While working on Richard’s Ferrari 458 Italia, we needed to verify the torque specs on his brake caliper bleeder valves. Due to some misunderstanding on how his torque wrench works, Richard may have accidentally snapped off the bleeder screw. This is a pretty common thing as the bleeders are made of a softer metal (aluminum) and are prone to being rounded off or snapping off and getting stuck in the brake caliper.

At first we tried using my speedout reverse drill bit set. After numerous attempts to reverse out the broken bleeder, we were unsuccessful. We tried screw drivers, heating it up with a blow torch, chisels, and just about anything else we could think of. Ultimately after quite a few hours, the speed out drill bit shattered and the hardened steel bit was jammed into the remnants of the bleeder. This made is impossible to get any sort of access to the screw and we were forced to remove the caliper and take it to a machine shop.

A new brake caliper costs about $3500 for a Ferrari 458 Italia with the carbon ceramic brakes. A used caliper is about $1700. The machine shop only charged Richard $80 and did an outstanding job. The did not have to use a helicoil or drill out the bleeder. By using a powerful reverse bit, they were able to remove the bleeder and not even damage the existing threads.

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