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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks, total amateur at working on cars. I've done my own oil changes, and did basic transmission and steering flush, and replaced spark plugs. So decided to take the plunge into brakes and do my own front brakes, rotors and pads. I have 200k km's on the car, pads have only ever been replaced once, and rotors never.

I ordered a Power Stop CRK5370 Evolution Geomet Coated front kit from Rock Auto, and watched a bunch of youtubes....

SO...
First issue, bolts holding the brake caliper bracket and caliper on were all rusted on hard. Had a breaker bar and a 17mm attachment, but didn't have 19mm, that was the first run to the hardware store (took wife's car...).
Second issue, working on the first wheel, the rotor would not come off. My neighbours who have done their own brakes, and myself, were hammering on the damn thing with a large mallet hammer, all around, sides, front, back, pry bar, would not budge. Next trip to hardware store to get the right size screws to go in the two extra front holes to try to push it off with my impact drill. This did not work, rotor wouldn't budge and just started to crack around the holes.
Finally watched a hack on youtube, used a long threaded bolt, nut and washer through one of the holes used to secure the caliper, to push it from behind, and using an impact wrench was able to get it to move a bit, and pry bar broke it free.
4 hours to get that goddam rotor off.
Rest of that side went pretty smooth after that.
Then on to the next wheel, at least I knew what to expect and I did have to use the same method to get that rotor off as well. Then while proceeding to put the new pads in, I clued in that in the 4 pack of pads I received, they are not all identical, that two of them have those little metal squealers attached. Well FML I used the two pads without them on the first wheel.............. Took first wheel off, swapped out one of the pads and put the squealer pad in, back to second wheel.
In general second wheel/brake went back together OK, but I did notice that when putting the caliper back on, threading the bolts into the slider pins, one of the pins was turning while I tightened, so had to use a wrench to grab the flat sides of the pin's head while tightening the bolt. It tightened, but not sure the head of the pin ever came flush to the mount, or if it is supposed to?
Knock on wood, brakes seem to work, just a little spongy compared to the old brakes, which I've read could be due to a few reasons, break in, pad material, air in line?

But one bigger concern, is looking at them after a day of driving, the wear pattern depth on the two rotors looks very different.
The first two pics are driver side and the dark grey wear is a good cm less deep than the right side wheel. This is the same side I had the trouble tightening the caliper, but the bolts felt very tight when I finished. Slider pins were all cleaned and lubed.
In the closeup pic it looks like the pad should be sitting deep enough to hit deeper in the rotor, but I guess it isn't, somehow bottom of pad isn't being pressed in? What have I done wrong here?

Ugghh......frustrated!






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Did you bleed the brakes after installing everything? Requires someone to pump the brake pedal, hold while you open the valve, letting the air out of the brake line. When the brake pedal hits the floor, they should hold it until the valve is tightened closed. Repeat several times both sides, adding brake fluid in the reservoir to prevent it from going empty.
Wear safety glasses/ goggles. Brake fluid in the eye is bad mojo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you bleed the brakes after installing everything? Requires someone to pump the brake pedal, hold while you open the valve, letting the air out of the brake line. When the brake pedal hits the floor, they should hold it until the valve is tightened closed. Repeat several times both sides, adding brake fluid in the reservoir to prevent it from going empty.
Wear safety glasses/ goggles. Brake fluid in the eye is bad mojo.
I didn't bleed the brakes as I didn't think it was really required if not replacing the caliper. I could see that potentially causing the spongy feel, but still worried about how the bottom of the brake pad on one side doesn't appear to be contacting the rotor... :(
 

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I didn't bleed the brakes as I didn't think it was really required if not replacing the caliper. I could see that potentially causing the spongy feel, but still worried about how the bottom of the brake pad on one side doesn't appear to be contacting the rotor... :(
When bleeding the brakes, it should push the brake cylinder into the pad. Bleeding the brakes is an important part of the job. It is not optional. If that doesn't fix the problem, get back to us.
 

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You have pads sticking and dragging on the side with the blue-edged rotors. The outer half of the caliper needs to slide on the pins to allow the pad to stay clear of the rotor when the pedal is released. I recommend that you go back into that wheel and caliper, and make sure that the corrosion you experienced in the rest of the assembly isn't affecting that caliper and the pads. The slide surfaces and pins are normally lubricated to help with this, and replacement bolts are not a bad option if the corrosion is severe. Use a little anti-seize on the surfaces that corrode together too. Your new rotors are likely plated so that that will help some too.
 

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Yep, the top photo, pad has fallen to low on the rotor
 

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If you look at the wear pattern on your 3rd photo (assuming that's the opposite side), the pad appears to be installed correctly, with nice even brake pad mark on the rotor. The other one appears to possibly need readjusting. Compare the two. If you believe it's installed correctly, yes, bleed the brakes so the pad will press flush against the rotor.
 

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There are flats on the caliper pin which will grab on the caliper to prevent it from turning when you reassemble. Sometimes a wrench is needed to hold it briefly, but there is a point during tightening that the pin flats engage with caliper and wrench is not needed to prevent the pins from turning when tightening the caliper bolt. If you tightened it all the way with the wrench there could be something misalignment going on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are flats on the caliper pin which will grab on the caliper to prevent it from turning when you reassemble. Sometimes a wrench is needed to hold it briefly, but there is a point during tightening that the pin flats engage with caliper and wrench is not needed to prevent the pins from turning when tightening the caliper bolt. If you tightened it all the way with the wrench there could be something misalignment going on there.
Thats what I'm worried about, the bolt got hard to turn the last few turns and had to hold the pin with the wrench the entire time...
 

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Confirm the flats on the slide pin meet the flats on the caliper. Did you remove the oily film applied on the new rotors? Did you apply a little grease to the pads that contact the new hardware to ensure they can move and retract? DId you clean/remove the rust on the caliper bracket? Whats the condition of the brake fluid? Did you use new hardware to install the pads? Just some off-the-wall questions....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Confirm the flats on the slide pin meet the flats on the caliper. Did you remove the oily film applied on the new rotors? Did you apply a little grease to the pads that contact the new hardware to ensure they can move and retract? DId you clean/remove the rust on the caliper bracket? Whats the condition of the brake fluid? Did you use new hardware to install the pads? Just some off-the-wall questions....
I'm not sure that the flat end of the pins are contacting, I will check that. If they are -not-, and the bolt holding the caliper is tight, what does that mean??

Yes to most all the other questions - removed film on rotors with brake cleaner, used wire brush on calipers and brake pad holders, used new brake pad holder clips that came with the new pads, greased the ears and backs of pads.
Though I did -not- bleed the brakes, so I don't know how the brake fluid is doing. Honestly, all the youtube videos I watched to learn how to replace the rotors and pads, I don't remember any of them saying to bleed the brakes! lol.

This was the main video I went by:

 

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Generally I don’t bleed the brake lines during general brake service (rotor / pads / lube) unless the calipers are replaced or brake fluid replacement is on the agenda but I’m all ears for learning a better method. Dark color of brake fluid is a sign or follow the usual 2-3 yr
 

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How do you get new pads to fit around the rotor if you do not first open the valve and compress the brake cylinder? In doing this, there is a good chance air gets in the line. It's also my opportunity to flush new brake fluid through each line.
If you have a spongy brake pedal, I'd bleed the brakes.
 

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I suspect you tightened down one of the caliper bolt/pins incorrectly and mashed the head of the caliper pin leading to the caliper (and pads) not being parallel to the rotor. This would account for the sponginess and explain why you had a hard time securing the caliper bolts. Other than the final torque of the bracket and caliper, the brakes should go together very easily, with minimal effort and force, the biggest bolts, the bracket bolts, will need a ratchet, but will still thread in easily. The need to crank down fasteners other than for the final torque is indicative of some problem.

I'd carefully inspect and perhaps disassemble and check everything. Also download and study the service manual. Also, with 200 km on the vehicle, a brake fluid flush would be a good idea, you're lucky you made it that far without a stuck/failed caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How do you get new pads to fit around the rotor if you do not first open the valve and compress the brake cylinder? In doing this, there is a good chance air gets in the line. It's also my opportunity to flush new brake fluid through each line.
If you have a spongy brake pedal, I'd bleed the brakes.
I took the cap off the brake fluid reservoir and used a brake piston compressor tool like this to push the pistons back:

 

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I took the cap off the brake fluid reservoir and used a brake piston compressor tool like this to push the pistons back:

Yes, I understand.
I attach a small rubber tube to the end of my bleed valve and drop the end of it in a coffee can. Then with the valve open, press the piston. This pushes old fluid out. Fresh brake fluid being high priority, I Add new in to the reservoir. I bleed brake fluid from each line until fluid turns clear.
 
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And the all important brake bleed order/sequence. Believe it or not, lol
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Yes, I understand.
I attach a small rubber tube to the end of my bleed valve and drop the end of it in a coffee can. Then with the valve open, press the piston. This pushes old fluid out. Fresh brake fluid being high priority, I Add new in to the reservoir. I bleed brake fluid from each line until fluid turns clear.
Just because that's your way doesn't mean he's wrong. Bleeding won't fix an incorrect assemble issue.
 

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Just because that's your way doesn't mean he's wrong. Bleeding won't fix an incorrect assemble issue.
Yes. I agree.
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