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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:

$60 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm, 13mm socket, pliers, E10, T27 Torx, 14mm, 11mm flared nut wrench, large flathead screwdriver, hose, catch bottle, brake bleeder, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz C250 (2012-14)
Mercedes-Benz C300 (2008-14)
Mercedes-Benz C350 (2008-14)

Parts Required:

Caliper, brake fluid, hardware

Hot Tip:

You must bleed the brake system after installation

Performance Gain:

Car stops better

Complementary Modification:

Bleed the brake system

With proper maintenance of your braking system calipers will last a very long time. Besides being damaged in an accident or by some form of road debris calipers usually start to fail around the seals and dust boots. If you're seeing fluid starting to leak out from around the dust boot or the dust boot is torn and the piston is starting to get corrosion on it, it is time to change your calipers right away. Never drive your vehicle with a leaking brake piston.

Safely jack up and support the front of the vehicle and remove the front wheel. Please see our article on safely lifting and supporting your Mercedes W204.

While you are going to be opening the system to air you absolutely need to completely bleed the brake system before you operate the vehicle. While some fluid is going to leak out one of the things you can do to help minimize the loss is to press the brake pedal down an inch or two and use a piece of wood between the seat and pedal to hold the pedal in this position. This will help with loosing fluid.

The front brakes on the W204 are of a floating caliper (yellow arrow) design.
Figure 1

The front brakes on the W204 are of a floating caliper (yellow arrow) design. This means the caliper is attached to the mount by sliding bolts (red arrows) and has only one piston on one side of the caliper (green arrow). As pressure is applied to the pads by the caliper piston the caliper slides or floats along the slide bolts to transfer the clamping force to the pad on the other side.
.

To replace the caliper begin by removing the brake pad wear sensor from the holder (red arrow) by pulling it straight out, and then remove it from the pad (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

To replace the caliper begin by removing the brake pad wear sensor from the holder (red arrow) by pulling it straight out, and then remove it from the pad (yellow arrow). You should be able to pull it from the pad by hand but if it is stuck use a set of small needle nose pliers to remove it using care if you are planning on reusing the sensor.

Remove the wear sensor housing from the caliper by unscrewing the single E10 Torx bolt.
Figure 3

Remove the wear sensor housing from the caliper by unscrewing the single E10 Torx bolt. You will be transferring this bolt and the housing to the new caliper.

If your calipers still have the vanity plate simply pull it straight out from the two holes it sits in (red arrows).
Figure 4

If your calipers still have the vanity plate simply pull it straight out from the two holes it sits in (red arrows).

Next, use a large flathead screwdriver and a set of pliers to remove the pad retention spring (red arrow).
Figure 5

Next, use a large flathead screwdriver and a set of pliers to remove the pad retention spring (red arrow). Grasp the spring with the pliers to save it from flying off; the spring is under a fair amount of tension so you do not want it flying off the caliper. With a good hold on the spring use the screwdriver to pry the spring off walking it outwards until it is free from the caliper.

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two slide bolts (red arrows).
Figure 6

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two slide bolts (red arrows). Make sure the new caliper comes with new hardware. If the new caliper doesn't come with new fasteners make sure to order them when ordering the caliper.

The slide bolts are single use only and are microencapsulated from the factory.
Figure 7

The slide bolts are single use only and are microencapsulated from the factory. Always replace the braking hardware when replacing the calipers.

Since you are going to be introducing air into the system when installing the new caliper and are going to have to bleed the system there is no reason for pushing the old fluid back through the lines to remove the caliper.
Figure 8

Since you are going to be introducing air into the system when installing the new caliper and are going to have to bleed the system there is no reason for pushing the old fluid back through the lines to remove the caliper. Remove the cover for the bleed nipple (red arrow), and use a 11mm flared nut wrench (yellow arrow) to open the line while you compress the piston.

Attach a drain hose to a catch bottle (red arrow), and then open the bleed nipple with the flared nut wrench (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Attach a drain hose to a catch bottle (red arrow), and then open the bleed nipple with the flared nut wrench (yellow arrow).

You can now compress the piston back into the caliper using a large flathead screwdriver, and place it between the caliper and rotor.
Figure 10

You can now compress the piston back into the caliper using a large flathead screwdriver, and place it between the caliper and rotor. Push the caliper outwards (red arrow), which will force the piston back in.

You can now remove the caliper form the mount.
Figure 11

You can now remove the caliper form the mount. Be prepared to hang the caliper or place it on something at a height that will not put any stress on the brake hose or line. Never let the caliper hang from the brake line.

Next, remove the pads.
Figure 12

Next, remove the pads. If you are installing new pads you can skip these steps. The pad on the piston side will come with metal clips that hold it in the position in the caliper and piston. Pull the old pad out; the pads will be marked F for front and R&L for right and left but if you are only changing one caliper they can only fit one way.

The outside pad will come with an anti-squeal pad on the back; this is just a sticky material that helps hold the pad in place and prevents squeals.
Figure 13

The outside pad will come with an anti-squeal pad on the back; this is just a sticky material that helps hold the pad in place and prevents squeals. Push the old pad off the caliper. Clean up any residue form the old backing, and install the new pad. If you are reusing the old pads you may want to install a new anti-squeal backing so make sure you have ordered it.

You are going to disconnect the brake hose or line from the caliper.
Figure 14

You are going to disconnect the brake hose or line from the caliper. Fluid is going to escape from the line and caliper, and it is very slippery. Be prepared to remove the old caliper, and install the new one quickly to limit the amount of brake fluid that will escape the line. You are going to have to bleed the system. You do not want enough brake fluid draining out so you introduce air into the ABS system, or you will need to have the vehicle put into the ABS bleed mode with someone who has the proper tools. Make sure to use the proper tool, which on this vehicle is a 14mm flared nut wrench (red arrow). This wrench will grasp the hose fitting on six sides and save you from damaging it.

Installation of the new caliper is the reverse of removal.
Figure 15

Installation of the new caliper is the reverse of removal. You MUST completely bleed your brake system before you drive the vehicle. Do NOT attempt to drive the car until you have completely bled the system. Please see our brake-bleeding article for additional assistance.

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