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What to put here...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I typically do this maintenance twice a year, usually when I swap my winter/summer tires each spring/fall. For whatever reason (*life and two kids getting in the way*) I hadn't done it since autumn 2010. The result was a slider pin that was very much seized. Had I done this maintenance at least annually, or better yet, twice a year, the brakes would have been in much better shape!

Servicing brake calipers.

  • Remove tire/wheel assembly.
  • Remove floating caliper by removing off the 12mm bolts from the slider pins. Pry caliper up using a large flathead screwdriver - sometimes this comes up easily, other times it takes some prying. Set the caliper on one of the suspension links or the knuckle so it doesn't hang from the brake line.
  • Remove inside and outside brake pads. Carefully.
  • Remove the 14mm(?) bolts (x2) that are holding the caliper bracket to the knuckle. Remove the caliper bracket and bring it to the bench vise.
  • Remove the stainless steel shims. Soak them in brake cleaner and wipe clean.
  • Attach a wire-wheel brush to your power drill. Use the wire-wheel to remove any surface rust from the area where the stainless shims sit. Over time, the rust build-up will cause the stainless shims to sit too far away from the caliper bracket, and thus they squeeze the pads too tight and the pads bind -- they don't slide freely. This can cause premature brake wear.
  • Once the metal is fairly rust-free in that area, squirt with brake cleaner, wipe dry.
  • Apply some anti-seize compound to the shiny metal of the caliper bracket. Reinstall stainless shims.
  • Clean brake pads with brake cleaner and wipe dry.
  • Remove the slider pins from the caliper bracket. The rubber accordion boot stays on the caliper bracket. Clean the two pins with brake cleaner and a clean rag. Allow to dry.
  • Coat the caliper pin in caliper lube and reinsert into the caliper bracket. Ensure the accordion boot seals up against the base of the hex head. The caliper pin should slide very easily at this point.
  • Note, If you are replacing your rotors, this is where you would do so by using an impact screwdriver to remove the two USELESS screws holding the rotor on, and then hammering the rotor off if you live in an area that is prone to salt in the winter, like I do. Don't reinstall the two screws - they're only there from the factory to hold the rotor on during the assembly-line process.
  • Reinstall caliper bracket onto vehicle. I don't recall the actual torque value of the two 14mm bolts, but it's "fairly darn tight".
  • Spray a shop towel with brake cleaner and quickly give the face of the rotor a wipe. Do both sides.
  • Coat the "ears" (tabs) of the brake pads in caliper lube, and install them onto the vehicle. The pad with the squealer-bar (wear indicator) goes on the inside. The pad without the indicator bar goes on the outside.
  • Apply a small smear of caliper lube to the shims of the brake pad - where the floating caliper will contact it. A little goes a long way here.
  • Take the floating caliper and place it back over the pads. Ensure the shims do not fall off or go out of alignment.
  • Reinstall the 12mm bolts through the floating caliper, into the slider pins. You will need a 17mm wrench to hold the caliper slider from turning while you tighten the 12mm bolts. Torque here is "not nearly as tight as the 14mm caliper bracket bolts". I think it's actually around 30ft-lbs.
  • Double check all of your bolts, and proceed to reinstall the wheel. (Lug nuts to 79.6ft-lbs... don't ask how I remember this one precisely LOL).
  • Repeat on other 3 corners.

    Total time per corner should be about 15 minutes, so an hour or so every 6-12 months to extend brake life, improve brake performance, and keep your car in tip-top shape.

Live life supercharged!
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