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Rear Brake Caliper Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm socket, 15mm wrench, punch, hammer, pliers

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1986-95)

Parts Required:

Brake calipers

Hot Tip:

Check your brake pads and discs when replacing your calipers

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Brake disc replacement, install stainless steel brake lines

If you have a sticking brake, one wheel that locks up consistently before the others and uneven brake pad wear you may have a bad caliper. Check your brake lines and give the system a good flush and bleed before just replacing the caliper. Caliper boots can also get damaged and lead to damage to the piston. If you find brake fluid leaking from your caliper repair or replace it immediately.

You are going to be opening the hydraulic lines on the brake system when replacing your caliper so you must properly bleed your brakes before driving the car again. Do NOT attempt to drive the car after performing this work without first properly bleeding your brakes. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes for help.

Begin by safely raising and supporting your vehicle. Then remove the rear tires. Please see our article on safely raising and supporting your car.

This photo illustrates the rear brake system.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the rear brake system. You can see the rotor (red arrow) the caliper (green arrow) and the brake pads (yellow arrow, one showing, and one on the other side of the rotor).

There is a rubber flexible brake hose that connects the hard brake line (yellow arrow) to the caliper (red arrow).
Figure 2

There is a rubber flexible brake hose that connects the hard brake line (yellow arrow) to the caliper (red arrow). Inspect these lines and replace if any damage is found. Please see our article on replacing brake lines.

Use a 15mm wrench and loosen but do not remove the rubber brake line from the caliper (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use a 15mm wrench and loosen but do not remove the rubber brake line from the caliper (red arrow). The hose is much easier to remove with the caliper off the hub.

To remove the old pads, tap out the retaining pins (green arrow) with a screwdriver or punch and a small hammer.
Figure 4

To remove the old pads, tap out the retaining pins (green 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, then tap on the pads slightly to remove pressure from the pins.

Remove the retainer pins.
Figure 5

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

Remove the retaining clip and if not replacing clean it up as well.
Figure 6

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 7

Use a large wrench or channel locks and gently squeeze the pads out towards the caliper. This will also make enough room to get the old pads out. 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 8

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. You will need to completely bleed the system after installing the new caliper but this will help avoid a mess. Pull out the pads using a screwdriver for leverage.

Use a'mm socket and remove the two bolts holding the caliper to the wheel hub (red arrows).
Figure 9

Use a'mm socket and remove the two bolts holding the caliper to the wheel hub (red arrows).

With the caliper off of the knuckle it is much easier to spin the caliper off of the brake hose (red arrow).
Figure 10

With the caliper off of the knuckle it is much easier to spin the caliper off of the brake hose (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. You now must bleed the brake system. Please see our article on brake bleeding for further assistance. Note: you must bleed the brakes before driving. Do NOT attempt to drive the vehicle before properly bleeding the brakes.

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