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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Pad Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$40 to $80

Talent:

**

Tools:

Screwdriver, hammer, channel locks

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

Brake pads

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

Replacing your brake pads is one of the easiest jobs to perform on your Mercedes-Benz. 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. In reality, most people don't inspect their pads very often and usually wait until they loose braking power or start doing damage to the rotor. While the W124 models only have sensors on the front brakes, it's a wise idea to replace the rear pads and inspect your discs as soon as you see that warning lamp go on for the front brakes.

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 are 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, and there is often no way to repair them. Resurfacing will sometimes work, but often the groove that is cut will be deeper than is allowed by the rotors specifications. The smart thing to do is to replace your pads right away.

Brake pads should only be replaced in pairs--replace either both front pads or both rear pads at a time. The same rule applies to the brake discs that should be checked each time you replace your brake pads.

Begin by safely lifting and supporting the vehicle and then remove the rear wheels. Please see our article on safely jacking up and supporting your W124.

To remove the old pads, tap out the retaining pins (red arrow) with a screwdriver or punch and a small hammer.
Figure 1

To remove the old pads, tap out the retaining pins (red arrow) with a screwdriver or punch and a small hammer. They should slide out pretty easily, as there is usually no load on them. If there is much difficulty encountered during the removal process, tap on the pads slightly to remove pressure from the pins.

Remove the retainer pins.
Figure 2

Remove the retainer pins. If you are not replacing them with a retaining kit clean up these pins with a wire brush.

Remove the retaining clip and if not replacing clean it up as well.
Figure 3

Remove the retaining clip and if not replacing clean it up as well. It can be a source of squealing from all the brake dust so get it as clean as you can.

Use a large wrench or channel locks and gently squeeze the pads out towards the caliper.
Figure 4

Use a large wrench or channel locks and gently squeeze the pads out towards the caliper. This will also make enough room to fit the new, thicker pads. Squeezing the pads back will cause brake fluid to move back through the system to the master cylinder.

If your pads are really warn and the master cylinder is full there may be a chance you will need to remove some fluid from it.
Figure 5

If your pads are really warn and the master cylinder is full there may be a chance you will need to remove some fluid from it. Clean around the filler cap and using a clean fluid pump or turkey baster remove some of the fluid (red arrow).

Pulling out the pads usually involves the use of a screwdriver for leverage.
Figure 6

Pulling out the pads usually involves the use of a screwdriver for leverage. The pads are loose in the caliper, but it's a pretty tight fit, and there is usually lots of dust and debris in the caliper. Wiggle the pads back and forth in order to pry them free.

Before installing the new pads make sure to clean the area inside the caliper and check for any damage to the piston and dust boot (red arrows).
Figure 7

Before installing the new pads make sure to clean the area inside the caliper and check for any damage to the piston and dust boot (red arrows). Install a little anti squeal on the back of the new pads before inserting them into the caliper. Installation is the reverse of removal. When finished with both sides, press on the brake pedal repeatedly to make sure that the pads and the pistons seat properly. Also make sure that you top off the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir if necessary. Brake pads typically take between 100 and 200 miles to completely break in. It's typical for braking performance to suffer slightly as the pads begin their wear-in period. Make sure that you avoid any heavy braking during this period.



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Comments and Suggestions:
melaw Comments: You might want to put in a side note that cars with traction control also have wear sensors on the rear axle. In this case you need other brake pads in order to fit the sensors, which also differ from the double sensors at the front axle.
August 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
momo Comments: hello thats wrong information on pic 1," green arrow "
November 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the catching that. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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