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Front Brake Caliper and Hose Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Caliper and Hose Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

****

Tools:

13, 16, 18mm sockets, flathead screwdriver, 11mm & 14mm line wrenches, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Brake caliper, brake fluid

Hot Tip:

Bleed entire brake system

Performance Gain:

Great brake feel

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads and hoses at same time

MINI R56 service brakes consist of hydraulic brake calipers, one at each wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed, brake fluid is forced out of the brake master cylinder and through the brake lines to each brake caliper. Pistons in the calipers push out and clamp brake pads against the brake rotors (or discs), thus slowing down the vehicle. As it ages, the brake caliper can leak fluid from the piston seal and may also become corroded or restricted, resulting in poor brake performance.

If a brake caliper is not performing at 100%, you may notice a slight pull to one side when braking. You can service each brake caliper individually or both at the same time. Corrosion from road salt and grime may affect moving parts of the caliper other than the hydraulic piston. Sometimes you can clean the sliding mechanical parts of the caliper, including the 7mm Allen sliding bolts (see replacement procedure below), and this results in the caliper operating well again. But if this does not work, I recommend replacing the calipers in pairs to maintain an even brake feel. If one caliper is failing, the other will not be far behind.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Lift and support your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking your vehicle.

Remove the wheels.

There are two ways to reduce the amount of brake fluid loss when replacing your brake caliper. One way is to clamp the hose with a hose clamp tool to prevent the brake fluid from leaking. This method could lead to a damaged hose if done incorrectly. I prefer to use the second method. Depress the brake pedal half way and hold it in place with a stick or brake pedal depressing tool. This will keep the fluid in the master cylinder from leaking.

I will show you how to replace the left front caliper (red arrow).
Figure 1

I will show you how to replace the left front caliper (red arrow). The right front caliper is similar.

First, you will have to remove the pad wear sensor to inspect it.
Figure 2

First, you will have to remove the pad wear sensor to inspect it. Open the mount (red arrow) and remove the wire from the bleeder.

Next, remove the pad wear sensor from the brake pad using a pair of pliers (red arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove the pad wear sensor from the brake pad using a pair of pliers (red arrow). Pull it straight out to remove it. If stuck, wiggle it from side to side slightly. Be care as the sensor is fragile. If it breaks, replace it with a new one.

Using a flathead screwdriver (red arrow), slowly press the brake caliper piston in.
Figure 4

Using a flathead screwdriver (red arrow), slowly press the brake caliper piston in. This allows the brake caliper to be pulled off the brake rotor easily. I like to pry between the outer brake pad and brake rotor. This way there is less chance of damaging the caliper piston.

Working at the brake caliper using a 14mm line wrench, loosen the brake hose (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the brake caliper using a 14mm line wrench, loosen the brake hose (red arrow). Do not remove it. You will unscrew the hose from the caliper later. You can use a regular 14mm open-end wrench. However, you risk damaging the hex on the brake line.

Next, using a 13mm socket, remove the brake caliper mounting fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 6

Next, using a 13mm socket, remove the brake caliper mounting fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the brake caliper from the mounting bracket and unscrew the brake hose from the caliper.
Figure 7

Remove the brake caliper from the mounting bracket and unscrew the brake hose from the caliper. If you're reusing the caliper bolts, be sure to apply blue thread locker (red arrow).

If you want to replace the brake hose, loosen the 11mm brake line nut using a line wrench.
Figure 8

If you want to replace the brake hose, loosen the 11mm brake line nut using a line wrench. Then unscrew the metal brake line from the hose. Then remove the hose from the mounting bracket and install a new one in place of it. Screw the new caliper into the brake hose and then install the caliper in the mounting bracket. Tighten the caliper mounting fasteners. Then tighten the caliper brake hose. Clip the brake pad wear sensor-wiring harness back onto the brake hose, if equipped. Bleed the brakes. See our tech article on bleeding brakes.


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