Essex Caliper Spreader

Part #: 17.01.10000

Brand: Essex

***NOTE: Due to a high level of demand for this product, we are currently experiencing extended lead times. We appreciate your patience as we work to fulfill orders ASAP.***

When changing brake pads, a few squeezes of the Essex Caliper Spreader will quickly and completely press your caliper pistons back into their bores, making space for your new brake pads to drop right in.

  • Specifically designed with large end plates for use in six and four piston AP Racing brake calipers
  • Versatile- Also works with many other aftermarket caliper brands and OEM calipers of various types (both single piston and fix piston opposed)
  • Durable- Made completely of steel and aluminum (no plastic)
  • Compact- Fits into tight spaces in wheel well, and easily fits inside your track toolbox
  • Simple- Caulk gun-style trigger is easy to compress and fully retracts pistons in 5-6 squeezes
  • Safe- Eliminates risk of damaging discs, caliper pistons, or dust boots when retracting pistons by other means
  • Affordable- costs less than one set of brake pads but will save you time on every pad change for years
  • With enough use, you may develop bear-like grip strength!


The product you’re after is currently not ready to ship, but please don’t panic! We can likely put it in your hands very soon. For brake kits or disc kits, we typically have the components on-hand to build one for you, and most ship within 2 business days of the order date. Please call us at 704-824-6030 for a firmer delivery timeline.  |  Add to Wishlist


Nobody likes swapping brake pads, and one of the most annoying parts of the process is getting the caliper pistons fully pushed back into the caliper body to make room for the fresh pads. We never seem to have the right tool on-hand, so we instead reach for any lever within arm’s reach: a block of wood, a pry bar, or even a brake pad turned on its side. All those methods put your costly brake components at risk of being damaged. Pressing hard, sharp objects against the discs, pistons, or dust boots can gouge, tear, or scrape them, while using an expensive racing brake pad as a lever is the perfect way to have the pad compound crack or separate from the backing plate. These types of implements are also particularly ill-suited for trying to concurrently retract all three pistons on each side of a six-piston caliper. They typically aren’t long enough to cover all three pistons at once, which means the pistons are popping in and out like an evil game of Whac-A-Mole! Fear not, we have your solution. The Essex Caliper Spreader is the perfect companion for quickly and easily swapping brake pads. It’s versatile, compact, easy to use, and costs less than a single set of brake pads.


We designed the Essex Caliper Spreader to be the perfect size for all the calipers found in our AP Racing by Essex Brake Kits. Whether you’re running one of our Road or Competition Kits, with Radi-CAL or conventional calipers, this tool has you covered. The end plates are longer than most other commercially available spreaders, which means they’ll cover all three pistons of a six-piston caliper at once, while still being short enough to fit inside four piston calipers. Ours also has a longer throw, which means that on most calipers you can fully retract the pistons. Our spreader also works great with a wide variety of other aftermarket and OEM calipers. The end plates are tall enough to reach down into many of today’s calipers that use brake pads with taller radial depths, which is particularly common with carbon ceramic disc systems. It also has a great range of travel and will work on brake discs of just about any width (minimum disc width of 15mm to a max tool spread of 88mm).

Confirmed caliper fitments below. As we and our clients confirm more fitments we will add them to this list:

  • AP Racing Radi-CAL Competition Calipers- CP9668, CP9669, CP9660, CP9661, CP944x, CP945X
  • AP Racing Conventional Competition Calipers- CP8350, CP5060, CP5040
  • AP Racing Radi-CAL Road Calipers- CP956x, CP954x
  • OEM Calipers
    • C8 Corvette Z06 front/rear (shown below)

Protects your Pricey Brake Components

The brake systems on many of today’s high-performance street or racing vehicles are loaded with expensive components. Many contain delicate painted caliper finishes, stainless steel or titanium caliper pistons, ceramic piston caps, and carbon ceramic discs worth thousands of dollars apiece. Wielding a screwdriver or other tool not designed for the job of piston retraction around these pricey components is a recipe for costly mistakes.

Durable and Portable

Manufactured completely from steel and aluminum, there aren’t any fragile plastic bits to bend or break. Store it in your toolbox or track box alongside your other go-to tools without worrying about hurting it. The steel end plates are zinc coated for corrosion resistance, and the entire unit is very compact. It doesn’t have long handles, so it’s easier to fit it into tight spaces up inside your car’s wheel wells. It also tucks away neatly for travel, and you don’t have to worry about whacking your car, your wheels, etc. with it.

Quick and Easy to Use

Using the Essex Pad Spreader is a breeze. First, loosen the cap on your brake fluid reservoir. Then remove the brake pads on both sides of the brake disc, insert the spreader into the top of the caliper, squeeze 5 or 6 times, and your pistons are all retracted into their bores. You’ll no longer need to swap the pads on each side of the caliper separately, nor will you have to worry about damaging anything.

Caution: You shouldn’t have to exert extreme force on the tool to press the caliper pistons back into their bores. If you’re trying to use this tool on an OEM caliper and having to squeeze extremely hard, this likely isn’t the correct tool for the job. Some OEM calipers pistons are screwed, not pressed, back into the caliper body, and others are retracted by turning a screw on the side of the caliper body (thank you NA Miata rear calipers!). Also please note that brake fluid is corrosive and can remove the finish from the handles if it is left on there.


Costs less than one set of brake pads!

***Ratchet and socket above not included- shown for size/scale purposes***

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