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Discussion Starter #1
FML.

So I finally decided to do the brake upgrade on my 2001 AC to the later 1-gen brakes. I began amassing all the parts two weeks ago with the intention of doing the job this weekend in time for our trip to the Outer Banks this week and the Carlisle show in two weeks. I bought all the parts online except for the calipers which I planned on buying locally so I didn’t have the hassle of having to ship the cores back to the vendor.

Last Sunday I went to my favorite Auto Zone to get the calipers. They don’t have what I need in stock (not surprising, but that’s OK) and said they could have them in by Tuesday. OK. That’s fine. I make the payment and order the calipers which arrive on Tuesday as promised. So far, so good.

Then Wednesday evening I opened the boxes with the intention of starting to paint the calipers so they would be ready to install today. If you’ve ever painted brake calipers you know that caliper paint is very thin and runny and takes each coat a long time to dry so I wanted to start ahead of time so I’d be all set when I started to do the install.

That’s when things started to go wrong. When I opened the boxes one of the calipers had its bleeder valve bent at a 45 degree angle. It looks like at some point along the way the box got dropped and landed with the bleeder valve pointing straight down resulting in the damage. So I immediately took it back to Auto Zone.

Since again this is not a part they keep in stock, they checked the computer for the inventories of the other A.Z. stores in the area and saw that a store about 5 miles away had what I needed. Great. This may work out yet. The nice young lady calls the other store to verify they have the part, gets put on semi-eternal hold and after about 10 minutes the person on the other end says that even though the computer say they have it, these is no such caliper on the shelf. Crap.

And so my store would have to order another one which wouldn’t be in until Friday (yesterday). I wasn’t too happy about that but if that was the best they could do then that was the best they could do. This put me way behind schedule but I figured I could paint the calipers Friday night and hope they were dry enough to work with today.

So yesterday I stopped by A.Z. after work and guess what? No caliper. A different guy started to check the computer again and said “Oh. Good. The store 5 miles away has one.” I said no they don’t either. Completely ignoring me, the guy calls the other store and just like I said, the computer says they have it but the shelf says otherwise.

They promised the replacement I ordered it would be in this morning at 9:00am for sure. (Yeah. Right. I’ve heard that before.) Now I’m really pissed but what else could I do? I went home, got online and proceeded to search every Advanced Auto store in the area for what I needed. No one had them, of course. Out of desperation I checked the local Pep-Boys. Lo and Behold they had the calipers! Things are starting to look up. I usually don’t like Pep-Boys but since all remanufactured calipers probably come from the same factory I figured it would be OK. I took the remaining caliper back to A.Z., asked for a refund and said let's forget the whole thing. And then it is off to Pep-Boys.

I get back home from P.B. with my new calipers, open up the boxes and….. WTF? I had two right-side calipers and no left side caliper. I checked the boxes and the part numbers were correct yet I had two identical calipers. So back to Pep-Boys I go.

Now it really gets interesting (or maybe the word is “ridiculous”). When I get to the parts counter the guy (an older gentleman (and I use the term loosely) whom I would have thought would have had some experience on the subject) tells me that the parts are correct and I was looking at one of them upside down. (He can’t be serious). I said no, that isn’t right. If I turn one upside down the hose won’t line up and the bleeder screw would be on the bottom. You can’t have a bleeder screw on the bottom because the fluid would run out when you tried to bleed them. Besides, if the same caliper was to be used on both sides, why were there two separate part numbers? The guy insisted that the part numbers on the box were right therefore the parts must be right. Now I’m getting a little steamed. (I was waiting for him to make a remark about “damn foreign cars” or “buy American” but much to my surprise he didn’t.)

Finally the old man says let’s go over to the shop and talk to a “master mechanic” (I didn’t know Pep-Boys employed such people) to get his opinion. Oddly enough, the “master mechanic” took my side of the argument and says, yes, I have two calipers for the same side; one of them must have got mislabeled at the factory. If I was to turn one upside down the hose wouldn't line up and the bleeder screw would be on the bottom and you can’t have a bleeder screw on the bottom because the fluid would run out when you tried to bleed them. (Gee. How about that?) Then the parts dude started to get mad because he had been made to look like a fool and betrayed by a co-worker. I then insisted on a complete refund and the old guy grudgingly rang me up and uncharged my credit card.

So here I sit with no calipers to finish my brake job which will have to wait at least three more weeks before I have another free weekend.

FML.
 

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Wow I hope you can get your parts. Have you checked with online vendors for your calipers? I came across some week before last that even came painted with several colors to choose from.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow I hope you can get your parts. Have you checked with online vendors for your calipers? I came across some week before last that even came painted with several colors to choose from.
Yes, but as I said in the O.P. I didn't want to buy them online because of the hassle of mailing back the cores. And I did find a site that sells pre-painted calipers but they cost about twice as much as unpainted calipers. A can of paint, some masking tape, and a little patience is much cheaper.
 

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I missed that part however do all vendors have a core charge?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I missed that part however do all vendors have a core charge?
If they don' they charge you more and you still end up paying for it.
 

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I just did the upgrade. I bought the caliper on line from RockAuto. They charged me $112.50 for the core charge. I shipped the cores back in the same boxes they came in. FedEx charged me $35 for shipping due to the weight and distance. Not all that big of a deal considering what the OP went through. FYI, I bought loaded Raybestos for $107 each.
 
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