|[Click on Photo]
Figure 1: Rear brake caliper exposed
|| Replacing your rear caliper is
both fun and easy. Well, at least it's easy. There's really not too much to it. The
most difficult part of the job is bleeding out the brakes both before and after removing
the caliper. The only part you'll need for the job is a replacement rear caliper.
The rear calipers usually leak around the parking brake seal, causing the
system to leak fluid on the ground and lose pressure in the entire system. The
process of replacement begins with jacking the car up and supporting the rear end with
jack stands. A convenient place to place the jack stands is under the motor motors,
on the engine support bar. Make sure you loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels
before you raise the car. Once the car is jacked up, remove both rear wheels. You
will need to bleed the system later on, and it's much easier to do with the rear wheels
Now, you need to bleed the system of brake fluid from the side of
the car that is having the caliper replaced. We recommend using a pressurized brake
bleeding system. This system works by plugging into the spare tires and pushing brake
fluid through the brake system. The tool we recommend is called EZ Bleed, and we are
currently trying to locate the manufacturer to supply it to our customers. You can
also use a vacuum bleeder, or a family member to pump on the brake pedal until the system
is dry. We don't recommend the family member approach, as you will have to pay them
pay in extra favors later on...
With your preferred method of bleeding, empty the system of fluid on the
side of the car that you are removing the caliper from. You will need a 7mm wrench
in order to loosen the bleeder valve. Once the system is bled, then you can begin
removing the caliper. The parking brake cable is attached with a pin and a little
circlip attached to the arm of the caliper. Using a pair of pliers, remove the clip,
and force out the pin by tapping it from below. Make sure that the parking
brake handle inside the car is not engaged. Next, remove the little clips that
hold in the two shafts that support the brake pads. Then, take a screwdriver and tap
out the two brake pad support shafts. Next, remove the brake pads. If they don't
immediately press out, then use a screwdriver to pry them out. The caliper setup
should look like it does in Figure 1.
Now, remove the brake line that is attached to the caliper.
Becareful not to strip the nut, as they have a habit of become frozen tot he
caliper. It may be wise to use a wrench that warps around the entire nut rather than
a typical crescent wrench. After the brake line is removed and out of the
way, then remove the bolts that attach the rear brake caliper. These are located on
the rear of the caliper and may require a little tool agility in getting to them. The
caliper should come right off after the bolts are removed. Replacement is the exact
opposite of removal - simply bolt the new one in place and reattach the brake line.
Make sure that you bleed the brakes carefully - with the
proportioning valve in the rear, it's easy to get spongy brakes because of trapped air.
Start with the calipers located farthest away from the master cylinder and work
your way closer. You will also have to reinstall the brake pads, and adjust the
venting clearance between the pads and the rotor. This venting clearance should
be 0.2 mm, and should be checked again after actuating and releasing the hand brake once.
There you have it - the replacement can be completed easily in an
evening, and you shouldn't have to worry about messy and dangerous brake leaks.
If you have any questions about this job, drop