HOW TO: Replace Brake Pads and Rotors
HOW TO: Replace Brake Pads & Rotors
Jack, jack stands
17 mm socket or wrench
14 mm socket or wrench
Two (2) 8mm bolts about 1.5" in length ( may be optional....I got
mine at Discount Auto Parts for $.97 )
New rotors - if installing those
1. Jack up and secure car on stands, and remove wheels. ( I know, I know....but like the warning tag on the 3G window shades, I just had to say it. )
2. There are two sections to the calipher/pad assembly. The first part to remove is the calipher assembly. There are two 17mm bolts on the inside (strut side) of the assembly. Remove those...they are long, slender, and greased. The calipher assembly will slide up and off of the wheel. Use C-clamp(s) to keep the piston(s) flush with the assembly. Tie, with string or slip ties, or something, this assembly up and out of the way. Be careful with the brake fluid line.
3. There are two bolts, again on the inside of the pad assembly. Remove these bolts and the pad assembly will slide off the rotor. slide the old pads out of the clips, and slide in the new pads.
4. If you are replacing the rotors at this point, do so. If your rotors are stuck and don't want to come off, use two 8mm bolts about 1.5" long to remove the rotor. There are two holes in the rotor just for this purpose.
5. Re-install the pad assembly. Re-install the calipher assembly. Done. Torque the nuts to spec. Next wheel.
1. The steps for the rear pads are the same for the fronts except that the bolts are 14mm, and there is only one piston in the calipher ( Only the 2000 models have the dual-piston fron caliphers - 2001 and up are single-piston caliphers ). Also you will notice that the pads are smaller than those for the front.
2. If you are installing new rotors on the rear, it is esentially the same as that for the fronts. But, make sure that the emergency brake is off when doing this. You'll see why when you remove the rotor.
BTW, this is also a good time to rotate your tires if you have enough jacks/stands.
Addendum by eslai:
One little addendum. If you are not replacing the rotors, then just undo the bottom caliper bolt, not both bolts. The caliper will then swing up and out of the way, allowing you to remove/change the pads.
You still need to compress the piston though. Channel locks work great, so does a C-clamp. use a block of wood or something to protect the piston if you're worried about roughing it up with the tools.
Once the pads are back in, swing the caliper back down in place and regrease/reinstall the bolt.
If you have replaced the rotors, you might want to adjust the rear parking brake - Thanks to Twolvesche for the info
You need to reset your emergency brake. I had the same problem when I put mine on.
Look on the rotor for that black rubber plug. Remove it. On the drivers side, position the hole at approximately 5 o'clock and you should see a spindle gear. Now, rotate the adjuster wheel until you can no longer spin the rotor (one side note, take the emergency brake off). Once you can no longer turn the rotor, turn the adjuster 5 notches in the opposite direction. This will get you very close to being where you need to be. It will take a little fine tuning, but be patient and it will work. Also, remeber to turn your car on and press the brakes to allow the emergency brake to reset. It may take a couple of iterations, but once again, be patient.
For the passenger side, the adjuster wheel is at approximately 7 o'clock.
One more note, this adjustment of your shoes on the rotors (the emergency brake shoes) may cause need for adjusting the e-brake handle.
Let me know if you need more info.
Service Manual Pages with torque specs
Front Disc Brakes - Twin piston
Rear Disc Brakes
Phil added this:
Phil wrote on 08-26-03 04:42 PM:
I just read this...how to thread and in it nothing is said about sanding down the surface of the axle hub which sits behind the rotor.
In my experience, and this may only be in the cold weather states, its absolutely necessary to sand down the axle hub with a high grit sand paper in order to ensure that the rotor sits perfectly, or near perfectly, flat on the hub for optimum pad contact and minimum pad taper.
For example: If there's a build-up of rust on one part of the axle hub and a rotor is placed on top of it the rotor will not spin "true" and will have some bad taper which will horribly affect brake performance.
It may not be an issue you Cali peeps have to deal with but I thought it might be a good idea to put this in that thread.
When changing the front pads, you will have to remove both caliper bolts. The caliper MUST be removed in order to get the caliper/pad support carriage removed to replace the pads.
The caliper actually attaches to the support carriage. Removing both caliper bolts makes it many times easier manuever the caliper and change the pads.
I got them out without taking the caliper completely apart. Either pull the top pin and rotate the Caliper housing away from the 'carriage' (bracket) or remove both Bracket to Knuckle bolts and slide caliper asm off rotor and wedge them out.
Yeah, I would've been able to do it that way, but it just seemed much easier to take out (4) bolts, replace the pads, put (4) bolts back in and I was done. This way I was able to take the caliper/pad support off completely and removed/add the pads and clean it all out too.
Like I said in my previous post, IMO it's just easier to remove all the bolts instead of just 75% of them.
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