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Replacing Your Mercedes Benz Parking Brake Pads
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Mercedes Benz Parking Brake Pads

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$35

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm socket, pliers, long flat head screwdriver, 7/16” socket, T-30 Torx

Applicable Models:

 
Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)
Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)
Mercedes-Benz W201 (1984-93)

Parts Required:

New parking brake pad set

Hot Tip:

Make sure the parking brake is off

Performance Gain:

Car doesn't roll down hills

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear shoes and discs

If your parking brake is not functioning properly, then perhaps it's time to replace your parking brake shoes. The parking brake shoes can only be inspected after the removal of the rear brake calipers and discs. You will need to safely raise and support the vehicle. Please see our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Jacking Up Your Benz for more information. Warning: In high corrosion areas the brake backing plate-heat shield must be inspected before attempting brake shoe replacement or adjustment. If it is in bad shape you will need to replace them. Note: The hub must be removed to replace the backing plate, destroying the wheel bearing. Begin by removing the rear wheels and then the brake caliper. There are two 17mm nuts holding it to the wheel carrier. Support the caliper by safely hanging it from the car. DO NOT let the caliper hang by the brake line.

Once you have the caliper out of the way, remove the small screw that holds the brake disc on with a T-30 Torx. At this point, make sure that the parking brake is off. You should now be able to pull the disc off the hub. If there is any resistance, use a rubber mallet to tap the brake disc off. Sometimes the disc will require some heavy smacks to get it off.

If the parking brake is off, but the disc still will not move, you may need to take the tension off the inner parking brake shoes in order to remove the rear brake disc. To access the adjusting screw, you'll need to rotate the disc until one of the holes for the lug bolts is at 2 o'clock for the driver's side and 10 o'clock for the passengers. If you shine a light inside, you should be able to see the screw inside the hole. You'll need to turn the adjuster screw counter-clockwise to lessen the tension on the two brake shoes. Once the tension has been relieved, you should be able to pull the brake disc off.

With the disc off, you can see the parking brake assembly. Now you can visually inspect the shoes for wear. The shoes should have some brake lining along the top, and should not have any heavy grooves cut into them.

There are two parking brake shoes. They are connected on the top by a spring and they both sit in the tension adjuster. On the bottom they are connected by a spring and sit in the parking brake expander. You will see a small retainer spring on each pad. If you are going to be replacing the shoes, before you go any further, make sure you are wearing safety glasses. The retaining springs are sticking out at a right angle to the pad. Rotate the axle shaft flange so that you can get access to the spring through one of the holes in the flange. You are going to need to compress the spring and rotate it 90 degrees to remove it. They make a special tool for this, and some people use a screwdriver to try and remove them, but what I have found works best is a small 7/16" socket. Place the socket on the end of a screw handle, put it over the spring, compress the spring, rotate 90 degrees and remove. There is a small hook on the end of the spring and you are trying to get the tension off it so you can spin it and unhook it from the metal.

Next, move down to the metal separator at the bottom that both shoes sit in. Take a screwdriver and unhook or pry the spring from the pad that you removed the retainer spring from. Sometimes you will have better luck working from behind the loosened pad. With the spring unhooked, remove the other small retaining spring on the other pad. Pull the brake shoes apart at the bottom until you can remove them over the axle flange. The tensioner and springs should still be attached at the top and come off as a unit.

Pre-assemble the new shoes so they are attached by the top spring and sit into their sockets in the tensioner. Expand them to get them over the axle flange. Once over the axle flange, insert the lower part of the shoes into the expander grooves, then line up the one pad and insert the retainer spring. Next install the lower spring into the pad with the retainer spring and stretch it over and into the opening in the other pad. Install the second retainer spring and you are done.

Depending on how much wear there was on your old shoes will depend on whether how much adjustment you will need to make. After you put the disc back on, adjust the tensioner until it grabs the disc then back it off so the disc spins freely.

After you have safely raised and supported the car remove the rear wheels.
Figure 1

After you have safely raised and supported the car remove the rear wheels. This wheel hanger tool (red arrow) makes removal and reinstallation a snap.

Remove the two 17mm bolts (yellow arrow) holding the caliper on.
Figure 2

Remove the two 17mm bolts (yellow arrow) holding the caliper on.

Hang the caliper safely to the body (red arrow), do not let it hang by the brake line.
Figure 3

Hang the caliper safely to the body (red arrow), do not let it hang by the brake line. Use a T-30 and remove the securing screw on the rotor (yellow arrow).

Pull the rotor off and you will see the parking brake assembly.
Figure 4

Pull the rotor off and you will see the parking brake assembly. You will be working with the shoes and the tensioner (yellow arrow), the retaining springs (green arrows) and the expander (red arrow).

Spin the axle flange so you can get access to one of the retaining springs.
Figure 5

Spin the axle flange so you can get access to one of the retaining springs.

Use a 7/16” socket, compress the retaining spring and turn it 90 degrees.
Figure 6

Use a 7/16" socket, compress the retaining spring and turn it 90 degrees. This will release the spring from its hole (red arrow) so you can remove it.

Remove one side of the lower spring by the separator (yellow arrows).
Figure 7

Remove one side of the lower spring by the separator (yellow arrows).

With the top spring and tensioner attached, pull the shoes apart so you can get them over the axle and remove.
Figure 8

With the top spring and tensioner attached, pull the shoes apart so you can get them over the axle and remove. This is what the assembly should look like when you take it off.

Preassemble the new shoes so they look like picture 8.
Figure 9

Preassemble the new shoes so they look like picture 8. Stretch them over the axle flange and sit the lower part of the shoes in the expander grooves (green arrows).

Reinstall the lower spring and the two retaining clips.
Figure 10

Reinstall the lower spring and the two retaining clips. Make sure the tensioner is retracted all the way.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Lsmalley Comments: What is that foam attached to the hub? Cable seems fine, but the foam is gone and after putting the memory foam in the problem is gone.
November 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think it part of seal for the backing plate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lsmalley Comments: I noticed my rear brake was rattling when I went over bumps and defects in the road. I originally thought it was the heat shield over the catalytic converter, but I removed the rear hub and noticed that it was the separator that was rattling. It wasn't loose in any of the connecting places, just the metal where the parking cable connects. After careful inspection, I could just see remnants of what appear to be some sort of foam. I cut out a piece of memory foam and stuffed it into the area. The rattling is now gone, but I would like to know if this foam has a part number or is it attached to the axle?
October 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would assume the lever, cable or springs are worn out. Something needs to be replaced to remedy the rattle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dazdread Comments: What do you do if the expander has siezed?
August 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to replace it. If the brakes will not come apart due to it, you will have to break them apart. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kapahala Comments: how the heck do you remove the lower spring by the separator!?
April 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Grab the end of the spring using dull diagonal pliers and pull the hook out of the brake shoe. Be careful, the spring is under a lot of tension. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:26:13 AM