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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Caliper Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$75

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm wrench or socket, 15mm wrench, caliper piston compressor

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:

Brake calipers

Hot Tip:

Check your brake pads and discs when replacing your calipers

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Brake disc replacement, install stainless steel brake lines

Replacing the rear brake calipers on the GTI is an easy DIY job. The rear caliper incorporates the parking brake, which is essentially a cable-operated method of squeezing the brake pads against the rotors, as opposed to the primary hydraulic system. If you have a sticking brake, one wheel that locks up consistently before the others and uneven brake pad wear you may have a bad caliper. Check your brake lines and give the system a good flush and bleed before just replacing the caliper. Caliper boots can also get damaged and lead to damage to the piston. If you find brake fluid leaking from your caliper repair or replace it immediately.

If you are going to be opening the hydraulic lines on the brake system when replacing your caliper so you must properly bleed your brakes before driving the car again. Do NOT attempt to drive the car after performing this work without first properly bleeding your brakes. Please see our article on bleeding your brakes for help.

Begin by safely raising and supporting your vehicle. Then remove the rear tires. Please see our article on safely raising and supporting your car.

This photo illustrates the rear brake system.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the rear brake system. You can see the rotor (red arrow) the caliper (green arrow) and the brake pads (yellow arrow, one showing, and one on the other side of the rotor).

You will need to remove the parking brake ball end (red arrow) and cable clip (green arrow).
Figure 2

You will need to remove the parking brake ball end (red arrow) and cable clip (green arrow). This will allow you to remove the cable from the caliper and allow you to remove the caliper from the vehicle.

Release parking brake.
Figure 3

Release parking brake. Begin by pulling the ball end (red arrow) up and out of its mount.

Use a flathead screwdriver and unclip the cable stay (red arrow) from the bracket.
Figure 4

Use a flathead screwdriver and unclip the cable stay (red arrow) from the bracket.

The clip (red arrow) will pry off with moderate pressure.
Figure 5

The clip (red arrow) will pry off with moderate pressure. Do not lose the clip. I like to put it back on the cable for safekeeping once I have removed the cable.

Push the cable (red arrow) back out from the mount (green arrow) and let the cable hang free.
Figure 6

Push the cable (red arrow) back out from the mount (green arrow) and let the cable hang free.

Before you remove the caliper from the mount loosen the 13mm banjo bolt (red arrow) on the brake line.
Figure 7

Before you remove the caliper from the mount loosen the 13mm banjo bolt (red arrow) on the brake line.

You will need to remove the two 13mm bolts from the caliper (red arrows).
Figure 8

You will need to remove the two 13mm bolts from the caliper (red arrows).

Use a 16mm wrench to counter hold the guide pins (red arrow) while removing the bolts (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

Use a 16mm wrench to counter hold the guide pins (red arrow) while removing the bolts (yellow arrow).

The bolts (red arrow) are micro-encapsulated from Volkswagen and are considered single use only.
Figure 10

The bolts (red arrow) are micro-encapsulated from Volkswagen and are considered single use only.

Pull the caliper (yellow arrow) off from its mount leaving the brake pads (red arrow).
Figure 11

Pull the caliper (yellow arrow) off from its mount leaving the brake pads (red arrow). Depending on the condition of the pads and whether they have anti-squeal backs you may need to use a fair amount of wiggling and force to get them off. Hang the caliper up out of the way with a bungee cord or piece of rope. Never let the caliper hang by the brake line.

Remove the brake line from the caliper.
Figure 12

Remove the brake line from the caliper. Make sure to replace the two washers (red arrows) on the banjo bolt when installing on the new caliper.

Remove the old caliper.
Figure 13

Remove the old caliper.

Installation of the new caliper is reverse of removal.
Figure 14

Installation of the new caliper is reverse of removal. Make sure to properly bleed the system before you drive the car. Now is also a really good time to flush and bleed the entire brake system. Please see our article on bleeding your brake system for additional help. Do NOT attempt to drive the vehicle before properly bleeding the system.

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Comments and Suggestions:
ridovem Comments: This was really good, as far as it went. My 'problem' was that I wanted to clean out around the piston... and inadvertently unscrewed it from a long bolt inside the caliper. Then, probing around inside the caliper piston, I saw an expanding lock washer and removed it... and discovered ANOTHER piston in there... with a lot of gunk in the bottom of the hole. My problem is that there was a plate with 6 'rays' that went in there, and a couple of pieces that looked like a bearing race... and I don't remember the order in which they came out of the large piston. I'm not having much luck in finding an exploded diagram of the caliper piston, either. ^..^
April 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.



I would grab a repair manual. If the info exists, it will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
icit Comments: Really a great article - that would be even better with a second part.

And change the text box for Figure 12, 13 and 14 the text belonging to fig. 13 should belong to fig. 12; the text belonging to fig. 14 should probably belong to fig. 13; the texts belonging to fig. 12 is missing a picture; and finally the picture in fig. 14 is missing a text.
August 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for catching that. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
David Comments: Please please please show the rest of the article ! ;
August 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We are working on fixing the article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
. Comments: Would like to see the rest of this
July 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The right people have been notified. Should be fixed ASAP. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Archie Comments: where is the install half of the article? useles wtihout it.
June 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Something does look like it is missing. I will have our web team look into it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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