Bracketed Vs Unbracketed Brake Caliper- Figuring Out The Difference!

What is the difference between bracketed and unbracketed brake caliper? Bracketed calipers are cheaper compared to unbracketed brake calipers. There are many other differences, including installation, working mechanisms, durability, and more.

So, it’s crucial to get the best suitable one to meet all your braking needs.

However, in this in-depth article, we are going to discuss bracketed vs unbracketed brake calipers. We will try to differentiate them in the simplest form, which will aid you in understanding the best brake calipers for you.

Bracketed Vs unbracketed brake caliper

Key AspectsBracketed brake caliperUnbracketed brake caliper
Installation differencesEasier to installDifficult to install
Working mechanismCapable of guiding the caliper pin slides inside the boreIt is bolted on brakes without pins in its bolt
DurabilityMore durableLess durable
Safety & protection featuresMore safety & protection featuresLess safety & protection features, but it offer better performance
Best compatibilityIt is compatible with maximum car modelsBes compatible with high-performance cars
Price DifferenceCheaperExpensive

Let’s check out the differences between these two brake calipers in the guide below.

Installation Differences

The first and most noticeable difference comes in the installation.

Bracketed brake calipers have slider pins and brackets that mount to the suspension. The slider pins of the bracketed brake calipers are 2 pieces. To install a bracketed brake caliper, you are only required to use a flat screwdriver that grabs both sides of the slider pins concurrently and will fit via the hole and pop them out.

After that, you have to do the reverse to install them together again. You need to do front to back and one side at once to complete the installation process. You can reuse the slider pins. After researching, we have found out that many people have used the slider pins for numerous years and a lot of brake tasks.

They only replace them when either the rubber starts wearing down or the 2 halves get separated. In addition, if you want to know how to remove brake caliper bracket, you need to know that you can easily pull out the slide pins to remove it. A bracketed brake caliper is a much simpler setup than the unbracketed ones.

On the other hand, unbracketed brake calipers are a little difficult to install compared to bracketed brake calipers. They do not have sliding pistons. You will need rear parking brake hardware and pad installation hardware to install them.

Working Mechanism

The bracketed brake calipers act as the stopping surface for a caliper mounting bracket and the brake pads and bolts on a vehicle’s steering knuckle. We have found them compatible with the vehicle’s steering knuckle and the brake support. They are capable of guiding the caliper pin slides inside the bore. In addition, you could remove or permanently mount the brakes on the caliper slide pin.

An unbracketed brake caliper is an effective part of the automobile brake system. It is bolted on brakes without pins in its bolt. You can also find out that it is connected to the metal rotors, which rotate together with the wheels, and they function as a clamp.


You see, the slide pins of the bracketed brake calipers are very durable, and you do not have to worry about them wearing down for a long time. A bracketed brake caliper lasts better compared to an unbracketed brake caliper.

We have found that older model vehicles like the 2000 Ford F150, 2002 Ford F250, and 2004 Ford F150 with bracketed brake calipers have very few brake problems.

On the other hand, we found that an unbracketed brake caliper operates with several pistons inside the inboard and outboard valves. They are not very durable, and you may need to replace them after every 3 months.

Safety & Protection Features

A bracketed brake caliper comes with a rubber boot that stops water and salt from coming inside the bore as they can create deterioration and binding. The bracketed brake calipers slide on the pins, thereby serving as a clamp, which compresses the outboard against the rotor.

They contain a piston on one side of the disk of the brake calipers and a pad on the other side of the disk that contacts the sides. The slide pins of the bracketed brake calipers would go in either way but have an expansive side and a narrow side. When we looked closely at the brake caliper and mount, we found that one side is broader than the other.

Also Read: AC Delco Vs Wagner Brake Pads- Find The Best One

Keep in mind that they can pop out if you put them in the wrong way. Other than that, a bracketed brake caliper is an extremely easy and secure system. In addition, a bracketed brake caliper comes together with hardware like pins, sliders, and boots which is great as that way, you will not need to take out the brake calipers to clean, examine, and re-lube.

On the other hand, an unbracketed brake caliper does not come with any hardware. It may not have as many safety and protection features as a bracketed brake caliper, but it offers better performance compared to the bracketed one. An unbracketed brake caliper contains 2, 4, 6, or even 8 pistons.

Best Compatibility

The bracketed brake calipers are compatible with maximum car models. Older Ford truck models like 1991-1995 F150, F250, F350 trucks and 2000, 2002, 2004 F150, F250, F350 trucks come with bracketed brake calipers. Also, the 1993 Dodge Stealth ES car and the 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T car come with bracketed brake calipers.

On the other hand, the unbracketed brake calipers are compatible with high-performance cars. The 1992 Dodge Stealth RT Twin Turbo car comes with unbracketed brake calipers.

Price Difference

Are all calipers the same? You need to know that they are not. Their prices are different. A bracketed brake caliper is normally cheaper compared to an unbracketed brake caliper.

You will get a bracketed brake caliper in the price range of$25 to $60. On the other hand, you will get an unbracketed brake caliper in the price range of 40 dollars to 75 dollars.

A Helpful Tutorial You May Need!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between bracketed and Unbracketed caliper?

There are many differences and some similarities between these two brake calipers. Both are crucial parts of the automobile, which help regulate the car on the street. Still, they are different in the installation process, working mechanism, durability, safety & protection features, and compatibility. Bracketed brake calipers are cheaper compared to unbracketed brake calipers.

Can I reuse the caliper bracket?

Yes, you can reuse the caliper bracket over and over again. It is absolutely fine. The only thing you are required to be cautious about is the condition of the slide pins. In case they are slightly rough on the surface, replace them. Or else your new brake caliper can get stuck again very quickly. Generally, the slide pins last for a long time, and you can reuse them as well.

How much does it cost to replace a calipers bracket?

The average cost to replace a caliper bracket can range between $350 to $800. If you visit a leading retailer company of automotive replacement parts, AutoZone, you will find out that the front brakes calipers can cost you around$40 to $440. It will depend on the type of car you are using. A rear brake caliper will normally be slightly more expensive.


The braking system aids the driver to regulate a car on the street. While the driver put on pressure on the car’s braking system, the brake calipers aid to stop the car’s braking system. So, you must know how the car’s brake system functions and how various calipers contribute to the car’s movability on the street.

When figuring out the difference between the bracketed and unbracketed brake caliper, we found out that bracketed brake calipers are more durable and easier to install. They are also cheaper, have more safety & protection features, and are compatible with maximum car models.

On the other hand, the unbracketed brake calipers offer better performance and are compatible with high-performance cars. So, if you have a high-performance car and need better performance, you can go with unbracketed brake calipers. Or else, go with the bracketed ones.

You Can Also Read:

D Conroy

Meet our senior writer and content manager of Automasterx. He has worked in several mechanical garages and mastered different vehicle diagnoses and parts repair. He never stops until finding out the ultimate solutions for any vehicle fault code. However, ensuring the only solid solutions for each vehicle malfunction is his core part of the duty, alongside analyzing fault codes and signals.

Similar Posts