake system. Or, if that’s not the case, you might need to remove the old brake calipers to replace them with new ones.

Now, it is important to note that the brake caliper has a vital job when it comes to your vehicle. That’s because the brake caliper is what’s responsible for essentially clamping the rotors when you are stepping on the brakes.

This allows the vehicle to come to a full stop. So, without the brake calipers, the car’s entire brake system won’t work properly.

Then again, when you are now reinstalling your brake calipers, you might be wondering if there is actually a specific side wherein a certain brake caliper should be mounted.

So, does it matter when the brake caliper is mounted?

In terms of how the car normally functions, then it probably doesn’t matter where the brake caliper is mounted. A brake caliper can be mounted on any side of the vehicle, and it will still work. This means that the brake caliper should still be able to function normally as it should, even if you did place it on the wrong side.

But, then again, just because a brake caliper that was mounted on the wrong side will still work, it doesn’t mean that it is perfectly okay for you to do so. That’s because you need to know those brake calipers are made to be side-specific when it comes to allowing them to work at their best.

So, while the calipers may still work when mounted on a different side, it still is better to mount them on the proper side.

Are brake calipers brackets side specific?

As mentioned, brake caliper brackets are indeed sided specific in the sense that a right caliper should be placed on the right wheel while the left caliper should be placed on the left wheel.

We did say that you can still have a brake system that works properly when the brake calipers are placed on different sides. But it still is better to follow the specific sides on which the brackets should be installed.

The reason why brake calipers are side specific is that the entryway for the brake fluid and the bleed nipple is placed in strategic positions that will allow the brake system to work at its best. And you need to understand the positioning of the bleed nipple is what is vital here.

For a quick rundown of how the brake calipers work, when you step on the brake pedals, what happens is that the brake fluid will create pressure on the pistons that are found in the caliper.

That means that the caliper needs to have an entryway for the fluid. This is why it is important for the brake fluid entryway to be situated on the proper side.

Still, even though you may have placed the brake caliper bracket on the wrong side, fluid will still enter the caliper as long as the hose is properly attached to it. This leads us to the discussion of how important the bleed nipple is.

The bleed nipple’s positioning is what’s most important here. Brake calipers are made to be side-specific in such a way that it would be easier for you to bleed the calipers whenever there is a need to do so. Because the calipers may end up getting filled with air, it is important for you to make sure that you bleed them from time to time so that they will be able to work properly.

However, if you made a mistake and managed to put the brake caliper on the wrong side, what happens here is that the bleed nipple will be positioned in such a way that it would be difficult for you to bleed the brake system.

This is why it still is better to follow the specific side on which the brake calipers should be mounted.

The calipers will still work properly if they are placed on the wrong sides. But the fact of the matter is that bleeding the brake system will be very difficult.

What determines brake caliper placement?

The best way to determine the placement of the brake caliper is to look at the bleed nipple. Calipers should be positioned in such a way that the bleed nipple will be at the top.

So, if the bleed nipple is at the bottom while the entryway for the brake fluid is at the bottom, that means that you made a mistake when you installed the calipers.

Sources

MVorganizing.org: Are brake calipers interchangeable

Pitstopusa.com: How to determine brake caliper mounting positions

Cargurus.com: Brake Calipers