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Replacing Brake Pads


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Dr. Rock

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 12:36 PM

I know this topic has been covered but I am wondering how much time it should take for changing brake pads. I am familiar with everything until I get to loosening bolts of the calipers. As much as I've read on this board just sliding the pads out and replacing clips is the most difficult part of the process, except for pushing the piston back with a c-clamp. I know not to touch the new pads with greasy fingers, but is it imperitive to bleed the breaks at the same time? Also, I understand that pumping the break pedal before lowering the car is necessary as well. Anything else? I live on a hill so braking will be imperitive after replacing.

any other suggestions before I change my break pads? I just need to really know if this is going to consume my whole day or only half.

#2 BigMattyD

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 06:00 PM

Replacing brake pads shouldn't even take 1/2 a day. It shouldn't take more thatn 30-45 minutes per wheel, but if it's your first time, I would guess it would take a little longer.


After you remove the wheel, compress the caliper with a c-clamp, then remove it, then remove the lower caliper bolt, and the whole caliper will pivot on the upper bolt, you do not need to remove it or even loosen it, as I recall. Then remove the old pads, (You may need to use a blunt instrument to pry the brake pads out of the caliper if they're tight) ,clean the metal anti-rattle clips or replace them with new ones, and insert the new pads into the caliper.

Pivot the caliper back on to the disc, put some anti-seize compound on the lower bolt, replace the bolt, and tighten.

Replace the wheel and you're all set. Pump the brakes a few times after replacing each set of pads to force brake fluid into the calipers or you will have no brakes when you try them the next time.

You should not have to bleed the brakes, because you are not disconnecting any brake lines. The hydraulic system will stay sealed.

If your car is old and you feel like draining and replacing the brake fluid as an additional step, that's a whole other story...


Matt

P.S. This is for my 96 Legacy. Your vehicle may be a little different.

#3 Smpol19

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 06:45 PM

yup I did pads and rotors in my Impreza for the first time a few months ago and it took about an hour and a half from when I parked my car till when I was all cleaned up and ready to drive it again. BigMattyD's directions look pretty much the same as my Impreza, if you are doing the rotors too you'll have to take the caliper entierly off. I did end up having to use an Impact wrench to get the calipers off but I probably could have done without it if i had tried hard enough. I also had some slight problems getting the new pads in the calipers, they are a real tight fit but just be paitent and they should go in, the first one probably took about 10 mins but after that it got eaesier.

#4 SevenSisters

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 07:20 PM

If you're going to do the job, you may as well go the extra mile.

When you push in the piston, open the bleeder screw and bleed out the xs fluid at the wheel. DON"T PUSH IT UP into the system and ruin a $1000 ABS pump.

When you're done cleaning up and lubricating what should be lubed, don't just bleed the brakes, replace all the fluid by bleeding, adding, bleeding, adding, etc. ALL WHEELS.
Don't let moisture contaminated fluid ruin a $1000 ABS pump, valve body.or calipers.

Good Luck.

#5 gbhrps

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 11:14 PM

Dr. Rock,

You seem to be on the right track, but add a few more steps. Watch your Brake fluid reservoir when you use the C clamp to force the piston back into the caliper on each wheel. You will be forcing fluid to go back into the reservoir, and it will over flow after your second wheel or third. Siphon the excess out, or get a large syringe or turkey baster, so that it doesn't spill on your fender wells and strip the paint off. I always remove the 2 bolts holding the caliper to its mounting bracket, and the mounting bracket that the pads fit into as well. Hang the caliper from the coil spring with a hook fashioned from a coat hanger, to keep the rubber brake hose from stressing. Use a spray bomb of brake cleaner, and an old toothbrush to clean everything well. Remove the rotor and lightly tap it on the outside edge, all around its outside, to drop off all the loose rust scale. Put antiseize compound on the the wheel hub that the wheel studs protrude from, but not on the wheel studs themselves. That will ensure that you can get the rotor off easily next time, just don't overdo it. Put 2 wheel nuts on the studs, after replacing the rotor, to hold it in place. Use antiseize compound on the chrome slider clips where the pads fit into the caliper mounting bracket. Reinstall the mounting bracket, ensuring that you put antiseize compound on its mounting bolt threads. Now install your pads, antisqueal compound, and pad shims into the caliper mounting bracket as one unit, being sure to have installed the brake wear squeal clip onto one of the pads. (Still with me?) Now's the time for the piston to get pushed back into the caliper (check the fluid rise in the reservoir). Carefully remove the rubber boots from the caliper slider sleeves, and force the sliders out. Clean them, lube them with silicone grease (normal grease attacks the rubber) and reinstall. Place the caliper back on, and lube its mounting bolt threads with antiseize. Lube the outside mounting surface of the rotor with antiseize, again making sure none gets onto your wheel studs, and you'll find removing your wheels for the next brake job will be a snap. Pump up the brakes before you do your next wheel and keep going. Lastly, if you haven't bled and replaced your brake fluid, now is the time to do it, at least once every three years. Good luck!

#6 Setright

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 12:02 AM

Okay, I would say that you need to replace pads and discs as sets. Replacing only the pads is a half-measure and it will perform as such. You don't have to fit brand new discs, just get the old ones resurfaced.

I will offer some extra advice that hasn't been covered: Make sure you fit the black shims on the brake pads. These are rubber coated and stop squeal very effectively.
Also, compress the entire caliper before you remove anything and upon assembly fit the inside brake pad first. Move the caliper into it's normal postion, clamp over the caliper and disc to force the piston back again (it will slide out a bit while you're working). This makes it easy to fit the second brake pad. I find that a brand new set of pads always has trouble squeezing in.

#7 Dr. Rock

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 01:18 AM

Thanks everyone for the step by step.....I'll let you know how it goes.

#8 82bratavenger

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 01:36 AM

If you have any mechanical aptitude you should be fine. I taught my 24 year old sister how to do her 93' impreza if that gives you any idea. You should do fine with all this golden advise.

Just remember bones heal and chicks dig scars! :headbang:

#9 avk

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:48 AM

I did the front pads this week. A couple of things possibly worth mentioning: when pushing the piston back into the caliper, release the bleed screw so that dirty brake fluid won't be pushed back into the lines, esp. ABS controller and master cylinder. You might be surprised at how much comes out. Tighthen the bleed screw before releasing the clamp. A 10 mm flare nut wrench is your friend. Also, after the bolt (a.k.a. lock pin) holding the bottom sleeve is removed, you can just slide off the caliper off the top (guide) pin, with some twisting. Most people should be aware of that, but anyway. The guide pin and the sliding bore in the caliper body should be cleaned and lubricated. On my Impreza, the left side looked like the grease was missing from the factory. The service manual also instructs to fill with grease those little ruber boots (not unlike CV joints): that apparently helps to keep the boots from deforming, and to keep the dirt out. Another lubriication point is the spring clips where they make contact with the notches on the pads. Remember that this is where the entire force load is transferred from the pads to the caliper support, when braking. I used a synthetic wheel bearing grease.
PS: most of the above is actually covered in preceding posts by SevenSisters and gbhrps. So please view this simply as a report about my brake replacement job.

#10 subie94

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:20 AM

as many a times replacing brake pads,noone has ever told me about opening the bleeder screw to prevent pushing old fluid back up the system.:(

#11 yarikoptic

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:30 AM

Make sure you fit the black shims on the brake pads. These are rubber coated and stop squeal very effectively..


Where do you get such because squeal is my enemy and simple liquidish silicons don't do good job for me

#12 subie94

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:35 AM

Where do you get such because squeal is my enemy and simple liquidish silicons don't do good job for me



piece of duct tape :banana:
one of the guys i worked with at a garage told me that trick,tried it an it worked.seriously

#13 yarikoptic

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:57 AM

piece of duct tape :banana:
one of the guys i worked with at a garage told me that trick,tried it an it worked.seriously

Do you mean silver-colored tape? which states that it is not thermo-resistant?

I mean, will it not take on fire occasionally when I drive in mountains in dry New Mexico ? :-)

#14 subie94

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 12:08 PM

Do you mean silver-colored tape? which states that it is not thermo-resistant?

I mean, will it not take on fire occasionally when I drive in mountains in dry New Mexico ? :-)


i've used duct tape on my exhaust and never caught fire.it did dry alittle an caused the make shift hole patch go bye-bye.

duct tape an a soda can=works every time,although temporary

#15 swi66

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 12:23 PM

Gee, Im down to about a half hour for front pads, of course I had ended up changing them every 3 months like clockwork. They don't last very long do they? Of course I have a right hand drive legacy and my wife delivers the mail, something like 600 stops a day takes a toll on them..........

swi66

#16 subie94

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 12:31 PM

Of course I have a right hand drive legacy

swi66


ooh!! i wouldn't mind one of those

#17 swi66

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 03:09 PM

ooh!! i wouldn't mind one of those


Please! make me an offer! Won't pass inspection in NY come August, and I still owe about 7 grand on it, It's a 98 with 125,000 miles on it though only 20,000 on the motor. reason it won't pass is the motor change. Motor I installed came out of a stick car, hade no EGR so the check engine light has been on for the past 2 years. Never saved the parts and found out I'd have to change the left side head, intake etc to make the egr work.........

Changed the inspection regulations to include the OBD11./

swi66

#18 subie94

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 07:00 PM

Please! make me an offer! Won't pass inspection in NY come August, and I still owe about 7 grand on it, It's a 98 with 125,000 miles on it though only 20,000 on the motor. reason it won't pass is the motor change. Motor I installed came out of a stick car, hade no EGR so the check engine light has been on for the past 2 years. Never saved the parts and found out I'd have to change the left side head, intake etc to make the egr work.........

Changed the inspection regulations to include the OBD11./

swi66



as much as my mind is saying go ahead,my wallet on the other hand is a diff story all together.:banghead:

#19 Setright

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 12:47 AM

yari: The black shims are part of the standard brake pad kits from Subaru. The car should have them on already? Otherwise, you'll have to get them at a dealer.

#20 swi66

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 11:27 AM

yari: The black shims are part of the standard brake pad kits from Subaru. The car should have them on already? Otherwise, you'll have to get them at a dealer.


replacement pads I get from NAPA has them with the pads.............

NAPA can also get me the spring steel pieces which are there as well .........heat ruins those..........so does salt and rust..........

swi66

#21 Subarunation 713

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 12:19 PM

If you're going to do the job, you may as well go the extra mile.

When you push in the piston, open the bleeder screw and bleed out the xs fluid at the wheel. DON"T PUSH IT UP into the system and ruin a $1000 ABS pump.

When you're done cleaning up and lubricating what should be lubed, don't just bleed the brakes, replace all the fluid by bleeding, adding, bleeding, adding, etc. ALL WHEELS.
Don't let moisture contaminated fluid ruin a $1000 ABS pump, valve body.or calipers.

Good Luck.

I have seen this advice before but none of the manuals say to do it this way. The risk of getting air into the system is much greater this way and trying to get it out is a bugger. I know, I followed this advice and after 2 days I am still trying to get the air out of the system. I will not do it this way again. I will do it the other way and keep bleeding the brakes until the fluid in the resovoir is clear. It will eliminate all air and moisture and leave the pedal firm.

#22 mallrat_ld90

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 03:30 PM

Do you mean silver-colored tape? which states that it is not thermo-resistant?

I mean, will it not take on fire occasionally when I drive in mountains in dry New Mexico ? :-)


It is a little late for a response to this, but do not use duct tape to stop the squeal if you live in a moutain area. It might not catch fire, but it will burn if you are a brake user comming down the moutain. Not really a problem if you are the type to use lower gears to slow yourself down the slope.

#23 yarikoptic

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:34 PM

It is a little late for a response to this, but do not use duct tape to stop the squeal if you live in a moutain area. It might not catch fire, but it will burn if you are a brake user comming down the moutain. Not really a problem if you are the type to use lower gears to slow yourself down the slope.


nope - it is not too late :-) I just moved to cold NJ in hill-less area :-) So in general it seems to be ok and a good trick to use. I do not have shims on fronts because as it came - it was with aftermarket pads, so next time I will try to tape them (just a single layer? :) ) Rear pads seems to have shims, so I will just reuse them on the new ones.

#24 mallrat_ld90

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 02:50 PM

nope - it is not too late :-) I just moved to cold NJ in hill-less area :-) So in general it seems to be ok and a good trick to use. I do not have shims on fronts because as it came - it was with aftermarket pads, so next time I will try to tape them (just a single layer? :) ) Rear pads seems to have shims, so I will just reuse them on the new ones.


Yep, just one strip, but for anyone else reading this thread who it would matter for, CRC makes a product called stop squeak, I am sure there are others, but that stuff can't catch fire.




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