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Old 03-19-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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DIY: change Brake Pads/ rotors

I noticed awhile back that a few people were asking for a DIY for changing pads and rotors with some pictures. I figured I could snap a few pics when I was installing my new Hawk pads and write one up quick.


Tools Needed:

1/2" drive breaker bar with 3"-5" extension
1/2" drive ratchet
18mm and 22mm Socket
Torque Wrench
1/8" pin punch and hammer
T30 torx bit
wire coat hanger
floor jack and jack stand(s)
Optional - 2 C-clamps

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First break loose the lug nuts with the breaker bar, extension and 22mm socket. Next jack up the vehicle, secure with jack stand, and remove the wheel.

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Next step will be to loosen the pins that hold the break pads in. (this is much easier when the caliper is still bolted to the car) Using your 1/8" punch and hammer, hit these 2 pins so that they are broken loose.

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If you are only chaning the pads and don't intend to remove the rotors you may remove the pins completely and pull the brake pads out the top of the caliper. You might need to use a screw driver to pry the pads out by putting it thru the pin hole and prying up against the caliper. After getting the pads out you will need to push the pistons back into the caliper to make room for the new wider pad. I was able to do this by just removing the cap from the brake fluid resivoir and pushing them back squarely with my fingers. I only removed one pad at a time so the pistons on the other side of the caliper had nowhere to go and the fluid went back into the resivoir. Drop the new pads in, put the bottom pin all of the way thru and use your hammer to seat it back into position. next insert flat gold hold down spring under the bottom pin. Push down on the top of the spring so you can slide the other pin over it and into place. Seat that pin with the hammer and you are done.

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If you are removing the rotor as well, or if you want a simpler way to get the new pads into the caliper, you will need to remove the caliper. You will need the ratchet and 18mm socket to remove the 2 bolts on the back side of the caliper that hold it onto the car.

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DO NOT let the caliper hang by the break line. Use your wire coat hanger to hang the caliper from the spring.

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If you are chaning your pads with the caliper off you will still need to completely remove both of the pins holding in the pads. if you wish to use the C-clamps to retract the pistons, then don't remove your old pads yet. Use them to squarely and evenly push back the pistons with the C clamps. From that point changing the pads is the same as in the description above. I personally take the rotors off and rub them with some 240grit emery cloth or have them turned to get any residue from the old pads off.

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To Remove the rotor you will need to remove the T30 torx bolt from the rotor. After removing that bolt it should just pull straight off. *NOTE* if removing a back rotor you must have the E-brake disengaged in order to pull it off.

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To put everything back together simply to the reverse of how you took it apart. Make sure when you tighten your lug nuts back up you tighten them to the proper torque spec for your wheels. Factory wheel torques can be found in the owners manual under Capacities and Specs.
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Last edited by Big Brunsy; 03-20-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
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Very nice writeup. I replaced my roller skates with Hawk ceramic, but I had my dealer do it because I didn't feel comfortable. But if I ever do my rotors, this will be bookmarked.

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Old 03-19-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Great write-up....I'll put this in the "To-Do" list!!! THANKS!
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Excellent

Excellent write up. I will use this for reference in the future when the time comes for some hawks.Darn dust anyway.Eh !
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks, it was my first one. I get so much from this site I just wanted to contribute something.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:51 AM   #6
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I was able to change my brake pads for the first time using your DIY instructions. Thanks. Hope you can add some videos about how to replace brake pads in the future..

Last edited by hybenz; 03-26-2011 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Great write up, it will sure help C5 members save money doing it themselves.

The only thing i wanted to clarify for other members new to DIY brake work is the 'turning' of the rotors. I know you stated you sometimes have them turned to remove old brake pad residue. My suggestion for getting the rotors turned is to level out the grooves the old pads made. This fresh turned rotor is now completely flat which allows the new brake pads to "bed" properly to the flat surface of the rotors which is important in getting the best performance & life out of your brakes.

Just my thoughts, it's only two more bolts to remove the caliper, along with the torx that hold each rotor on....dont stop short go the rest of the way and get them rotors turned!

I have NAPA and oriely's auto who can turn rotors, It's around $5 per rotor
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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Cool! Do most of these steps apply to the V6 brakes? The single piston? I never knew you had to disengage the handbrake to remove the rear rotors! I learn something new everyday =D
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:38 PM   #9
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Cool! Do most of these steps apply to the V6 brakes? The single piston? I never knew you had to disengage the handbrake to remove the rear rotors! I learn something new everyday =D
No. The V6 doesn't have the pads you can change without removing the caliper. Other then that, it's pretty similar. You don't need the punch as the pads will come out once you remove the caliper. On the brembos, they won't.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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thanks for that info!
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:54 PM   #11
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How about the rears? I know on my mustang you need a special tool to turn the piston back in because that is how the e-brake works
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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Sweet write up. Thanks. Sorry if this is a stupid question but by opening the reservoir using your approach and hanging the caliper from the wire if it is removed, does this eliminate any need to bleed the brakes?
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csjcsj View Post
How about the rears? I know on my mustang you need a special tool to turn the piston back in because that is how the e-brake works
The E-brake on the Camaro is kind of like a drum brake inside the rotor, so no special tools required.

Quote:
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Sweet write up. Thanks. Sorry if this is a stupid question but by opening the reservoir using your approach and hanging the caliper from the wire if it is removed, does this eliminate any need to bleed the brakes?
you are not removing any brake lines, so there should be no way for air to get into the brake line. So you do not have to bleed the brakes.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:26 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Big Brunsy;3101620]The E-brake on the Camaro is kind of like a drum brake inside the rotor, so no special tools required.



That's like the rears on my F150! But my Mustang is totally different! Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Brunsy View Post
The E-brake on the Camaro is kind of like a drum brake inside the rotor, so no special tools required.



you are not removing any brake lines, so there should be no way for air to get into the brake line. So you do not have to bleed the brakes.
Always bleed the fluid at every brake pads you change. Brake fluid absorbs water from the humidity in the air, the water is heavier than brake fluid so the water is pushed to the end of the line, and then it allows corrosion of the system.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:49 PM   #16
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...Just my thoughts, it's only two more bolts to remove the caliper, along with the torx that hold each rotor on....dont stop short go the rest of the way and get them rotors turned!...
You'll need to buy new caliper-to-spindle bolts. They're not expensive, but they are torque-to-yield and should not be reused. You'll never get them torqued to specs once they've been stretched.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #17
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It it nessesary to grease the back of the pads? If so how do you do it?

Also do you have to push back both pistons at the same time or can you just do one side of the caliper at a time?
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:46 AM   #18
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Great write up!! Thanks!!
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #19
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Great write up. bookmark for sure. quick question. I'm trying to get my calipers powder coated, I'm removing the entire caliper and pins, what else do I need to remove from the caliper in order for them to get powder coated. thanks.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:31 PM   #20
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I changed my pads over to Hawk HPS the other day. This was by far the easiest brake pad change I have ever done!
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:16 PM   #21
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Great write up, I am going to paint my rotors and not the caliper.
I want to rmove the rotor can I just unbolt the 2 18mm bolts and how do I release the caliper piston ?
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #22
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Great write up, I am going to paint my rotors and not the caliper.
I want to rmove the rotor can I just unbolt the 2 18mm bolts and how do I release the caliper piston ?
Dave
T30 torx bolt into the face of the rotor.
The caliper will push back in with not too much force. You can use clamps as shown or just pry it in with a large screwdriver.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:59 PM   #23
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Thanks for the awesome writeup! I'm planning on doing a brake pad upgrade.

MAYBE in the future I'll do the CTS-Vs up front, I haven't felt the need for too much more braking performance yet though. All bolt-ons so far...

Thanks for the DIY write-up!
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:16 PM   #24
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Thanks ,
I got them off and am in the process of painting.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:26 AM   #25
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This is great! I plan on swapping the pads Sunday monring before the AutoX event and the rotors the next weekend. I plan to use a scoth brite to scrub the rotors, should I use any chenical or water with it? More importantly, will waiting a week for the new front rotors cause any bedding issues with the pads?
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