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Front Brake Caliper Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$55 to $1,600

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm, 10mm wrench, 18mm socket, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

New calipers, brake fluid

Hot Tip:

Pre-soak rusted bolts in penetrant oil

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Replace rotor or disk

If your calipers are sticking, leaking or you are wearing down one side of your brake pads disproportional to the other, then there is a good chance you need to change your calipers. If you have got to the point where you are changing them it is a good idea to do a complete brake job and change out the rotors, pads and give the system a good flush and bleed while you are there. Please see our articles on changing your pads, rotors and how to bleed your brakes. This article will cover how to replace your calipers.

First thing you need to do is get the car up on jack stands. Please refer to our article on jacking up your car for more information.

Mercedes-Benz considers all brake hardware to be single use only and recommends replacing it after every use.

After replacing your calipers you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

With the brake pads removed you will need to remove the brake wear sensor connection and cable from the caliper.
Figure 1

With the brake pads removed you will need to remove the brake wear sensor connection and cable from the caliper. Use a 10mm wrench and remove the single bolt from the connection (red arrow). Follow the cable up and remove it from its holder on the shock (yellow arrow) and set the cable out of the way. Do not disconnect it further from the vehicle.

If you are just moving the caliper to change the rotor you do not need to do this step.
Figure 2

If you are just moving the caliper to change the rotor you do not need to do this step. Once you open the brake lines you will need to completely bleed the system before you can drive the car again. If you are removing the caliper to replace or rebuild it use a 14mm wrench and loosen the brake line from the caliper (red arrow). Do not try and remove the line from the caliper as it will twist too much. It is easier to finish removing the line after you remove the caliper from its mount and turn the caliper around the line.

Use an'mm socket and remove the two mounting bolts from the rear of the steering knuckle (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use an'mm socket and remove the two mounting bolts from the rear of the steering knuckle (red arrows). You may need to use a breaker bar if the bolts are corroded on.

You can now remove the caliper from the knuckle.
Figure 4

You can now remove the caliper from the knuckle. If you are removing it from the vehicle it is easier to spin the caliper around the brake line to remove it as the line will not get all twisted up (red arrow).

If you are not separating the caliper from the line but needed to move it for other work make sure to safely hang the caliper up out of the way (red arrow).
Figure 5

If you are not separating the caliper from the line but needed to move it for other work make sure to safely hang the caliper up out of the way (red arrow). NEVER let the caliper hang from the brake line. You could do serious damage to the line and fittings.

The four piston calipers can be rebuilt or replaced.
Figure 6

The four piston calipers can be rebuilt or replaced. The rebuild kits include new seals, O-rings and boots. Note that the pistons are different sizes (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. Do NOT attempt to drive the vehicle until you have completely bled the brake system. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

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Comments and Suggestions:
lsmalley Comments: Tried brake fluid. Not silicone yet, but it seems that there should be s special tool to use or something because as I press one side down the other side pops up
February 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There may be a special tool available. We might be able to get it for you. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lsmalley Comments: What is the trick to getting the dust boot on the 4 piston caliperie, 400E front caliper?
February 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you tried a silicone grease? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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