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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Pad Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100

Talent:

***

Tools:

17mm socket, small roll pin punch, hammer, Pliers, pry bar or straight blade screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R129 (1990-02)

Parts Required:

Brake Pads

Hot Tip:

Lubricate edges of pads with anti-seize

Performance Gain:

Improve braking and prevent rotor damage

Complementary Modification:

Replace the brake pad wear sensors at the same time
Depending on how much you drive you should check your brake pad thickness at least once a year or every 10,000 miles. Usually a quick look between the spokes of your wheels is enough but some Mercedes Benz stock wheels will require the wheel comes off so you can get a good look at the brake caliper. Look at how much brake pad material is between the brake pad backing and the brake rotor. A new brake pad can have close to a half an inch of material. When you get down to less than a quarter of an inch then you should start to think about replacing your brake pads. Mercedes Benz use a brake pad wear sensor, mounted in the brake pad to detect if the pad thickness is getting too low. As the brake pad wears the rotor starts to contact the brake pad sensor. The instrument cluster will turn on a warning light when the brake pad sensor is starting to show signs of wear. If you wait too long the brake pad material will eventually wear out and the brake pads backing plate will eventually start to grind into the brake rotor. At this point both the brake pads and brake rotors will need to be replaced. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace your brake pads.

    In order to replace your brake pads you will need to lift and support your vehicle and remove the wheels. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle.

    In this tech article we are working on the left side of the vehicle. The procedure to do the right side of the vehicle is identical to the left with a brake pad wear sensor being the only exception. We have done the brakes on the side with the brake pad wear sensor to illustrate this step.
Front Brake Pads This picture illustrates the left side front caliper.
Figure 1

Front Brake Pads ThisPicture illustrates the left side front caliper. Unplug the brake pad wear sensor by squeezing the connector and pulling it out of its socket.

Front Brake Pads Use a roll-pin punch and a hammer to tap out the upper brake pad retaining pin.
Figure 2

Front Brake Pads Use a roll-pin punch and a hammer to tap out the upper brake pad retaining pin.

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out.
Figure 3

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out. Also, keep in mind the brake pad spring will be loose and may come out after this step.

Front Brake Pads If the brake pad spring has not come out already remove the brake pad spring by unhooking it from the bottom brake pad retaining pin.
Figure 4

Front Brake Pads If the brake pad spring has not come out already remove the brake pad spring by unhooking it from the bottom brake pad retaining pin.

Front Brake Pads Use the roll pin punch and a hammer to tap out the lower brake pad retaining spring.
Figure 5

Front Brake Pads Use the roll pin punch and a hammer to tap out the lower brake pad retaining spring.

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out.
Figure 6

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out.

Front Brake Pads Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the inner brake pad away from the rotor.
Figure 7

Front Brake Pads Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the inner brake pad away from the rotor. This will make it easier to pull out the brake pad.

Front Brake Pads Once you have enough of a gap between the inner brake pad and the rotor lever the entire brake pad as far back as possible until the caliper pistons are fully pushed back into the caliper.
Figure 8

Front Brake Pads Once you have enough of a gap between the inner brake pad and the rotor lever the entire brake pad as far back as possible until the caliper pistons are fully pushed back into the caliper.

Front Brake Pads Insert a small tool between the inner brake pad and the rotor to prevent it from coming back out when you apply pressure to push back the outside brake caliper pistons.
Figure 9

Front Brake Pads Insert a small tool between the inner brake pad and the rotor to prevent it from coming back out when you apply pressure to push back the outside brake caliper pistons. Here we have chosen to use our punch but a screwdriver could do the same job. Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the outer brake pad away from the rotor. This will make it easier to pull out the brake pad.

Front Brake Pads Once you have enough of a gap between the outer brake pad and the rotor lever the entire brake pad as far back as possible until the caliper pistons are fully pushed back into the caliper.
Figure 10

Front Brake Pads Once you have enough of a gap between the outer brake pad and the rotor lever the entire brake pad as far back as possible until the caliper pistons are fully pushed back into the caliper.

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the outer brake pad.
Figure 11

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the outer brake pad.

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the inner brake pad.
Figure 12

Front Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the inner brake pad.

Front Brake Pads You will want to clean this area where the brake pads slide back and forth during braking (green arrows).
Figure 13

Front Brake Pads You will want to clean this area where the brake pads slide back and forth during braking (green arrows). You can also apply brake caliper lubricant to the new pads corners, so that the new pads do not stick inside the brake caliper and cause uneven wear. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Slide the new brake pads in their slots. Tap in one brake pad retaining pin and then fit the brake pad spring and then tap in the other brake pad retaining pin. Plug in the new brake pad wear sensor and fit the wheel and lower the vehicle. APPLY THE BRAKE PEDAL SEVERAL TIMES UNTIL THE NEW PADS COME OUT TO MEET THE ROTOR AND THE BRAKE PEDAL GETS HARDER TO PUSH ON. This is very important as you will not have brakes until the brake pressure is applied to the pistons in the caliper and take up the slack between the brake pads and rotors.

Rear Brake Pads Use a roll pin punch and hammer to tap out the upper brake pad retaining pin.
Figure 14

Rear Brake Pads Use a roll pin punch and hammer to tap out the upper brake pad retaining pin.

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the pin all the way out, keep in mind the brake pad spring will be loose and may come out after this step.
Figure 15

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the pin all the way out, keep in mind the brake pad spring will be loose and may come out after this step.

Rear Brake Pads If the brake pad spring has not come out already remove the brake pad spring by unhooking it from the bottom brake pad retaining pin.
Figure 16

Rear Brake Pads If the brake pad spring has not come out already remove the brake pad spring by unhooking it from the bottom brake pad retaining pin.

Rear Brake Pads Use the roll pin punch and a hammer to tap out the lower brake pad retaining spring.
Figure 17

Rear Brake Pads Use the roll pin punch and a hammer to tap out the lower brake pad retaining spring.

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out.
Figure 18

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull the brake pad retaining pin all the way out.

Rear Brake Pads Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the inner brake pad away from the rotor.
Figure 19

Rear Brake Pads Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the inner brake pad away from the rotor. This will make it easier to pull out the brake pad.

Rear Brake Pads Insert a small tool between the inner brake pad and the rotor to prevent it from coming back out when you apply pressure to push back the outside brake caliper pistons.
Figure 20

Rear Brake Pads Insert a small tool between the inner brake pad and the rotor to prevent it from coming back out when you apply pressure to push back the outside brake caliper pistons. Here we have chosen to use our punch but a screwdriver could do the same job. Use a flat head screwdriver or pry bar to push the outer brake pad away from the rotor. This will make it easier to pull out the brake pad.

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the inner brake pad.
Figure 21

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the inner brake pad.

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the outer brake pad.
Figure 22

Rear Brake Pads Use pliers to pull out the outer brake pad.

Rear Brake Pads You will want to clean this area where the brake pads slide back and forth during braking (green arrows).
Figure 23

Rear Brake Pads You will want to clean this area where the brake pads slide back and forth during braking (green arrows). You can also apply brake caliper lubricant to the new pads corners so they do not stick inside the brake caliper and cause uneven wear. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Slide the new brake pads in their slots. Tap in one brake pad retaining pin and then fit the brake pad spring and then tap in the other brake pad retaining pin. Plug in the new brake pad wear sensor and fit the wheel and lower the vehicle. APPLY THE BRAKE PEDAL SEVERAL TIMES UNTIL THE NEW PADS COME OUT TO MEET THE ROTOR AND THE BRAKE PEDAL GETS HARDER TO PUSH ON. This is very important as you will not have brakes until the brake pressure is applied to the pistons in the caliper and take up the slack between the brake pads and rotors.

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Comments and Suggestions:
G-Willie Comments: Thank U The information was great
April 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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