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problems doing brake job; need tools!!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 JGromada

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:01 PM

I was ready to go on a front brake pad repl. between the info here and a good illustrated how-to on scooby mods, but ran into some problems doing a brake job on a 98 Outback. At like the very first step you must remove the two bolts that connect the caliper to the wheel strut assembly. (these are 17 mm rather than 14 the articles i had seen said) . I spent half and hour getting the top one loose using a combination of WD-40 and a breaker bar. Well on the second one the actual socket (original Craftsmen) cracked ending my day. (luckily i was at a point where car is still drivable)

I am coming to the conclusion I need something other than hand tools for some of these bigger jobs. (or other recommendations) First some impact sockets! but my real question is do i need to go for a compresser/air wrench or will and electric one suffice? I would like some input here from some of the more experienced members.

As for the brakes it looks like the pads are a little thin. (i was planning on just doing pads) and the discs look pretty good although there are some concentric grooves (just have 'em turned?)

thanks to the group. :-\YOu all helped me out when i was having a torque bind problem which ultimately cleared up with an automatic tranny flush.

Joe

#2 nipper

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:15 PM

I used a 1/2 drive for mine and a can of liquid wrench. Wd40 wont penetrate, so you need liquid wrench or something like it. I also found it easier to turn the wheels to get easier axcess to the bolts.

WHy are you removing the calipers? YOu just need to remove the lower bolt if your just doing pads.


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#3 porcupine73

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:23 PM

It sounds like you are removing the caliper bracket to spindle/wheel bearing housing bolts. You need to remove these bolts only if you are planning to pull off the rotor. These bolts are often tight and hard to remove. Even with a good air impact wrench, heat, and penetrating oil, they were hard to get out, and were in bad shape so I replaced them. Also, yes, WD40 is not a penetrating oil. For available retail penetrating oils many like pb blaster.

If you are just replacing the pads, you need to remove only the bolt for the lock pin on the caliper. This is probably 14mm as you had indicated and is the bolt at the other end of the caliper than the bleeder. Then the caliper will swivel up on the other pin (guide pin).

For impact wrenches, some people like electrics because you don't need compressed air. Good electrics such as the milwaukee can work, and are great for lug nuts, but it would be hard to find an electric with the torque capabilities of a good air impact. I have the ingersoll-rand 2131qt and it has gotten out many a tough fastener so far.

#4 johnceggleston

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:29 PM

plus o9ne for what he said. if you are just replacing the pads you are trying to remove the wrong bolts.

to replace the pads you only have to remove one bolt, 14mm it attaches the caliper to the caliper mounting bracket. the caliper mounting bracket uses the 17mm bolts to attache it to the hub.

you remove the lower bolt, the other one doesn't have a hex head, you actually don't have to remove it, just back it out enough so you can swing the caliper up out of the way. once it's out of the way removing the pads is a snap. don't forget to compress the caliper piston before you swing it up out of the way.

i'd relube the bolt before you reattach it. it acts as a slide pin. i just replaced rear pads on my 97 OBW because the caliper would not slide on the bolt, all gunked up. wore one pad down to the metal other 3 were still good.

good luck.

#5 Virrdog

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:38 PM

Unless you are going to go full air tools (and you have multiple uses for a air compressor & tank) pick up something like this.

I got this one because it was on sale, grabbed a 3/4" to 1/2" reducer and called it a day. I don't have room for an air compressor and can't afford the entry price. It should take my lugnuts off just fine for years to come.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:50 PM

over the long term air tools are awesome if you have the room. a nice starter set can be had for $200 - $300 that has everything you need.

but...you definitely don't need air tools for a brake job. if anything they help mostly with removing the wheels, not the actual brake bolts. the wheel lugs come off zip-zip with air tools...super nice to do.

like they said, you don't have to remove those 17mm ones to replace the pads. if you didn't have any vibrations and the rotors aren't severly grooved there is nothing wrong with reusing them. i personally would not have them turned. either reuse them or buy new ones. be sure to grease the slides (the rubber boots that allow the caliper to slide on the arms. use brake grease only, nothing else. and keep your WD40 inside for household stuff and junk it for working on cars. PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench...or Deep Creep are all far superior. don't let the fact that they look and smell the same and come in similar cans lead you to think it's the same...WD40 is lacking for automotive work. but...i've never had a socket or wrench break when removing those 17mm bolts, that's very odd that yours did. i wouldn't consider that normal and i've done it with rusted, sitting, parts cars and i almost never use air tools on those because they're never that hard to get off and the access isn't good. use a 1/2" wrench and a pipe over the handle for leverage, i've never had one break that way.

#7 danz75

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:23 PM

I was ready to go on a front brake pad repl. between the info here and a good illustrated how-to on scooby mods, but ran into some problems doing a brake job on a 98 Outback. At like the very first step you must remove the two bolts that connect the caliper to the wheel strut assembly. (these are 17 mm rather than 14 the articles i had seen said) . I spent half and hour getting the top one loose using a combination of WD-40 and a breaker bar. Well on the second one the actual socket (original Craftsmen) cracked ending my day. (luckily i was at a point where car is still drivable)

I am coming to the conclusion I need something other than hand tools for some of these bigger jobs. (or other recommendations) First some impact sockets! but my real question is do i need to go for a compresser/air wrench or will and electric one suffice? I would like some input here from some of the more experienced members.

As for the brakes it looks like the pads are a little thin. (i was planning on just doing pads) and the discs look pretty good although there are some concentric grooves (just have 'em turned?)

thanks to the group. :-\YOu all helped me out when i was having a torque bind problem which ultimately cleared up with an automatic tranny flush.

Joe


I've sheared bolts and cracked them but have never cracked a regular craftsman socket yet. Anyway, like what everyone said, you don't have to take off the calliper bracket to change the pads.

Usually when I'm trying to remove stucks nuts, I usually use a wire brush to clean the rust off the threads(get the round ones where you can attach to your cordless drill), soak with PB Blaster and a flame torch to heat it up to loosen the rust. Then work the nut slowly out and back in many times and spraying PB Blaster each time. Seems to have worked for me many times and i don't own any air tools. When I used to live in Ohio, I would get issues with stuck/rusted bolts because of the salt used during the winters. I've also used anti seize on most bolts that I remove so that it'll be easy to remove them again in the future.

You might try using a flame torch to heat the bolt to see if it'll break away the rust and do spray it with PB Blaster or your favorite rust remover. Once you get the bolt to move a little, I always make sure to loosen, then tighten, then loosen and spray rust remover , then tighten....over and over again each time working it out further a little at a time. This is time consuming but you shouldn't break a bolt this way which will cause you more headache.

I'm sure others would have their own ways to remove stuck/rusted bolts/nuts.

#8 rweddy

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:24 PM

I used a 1/2 drive for mine and a can of liquid wrench. Wd40 wont penetrate, so you need liquid wrench or something like it. I also found it easier to turn the wheels to get easier axcess to the bolts.


nipper

I agree, I have been working on all my own cars for 20 years now and have never had anything more than hand tools. Air tools are nice but you don't need these for brakes or much anything else. If nothing else get a electric impact.

#9 Virrdog

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:53 PM

I too am baffled by people that have so much trouble removing bolts. I work on cars that have spent 90% of their life in salt belt Ohio. Never seem to have the same troubles without some other factors (like the Legacy balljoint that had its threads pressed into the control arm from a previous impact :eek: ).

Letting the penetrant do its job is important. Just let it sit a couple hours or over night and then start working on the bolt again (or pre-soak it).

(I finally picked up an electric impact so wheel changes wouldn't take an hour)

#10 JGromada

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 04:15 PM

Thank you all for your very prompt and helpful suggestions!

I think I learned quite a bit from these posts:
  • First get some real penetrating oil rather than the WD-40 i had
  • I may have the wrong bolts that i am trying to deal with. The Scooby mods instructions seem to be slightly different than my OB and another set of notes said 12 oclock and 5 so that is where i got the idea that these were the right ones (anyone got a definitive picture of an OB brake setup ?) I've done this before on an old BMW so i'm not a total newby but i got the impression the goal here was to remove the caliper so the pads would slide out.
  • I may eventually opt for an electric impact wrench like Virrdog provided the link for (thanks)
  • I think maybe turning the wheel might be a little helpful.
  • I am still a little concerned about the rotor. i can feel a good groove on the rotor with my fingernail. Is this a real problem? and about rotors the local PartsAmerica quoted me $45 a piece for repl rotors. Junk or ok?
thanks all! I went to Sears and got my 17 mm replaced. (they are good about that!)
Joe

#11 nipper

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 04:24 PM

i got my rotors from autozone at 37.00 each, so 45.00 isnt to bad. My rotors said made in canada, i dont like chinese rotors.

One bolt will allow the caliper to swing up. The two larger ones to replace the rotor. Rotors will either fall off, or you need an 8mm bolt to remove them by using the holes in the hub of the rotor (works really well).


nipper

#12 Skorzen

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:17 PM

i got my rotors from autozone at 37.00 each, so 45.00 isnt to bad. My rotors said made in canada, i dont like chinese rotors.

One bolt will allow the caliper to swing up. The two larger ones to replace the rotor. Rotors will either fall off, or you need an 8mm bolt to remove them by using the holes in the hub of the rotor (works really well).


nipper


I just got replacement rotors from tire rack for $36 a piece (Brembo). I thought I would mention that the rotors which were installed previous to my getting the car did not have the 8mm holes :-\:mad::mad::mad:. The replacements that I got do though so that should make things a little easier next time.

Also a little rant about tire rack, I ordered the satisfied ceramic pads that they had listed for my OBS, but they didn't fit. A little agrivating to find out in the middle of a brake job...

#13 porcupine73

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:21 PM

Yes the aftermarket rotors on the vehicle when I bought used did not have the 8mm holes either. So an amount of torching and sledging were required to get the old ones off. For brake pads, did they list specifically for an OBS and not just listed as for an Outback?

#14 Skorzen

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:32 PM

Yes the aftermarket rotors on the vehicle when I bought used did not have the 8mm holes either. So an amount of torching and sledging were required to get the old ones off. For brake pads, did they list specifically for an OBS and not just listed as for an Outback?


When I went through their catalog I specified a 97 OBS so I think either they sent me the wrong pads, their system is giving them the wrong number or the manufacturer screwed up somewhere.

#15 eagleb

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 05:37 PM

I know for my 96 OBW there were two different sizes of front pads. Something about changing the style in the middle of a model year just doesn't seem nice to me.

#16 Rooster2

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 07:17 PM

I use a Craftsman drive, because they are built so tough. Spray some penetrating oil, or PB blaster on the bolt, then wait about 10 minutes. I slip about a 2 inch hollow bar over the handle of the drive to get extra leverage. All bolts come loose rather easily. On reassembly, I smear on some antisieze cream on the bolts. I also put antisieze on the lug nuts, and where the road wheel meets with the facing of the hub to prevent gauling.

#17 danz75

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 07:51 PM

I just got replacement rotors from tire rack for $36 a piece (Brembo).


I recommend the brembo blanks. I put them on a few cars already and have been really happy with them. if you're concerned about the grooves, why not just change the rotors when you're changing the pads? that way, you'll know that everything will wear nicely.




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