Replacing Brake Pads

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Project Box
Part Number(s): Various
Part Cost: $20 - $45
Best Place to buy: Ebay or AutohauzAZ or Napa
Cost to Have it done in a shop: $300
Difficulty Level: 5
How long it may take: 1 hour
Frequency: Every 30,000 miles, depending on your foot weight. :) When they squeal.
Tools needed: Standard Tools
Special tools needed: None

READ: Brake Dust Debate

Parts you will need:

4 sets of brake pads 2 sensors Brake pad paste

Tools you will need: 19mm socket & racketing wrench Hammer & punch (or nail)

1. Break (loosen) the lugs on your wheel, and then jack the car up, put your jack stands up, and then take off your wheel. Put your wheel near your rotor, so you will have a place to put your caliper when you take it off. (You can use a small garden stool, or SOMETHING just so your caliper isn't dangling.)

(Before this next step, you can go ahead and take out the pins if you wish, there is no "correct" order.

2. Using a 19MM socket, take off your caliper. It's the TWO huge bolts, on the inner side of your car. The pictured image below is of a front caliper. The read doesn't have that black plastic thing.


3. Put the caliper on some sort of stool/wheel, whatever.




4. Take out the pins, you can use a tool or just a nail will work.


Rear set Shown OR


With it on the Caliper (Front set shown)

5. Then, you can just pull the pins out, it shouldn't be too hard. If this is your first time, study how it's all put together. The metal cross in the middle is called the anti-rattle clip. It goes under the pins.

Tip: I threw my pins and the anti-rattle clip in small container and WD-40'd them when I first took them off. This takes a lot of grime off.


6. Lift out the rattle clip, and you will see the brake pads.


7. Slide the brake pads out, (use vice-grips, whatever if you can't do it by hand)


Yeah, my calipers are in terrible shape.



Rear Caliper with no Brake Pads in it Front Caliper with no Brake Pads in it

Now, this is the difficult part, especially if your calipers are in as terrible shape as mine. I'm sure there is a special tool to do this, or some certain way to do this properly, but this is how I have done it, and it works well. The problem is, on both sides of the caliper, you can see the circular things that push the brake pads into the rotor to stop the car. But when you take the caliper off the rotor, the pressure your car has built up all the time, causes them to extend, as you can see in the above pictures. The problem is, you can't get the new thick (comparably) brake pads in, and and then put the set around the rotor, because it's almost impossible to push them down, in order the slide the new brakes in and slide that around the rotor. So this is what I do.

8. Screw back on the Caliper. IF you are replacing your rotor, and feel that this step may nick or scratch your new rotor (depending on the type of tool you are using) put back on your old one. (Hey, if the rotor is off, you may want to replace your parking brake and or adjust your parking brake)


Now you may be able to see what problem I am trying to explain. You can't put the new brakes in, the calipers are in the way. You need to push them flush with the caliper so you can slide the new ones in.

9. Get a crowbar (or something, I've even used the lug wrench),



And carefully push the caliper so that it's now flush and you can slide in your new brake pad. When you push one side down, the other one comes out more (this makes sense, because that brake fluid has to go somewhere). So only worry about doing one at a time.

10. Now use your brake pad grease/paste the paste up your brake pad BACK!

You can use any ol' brake pad grease, I just bought a tube of it from the local auto parts store, it's cheaper than the $1 packets of this stuff MB sells. for $8 you can get enough for a lifetime of brake jobs.


Spread it around


11. Slide the one in.


12.The use your tool (I used small crowbar) to push the other caliper in, flush.

13. Then just put the other one in.


Nice -eh?



14. Now, put the anti-rattle-clip back in place, and put the pin back in.


Make sure the clip is below or under the clip. as shown.


You may need to tap in the pin back in, and you can also use the tool you used to take them out with.


Now you should be done with installation!!!



Now, you should read what your brakes say about breaking them in. Mine said to drive around and from about 40 smoothly brake down to 10 and continue to do this for a while. Hopefully there is no grease on your rotor. Mine came with quite a bit on them.

Other Guides: backup brakes 1