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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i have searched and not found this posted so i thought i would put up a brake install how-to for those hesitant to attempt the maintenance. after the dealer quoted me at $4-500 for the front brakes i decided it was something i would try to do myself.

what you need:

1/2" breaker bar
1/2" drive and torque wrench
3/8" drive and torque wrench
3/4 or 19mm socket to remove your wheels
14mm and 18mm sockets to remove the caliper and brake pad holder
brake pad spreader tool to push in the piston ($5.99)
brake cleaner in a can
wd-40 and a mallet or hammer to knock off the old rotor
car jack which can be found in your trunk
car jack stands for extra support
gloves

Rotors and brake pads too! Wagner ThermoQuiet Pads part no. PD866A are supposed to be decent and check with your dealer for your brake pakage, i needed 10.8" rotors

if you don't have tools like i didn't it will be expensive to buy all this stuff but it will more than pay for itself, especially if you start doing other work. more to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
step one:

we have to raise the car, be safe so it doesn't fall on you. park on level ground. engage your e-brake. at this point take your 1/2" breaker bar and loosen but don't remove the lock nuts on your wheel using a 3/4 or 19mm socket.

step two:

look in your manual to locate the jack points. jack the car up and make sure to add a jack stand for extra support. once it's lifted fully remove lock nuts from the wheel and remove the wheel.



step three:

we need to remove the two caliper guide pins to get the caliper off the rotor. take note, the bolt shown is the top one and has a rubber piece on the end, this bolt has to be reinserted in the top location when putting everything back on. use your 14mm socket to get them off, you may need to use your breaker bar to loosen them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
step four:

pull the caliper off and either tie it up with bungie cord or like i did use the second jack stand that is not being used to support it. you don't want to let the caliper hang from the brake line. it may be tough to pull the caliper off, use a prying tool if need be but be gentle.

step five:

we need to take the brake pad holder off next. there are two 18mm bolts that you can't miss. use the breaker bar to loosen them and then once removed take out your old brake pads.



examine your pads! my dealership was going on about how my life was in danger and the pads really needed changed (after they got me to pay for the rear drums). minimum thickness is 1mm and my old pads measured at 5mm. they probably had decent life left and were not in urgent need of changing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
step six:

we need to remove the rotor. give it a good spray of wd-40 where it has mated with rust to the hub. i couldn't pull it off, i had to use a hammer, a mallet would be better i guess.



and after you get it off (you can see the caliper being supported by the jack stand)



step seven: use your brake cleaner to clean everything up, the caliper, piston inside the caliper, hub, new rotor you are going to put on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
step eight:

put the new rotor on.



step nine:

put the brake pad holder back onto the rotor and then install the pads. just realign it with the bolt locations that were used to remove it. we need to torque these bolts good too. torque them to 80ft-lbs with your 1/2" torque wrench.



and here you can see the bolts top and bottom after being torqued...

 

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The Organizer
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Good stuff worthy of the Knowledge Base. :rep:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
step ten:

we need to put the caliper on. it won't fit over the rotor until we depress the piston. there are several ways to achieve this but i used a cheap brake spreaer tool to good effect. once you get the caliper over the rotor bolt it in place. remember to use the bolt with the rubber end on the top. torque these to 32 ft-lbs (384 in-lbs) with your 3/8" torque wrench.

(i don't have a pic of this step but it will look like this reassembled)



step eleven:

get your wheel back on there. tighten up the lock nuts a bit before you lower the car off the jack and jack stands. once on terra firma torque the lock nuts to 100 ft-lbs with your 1/2" torque wrench.

that's it! do the same thing on the other side. once done remove the blocks from your rear wheels, disengage the e-brake and pump the brake a few times before you take off or you might get into an accident when you go to brake and the pedal goes to the floor!

this job can easily be done on your own but having a buddy there to help out is great.



GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
 

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Good tutorial and photos.

:rep:

I added tags. That feature is handy if used properly. i've only begun using it.
 

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Hey Executor, did those new rotors have a coating of cosmoline on them? If so, did you just use brake cleaner to get it off? That's what I've always used on new ones when I get them. I'm guessing this was the first time you've ever done this. Or am I wrong? Reps to you for posting this. I'm sure it will help someone who's never done it before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Executor, did those new rotors have a coating of cosmoline on them? If so, did you just use brake cleaner to get it off? That's what I've always used on new ones when I get them. I'm guessing this was the first time you've ever done this. Or am I wrong? Reps to you for posting this. I'm sure it will help someone who's never done it before.
It had a coating of some oily substance. I sprayed some cleaner on there but I think I could have cleaned them better, I had a little smoke and the smell of burning the first time I went for a test ride. I searched and this is common after installing new brakes and rotors so I am not concerned.

This definately was my first time, I was looking for help on this site and no one seemed to have done it yet so I just took the initiative and did it. I put up the walkthrough for ppl like me to follow in the future and I hope it helps someone out. The old pads and rotors seemed fine, good for another 15,000 km or maybe more. This just illustrates the point that one cannot trust a dealership in Ontario! At least I changed them before the winter.
 

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Well, you did an excellent job for a first time effort. I gave you reps for that and I'm sure others will too.
 

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Reps for sharing with us!!! Maybe members who have been afraid to do brakes themselves will give it a try. It's nice to do a four wheel brake job yourself for under $100 instead of paying someone $200 to $300 do the same thing. I've never paid anyone to do my brakes in my life and i'm old LOL!!! I always do my Dad's brakes and a couple months ago i did my ex-girlfriends brakes.
 

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Good write up and pics Executor ! :rep:
 

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It had a coating of some oily substance.
Normal, just keeps them from rusting while sitting on the shelf.

Good job, nice pics! Hard to remember to get shots of stuff while you work hehe!Couple of side notes though:

[1] a largish C-Clamp can be used to compress the calipers to get the old pads out.
[2] if you took the cap off the brake fluid resevoir the calipers are easier to compress - and will stay compressed. Just be sure to clean the top cap before removal and keep dirt out of there while working - easily done cause you are no where near there.
[3] put a dab of grease at either end of the pad where they slide, in your picture you can see this area immediately to the left of the bolt/pin and would be the "top" of the pad. That little tab in there moves, greasing it a little is recommended. Not too much though, don't want it on the pad/rotor!

[4] A dab of high temp liquid gasket on the back of the pads where the caliper holds the pad in place - this can stop the screaming that sometimes occurs. This set up may already have that in the form of a shim but I've always done it and no squealing brakes.
 

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Great Job. On the Cali my rotors were replaced under warranty but I have done them on other vehicles.

Anyone handy with their tools ought to 'know' their brakes.

There are also some good how-to vids on sites selling rotors and pads that give extra confidence to those first timers.

http://www.mcc-marketing.co.uk/brakes_fitting.html
 

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Well, you did an excellent job for a first time effort. I gave you reps for that and I'm sure others will too.
looks like you did a good job...great pics!
 

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Just to pass along a tip, when installing new brake pads it is always a good idea to use CRC Disc Brake Quiet on the back of the brake pad backing plates. This prevents annoying brake squeal. A bottle of CRC is about $5 or less. You just put a little bit on the metal backing plate, spreading it around evenly, let it air dry for about 15 minutes and then install. Easy as cake. It's also a good idea to use brake caliper lubricant where the caliper pins move, to keep them free and operating properly. You can buy a small packets of this for about .99 cents each at most auto parts stores.

I hope this helps.
 

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Another trick for compressing the caliper piston is to take your old outer pad off, take a large "C" clamp and crank the piston in using your old pad as a contact point and automatic piston stop. Once you complete one side of your brake job, pump the brake pedal to regain pressure in the system and lower fluid levels in your master cylinder. Now you are ready for the other side. Repeat this step for the other side before driving. This will keep the master cylinder from overflowing and ruining the paint under your hood.
 
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