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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Pads Replacement

Time:

10 min

Tab:

$50 to $100

Talent:

*

Tools:

15mm socket wrench, needle nose pliers, 5/16th-inch center punch, hammer

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1973-80)

Parts Required:

Brake pads

Hot Tip:

Rinse down wheels prior to work to reduce dust

Performance Gain:

A braking system that will stop your car

Complementary Modification:

Change brake fluid

Brake pads may contain asbestos which has been known to cause cancer. It's a very good idea to wear a mask or respirator. While changing your brake pads may not create enough asbestos dust to lodge into your lungs and bring about cancer, it is better safe than sorry. The brake system is made up of a caliper which holds the brake pads. The brake pads press against the brake rotors and slow the rotation of the wheels. The master cylinder pumps brake fluid to actuate the pads applying pressure to the rotors. Over time the brake pads wear down. There are sensors which send a signal indicating wear to the point of replacement. Replacing the brake pads is straight forward.

There are a few ways one can replace the front brake pads. This is a quick method that replaces the pads only without having to take off the calipers. Depending upon the model, you may have one of three types of calipers; Teves (ATE), Bendix (BX) or Girling (found typically on the rear axle).

The wheel must be taken off prior to replacing the brake pads. You'll need to jack up your car and put jack stands under it. Please refer to our article on safely jacking up your 450SL.

Turn the wheel out so that the brake calipers are easy to get to. If you are changing the passenger's side front wheel brake pad, turn the wheel to the right. This will provide greater access to the pads.

Using needle nose pliers, pull off the brake wear sensor connections.
Figure 1

Using needle nose pliers, pull off the brake wear sensor connections.

Remove the wear indicator sensors from the brake pads.
Figure 2

Remove the wear indicator sensors from the brake pads.

Use a 5/16th-inch center punch and hammer to remove the retaining pin from the caliper.
Figure 3

Use a 5/16th-inch center punch and hammer to remove the retaining pin from the caliper. There are two pins.

Using needle nose pliers, pull the retaining pins out of the caliper.
Figure 4

Using needle nose pliers, pull the retaining pins out of the caliper.

Remove the cross spring from the caliper.
Figure 5

Remove the cross spring from the caliper.

Using a 15mm socket wrench, loosen but don't remove the 4 bolts, which hold the calipers together.
Figure 6

Using a 15mm socket wrench, loosen but don't remove the 4 bolts, which hold the calipers together.

Using needle nose pliers, pull out the brake pad.
Figure 7

Using needle nose pliers, pull out the brake pad.

Examine the pad for wear patterns.
Figure 8

Examine the pad for wear patterns. An uneven pattern may indicate rotor issues. After the old pads have been replaced with new, assembly is the reverse of removal. There are a few key points to consider. 

Place the cross spring between the two pads.
Figure 9

Place the cross spring between the two pads. You will have to use a little force with your thumb to force it into place. Don't hammer the cross spring. You could damage it, the calipers or the pads. Using the center punch, drive the top pin through the guide holes making sure the cross spring is under the pin.

Using your thumb, press the other end of the cross spring so that you can insert the bottom pin through the guide holes.
Figure 10

Using your thumb, press the other end of the cross spring so that you can insert the bottom pin through the guide holes.

Using the center punch, tap the pins through the guide holes.
Figure 11

Using the center punch, tap the pins through the guide holes.

Insert the brake wear indicator sensors into the brake pads.
Figure 12

Insert the brake wear indicator sensors into the brake pads. The new brake pads are now installed.







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Comments and Suggestions:
craig Comments: In figure 3, the punch should be about half the diameter noted. on my car, '78 SLC, 5/32 is closer to the correct diameter. Also, Step 6 should be omitted completely as is only leaks fluid and isn't necessary to pull the pads out, or install the new ones. Following step 6 only creates more work if you weren't planning on bleeding the system.
July 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. I will have some notes added. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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