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Removing brake rotors on '01 Outback


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15 replies to this topic

#1 beenaroo_01

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:19 PM

Hello folks,

I am a Subie newbie, if you pardon the rhyme... I would like to replace front brake pads and rotors on my gf's '01 Outback H6 and looking for a few pointers:

1. Replacing pads and rotors for ABS and non-ABS systems is the same, right? I've never worked with ABS cars ;-)

2. I saw a DIY about front brakes on the Outback, but I am still unclear about how front rotors are removed. I understand caliper bolts and the calipers come out, but it looks like the caliper mount/support bracket is still in the way... Is that support removed as well?

3. How are the rotors attached and are any special tools needed to remove them?

Thank you in advance.

#2 94Loyale

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

It's real easy to do :) Once you get the calipers out of the way by pulling the 14mm bolt out. The pad holder is held on by two 17mm bolts on the back. (Anti-sieze these when you put them back in, sometimes they stick pretty good over time). Once you pull the pad holder out the rotor is free. If it's stuck, just tap it with a hammer between the wheel studs.

Edit- Yes, changing pads is the same process between ABS and non-ABS

#3 beenaroo_01

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 07:15 PM

Thank you for confirming this :grin:

I would like to ask opinion about friction parts now. Autozone has very nice prices on Duralast parts - 30 bucks per rotor and 30-55 bucks for a set of pads depending on material.

Their rotors looks fine:
http://contentinfo.a.../34203/image/8/

and I am guessing there wouldn't be a whole lot of difference between different brand rotors... Dealers would probably charge 4X for the same thing. What about pads - should I go semi-metallic or ceramic? I would like something that wear rotors slower but provides good stopping power...

Ultraquiet Ceramic (Gold Cmax):
http://contentinfo.a...DGC721/image/8/

Ceramic (Gold):
http://contentinfo.a.../DG721/image/8/

Semi-metallic:
http://contentinfo.a...MKD721/image/8/

Edited by beenaroo_01, 17 November 2009 - 07:19 PM.


#4 grossgary

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:28 PM

i have NAPA's "something ONE" or something like that, on my H6 OBW and am happy with those.

i wouldn't worry too much about brakes except to get a decent quality pad (not the el-cheapo's at the chain stores), and replace all the clips. the ones i got from napa came with all new clips.

do that and don't forget to grease the caliper slides/boots with brake caliper grease only.

#5 Rooster2

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:35 PM

Others like to complain about Autozone parts, but I don't. I installed their rotors and pads on my 98 OBW last summer with no complaints. Pads install the same with or without ABS, as others have said. You will need to a "screw down clamp," (for the life of me, I can't think of the precise name) to retract the double pistons before fitting the new pads. You are prolly already aware of this. I use a cardboard box to rest the caliber upon after removal, instead of letting it hang by the rubber brake line.

If the caliper bolts are really frozen on tight, use a lot of PB Blaster or penetrating oil, and maybe heat up the bolt head with a torch to get it to break loose. I broke the head off a caliber bolt doing my rotor job, because I didn't follow my own advise.........then the fun began.

#6 94Loyale

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:08 PM

Agreed, frozen bolts are not fun. 99% of the time I have no problem with the caliper bolt (should only be one 14mm on the front) But the caliper/brake pad holder bolts can be a real pain. The hole that the bolt goes through is too tight of a fit. I always slightly ream that hole out so that the bolt slides through nicely, and then anti-seize it for next time. One problem with aftermarket pads though can be the fit. Before installing new pads, clean the sliders (the thin metal things the brake pads slide into) with a wire wheel, and make sure the pads slide nicely when you install them. Almost every other set of pads I have to file down in order to slide properly. Otherwise your brakes will wear prematurely, and not stop as well. And as someone else stated, never let the caliper hang by the brake line. I just hang it on the axle.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:09 PM

I've had good luck with Duralast parts. I'd probably go with the high end ceramic pads, but I tend to be a bit rougher on brakes than most people. (read as: I drive it like I stole it) :lol: I prefer the brakes to be just as responsive after repeated hard braking as they are under normal conditions.

Little tip for the rotors. If there is a lot of rust build up on the hub sand it off before installing the rotors. This will help prevent them from warping due to excessive run-out. It also helps to sand down the inside of the wheel where it sits against the rotor. You don't want to do too much, but get the really heavy corrosion off.

#8 beenaroo_01

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:11 PM

Since fit may be a problem, and I hate when that happens, I might get pads at a Subaru dealer but get rotors at Autozone. If there is a possibility of aftermarket pads not fitting properly, I'd rather not take that chance.

I have Mercedes caliper grease, which I got for my own car a while back, so I will use that on backsides of pads/shims and sliders. I must say Subaru caliper is designed in a somewhat unusual way from what I'm used to seeing. Usually, I see the entire caliper assembly mounted onto the steering knuckle by 2 bolts, while they chose the 2-piece design. Perhaps it makes things easier.

I have a pad-spreader tool, which is essentially a modified C-clamp - one advice I read is to spread/reset one piston at a time, instead of both together.

Thanks for reminding me about PB Blaster!

As far as antiseize for the bolts, you don't necessarily want to do that. I've been advised by reputable Master Techs to use Loctite Blue on caliper bolts. It's a threadlocking compound, as you don't want your caliper bolts backing out! But this compound still prevents seizing when disassembling in the future.

Can someone please point me to proper torques for the caliper (14 mm) and caliper support (17 mm) bolts, as well as the lug nut torques? So far, I found 37 ft-lb for 14-mm, 57 ft-lb for 17 mm, and 65 ft-lb for lugnuts. Anyone have a factory service manual? ;-)

#9 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:25 PM

For dual pistons I use a large C clamp and a block of wood to drive them back evenly. Or sometimes I just push them back by hand.

Never had a problem with fitment of after market pads, especially higher end pads. The only times I have trouble getting new pads to fit are when the bracket is rusty or has a lot of dust buildup on it. A wire brush usually cures that. On rare occasion I've had to break out the old flat blade screwdriver and chisel the stuff away.

#10 CNY_Dave

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:54 AM

Low-end napa pads did not fit well, high-end napa pads fit perfectly and came with new shims.

I'd go for at least the low-end ceramic pads.

Don't forget to check the wheel where it contacts the hub-rotor, I had a lot of hardened crud buildup that caused some wheel shake and could potentially have deformed the rotor.

Dave

#11 beenaroo_01

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:40 AM

I had to do my front brakes first on the other car, so didn't get to it this weekend. :-(

One more question - how do the rotors fit on the hub? Are they bolted? I hear there are 8-mm bolts that could be used to press the rotors off if they are stuck on. Is that a correct size bolt, because I'd go to a hardware store and have 2 ready just in case...

#12 89Ru

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:20 PM

proper torques for the caliper (14 mm) and caliper support (17 mm) bolts, as well as the lug nut torques? So far, I found 37 ft-lb for 14-mm, 57 ft-lb for 17 mm, and 65 ft-lb for lugnuts.


Yep, these are good. Wirebrush and antisieze the hub/rotor contact faces.

Yes, rotors can be removed as you have stated with two 8mm bolts in the small holes to push them out. Not all rotors have this feature unfortunately.

Rotors are held onto the hub with lugnuts and rust :)

#13 beenaroo_01

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 06:27 PM

Success!! I replaced front pads and rotors. It's one of those jobs where I wish I had a lift, but it wasn't bad at all - I made sure all the bolts can be loosened on both sides before proceeding ;-)

I have to say those Duralast parts from Autozone are great! The rotors look quite high-quality and include two holes for 8-mm bolts to press them off. The pads came with built-in shims and were semi-metallic. I cleaned out the grooves and lubed the tabs on pads, and they went in just perfectly!

There was one interesting development which caught my eye...

Caliper bolts thread into studs, which in turn slide inside the bores of the caliper mounting bracket, and the studs are "sealed" with rubber bellows to keep lube inside the bores. The studs are supposed to move freely to allow the caliper to adjust and center. I found that on both sides of the car, the bottom stud would not extend, while the upper studs moved freely.

I finally worked a lower stud to get it to move, but it would retract immediately, as if by suction. When I pulled the stud out, I noticed a rubber grommet around it near its tip. There was plenty of lube, but then I had a problem with pushing the stud in because it wouldn't stay in - it would come back out.

It came to me then that the rubber grommet must have swollen from the lube and expanded, and the grooves that were molded on the outside of the grommet must have sealed against the bore as the stud was being pushed in, not allowing the air to come out of the bore and thus pushing the stud back out. I remedied this by removing some material from the grommet to create a deeper groove, and this allowed for free movement of the lower studs.

It's interesting that the upper studs don't have these grommets on them, while the lower ones do. What's up with that? I think both studs must move freely for even pad wear, so the caliper can center itself with usage. Did anyone else notice this or had this issue?

Edited by beenaroo_01, 24 November 2009 - 06:35 PM.


#14 89Ru

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:05 PM

Hmmm...trying to picture what we have here...may be different than what I'm used to (older outbacks)

Caliper Removal
14mm lower bolt removal allows the caliper to pivot up on the hinge pin giving access to pads.
Lower 14mm bolt housing has a protective grease boot, this can fail and then the sliding portion seizes.

The caliper hinge pin also has a grease boot. The entire caliper can be removed by sliding it off via this pin, and then the only remaining attachment is the brake line. I think what you are saying is this upper caliper fastener doesn't have a grease boot? Yes I would think it has to slide somehow since the pad thickness shrinks over its lifetime.

Pictures?

#15 beenaroo_01

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:18 PM

Ok, I call them studs with bellows, you call them pins with boots - same object. Sorry, I didn't take pics :-(

Basically, my point was that the upper "pin", with also has a grease boot, slides in and out freely, while the lower pin was stuck in its position and would note slide out. So when I removed its grease boot and took it out, there was a rubber grommet near the tip of the pin, sitting in sort of a groove in the pin. Maybe there was excess grease in the bore, but the lower pin seemed to be held in by suction. When I cut out a portion of the grommet to get some clearance with the bore, the lower pin could move freely in the bore again. Does that make more sense?

#16 89Ru

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 08:40 PM

Gotta love the vocab, I understood bellows very descriptive no problems at all :). I think the rubber can swell if the wrong grease is used...so I can understand having to remove material to help things move properly. Suggest the caliper rebuild kit for the next time around...the lower bellows is where problems seem to show up first.




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