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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Early 80's Subarus, are the brakes harder to replace than other cars?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Alexx


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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:22 PM

Over the years any mechanic who has ever worked on my 81 subaru front wheel brakes has stated that the front wheel drive brakes are harder to work on than most other cars.

I'm curious what subaru owners think. If you are a subaru repair expert, was it that way the very first time you replaced your front wheel brake pads on an early 80's subaru?

Those of you who have mechanics replace your brake pads, have they ever commented on the difficulty of doing a brake job on an 81 subaru or early 80's subaru front wheel drive?

#2 TheSubaruJunkie



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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:27 PM

Ive only done brakes on old subies, so I dont know if RWD american cars are any easier.

Since RWD cars do not have front CV's, i could see how it would be a little easier to replace things like pads and rotors. But doing any work on a subie is simple... a qualified mechanic shouldnt be complaining about it.


#3 idosubaru


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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:28 PM

sometimes rust is an issue on older cars. bolts stick, things get dirty and ard harder to come apart.

other than that general rotor and pads are fairly straight forward and shouldn't differ too much. some people feel like complaining about how hard something is will make you feel better when you see the big bill.

#4 NorthWet


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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:52 PM

Well, a little story...

WAY BACK WHEN, when front disk brakes were relatively rare (early '70s), the rationale for not having front disk brakes was that brake pads were difficult to replace. Well, that bias dissolved with the onslaught of Japanese imports with superior brakes.

Then, the argument against rear disk brakes was that you couldn't put a parking brake on disk brakes (Corvette used a separate drum for the parking brake, IIRC). Multiple imports proved that to be BS.

Every true advance that I have seen over the years was argued against as not workable, too complicated, or too hard to work on. What it all boiled down to was CHANGE, and peoples' natural resistance to change and fear of the unknown/unfamiliar.

If you have ever had to redo a dual leading shoe drum brake with automatic adjusters, you will not believe how dirt-simple disk brakes are. Changing pads on a properly designed disk is simplicity incarnate. (My Aerostar, however, seems to have been designed by people that slept through Elegant Design 101.) Rotors on front-drive cars can seem more difficult to do, as many require removing the axle nut, and visions of dealing with huge fasteners and bearings and grease and preload and stuff frightens people off, even though most of the above does not really apply.

Other than the rust and dirt that grossgary pointed out (common to older vehicles regardless of make) there is nothing difficult in doing front brakes on a Sube.

#5 Humble Nuto 53

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:56 PM

major difference is the e-brake is part of the front caliper. so you have to
screw the automatic adjuster in before you install new pads.

(i would much rather have the ebrake on the rear wheels, but saab did the same thing so im used to it)

on older rear wheel drive cars, the front discs were easier than drum because there was no springs and levers to fiddle with. you just used a C clamp to push
the piston back into the caliper and you were ready. the ebrake was in the rear drums.

#6 Alexx


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Posted 23 August 2005 - 01:18 PM

I vaguely remember what the common complaint was. I think it had to do with getting the old pad out and the new one in, that there the area was very cramped or something else was in the way and had to be removed first???

It could have been a tactic for charging more, but nobody ever did charge me more because of it.

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