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

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Old 05-18-2005, 10:31 AM
OctaneGuy
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Maintenance :: Changing REAR Brake Pads for Beginners!

*******
CAUTION: PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK
As with all mods or DIY articles, the information provided here is without warranty. I am providing the steps for your information, but beware that problems may occur and that you accept full responsibility. Should you encounter any problems, please take a deep breath and post your problems to this thread and we will all do our best to assist you. I am not a professional mechanic. In fact, this was my first time working on brakes, but I spent many weeks researching this subject.
************

MINI REAR Brake Pad Installation
Changing your brake pads is a very rewarding DIY project. This tutorial focuses specifically on giving you the complete picture on how to replace your OEM pads and Brake Pad sensor for the front axle. After you've done this yourself, changing the rotors or upgrading to aftermarket pads is a breeze!

Background Story
Back in March, or about 2 months ago, I noticed a yellow symbol light above my OEM nav system next to the seat belt warning light, indicating that one set of my brake pads needed replacement. After some investigating, it was determined that the front set needed replacement, and I decided to wait for the rears. Well, the sensor light came on again last week, which turned out as expected to be my rear brake pads.

Remember, our MINI's have 2 sensors, one on the front left wheel and one on the right rear.

Although I had previously changed my front pads with OEM pads because I wanted to familiarize myself with the brake sensor, I decided when it came time to do the rears, I would go aftermarket and replace front and back at the same time. I chose Mintex Red Box pads because a full set costs less than just the front OEM or EBC brakes and they are supposed to dust less than OEM.

The only drawback which I find pretty confusing among brake pad manufacturers is whether their pads support the brake pad sensors on my 2003 MC. But since I regularly rotate my tires and know how to determine whether the pads need replacement or not, not having the sensors isn't a big deal.

You will need:
7mm Allen Socket
Brake Caliper Tool Kit
Torque Wrench
Jack Stands/Racing Jack
17mm Socket
Breaker Bar
Replacement Brake Pads

Desirable:
Rubber or Mechanics gloves
Socket extensions
1/2" to 3/8" adaptor

Summary
Replacing the brake pads is simple. You remove 2 bolts which frees the caliper/piston assembly. You replace the old pads with new ones, and put it back together. The trick lies in compressing the piston. With the front brakes, you just push it in, with the rear brakes you need to use a tool that pushes in and twists at the same time, so the Brake Tool I show here is the idea tool to have. Each wheel will probably take between 20 to 30 minutes.

Start Time


Lay Out Your Tools

Make sure you have all your tools. Nothing is worse than finding you need to put your car back together to drive to your nearest auto parts store to find that missing tool! (I did that for this article!)

Extension Sockets

A set of these can be very handy when you find you just don't have enough room to reach your bolts!


View of the rear caliper piston.

Harbor Freight Caliper Tool

You will only need the main tool in the center of the picture--looks like a part of a C-Clamp, and the curved flat plate below it. The rest of the adaptors are not used with the MINI.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40732

Brake Pad Sensor

The brake pad sensor (small end) consists of a long wire that connects to the front left pad assembly. The other end (Cylindrical end) goes to a receptacle that's hidden by some of the paneling.

Brake Pad Thickness

Just by looking down the brake rotor, you can see the thickness.

Step #1

We're going to lift the MINI up on jacks. But before we do that, make sure to loosen the lug bolts. If you lift the MINI on stands before loosening your lug nuts, you won't be able to remove the wheels! The OEM wheels come with this little tool to remove the hubcap.

17mm Socket and Breaker Bar

If you plan on working on your car frequently, get atleast an 18" breaker bar. It makes removing the lug nuts much easier over using the spare tire kit that comes with the Cooper.

Breaker Bar is Hinged

You can turn the breaker bar at a 90 degree angle to remove the lug bolts, then straighten it out and spin it with your fingers to remove the bolts.



Use a Coffee Can to Hold Loose Parts

A coffee can works great to keep all the parts you removed in one place!

Step #2

To keep the MINI from rolling, chock the wheels on the opposite side that you are working on, shift the car into gear and do NOT pull the handbrake. With the handbrake up, it will be impossible to compress the pistons!



Lifting the MINI

The MINI has 4 jacking points. The rear wheels don't have a decent alternate jacking point, but because the MINI is so rigid, you can just put a jack under the front support point and jack up the car, then use a jack stand on the rear most jacking point. I jacked one side only at a time.


Retaining Wire


This wire actually holds the two parts of the brake calipers together. It's a good idea to take a picture or print this page out as a reference.

Removing Retaining Wire

To remove the clip, insert a flat bladed screw driver on the lower portion of the clip at this point, and simply wiggle it off. Inserting it at this location is the easiest way of removing it.

Full Brake Assembly


Part Remaining on Rotor

As you can see here, this part stays on the rotor. It actually loosely holds the outer brake pad. If you wanted to remove this part of the brake assembly, you would need a 16mm socket to remove 2 bolts, but for just changing brake pads, they will remain as they are.

Brake Calipers Removed

This assembly holds the inner brake pad. The piston is a part of this component and isn't very visible here. It's what pushes the brake pad against the caliper when you step on the brakes.

It should be pretty clear now that there are 2 major parts here. Each component holds each side of the brake pad. There are 2 parts to the brake pad. The one with the wire side faces the inside of the car, while the flat pad faces out.

Brake Pad Sensor

The wire you see in the middle here, is the wire for the brake sensor. This wire can be found on opposite corners--the Left Front Wheel and Right Rear Wheel.

Disassemble Caliper Assembly

To take apart the brake assembly, you only need to remove 2 screws. They are hidden behind these plastic caps. Just use your finger nail to remove the cap and insert a 7mm Allen.



7mm Allen Socket

This is the tool you need. I could only find it for a 3/8" ratchet. Because I wanted to use it with my 1/2" Torque Wrench, I bought an adaptor to convert my 1/2" drive to a 3/8" socket.

Set of Adaptors

I found this set at Pep Boys. Figuring I may need this in the future, I decided to buy a set of adaptors for $10.

It Doesn't Fit!!

It should be evident here that a 3/8" Allen Socket won't fit a 1/2" Drive ratchet

An Adaptor Saves the Day!!


Now it Fits!


7mm Allen Bolt

You can't see what the 7mm Allen head looks like because it's facing away from you.

Loosen Allen Bolt

Using a ratchet, just loosen the bolt.

Loosen By Hand

Once you've loosened the 7mm Allen with the ratchet, remove it, but leave the socket in place, and just use your fingers to remove the Allen bolt.

TIP

Because of the location of the brake lines on the lower bolt, you will need an extension to clear the line and fit the ratchet inside.



Allen Bolt

If you look closely at where the Allen bolts travels, you can actually get your fingers in there to help the bolt come out.

Remove Caliper

Once you are sure the 7mm Allens have been loosened and removed, you can slip off the caliper assembly. It will need to be wiggled quite a bit.


You "may" be able to use a screw driver to pry the caliper off by being very careful. You should pry against the brake pad backing plate since this will be discarded. The piston will be fully extended making extraction a little difficult.

On to the Piston!!!


Ok, you can see the piston here. It's that large cylindrical part with a rubber boot. In order to compress this so that you can insert the brake pads and put it back on your rotors you need a tool!


This is the tool from Harbor Freight.


However just putting this on the caliper won't do anything. The tool needs to both rotate AND push the piston in.




So make sure you add this plate and place it correctly.


You will crank this part clockwise to drive the piston in.


As you crank the piston in, this little plate will get loose. You just need to tighten the little nut behind it to take up the slack that you've created by compressing the piston. You will probably have to do this 4 or 5 times before the piston is fully compressed.

Don't Let Rubber Sleeve Bunch Up


As you compress the piston, be careful that the rubber sleeve doesn't bunch up, and tear. Just carefully adjust it as you compress it each time.

Because I'm using Mintex pads that don't support the brake pad sensor wire, I'm just going to replace it with a new one and attach it with zip ties in some location that won't interfere with the safe operation of my MINI.

Ending Time (Side #1)

This is where I stopped with the first pad. Took me about 40 minutes since I was taking photos, and figuring things out. Then I did the other side in about 30 minutes, but I didn't replace the sensor wire yet.

Final Assembly

There wasn't anything particularly difficult about putting everything back together again. Just slide the caliper assembly on, and tighten the 2 Allen head bolts.

Caliper to brake pad carrier (7mm Allen) 30 - 5 Nm or (22 - 4 ft-lb)

Even with the 2 Allen bolts secure, The assembly may feel a little wobbly, because the piston is no longer applying pressure to the brake pads. But once the retaining clip is put back on, the assembly will feel very solid.

Slip the retaining wire into the top hole first and use pliers to insert the bottom portion of the clip into the lower hole. It will take some force to do this. With the front side supported by the racing jack, just lift it up a bit higher and remove the jack stand and repeat on the other side. Now torque the lug bolts to the proper spec. Abound 88Nm using the torque wrench. Tighten opposing lug bolts as you do this. Replace the hub caps.

Get in the MINI, and turn on the ignition. The first time you step on the brake pedal it should go to the floor. Also the eBrake will feel very loose, but don't worry. Pump it a few times and it should feel like normal, although it may feel a bit spongy. Take a drive around the block being careful to ensure that the brakes are operational. Return back to your work area, and retighten lug bolts to 88 ft-lbs .

Ending Time (Side #2)

I spent time taking pictures and preparing this article, but as you can see, it won't take long to do your brake pads the first time!

With proper instruction, anyone with the right tools can do this simple brake pad change in as little as 30 minutes! Of course if you don't feel comfortable working on something as critical as your brakes, get a qualified mechanic to do the job!

Harbor Freight Brake Tool $39
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40732


Mintex Red Box Pads $39 Set
http://outmotoring.com/mintex_redbox_brake_pads.html

Front Brake Pad How To Article
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...348#post550348
 

Last edited by OctaneGuy; 05-18-2005 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:29 PM
plantain
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Awesome writeup!

Once again, you've done an excellent writeup! I liked the detailed info about compressing the piston, especially the use of the Harbor Freight Tool!

A quick question though - you mention not connecting the brake sensor. Does that mean you actually unplug the sensor wire completely (take it out)? Does that cause the sensor light to stay on? Or do you have to leave an in-tact, sensor wire connected to the car but not to the brake pad?
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:04 PM
OctaneGuy
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Oh good point. I actually bought a replacement one to swap out the old one. I expect to tie it somewhere, but leave it connected. I'm going to do that in about an hour and will have pix of what I do. I believe if you unplug it completely, the light will remain on, but I don't know that for a fact. I will confirm that today.

Thank you!

Richard

Originally Posted by plantain
Once again, you've done an excellent writeup! I liked the detailed info about compressing the piston, especially the use of the Harbor Freight Tool!

A quick question though - you mention not connecting the brake sensor. Does that mean you actually unplug the sensor wire completely (take it out)? Does that cause the sensor light to stay on? Or do you have to leave an in-tact, sensor wire connected to the car but not to the brake pad?
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:33 PM
nevr2qk
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Good write-up. Thanks for posting torque values for the 7mm allen bolts. I didn't find that in Randy Webb's article. (Wish you'd done this yesterday though, I just put mine back together last night!) Couple of questions/comments:

1. Do you have any close-up shots of the caliper side of the pad wear sensor? I have the later '04/'05 sensor and am just curious what the earlier style looks like.

2. I think the torque value for the wheel bolts is 88 ft-lbs (not 88 N-m). Was I told wrong?

3. Sounds like you found a pretty good deal on the caliper tool, but it wasn't necessary in my case; a simple C-clamp was all it took to retract the caliper pistons. My car has a little over 3k on it, so this may not be the case with higher mileage or more pad wear.

4. Loosening the MC cap will ease retraction of caliper pistons (allows fluid to flow back to the MC without compressing the air between the fluid and the cap). Have a rag handy in case someone has added fluid since the pads were new. Don't forget to re-tighten the lid!

Brock
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:59 PM
OctaneGuy
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Thanks!!! It's funny cause I did my brakes last night too--actually late yesterday afternoon, but didn't get all my pics formatted until this morning.

You're right about the Ft Lbs. I noticed that but forgot to correct it in my article.

re: C- Clamp
Yep, it's really personal preference. I think for anyone doing this for the first time, having the right tool the first time can be less scary.

Now that I've done it, I could see how a C-Clamp could have been used, but I don't regret having bought the Harbor Freight tool either.

You can see the wear sensor in my first Brake writeup here.
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...348#post550348

Here's what the sensor looks like


Thanks for the tip on the Master Cylinder. I knew there had to be another way--cause it's really a bear if you don't! LOL

Richard

Originally Posted by nevr2qk
Good write-up. Thanks for posting torque values for the 7mm allen bolts. I didn't find that in Randy Webb's article. (Wish you'd done this yesterday though, I just put mine back together last night!) Couple of questions/comments:

1. Do you have any close-up shots of the caliper side of the pad wear sensor? I have the later '04/'05 sensor and am just curious what the earlier style looks like.

2. I think the torque value for the wheel bolts is 88 ft-lbs (not 88 N-m). Was I told wrong?

3. Sounds like you found a pretty good deal on the caliper tool, but it wasn't necessary in my case; a simple C-clamp was all it took to retract the caliper pistons. My car has a little over 3k on it, so this may not be the case with higher mileage or more pad wear.

4. Loosening the MC cap will ease retraction of caliper pistons (allows fluid to flow back to the MC without compressing the air between the fluid and the cap). Have a rag handy in case someone has added fluid since the pads were new. Don't forget to re-tighten the lid!

Brock
 

Last edited by OctaneGuy; 05-18-2005 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:08 PM
nevr2qk
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I think we're confused on the rear pad sensor. I'm asking for a picture of the one you are replacing. Is it integrated into the pad?

It's not a big deal. I just experienced quite a bit of difficulty locating aftermarket pads to accommodate the newer style sensor, so I'm curious just what the difference is.

Brock
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:25 PM
OctaneGuy
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Oh I see. As I mentioned in the article, I'm not using the pad sensors anymore as the Mintex Red Box pads don't support the sensors. I've replaced them with new sensors so I can get rid of the idiot light, but I'm not using them on the pads. Will just trust my own judgement on when to replace them since I rotate every 4000 miles.

This is what the sensor looks like on the rear pad that I removed--off the OEM one. The one I showed you in the last post was off the OEM pad on the front.



Originally Posted by nevr2qk
I think we're confused on the rear pad sensor. I'm asking for a picture of the one you are replacing. Is it integrated into the pad?

It's not a big deal. I just experienced quite a bit of difficulty locating aftermarket pads to accommodate the newer style sensor, so I'm curious just what the difference is.

Brock
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:18 PM
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Ok here's an update. I just finished off my brakes. I left the brake sensors for today as well as swapping the OEM fronts with Mintex since I didn't have time yesterday. What I found was that the front pads do support the brake sensor, and it looks just like OEM. I'll post a picture later. As far as I know, the rear pads don't have holes for the sensor--I'll admit, I wasn't careful in looking for it since I assumed I wasn't going to be using it!

So regardless, I just wrapped some electrical tape around the sensor contact, and zip tied it off. I noticed the new sensor uses a different type of mounting attachments. I will post pix later.

Now that I have the Mintex Red Box pads on the front as well as the rear, I just went out and did some braking. Not sure if I may have done something wrong but my brakes feel kinda spongy now. I did loosen the brake reservoir cap this time around to see if that would help. Also after a series of braking from 30 to 0, I could smell brake pads. Again, not sure if that's normal. I'm going to a meeting about 20 miles away, so I guess I'll see what happens after a bit more driving.
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:49 PM
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Bed-In procedure

Here's what I thought was an excellent description of the proper bedding-in procedure for new pads. It's ripped from an article by Zeckhausen Racing, a BMW brake specialist.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
If you've just installed a big brake kit or even if you've only changed your brake pads and rotors, you should "bed" them in by following the instructions below. Proper bedding of brakes will improve pedal feel, reduce or eliminate brake squeal, and extend the life of your pads and rotors. Because bedding increases the emissivity of the rotors, it even allows them to shed more heat via radiation, making them run cooler.
Caution: When you've just installed new pads/rotors or a big brake kit, the first few applications of the brake pedal will result in almost no braking power. Gently apply the brakes a few times at low speed in order to build up some grip before blasting down the road at high speed. Otherwise, you may be in for a nasty surprise the first time you hit the brakes at 60 mph.
When following these instructions, please avoid doing it in the presence of other vehicles. Breaking in your new pads and rotors is often best done very early in the morning, since other drivers will have no idea what you are up to and will respond in a variety of ways ranging from fear to curiosity to aggression. And an officer of the law will probably not understand when you try to explain why you were driving erratically! Zeckhausen Racing does not endorse speeding on public roads and takes no responsibility for any injuries or tickets you may receive while following these instructions.
From a speed of about 60mph, gently apply the brakes to slow the car down to about 45mph, then accelerate back up to 60mph and repeat. Do this about four or five times to bring the brakes up to operating temperature. This prevents you from thermally shocking the rotors and pads in the next steps.
Make a series of eight near-stops from 60 to about 10 mph. Do it HARD by pressing on the brakes firmly, just shy of locking the wheels or engaging ABS. At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate back to 60mph. DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP! (Note: With less aggressive street pads and/or stock brake calipers, you may need to do this fewer times. If your pedal gets soft or you feel the brakes going away, then you've done enough. Proceed to the next step.)
During this process, you must not come to a complete stop because you will transfer (imprint) pad material onto the hot rotors, which can lead to vibration, uneven braking, and could even ruin the rotors.
Depending on the pads you are using, the brakes may begin to fade slightly after the 7th or 8th near-stop. This fade will stabilize, but not completely go away until the brakes have fully cooled. A bad smell from the brakes, and even some smoke, is normal.
After the 8th near-stop, accelerate back up to speed and drive around for as long as possible without using the brakes. The brakes will need at least 10 minutes to cool down. Obviously, it's OK to use the brakes to avoid an accident, but try to minimize their use until they have cooled.
If club race pads, such as Pagid Orange or Porterfield R4, are being used, add four near-stops from 80 to 10mph. If full race pads, such as Pagid Black, are being used, add four near-stops from 100 to 10 mph.
After the break-in cycle, there should be a blue tint and a light gray film on the rotor face. The blue tint tells you the rotor has reached break-in temperature and the gray film is pad material starting to transfer onto the rotor face. This is what you are looking for. The best braking occurs when there is an even layer of of pad material deposited across the face of the rotors. This minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and rotor life.
After the first break in cycle shown above, the brakes may still not be fully broken in. A second bed-in cycle, AFTER the brakes have cooled down fully from the first cycle, may be necessary before the brakes really start to perform well. If you've just installed a big brake kit, the pedal travel may not feel as firm as you expected. After the second cycle, the pedal will become noticeably firmer.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, I ran into the same issue with the wear sensor (slot not there) on EBC Greenstuff rear pads - just tie-wrapped it out of the way. Would've tried the Mintex RedBox if I'd known about them at the time - my rotors are lookin' pretty ratty after ~12K miles.

Something tells me that a lot of the aftermarket pad mfr's have to wait for surplus, worn, or reject pads to become available so they can re-manufacture them with their own friction material. Otherwise, looks like a lot of expensive tooling to design & build the metal parts from scratch. Just a guess on my part.
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:06 PM
OctaneGuy
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Thanks Sideways!!

That's an excellent article!

Richard
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 07:20 PM
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Excellent write-up, however, you should always open the bleeder screw when compressing the cailper piston. Not only does it alllow the piston to retract easier, you avoid pushing the old crappy brake fluid back into the system which, could cause a problem with the ABS if bad fluid with little chunks gets lodged in the ABS manifold. Of course, you will then need to top off the master cyl. Actually, I prefer to flush/bleed the system when ever I change pads.
 
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:27 PM
OctaneGuy
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Good suggestion! I guess that sort of takes it into another level of expertise--I haven't yet flushed/bled my system, although I did buy some Super Blue brake fluid and have a Harbor Freight bleeder ready to go. Just gotta figure out how to do it.

Once that happens, I'll make an addendum write up to this but in the meantime defer that to the experts here!

Thanks!

Richard

Originally Posted by apexer
Excellent write-up, however, you should always open the bleeder screw when compressing the cailper piston. Not only does it alllow the piston to retract easier, you avoid pushing the old crappy brake fluid back into the system which, could cause a problem with the ABS if bad fluid with little chunks gets lodged in the ABS manifold. Of course, you will then need to top off the master cyl. Actually, I prefer to flush/bleed the system when ever I change pads.
 

Last edited by OctaneGuy; 05-19-2005 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 05-19-2005, 06:12 AM
nevr2qk
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Originally Posted by apexer
Excellent write-up, however, you should always open the bleeder screw when compressing the cailper piston. Not only does it alllow the piston to retract easier, you avoid pushing the old crappy brake fluid back into the system which, could cause a problem with the ABS if bad fluid with little chunks gets lodged in the ABS manifold. Of course, you will then need to top off the master cyl. Actually, I prefer to flush/bleed the system when ever I change pads.
"bad fluid with little chunks"? I don't think so. You've got a whole other problem if there is debris in the hydraulic system. If you crack that bleeder screw you're committed to bleeding the brakes. It is a good idea to replace the brake fluid periodically, because it absorbs moisture, though. Pad swaps are often a convenient time to do so, but it's not an integral part of the process.

I wouldn't recommend opening the bleeder screw and leaving it open while you work for another reason. If you forget about it or take long that the MC drains, you could end up having to pull it, and bench bleed it to get all the air out.

Brock
 
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:09 AM
OctaneGuy
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Brake Pad Sensor Replacement- Rear

Replacing the brake pad sensor on the right rear corner on the 2003 MINI is a simple procedure. Because I have a nav, this is where the warning light appears to the left of the seat belt warning light.



OVERVIEW
Once the sensor is replaced, you hold the flat tire indicator reset button under the eBrake for around 20 seconds with the ignition on to reset it. If you don't replace the sensor, or you leave it unplugged, this method won't turn off the warning light. The only way to get it turned off is by installing a new sensor, even if it's only going to be tied off and not used.

First disassemble the caliper and remove the sensor from the brake pad. Shoe boxes are wonderful supports when working on your MINI (don't let the caliper hang by the brake line!)




Now follow this wire, disconnecting it and cutting any zip ties. Needle nose pliers work great here.






You may want to loosen some of the paneling for better access. To do that, just remove these 2 screws.






As you get to the main connector, you will find a blue and a black one. The brake sensor is the black one, so disconnect this, and replace it with the new sensor.


Once you disconnect the connector from its holding clip, you can actually pull it down under the car, and disconnect it there.


Simply trace your way back and connect where appropriate. Look how the new cable differs from the older one. Old one on left, new on right.


Since my Mintex Red Box pads don't support the rear sensor, I just used a couple zip ties and some electrical tape to tie it back onto itself. Maybe not the best way, but it works. I also wrapped some electrical tape around the sensor head.


 

Last edited by OctaneGuy; 05-19-2005 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:37 AM
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Is there any other way to compress the rear piston without the tool? :(
 
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Old 01-22-2006, 06:37 AM
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On all my other cars, I've always used a pair of plyers in reverse. With the plyers closed, stick the head of the plyers in between the piston and the opposite side (bridge the opening with something solid if necessary) and pry open the plyer handles.

I'll add a couple of suggestions to this excellent write-up.

1. Clean the area out as well as possible before you begin--this will keep your hands and tools a lot cleaner.

2. Buy a can of brake parts cleaner spray and clean the brake parts while you have them apart.

3. When reinstalling those wheels, clean up the wheel mating surfaces, and smear a small bit of wheel grease on the hub surface. Rust and debris between the wheel and rotor surface will cause unequal torqueing when you tighten the bolts down.

3.a If your car is new, the first time you have the wheel off, remove the little Torx bolt on the face of the brake rotors (size T45) and put a little anti-sieze on this bolt. Then reinstall it. If you never do this step, this bolt is notorious for siezing up through galvanic corrosion, and when it's time to remove, replace or upgrade your rotors, you will round off the torx bolt and it will become a major snafu to drill it out!

The reason I suggest this here--I just came across this tip after I had my car for 13 months--2 came out fairly normal. One came out with a breaker bar, and one rounded off and I have to drill it out.
 
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Old 01-22-2006, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fj0
Is there any other way to compress the rear piston without the tool? :(
u can use G-clamp's.
 
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NCO00P
u can use G-clamp's.
How? In the front that would work but in the back you have to rotate it AND push it in?



 
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Old 02-04-2006, 12:07 PM
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Anyone?
 
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:41 PM
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I found that a pair of needle nose pliers was about as good as the
harbour freight tool. Alternating them worked better, as it fatigued my
arm and hand less that way.
 
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:38 PM
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Ok, thanks for this awesome thread. I just finished my brake job and wanted to share some observations.

- I put on Mintex red pads. These are highly despised in Passatworld.com but it is well accepted here. For the Passat, it generates the same dust as stock and it squeals like a piggy. Just goes to show that the same brand/model pad may be good for one car but not another. I got it for $55 shipped (all 4 wheels) from http://ecartoys.com/. Incredible deal with fast service.

- My calipers are painted red. Taking the retaining springs off and on screwed up my caliper paint. Bummer. It needs a touch-up job now.

- After removing the two bolts and the spring on the rear calipers, my rear calipers would not come off. They would move slightly only. Solution: release the hand brake.

- The mintex redbox pads did not have a slot for the rear brake-wear sensor.

- We only had a C-clamp. For the rear calipers, it would only compress the piston when the piston was spinning. At some point, the piston would stop spinning since the C-clamp pad in contact with the piston is free spinning. No amount of force can compress it after that. Solution: hold the C-clamp pad with a channel-lock wrench and spin it while tightening the c-clamp. Worked like a champ!

- I did not put any anti-squeal on installation. Good news, no squeal at all on the long test drive.

- Dust rating: less dust, less fine thus easier to remove. Braking power: we'll see!

francois
 
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:14 PM
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Great--no, excellent--thread. Thank you.
 
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Old 02-10-2006, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by justbob
Great--no, excellent--thread. Thank you.
Agreed. Thank you.
 
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:51 AM
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Rear wheels sticking

Octane guy - your front brake instructions helped immensely. When I tried the rear brake repair, however, I couldn't get the wheels off the car. I took the lugs off but the wheels would not budge. I checked the hand brake to make sure it was off, and it was...it there something I should do/know, or could it just be my car? It's a 2002 MINI Cooper and has lots and lots of miles on it......
 
  #25  
Old 04-30-2006, 02:07 PM
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If the rear wheels are stuck, the hub is frozen/rusted on to the inside of the wheel. You might try a rubber mallet, or if the car is stabilized from side to side, gently kicking the wheel off the hub. You might consider squirting some WD-40 to loosen the rust--make sure you DON'T get this on your rotors. There are these hub separator things you can buy to prevent this from happening in the future. It really depends on how often you take off your wheels. Personally, I haven't had this happen to me, so I'm only sharing what I've read.

Richard



Originally Posted by henco
Octane guy - your front brake instructions helped immensely. When I tried the rear brake repair, however, I couldn't get the wheels off the car. I took the lugs off but the wheels would not budge. I checked the hand brake to make sure it was off, and it was...it there something I should do/know, or could it just be my car? It's a 2002 MINI Cooper and has lots and lots of miles on it......
 

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