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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Rotor Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

T40 Torx socket, 18mm wrench or socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W211 (2003-09)

Parts Required:

Brake rotors

Hot Tip:

Soak mounting fastener with penetrating oil

Performance Gain:

Improve braking and reduce brake squeal

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads at the same time

The friction generated between your brake rotor and brake pad is what actually stops the vehicle. As you step on your brake pedal the piston in the master cylinder forces hydraulic pressure through the brake lines and hoses. The brake pressure forces the caliper pistons out, pushing the brake pads against the rotors. Brake rotors need to absorb a lot of heat during heavy braking. If they can't get rid of the heat fast enough they may warp. This will lead to a vibration in the steering wheel during braking. Also, if the brake rotor has grooves from wear it will make and allow squealing noise while braking. As the brake pads rub against the rotor the brake rotor will also wear out. Manufacturers have specifications on what the minimum thickness a brake rotor should be. You can use a dial micrometer to measure this thickness and verify the brake rotors need to be replaced. See our tech article on checking your brake pad and rotors specifications. In this tech article we will review all the steps to change your brake rotors.

In order to remove your brake rotors you will to lift and support your vehicle and remove the brake calipers. See our technical articles on jacking up and supporting your vehicle and brake caliper removal for further instructions.

Front Brake Rotor ThisPicture illustrates the front right brake system with the wheel removed.
Figure 1

Front Brake Rotor: This picture illustrates the front right brake system with the wheel removed. On the brake caliper use a flat head screwdriver to lever out one side of the anti-rattle spring. Be prepared to catch it, from time to time they will spring out of the caliper.

With the top of the spring removed pull out the bottom and remove from the caliper
Figure 2

Front Brake Rotor: With the top of the spring removed pull out the bottom and remove from the caliper.

Front Brake Rotor Unplug the electrical connector for the brake pad wear sensor by squeezing it and pulling it straight out of the electrical connector caliper bracket.
Figure 3

Front Brake Rotor: Unplug the electrical connector for the brake pad wear sensor by squeezing it and pulling it straight out of the electrical connector caliper bracket.

Front Brake Rotor This Picture illustrates the inside of the brake caliper.
Figure 4

Front Brake Rotor: This picture illustrates the inside of the brake caliper. Remove the two plastic covers (green arrows). You can lever them out with a small screwdriver or your fingers.

Front Brake Rotor Underneath the two covers you just removed are caliper mounting pins.
Figure 5

Front Brake Rotor: Underneath the two covers you just removed are caliper mounting pins. Here we are shown using a 7mm Allen head socket, extension and ratchet to remove the lower caliper mounting pin. Do the same thing to the top caliper pin. Remove the two 7mm Allen head caliper pins. Pull the caliper pins out of the caliper while it is loose and make sure they slide in the caliper freely.

Front Brake Rotor I like using a large flat head screw driver to lever the caliper over and force the caliper piston back into the caliper.
Figure 6

Front Brake Rotor: I like using a large flat head screw driver to lever the caliper over and force the caliper piston back into the caliper.

Front Brake Rotor Lift the caliper off of its mounting bracket.
Figure 7

Front Brake Rotor: Lift the caliper off of its mounting bracket.

Front Brake Rotor Remove the outer brake pad from the caliper mounting bracket.
Figure 8

Front Brake Rotor: Remove the outer brake pad from the caliper mounting bracket.

Front Brake Rotor This photo illustrates the front spindle on the right side of the car with the caliper already removed.
Figure 9

Front Brake Rotor: This photo illustrates the front spindle on the right side of the car with the caliper already removed. Remove the two 18mm fasteners (green arrows) that mount the caliper bracket to the spindle. You can now remove the caliper bracket from the spindle.

Front Brake Rotor Remove the T40 Torx fastener (green arrow).
Figure 10

Front Brake Rotor: Remove the T40 Torx fastener (green arrow).

Front Brake Rotor I like using this commercially available hand impact tool.
Figure 11

Front Brake Rotor: I like using this commercially available hand impact tool. You can set it to rotate clockwise or counter clockwise to loosen. Hold on to the tool firmly and hammer on the end of it to loosen the fastener.

Front Brake Rotor If the rotor is stuck on the hub flange you can use a hammer to tap it off.
Figure 12

Front Brake Rotor:  If the rotor is stuck on the hub flange you can use a hammer to tap it off. Wear eye protection while hammering. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the rotor onto the hub flange and tighten the single fastener. Install the caliper bracket and follow the instructions on brake pad removal to finish installing the brake pads and brake caliper.

Rear Brake Rotor This picture illustrates the right rear brake assembly with the wheel removed.
Figure 13

Rear Brake Rotor: This picture illustrates the right rear brake assembly with the wheel removed. Use a flat head screwdriver to lever off the anti-rattle spring and pull it out of the caliper. Be prepared to catch it, from time to time they will spring out of the caliper.

Rear Brake Rotor Unplug the electrical connector for the brake pad wear sensor by squeezing the electrical connector and pulling it straight out of the other side of the connection.
Figure 14

Rear Brake Rotor: Unplug the electrical connector for the brake pad wear sensor by squeezing the electrical connector and pulling it straight out of the other side of the connection.

Rear Brake Rotor This picture illustrates the inside view of the right rear brake caliper.
Figure 15

Rear Brake Rotor: This picture illustrates the inside view of the right rear brake caliper. Remove the two T40 Torx caliper mounting pins (green arrows) recessed in the rubber caliper slides. There may be covers that pop out of the rubber inserts but our car did not have them.

Rear Brake Rotor I like using a large flat head screw driver to lever the caliper over and force the caliper piston back into the caliper.
Figure 16

Rear Brake Rotor: I like using a large flat head screw driver to lever the caliper over and force the caliper piston back into the caliper.

Rear Brake Rotor Remove the caliper from its brake caliper bracket.
Figure 17

Rear Brake Rotor: Remove the caliper from its brake caliper bracket. Use a hook to support it or rest it on the spindle. Do not let it hang by the brake line as this will damage the line.

Rear Brake Rotor Remove the outer brake pad from the caliper bracket.
Figure 18

Rear Brake Rotor: Remove the outer brake pad from the caliper bracket.

Rear Brake Rotor This photo illustrates the rear caliper bracket on the right rear wheel with the caliper removed.
Figure 19

Rear Brake Rotor: This photo illustrates the rear caliper bracket on the right rear wheel with the caliper removed. Remove the two 18mm fasteners (green arrows) for the caliper bracket.

Rear Brake Rotor Remove the caliper bracket from the spindle.
Figure 20

Rear Brake Rotor: Remove the caliper bracket from the spindle.

Rear Brake Rotor Remove the T40 Torx fastener (green arrow).
Figure 21

Rear Brake Rotor: Remove the T40 Torx fastener (green arrow).

Rear Brake Rotor You can use this commercially available hand impact tool.
Figure 22

Rear Brake Rotor: You can use this commercially available hand impact tool. You can set it to rotate clockwise or counter clockwise to loosen. Hold on to the tool firmly and hammer on the end of it to loosen the fastener.

Rear Brake Rotor If the brake rotor is stuck on the hub you can use a hammer to tap it off.
Figure 23

Rear Brake Rotor: If the brake rotor is stuck on the hub you can use a hammer to tap it off. Wear eye protection while hammering. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the rotor onto the hub flange and tighten the single fastener. Install the caliper bracket and follow the instructions on brake pad removal to finish installing the brake pads and brake caliper.

Rear Brake Rotor There is a chance the brake rotor may not come off because of a lip on the inner part of the rotor from rubbing against the parking brake shoes.
Figure 24

Rear Brake Rotor: There is a chance the brake rotor may not come off because of a lip on the inner part of the rotor from rubbing against the parking brake shoes. You may need to adjust the parking brake shoes inward to be able to remove the brake rotor. Rotate the brake rotor until the brake fastener hole is between approximately the 9 and 10 o'clock position. Insert a flat head screwdriver into the hole and insert it into the gears on the parking brake adjustment pawl. Lever in the direction of the blue arrow to retract the pawl adjustment and allow the pads to come inward. Now it should be much easier to remove the brake rotor from the hub. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the brake rotor onto the hub flange. Install and tighten the fastener. Install your brake caliper bracket, brakes and caliper. Attach the caliper anti-rattle spring. Adjust the parking brake, fit the wheel and you're done.

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