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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Rear Brake Rotors

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$25 to $150

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm wrench, 19mm socket wrench, needle nose pliers, 11mm socket wrench, breaker bar, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 450SL (1973-80)

Parts Required:

Rear brake rotor

Hot Tip:

Wash the wheel down or vacuum to remove dust

Performance Gain:

Better stopping

Complementary Modification:

Change brake fluid, change brake pads

The rotor can wear with time.  This wear can also bring about brake pad wear. In order to remove the rotor, the calipers must first be removed. All 450SL models use fixed calipers on the rear brakes. Some rear brake calipers are installed on vehicles where the axle shaft is supported on grooved ball bearings. Calipers with a compensating feature may be installed on axles with grooved ball bearings or self-aligning bearings. Refer to our article on replacing the calipers for more information. 

After removing the caliper, spray penetrating release agent to free the rotor from the hub. Washing the rotor with an evaporating cleaner or at least water on the parts before disassembly will reduce dust. This will make the job a lot easier and safer.

Before you do any work on your car it is important that you wear safety glasses, work gloves and dispose of all fluids in a safe manner. If you have to jack up your car, make sure to use jack stands and chock your wheels as well as applying the parking brake. 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.  Always wear eye and hand protection.


Using the 14mm socket wrench, remove the four bolts holding the caliper together.
Figure 1

Using the 14mm socket wrench, remove the four bolts holding the caliper together.

Remove the front of the caliper from the rotor.
Figure 2

Remove the front of the caliper from the rotor.

Using the 14mm line wrench take off the brake line.
Figure 3

Using the 14mm line wrench take off the brake line. There will be brake fuel coming out of the line. Be prepared with an empty receptacle and a rag to catch the corrosive brake fluid.

When you have removed the brake line, using the 19mm socket and the breaker bar, remove the first bolt holding it to the rotor.
Figure 4

When you have removed the brake line, using the 19mm socket and the breaker bar, remove the first bolt holding it to the rotor. Make sure you have a receptacle to catch brake fluid as it drains from the line. 

Using the 19mm socket and the breaker bar, remove the second bolt holding it to the rotor.
Figure 5

Using the 19mm socket and the breaker bar, remove the second bolt holding it to the rotor. This will allow the caliper to come off.

Remove the brake disc from the rear axle shaft flange.
Figure 6

Remove the brake disc from the rear axle shaft flange. The rotor can be loosened from the axle shaft flanges by light taps with a hammer. Be sure that the parking brake is fully released.

Look at the rotor for wear patterns.
Figure 7

Look at the rotor for wear patterns. The brake system will have to be bled of air upon reassembly. Depending upon how old the brake fluid is, this may be a good time to flush and replace the system with fresh brake fluid. Refer to our article on bleeding the brakes for more information. Reassembly is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Thu 8/17/2017 02:51:01 AM