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Front Brake Disc Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Disc Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$75

Talent:

****

Tools:

10mm/18mm sockets

Applicable Models:

A6 2.7T (1997-04)
A6 2.8 (1997-02)
A6 3.0L (2002-04)
S6 4.2 (1997-04)

Parts Required:

Front Brake Discs

Hot Tip:

Loosen the upper caliper bolt enough to slide the caliper up

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads

Brake discs (or rotors as they are often called) are perhaps the most important part of the braking system. The brake pads rub against the disc to slow the car down. At the same time, the disc also dissipates heat from the friction generated. If the disc becomes too thin, or develops grooves in the surface, then its ability to stop the car decreases dramatically.

When replacing your brake pads, measure the thickness of your brake discs. If they fall below the specified value, replace with new ones. Check for grooves in the disc, and make sure that you take several measurements of the disc in several different places. This will guarantee that you get an accurate reading. If the brake disc has a groove in it, then it should most certainly be resurfaced by a machine shop, or simply replaced with a new one. Discs with grooves not only brake less efficiently, but they also heat up to higher temperatures, and reduce your overall braking ability. Additionally, the discs can warp from the excess heat generated.

If you do find that you need to replace your discs, replacing them is a pretty simple job. The procedure for the front or the rear discs is very similar. For the sake of this project, we'll look at replacing the front discs.

The first step is to jack up the car and remove the road wheels. If you haven't already, remove the calipers and brake pads. Refer to our article on Front Brake Pad Replacement for more details.

Now unbolt the caliper frame from the wheel hub. You'll need a 15 mm wrench to remove these bolts. After you remove the bolts, you should be able to move the caliper frame up and off the wheel hub. At this point, you should be able to slide the rotor off the hub.

If there is any resistance, the rotor may require some heavy smacks with a dead-blow hammer to get it off. This was the case on our project car, being from the Pacific Northwest. The increased moisture causes the metals to corrode and lock the rotor to the hub. In extreme cases, you may need to spray the holes in the rotor with a good penetrant spray, such as Aerokroil and let it sit for a few hours. This can sometimes free up the disc. If all else fails, heating the area around the hub with a shop torch can free up the rust.

It's a good idea to clean the face of the wheel hub once the disc is removed with some brake cleaner and a soft brush. Once clean, I like to put a light coat of anti-seize compound on there. It helps to prevent corrosion and also keeps the disc from sticking to the hub.

After the new disc is installed, reinstall the caliper frames, calipers and wheels. Your new discs should last a long time, and you should see an improvement in your braking after the wear-in period for your new brake pads.

Loosen and remove the lower 18 mm bolt (green arrow) securing the caliper to the wheel hub.
Figure 1

Loosen and remove the lower 18 mm bolt (green arrow) securing the caliper to the wheel hub. You'll also need to loosen and remove the 10 mm bolt (purple arrow) holding the bracket to the caliper.

Pull the mounting bracket (green arrow) back from the caliper.
Figure 2

Pull the mounting bracket (green arrow) back from the caliper. This will allow you to access the upper caliper mounting bolt.

Use one of the lug bolts (green arrow) to hold the brake disc to the wheel hub.
Figure 3

Use one of the lug bolts (green arrow) to hold the brake disc to the wheel hub.

Now loosen but do not remove the 18 mm upper caliper mounting bolt (green arrow).
Figure 4

Now loosen but do not remove the 18 mm upper caliper mounting bolt (green arrow).

Now rotate the caliper upwards (green arrow) enough to allow you enough room to remove the lug bolt and brake disc from the wheel hub.
Figure 5

Now rotate the caliper upwards (green arrow) enough to allow you enough room to remove the lug bolt and brake disc from the wheel hub.

And here's the final result with the brake disc removed.
Figure 6

And here's the final result with the brake disc removed. New brake disc installation is the opposite of removal.


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Page last updated: Mon 10/23/2017 03:20:52 AM