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Front Brake Caliper Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$40

Talent:

**

Tools:

12mm socket, 14mm flared nut wrench, flathead screw driver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W203 (2001-07)

Parts Required:

New calipers

Hot Tip:

Pre-soak rusted bolts in penetrant oil

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Replace Rotor or disk

If the your calipers are sticking, leaking or you are wearing down one side or 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 you 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.

With the car safely up on jack stands and the wheels off, open the hood. When replacing the calipers you do not want to fully press the piston back until you have removed the brake line. This avoids returning contaminated fluid to the master cylinder. You want to press the piston back into the caliper just enough to allow you to remove it. Check the reservoir to make sure there is enough room for the fluid that is going to travel back into it. If your reservoir is completely full you are going to need to remove some of the fluid. Again, a word of caution here, brake fluid is extremely toxic and will quickly destroy any paint it gets in contact with. Clean around the cap area before you open it. The hydraulic lines and seals in the brake system are very susceptible to any foreign matter and you do not want to have anything but clean fresh fluid in the reservoir. Take a clean syringe or turkey baster and suck out enough fluid to make room for the compression of the caliper piston.

With the wheels off you will see the brake caliper that presses the pads against the disc.

Begin by unplugging the wear sensor attached to the pad. It simply pulls out from where it is attached to the caliper.

Move to the caliper and place a large flat head screw driver between the pad and rotor and push the piston back in the caliper just enough so the pads will clear the rotor. Do not forget to check the reservoir to make sure fluid is not overflowing. You are going to be disconnecting the hydraulic line in a few steps but this way you can leave the system closed, and you will have less spillage, especially if you have to leave the job and come back to it.

Next remove the two 12mm guide bolts holding the caliper to its mount.

After the guide bolts have been removed, you should be able to simply lift the caliper off of its mount. Never let the caliper hang from its rubber hose (this can damage the brake line)! Inspect your lines for wear, excessive dryness, cracks, bulges or leaks, and replace if necessary. I strongly recommend replacing your lines if you can not be sure they have been changed in the last eight years or if you see any signs of external damage.

Next you want to remove the wear sensor mount from the caliper. The line will be looped through the brake bleeder valve cap and secured to the caliper with an E10 Reverse Torx.

Use a 14mm flared nut wrench and remove the brake line from the caliper. There will be fluid that comes out of the end of the line so be prepared to catch it and do not let it get on any painted surface.

Install the new caliper, making sure you do not get any dirt or debris into it when attaching the line. Reinstall the caliper onto the mount.

YOU MUST NOW BLEED THE BRAKES! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

The first step is to jack up the car and remove the road wheel.
Figure 1

The first step is to jack up the car and remove the road wheel. This will expose the brake caliper (red arrow) that presses the pads against the disc (yellow arrow) .

Begin by unplugging the wear sensor attached to the pad.
Figure 2

Begin by unplugging the wear sensor attached to the pad. It simply pulls out from where it is attached to the caliper (yellow arrow) .

Use a large screw driver between the pad and disk (yellow arrow) to compress the caliper piston back into the caliper.
Figure 3

Use a large screw driver between the pad and disk (yellow arrow) to compress the caliper piston back into the caliper. This will make removing the caliper from the disk easier, especially if the disks are worn.

Check the reservoir to make sure there is enough room for the fluid that is going to travel back into it.
Figure 4

Check the reservoir to make sure there is enough room for the fluid that is going to travel back into it. If your reservoir is completely full you are going to need to remove some of the fluid (yellow arrow).

Next remove the two 12mm guide bolts (yellow arrows) holding the caliper to its mount.
Figure 5

Next remove the two 12mm guide bolts (yellow arrows) holding the caliper to its mount.

After the guide bolts have been removed, you should be able to simply lift the caliper off of its mount.
Figure 6

After the guide bolts have been removed, you should be able to simply lift the caliper off of its mount.

Next you want to remove the wear sensor mount from the caliper.
Figure 7

Next you want to remove the wear sensor mount from the caliper. The line will be looped through the brake bleeder valve cap (yellow arrow) and secured to the caliper with an E10 Reverse Torx (red arrow).

Use a 14mm flared nut wrench (red arrow) and remove the brake line from the caliper.
Figure 8

Use a 14mm flared nut wrench (red arrow) and remove the brake line from the caliper. There will be fluid that comes out of the end of the line so be prepared to catch it and do not let it get on any painted surface. Installation is the reverse of removal

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