Can Brake Calipers Be Installed Upside Down? (Do The Right Way)

When it comes to tinkering with your car’s brake system or changing a few things up a bit, you may have to remove the brake calipers or even replace them with new ones.

However, when you are now about to install the calipers, there are some instances where you might end up installing one or a few calipers in the wrong way. So, can brake calipers be installed upside down?

Can you put calipers on upside down?

It is possible for brake calipers to be installed upside down, especially if you made a mistake in installing them. They may still work when installed upside down. However, you will have a very hard time bleeding the brakes if you install the brake calipers upside down.

Just because brake calipers may still work when installed upside down, brackets interchange (front and back) or bracket sides reversed, it does not mean that it is perfectly okay for them to be installed as such.

This is why it is important that you make sure that you have your brake calipers installed the right way. You will never know how difficult it is for you to bleed the breaks if you actually installed your calipers upside down.

Does the position of brake calipers matter?

When you are overhauling your vehicle or when you are looking to make some changes and replacements to the brake system, there might be instances where you would have to remove or even replace the brake calipers.

That also means that you need to reinstall the brake calipers again after you are done with what you are supposed to do.

The brake calipers are very important to the overall function of the vehicle. That is because the calipers are the ones responsible for essentially clamping the rotors to make the vehicle stop in its place when you are stepping on the brake pedal.

As such, you need to make sure that the brake calipers have been installed properly or are working as well as they should.

So, when you are installing your brake calipers, does it even matter what position you installed them in? Can you simply install your brake calipers in whatever position and whatever side you may want to install them on?

In most cases, brake calipers will still work well even if you installed them on the wrong side or position. When installed on any wheel on your car, the calipers should still be able to function well enough when you are pressing on the brakes.

However, there are a few things you need to know in relation to this.

Most brake calipers are made to be specific to one side of the car in the sense that the entry valve for the brake fluid and the bleed nipple is positioned in strategic areas. In relation to the caliper itself, it will still work when installed on the wrong side of the car. The same can be said when it comes to the brake fluid entry valve, which should still work well enough even when you install the brake caliper in the wrong position.

Let us quickly look at how brake calipers work. When you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid should flow into the caliper to create pressure on the pistons. This is why it is important for the caliper to have an entryway for the fluid. But, even if you positioned your caliper wrongly, there the hose will still be able to reach the valve when you install the caliper.

But the biggest problem here is in relation to the bleed nipple. And this leads us to our next point in this discussion…

Can brake calipers be installed upside down?

On top of how brake calipers can be positioned on the wrong side of the car, you may also end up making the mistake of installing them upside down.

In most cases, the brake calipers will still work well when they are installed upside down. This is why you might still be able to drive well enough and have your brakes working properly if you installed the calipers upside down.

Then again, just because you can install the brake calipers upside down, it does not mean that you should. The biggest issue you will have is in relation to the bleed nipples, which play an important role when it comes to maintaining your brake system.

When you want to renew the brake fluid found in the brake caliper, you would have to open the bleed nipples in the calipers. These nipples are small valves found on each caliper in your car.

By turning the bleed nipples, you will be able to drain fluid and excess air bubbles from the brake caliper and allow your brake system to work better. Bleeding the calipers completely is also important when it comes to replacing the faulty components of your brake system.

So, when you install the calipers upside down, what happens here is that the bleed nipples will be situated in such a way that it will be nearly impossible for you to turn the valves and bleed the brake system. You would have to go through extreme measures just so you could bleed the brakes.

As such, while your calipers will still work when installed upside down, it is not the best decision because of how bleeding the brakes will be very difficult for you to do. This is why you need to make sure that you install your caliper’s right side up.

Which way do calipers go?

If you want to know which way calipers go, the best way to know is to look at the bleed nipples. The bleed nipples should always be above the entry valve for the fluid. So, when the entry valve is at the top, and the bleed nipples are at the bottom, then that means that you installed your calipers upside down.

Which way do you turn the caliper piston to compress it?

When you want to turn the caliper piston to compress it, turning it clockwise should be the right direction. Also, when turning the caliper piston, make sure that you be careful with the clamp that you are using to turn it because the pressure you put into the clamp might be more than enough to the point that it will damage the thread inside the piston.

Sources

Torquecars.com: Fitting a brake caliper upside down

SVTperformance.com: Screwing in the rear caliper piston

ck5.com: Did I install my calipers upside down