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I was wondering what would be the minimum amount of tools to change my front brake pads for a '99 Subaru Outback wagon?  I don't want to go into my storage unit fishing for extra tools, can this be done  with the flat tire jack, wheel bolt wrench and a pair of pliers, screw driver?  Thanks.  The local shop wants $130 plus tax which is probably standard to hang a pair of pads.  A thorough brake job was done last time.  

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14mm wrench to remove the caliper. 17mm to remove the bracket if you are turning the rotors. box end wrenches will get the job done. Be sure to clean and lubricate the slide, especially if the pads are worn unevenly.

 

A larghe channel plier will do to compress the piston back in, or use a c-clamp.

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Going to want something to compress the caliper, a big c clamp or channel locks work well, you will also want a metric end wrench to loosen the lower caliper bolt so you can swing the caliper up to get the pads out.  Dont remember the size off the top of my head 13-16mm somewhere in that range i think.

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yes use the wheel/tire stuff that came with the car.

 

for just the pads: 14mm (some are 12mm?) socket wrench and a c-clamp that's it.  i'd have a hammer handy too and long pipe in case the bolts are tight or hit the socket with a hammer (lazy man's impact wrench).

 

it's very easy.  not only is it $130...that's often a base rate which may escalate from there when they end up doing something else...rotors, clips, boots, rust...

 

once the wheel is off - you only have to remove two bolts (only one on some subarus) to replace the pads.

 

the caliper bolts are 12 or 14mm - looks like miles said 14mm.  ideally a 6 point socket wrench and a long handle or pipe for leverage in case it's tight.

you sound inexperienced in which case i'd recommend a c-clamp to push the piston back in rather than other methods.

 

remove those two bolts

pull caliper up - sometimes need a hammer to persuade it upwards off the rotor

swap out pads

compress piston with c-clamp

reinstall

 

www.rockauto.com has awesome pad prices.

 

advance auto parts you can usually get a minimum 20% off coupon code online - P20 is one that worked for a long time, it may still and is 20% off.  enter the number when you check out online and pick it up at a local store you select also online.

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Be carefil of where you place the spare tire jack, and find some way to stand up the car with a jack stand or blocks of wood. the wheel itself works good for this. Do not use concrete blocks. You will want the weight of the car off the jack so it is not rocking around.

 

Although the factory jack is designed to use on the pinch welds, beware of rusty spots and the jack can distort the rocker sills. 

 

The front tow loops under the bumper make great jacking points, so long as you get it up high enough to remove the wheel.

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OK, thanks for the excellent feedback!  It should prevent me from having a basket case once I get into the job.  

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I had a couple of curve balls on this job; I had the Subaru jacked up ready to install new pads, but channel locks would be no good on that like the older models.  So I checked with neighbors for a C clamp, no one offered one.  I put the wheel back together.  Later I went back to Advance, they have a free loaner brake tool set for around $100; that I used just for the C clamp tool to push in the four caliper pistons.  Unfortunately the ground was not level this time and the car fell off the jack, but I used the wheel under the car ploy in case this happened.  So I was able to re-position the slightly damaged jack properly and finish the job.  Another curve ball; the 14mm bolts holding the caliper in took a lot of positioning to get to properly go back in.  The guy at Advance gave me a packet of anti-seize to put on the bolts.  I should be OK now; I think.  

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