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How to: Do a brake job

2840 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Charles
I've found that it's very hard to go to a brake shop without walking back out with a $400 estimate to do your brake pads and rotors. EEEK! Replacing brake pads and rotors yourself with this easy guide. This is a 2nd gen writeup, but should translate easily to 1st gens.

These instructions were written using a 90DX as the example. Si and HF calipers are slightly different.

You need the following:
- Jack
- 19mm socket for the lug nuts
- 12mm socket for the caliper bolt
- 10mm socket for the brake line holder
- Box of brake pads ($10-$30 at the parts store)
- Moly grease lubricant
- Spray brake cleaner
- Clamp (like a C clamp or channel lock pliers)
- Torque wrench.

1. Remove the lug nuts.

2. Jack up the car and take off the tire.
NOTE: If you are ever in a position to place yourself or anything important under the car, use a jackstand. Treat a jack like a loaded weapon - if it surprises you, it will likely be the last thing that surprises you! I do not specify a jackstand here because the lift duration is short and at no time are you under the car.

3. Remove the two 10mm bolts that secure the brake line.

4. Remove the 12mm bolt on the bottom inside of the caliper, and flip it up (it pivots on the upper connection).

At this point you can mount the new brake rotor, if you so desire. Unscrew or drill out the philips head bolts on the old rotors. Pull off old rotor. Place new rotor on. DONE! You don't need to reattach those philips bolts, they only hold the rotor on while the wheel is off. This may be handy if you work with the wheels off for a long time, but are otherwise tossable.

5. Each brake pad will come out by pushing it up and then tipping the bottom out. The shim will fall out at this point to.

6. Spray off the gunk with the cleaner. Careful! That dust is poisonous and cancer causing.

7. Use the clamp to compress the hollow piston (on the opposite side of the brake line fitting)

8. Spread the moly grease on the outside of each brake pad and both sides of the shim.

9. Place the brake pads in the caliper, again push them up in the top then tip the bottom in. The shim goes on the outside pad, on the outside of the pad.

10. Flip the caliper assembly back down over the new pads. You may need to compress the upper pivot point so it will fit over the new pads.

11. Reattach the bottom bolt, use some of that moly grease on the lug threads, torque to 27Nm,

12. Reattach the brake line bracket, use some of that moly grease on the lug threads, torque to 10Nm (roughly hand tight)

13. Reattach the tire and hand tighten the lug nuts, use some of that moly grease on the lug threads.

14. Lower the car and torque the lug nuts to 100Nm.

Do the other side.

TIP: You can usually get a full brake system diagnostic at any chain shop for about $20. This is a deal, as you can have an expert tell you exactly what should be changed. Thank them for their advice and go home and change them yourself. They will likely tell you you need new rotors. They cost about $30 and can be attached after step 4 above. If the rotors just need to be machined, a parts chain can do it for about $10 a rotor.
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You've got great pics, but I have torque values and costs. I think each could have its place, or we could ang up and combine information.
Any one got info on removing the pistons from the calipers and doing a rebuild to fix sticky calipers?
I think combing would be good. I didnt have the torque numbers on hand when i wrote it up plus my torque wrench was broke. I didnt include a cost becasue of the numerous choices.
Now how about somebody showing drums. Otherwise, I will be forced to do the writeup and that could be scary.

i was just working on my brakes, my front caliper bolt is 14mm, not 12 :p

i dunno if different years have different size bolts, but i THINK that the rear disk calipers have 12mm bolt holding them on. i wasnt working on those today but ill check it out in the next few days
I am talking about 88-89 rear drums.
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