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Rear Brake Pad Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Pad Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$40 to $100

Talent:

**

Tools:

15mm thin-walled wrench, 13mm socket, flathead screwdriver, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench, bungee cord for hanging brake calipers out of the way

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-13)
R56 MINI Cooper JCW Hatchback (2009-13)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Brake pads, new mounting hardware, anti-squeal paste

Hot Tip:

Check your brake discs when replacing your pads in case they have worn too thin

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Caliper rebuild, brake disc replacement, install stainless steel brake lines.

The brakes on your Mini work by converting the forward energy of the vehicle into heat by pushing two pads against the wheel rotor on each wheel. While this is a very effective way of braking a vehicle, converting the movement involves creating a tremendous amount of friction and heat. This friction and heat combination leads to eventually the brake pads (and rotors) wearing down and needing replacement. ALWAYS replace your pads in pairs (front or rear or all four)! Never change just one pad. If one pad is worn down more than the other, then you have a problem with the braking system somewhere in the lines or caliper. Please see all of our brake related articles for additional assistance in trouble shooting and repair.

Replacing your brake pads is one of the easiest jobs to perform on your MINI. In general, you should inspect your brake pads about every 10,000 miles, and replace them if the material lining of the pad is worn down enough to trigger the pad replacement sensor. In reality, most people don't inspect their pads very often, and usually wait until they see the little brake-warning lamp appear on the dashboard. It's a wise idea to replace the pads, and inspect your discs as soon as you see that warning lamp go on.

If you ignore the warning lamp, you may indeed get to the point of metal on metal contact, where the metal backing of the pads may be contacting the brake discs. Using the brakes during this condition will not only give you inadequate braking, but will also begin to wear grooves in your brake discs. Once the discs are grooved, they are damaged. There is often no way to repair them. Resurfacing will sometimes work, but often the groove cut will be deeper than is allowed by MINI specifications. The smart thing to do is to replace your pads right away.

This article demonstrates how to change your pads without having to bleed your brakes afterwards. However, I am a strong believer in changing your brake fluid and bleeding the brakes at least once a year and highly recommend you do it every time you change your pads. That being said, if you have just changed the fluid or do not feel a need to, this article will show you how to change your pads without having to bleed the brakes.

The rear brake system on the Mini is comprised of floating calipers. While you do not need to remove the caliper mount from the steering knuckle you will need to remove the caliper from the mount to change the pads.

The first step is to jack up the car and remove the rear wheels. Please refer to our article on safely lifting and supporting your MINI for further assistance.

With the wheel off you can see the brake caliper (red arrow) along with the two brake pads, one on each side of the rotor (yellow arrows, one shown).
Figure 1

With the wheel off you can see the brake caliper (red arrow) along with the two brake pads, one on each side of the rotor (yellow arrows, one shown).

The parking brake is attached to the rear calipers (red arrow) by a cable.
Figure 2

The parking brake is attached to the rear calipers (red arrow) by a cable. You do not need to remove this. Just make sure the parking brake is off; this will reduce tension on the cable and make it easier to move the caliper.

There is only one brake pads wear sensor.
Figure 3

There is only one brake pads wear sensor. It is on the rear right wheel (yellow arrow, similar to the front). If the pads are well worn there is a very good chance you are going to break it trying to remove it. Do yourself a favor and order a new one when ordering your brake parts. Unclip the wear sensor line from the bleed valve and attempt to gently pry the sensor out from the pad. You can wait until you have the caliper off and then try and remove the sensor. But you will need to first disconnect the sensor and free up the wiring. The caliper will need to be hung up out of the way. You cannot do this with the sensor attached.

There are two 13mm retaining bolts (red arrows) and two 15mm guide bolts that the retaining bolts bolt into (yellow arrows).
Figure 4

There are two 13mm retaining bolts (red arrows) and two 15mm guide bolts that the retaining bolts bolt into (yellow arrows).

Hold the guide bolts (yellow arrow) with a thin-walled 15mm wrench and use a 13mm socket to remove the two retaining bolts (red arrow, one shown).
Figure 5

Hold the guide bolts (yellow arrow) with a thin-walled 15mm wrench and use a 13mm socket to remove the two retaining bolts (red arrow, one shown).

The retaining bolts are micro encapsulated (red arrow) from the factory and are considered single use only hardware from Mini.
Figure 6

The retaining bolts are micro encapsulated (red arrow) from the factory and are considered single use only hardware from Mini. Mini recommends you always replace this hardware.

You can now slide the caliper off the pads (yellow arrows) and away from the mounting bracket (red arrow).
Figure 7

You can now slide the caliper off the pads (yellow arrows) and away from the mounting bracket (red arrow).

Safely hang the caliper up out of the way (red arrow).
Figure 8

Safely hang the caliper up out of the way (red arrow). NEVER let the caliper hang by the brake line; it can cause weakness or damage that can lead to brake failure.

You should be able to pull the pads out from the mounting bracket with your hands (red arrows).
Figure 9

You should be able to pull the pads out from the mounting bracket with your hands (red arrows). If the pads are stuck by excessive brake dust or too thin to get a grip on, use a flathead screwdriver and gently pry them away from the rotor.

Now is a good time to remove the guide bolts and check the condition of the rubber protective boot (red arrow) and the condition of the lubricant on the bolt.
Figure 10

Now is a good time to remove the guide bolts and check the condition of the rubber protective boot (red arrow) and the condition of the lubricant on the bolt. The bolt should be clean and lubricated so it slides easily in and out of the mount (yellow arrow).

Before installing the new pads take a moment and clean the metal clips on the caliper mount where the brake pads sit (red arrows).
Figure 11

Before installing the new pads take a moment and clean the metal clips on the caliper mount where the brake pads sit (red arrows). You do not need to remove the caliper mount. Just give them a good cleaning with a wire brush and some brake cleaner.

Install the new pads and apply some anti-squeal to the back of the pads where they will make contact with the caliper or piston (yellow arrows).
Figure 12

Install the new pads and apply some anti-squeal to the back of the pads where they will make contact with the caliper or piston (yellow arrows). Use care NOT to get any anti-squeal on the rotor.

You are going to need to squeeze the piston back into the caliper so it will fit over the larger thickness of the new pads.
Figure 13

You are going to need to squeeze the piston back into the caliper so it will fit over the larger thickness of the new pads. The piston on the rear caliper needs to be turned as it is screwed back into the caliper; you cannot just push it straight back and in. To do this you will need a caliper compressing tool. Most major chain parts stores will rent or loan you this tool for free. The tool consists of a series of pucks, a flange and a screwing tool for each side. Find the right puck for your calipers piston (red arrow) and insert it into the tool; place the flange in the caliper body (yellow arrow) and rotate the tool to turn the piston back into the caliper.

While you are turning the piston back into you will be forcing brake fluid back through the system and into the fluid reservoir.
Figure 14

While you are turning the piston back into you will be forcing brake fluid back through the system and into the fluid reservoir. If your old pads were really worn and you had topped up the fluid you may have to remove some fluid to make room. Clean around the cap. Remove the cap and then using a clean turkey baster or fluid pump, remove the necessary amount of excessive fluid (red arrow).Install the caliper over the new pads and onto the caliper mount. You may have to push the guide bolts in to get the caliper to fit. On the right side pads be sure to reinstall the new wear sensor. Torque the new hardware to spec and be sure to pump the brake pedal a few times to move the pads into the position before you begin driving. New brake pads need a proper break in period and braking will be effected during this period. Be sure to check the recommendations that come with your pads and follow them closely.

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