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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$125 to $250

Talent:

**

Tools:

11mm, 18mm socket, 7mm Allen, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (1999-00)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)
VW Golf GTI GLX (2000-01)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2002-05)

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 your calipers are sticking, leaking or you are wearing down one side or your brake pads disproportional to the other; 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.

After replacing your calipers you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

Before you begin working on the brakes, check your brake fluid reservoir.
Figure 1

Before you begin working on the brakes, check your brake fluid reservoir. You might need to compress the caliper piston which will cause brake fluid to travel back up into the reservoir and you need to make sure there is room for it. Carefully clean around the reservoir before you open it, as you do not want any dirt or debris getting into it. Be prepared to use a turkey baster (red arrow) or fluid pump to extract some of the brake fluid if necessary. Make sure whatever you use is clean; you do not want any contaminants getting into the fluid.

Disconnect the wear sensor from the harness (red arrow).
Figure 2

Disconnect the wear sensor from the harness (red arrow).

Place a large flat head screw driver between the caliper and retaining clip (red arrow).
Figure 3

Place a large flat head screw driver between the caliper and retaining clip (red arrow). Pry the clip from the caliper and set aside. Use caution when removing the clip as it is under pressure.

There are two 7mm Allen bolts holing the caliper to the mounting bracket.
Figure 4

There are two 7mm Allen bolts holing the caliper to the mounting bracket. They should be covered with plastic caps but our project car did not have them. If your have them remove the covers, then remove the 7mm Allen guide bolts (red arrows).

If you are reusing your guide bolts check them for wear and tear (red arrow).
Figure 5

If you are reusing your guide bolts check them for wear and tear (red arrow). It is a good idea to clean them up with a scotch brite pad and put a little white lithium grease on the smooth guide part of the bolt (red arrow).

Remove the 11mm banjo bolt from the brake line.
Figure 6

Remove the 11mm banjo bolt from the brake line. If you are reusing the brake line it is a good idea to replace the two washers (red arrows) on the banjo bolt.

Pull the caliper back off the rotor (red arrow).
Figure 7

Pull the caliper back off the rotor (red arrow). Sometime the brake pad will stay in the mounting bracket on the exterior pad (yellow arrow) and sometimes it comes off with the caliper. If the caliper is really stuck you can push it in on the piston side, compressing the piston and giving you more room to wiggle it off.

With the caliper off you can see the two brake pads (green arrows) along with the one brake wear sensor (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

With the caliper off you can see the two brake pads (green arrows) along with the one brake wear sensor (yellow arrow). If you are reusing the pads transfer them over to the new caliper. The inner pad has clips that sit inside the piston (red arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. After replacing your calipers you must fully and properly bleed your brakes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE WITHOUT FIRST BLEEDING THE BRAKES. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:36:34 AM