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How To Maintenance :: Changing REAR Brake Pads for Beginners!

  #101  
Old 11-10-2009, 10:31 AM
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great post. i changed out my pads last night and it went well. I had some issues with the rear calipers, but for the most part it went painlessly. the square thing that i used for my honda was not the right size so in a jam i used the needle nose pliers. Took me about 6 hours including having dinner and bleeding the brakes as well. Thanks again!
 
  #102  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 AM
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Thumbs up

Awesome writeup. It helped a lot.

I picked up a 28" 1/2" breaker bar ($11.99), 1/2" torque wrench ($15.99), 4 socket adapter set ($3.99), and a set of hex sockets ($12.99) at Harbor Freight.

The breaker bar is so nice for taking the lug nuts off! Easily crack the bolt, straighten the bar, lay it across my knee while crouching and spin it with both hands. Wheels off in no time.

Initially picked up a $24.99 air-powered bleeder that vacuums on the bleeder valve, but my mechanic friend recommended against it. Luckily, his friend overheard him and offered me a used professional power bleeder for $15!

I am removing the rear calipers and replacing them with some NTE Performance Calipers, so I don't have worry about the caliper compression tool.

At first I didn't know how to get the parking brake cable through the caliper, but found If I pulled the rubber boot off, I could wiggle it enough to get a small gap on the other side of the caliper big enough to put in a small screwdriver and twist to separate.

It's taking me a long time so far, but most of the time I was searching for lost tools, rigging up a shop light, smoke break, dinner break, drink break, etc. Tonight I get to bleed! (my brakes AND wounds)

Questions -
When removing the two big bolts that hold the caliper bracket on to the car, I accidentally removed another bolt next to bottom bolt (same size). When I put it back in, what should I torque it to?

When applying lube to "all contact surfaces", are we talking about all surfaces that contact the PADS, or ALL surfaces that the caliper contacts? (minus the rotor itself of course)

It is recommended to clean old parts with break cleaner. These are new calipers, so they are spotless, but the pads are coming out of the old ones. Should I clean the back of the pads with brake cleaner before reinstalling them?
 
  #103  
Old 05-07-2010, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by WerGis View Post
There are three bolts on the backside of the mounting bracket.. just wondering if all three of them are attached to the bracket or only the one on top and the one on the bottom
A little late, but FYI it's only the two bolts - top and bottom. I accidentally removed the one you are referring to. It's easy to mistake, especially with poor lighting, because it has an identical pass-through hole right next to the caliper one and the bolt is the same size.
 
  #104  
Old 05-07-2010, 01:04 PM
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"all contact surfaces" = all the contact surfaces where pads meet the caliper.
 
  #105  
Old 05-09-2010, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Poppa Bear View Post
brake pad carrier torque values are 110 Nm / 81 Ft-lb front, 65 Nm / 48 Ft-lb rear and caliper to brake pad carrier (7mm Allen) is 25-30 Nm / 18-22 Ft-lb.
Wow, using a torque wrench is so nice. The bracket bolts were all heavily overtightened when I took them off (foot on the car, forehead on the bumper, and two hands on the wrench) and if I was not using a a torque wrench, my "intuition" would have led me to use WAY too much force putting them back on.
 
  #106  
Old 05-14-2010, 06:31 PM
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Yay! Uh Oh. Now What?

I have to say how much I appreciate you. Your step-by-step instructions and pictures are fantastic and have saved me lots of money! Plus, I love doing my own repairs (when I have what I need) and you have taken the frustration out of the task so, thank you again.

As it is, I attempted my rear brakes the other day (without you, sadly) and I tore the rubber boot of the caliper trying to get it off. Ouch! What should I do? I taped the tear with crazy thick heat tape but should I replace the caliper? Also, I have that caliper compressor tool but none of the fittings worked. I see that you just used the tool itself- will mine work too or should I buy Harbor Freight? I have a different brand but looks identical. Is there a Mini-specific tool to use?

A little story: I went to my sister's to do both our brakes but couldn't get my caliper to compress so she ended up modifying one of the compression fittings with a bright pink automatic nail file that had a small metal conical grinder. We couldn't help laugh about how girls do brakes.

Thanks for your help! You're aces.
All the best and Mini love,

Annie Sell
San Francisco, CA
 
  #107  
Old 05-15-2010, 07:57 AM
Gerldoc
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Also, I have that caliper compressor tool but none of the fittings worked. I see that you just used the tool itself- will mine work too or should I buy Harbor Freight?
Hi Miniannie,

Saw your post - I live in SF and just bought the brake caliper kit from Harbor Freight to use when I need to do my brakes (it was on sale when I looked so I grabbed one!) 'cause the right tools are always so helpful on these DIY things...
In any case, you are welcome to borrow it, if it would help you...

Just a thought - PM me if you are interested -
Cheers,
Melanie
 
  #108  
Old 05-20-2010, 05:42 PM
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great write up!!
 
  #109  
Old 06-01-2010, 08:55 PM
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The caliper tool at Harbor Freight is on clearance for $ 9.99 !!!
 
  #110  
Old 06-17-2010, 04:17 PM
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Great thread for rear brake job discussion

Thanks, I am a newbie and could not figure away around the caliper piston problem. Your post was perfect. Thanks for your effort.
 
  #111  
Old 06-23-2010, 07:21 PM
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Hey there

Hi Melanie,

That would be so great! I actually got all my tools stolen recently because they were in my trunk after taking them to my sister's to do her brakes and someone broke into my car, opened the trunk and took everything. Ouch! But I still need to put on these rotors and replace the sensor. A borrow would help sooooo much. I know I just need to bite the bullet and replace them but its going to have to happen slowly, since I don't have a job.

Anyhoo... give me a call anytime. My cell phone number is 831-818-6512.

Thanks so much. I look forward to meeting you!

All the best,
Annie
 
  #112  
Old 07-03-2010, 01:18 AM
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Thank you so much for this article (several years later)! With almost no experience I was able to successfully change both front and rear brakes on the drivers side and had I gone to the trouble of reading all of the subsequent posts I feel like I probably would have been able to change the brakes on the passenger side as well without incident! As it stands now, however, my car is sitting in my warehouse with the right side up on jack stands because I couldn't get the rear right piston to compress for anything (and got the caliper compression tool very nicely stuck on it as well). After very much rage I decided to return to it tomorrow and have subsequently read about removing the MC cap and/ or bleeding the lines. I feel fairly confident that one of these will work, and it only make sense. My brakes were in pretty poor shape, though I must be rather easy on them to make it to 75k miles before the sensor light went off, so I must have pushed a lot of fluid back when I compressed the first two pistons. I'd bet removing the cap will work and I hope I'm right as that's certainly the faster and easier of my options.

In any case, though I'll probably continue with this exploit before anyone can respond and hopefully finish successfully, I may as well ask anyone knowledgeable that reads this whether or not my plan to much more easily compress the piston by first removing the MC cap and secondly (only if removing the cap doesn't yield results) bleeding the brake lines is sound. So, sound like a plan?

Also, I had to laugh at the confusion with the interior rear brake pads. I did get up to check through the OP about it (nothing there) but managed to come up with the technique of sliding it from top to bottom over the piston lip to secure the clips fairly quickly. It's a relief to see that I was right because that had me a bit worried.

Oh, and lastly, has anyone else noticed (perhaps more specifically with a 2004 MC S) uneven wear between the inner and outer rear brake pads? When I pulled mine off I found that the one attacked to the piston was horribly worn, but the outer one still had some life in it. Seemed a bit odd to me, especially for the car's first pads.
 
  #113  
Old 07-03-2010, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Monkeynutz View Post
Oh, and lastly, has anyone else noticed (perhaps more specifically with a 2004 MC S) uneven wear between the inner and outer rear brake pads? When I pulled mine off I found that the one attacked to the piston was horribly worn, but the outer one still had some life in it. Seemed a bit odd to me, especially for the car's first pads.
My rear calipers were seizing at 85k miles, so that may be the cause. My right rear wheel would be warmer than the others when I got home from my commute. It was barely noticeable, but my MPG went up after I replaced them.
 
  #114  
Old 07-11-2010, 04:03 PM
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rear brakes addtional note and thanks

Thanks for the very helpful and very clear write up with great photos too.
On the rear breaks, the pad holder or carrier does not need to come off to remove the rotor. Simply angle the rotor and it will slide off. I couldn't believe that Mini finally engineered this simple removal! Maybe the boys heard from the old Greek ghost for a change. I haven't tried this on the front but try it before you take the two bolts out it may save you some time and effort. thaNKS AGAIN.
Cheers,
03works
 
  #115  
Old 07-19-2010, 12:49 PM
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inner rear pad wear

I assumed my front pads were worn when the light came on.
Bought everything ahead of time - pads, sensor, HB tool.

Finally replaced the fronts only to see the sensor still had lots of miles left.

It was the rear that triggered the light.
Off to NAPA and did those as well.
The inner was the only pad with wear (45K).

Reading more today - I did not pay attention to the wires that fit the grove.
I am thinking the factory screwed up as well.

Do I need to rip it apart or can I just keep an eye on them and replace as needed.

Thanks for the tip on stripping and connecting the sensor. I replaced the front, but gave up on the rear.

Thanks for the help, I wish I had found this write up earlier.
 
  #116  
Old 07-31-2010, 06:20 PM
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R53 Brake Pad Wear Sensor Alternate Solution

This was a great post that walked me through my first rear brake job quickly and easily. Don't know if this was already mentioned earlier in the thread (didn't see it but it's a very long thread), but if your replacement pads do not accommodate the wear sensor, an alternative to spending the money on a new sensor and tying it off out of the way is to snip the wires of the old sensor, twist them together, insulate properly with wire nut/electrical tape, etc. and tie off with wire ties so that they are out of the way. This will complete the circuit and when you reset the sensor light it will stay off. To reset the sensor light, just turn the ignition key to the number 2 position for about 30 seconds and the light will go off.
 
  #117  
Old 08-16-2010, 04:23 PM
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Just wanted to add that I had a really hard time getting the pistons to go in. I used the HF tool but the piston just kept turning without going in. I was pushing with some force while turning it. It was quite frustrating but I just kept at it while varying the pressure and after what seemed like hours it finally started going in. I don't know why it was so difficult. I've changed rear pads before on other cars with rotating/retracting pistons and never had so much trouble.
 
  #118  
Old 08-17-2010, 05:17 PM
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Did you have the cap off the master cly? It makes the job of compressing pistons easier if it is.
 
  #119  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Crashton View Post
Did you have the cap off the master cly? It makes the job of compressing pistons easier if it is.
Yes, I read that tip here so I had the cap off.
 
  #120  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:58 PM
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That is a puzzlement then. I wouldn't say those rear pads are easy to compress & turn, but they shouldn't cause the trouble you've had.
 
  #121  
Old 08-18-2010, 06:58 PM
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I got free rental from AutoZone to do the job. They are great. The tool doesn't fit perfectly, however. So a lot of fiddling to get it to work. But it does the job and I didn't have to add another one-use tool to my collection. :P
 
  #122  
Old 09-21-2010, 08:48 PM
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I did my rear brakes today. I have a track event that required a tech inspection which needed >50% remaining pads to pass the inspection. I only had 35%.

The shop quoted me $212 for parts & labor to do the job so I decided to do myself. It went extremely smoothly. I picked up the 'cube' tool at an O'Reilly parts shop down the street (just your neighborhood run-of-the-mill auto supply store). The holes didn't line up quite right so I ground them to the correct shape/size with my disk grinder. I just pressed steadily as I turned clockwise (turning anti-clockwise causes the piston to come out more). The first 2-3 rotations it seemed nothing was happening, but then it slowly started to give. I just gave it strong, even pressure (putting my shoulder into it).
You can actually hear the brake fluid starting to push back up to the master cylinder if you listen carefully. After that point, less pressure is required to finish pushing in.

To give more leverage, I reinstalled the bottom caliper bolt and rested the bottom caliper arm on the brake rotor (I put a rag between the two to prevent scratching).


This allowed me to put more weight into it. I don't think it took more than 1-2 minutes of rotating before the piston was fully pushed in... not sure what the posters are doing wrong who were working at it for 2-3 hours.

For me the 'cube' tool was sufficient and probably faster than the more complex Hardware Freight tool. Less fiddling around with all the miscellaneous bits.

Total installation time can't have been more than 90 minutes.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
 

Last edited by CORNERS; 09-21-2010 at 08:56 PM.
  #123  
Old 10-08-2010, 08:29 AM
SarahLeeCupcake
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Would this guide (and OctaneGuy's guide for replacing the front pads) be applicable to the 2007 models?
 
  #124  
Old 01-04-2011, 06:30 PM
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Did my rear pads...i was caught off guard by how warn the passenger side was over the driver. i did the front pads a few months ago. but checked the rear driver side and were not bad. I was away in VA over xmas visiting with my daughter and heard grinding. so didnt drive til i had to come home. i ordered ebc slotted rotors and ebc red stuff pads while i was there. so there were at my place when i got home. the local pep boys rents out the proper caliper piston tool basically for free. gotta pay $60 (cost of the tool) then they give it all back when u return it. kinda sweet. at first the (passenger side that was grinding) the piston wouldnt budge. i thought i was skrewed. i called local mini dealer, it was $312 for a caliper. i thought it was seized. lucky i let off some pressure and it just spun in after i finally got a 1/4 turn. huge save. now i have matching ebc slotted rotors and ebc red stuff pads front and back. cant wait to bed in the pads and check out the new stopping power. having the fronts done alone made a huge difference. ty again for the write up. was a huge help and time saver.
 
  #125  
Old 01-08-2011, 09:52 AM
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FYI to all having pre-mature wear on right rear inner brake pad. There was a TSB(technical service bulletin) regarding the parking brake cable not having enough bend in it and causing premature inner pad wear since it wasn't retracting the pad completely when you released the parking brake. The bulletin says to just add more curve to the parking brake cable so it will release the inner pad completely. Do it gently, so you don't tweak the cable.
 

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