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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Brake Caliper Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$250 to $500

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm socket, 13mm and 15mm wrenches, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, lug wrench, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Jetta MkIV 2.0L (1998-05)

Parts Required:

Rear brake caliper

Hot Tip:

Be sure to bleed the braking system afterwards.

Performance Gain:

Better braking

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake pads

Over time, moisture can build up in the braking system. This can eventually lead to corrosion inside the brake caliper. This corrosion can eat away at the inside of the caliper, causing it to leak brake fluid or not work at all. A sticking caliper will typically feel like the car is pulling to one side when you brake hard. If this is the case with your car, the caliper must be replaced. Replacing the calipers isn't hard, but does require a few special tools and can be a bit messy.

The procedure for replacing the brake caliper on all the wheels is basically the same. There are slight configuration differences between the front and rear brakes, but in general the procedure for replacement is similar. In this article, we will focus on the rear.

This procedure requires jacking up the rear of the car and removing the wheels. Please see our article on Jacking up your Mk4 Jetta for more information. You'll also need to bleed the braking system of air once the caliper is replaced. See our article on Bleeding Brakes for more information.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with removing the rear brake calipers (green arrow) from the car.
Figure 1

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with removing the rear brake calipers (green arrow) from the car.

Left and Right Sides - The caliper is secured to the caliper mount by two lock nut connections (green arrows) at the top and bottom.
Figure 2

Left and Right Sides - The caliper is secured to the caliper mount by two lock nut connections (green arrows) at the top and bottom. Both of these will need to be removed to remove the caliper. Check that the emergency brake is disengaged. If the brake is on, you won't be able to remove the caliper.

Left and Right Sides - Use a 15mm wrench to hold the locking pin (green arrow) while removing the 13mm locking bolt (blue arrow).
Figure 3

Left and Right Sides - Use a 15mm wrench to hold the locking pin (green arrow) while removing the 13mm locking bolt (blue arrow). Do this for both the top and bottom connections. Once the bolts are removed, carefully pull the caliper off the mount and pads. Keep in mind that you may need to use a narrow profiled 15mm wrench to fit.

Left and Right Sides - Loosen and remove the 13mm banjo bolt (green arrow) holding the brake line to the rear caliper.
Figure 4

Left and Right Sides - Loosen and remove the 13mm banjo bolt (green arrow) holding the brake line to the rear caliper. Be prepared for some brake fluid to pour out. Be sure to replace the small copper sealing washers on either side of the brake line fitting.

Left and Right Sides - Shown here is the ball end (green arrow) of the emergency brake cable.
Figure 5

Left and Right Sides - Shown here is the ball end (green arrow) of the emergency brake cable. You'll need to remove the ball end from the locking pawl.

Left and Right Sides - Make sure the emergency brake is disengaged.
Figure 6

Left and Right Sides - Make sure the emergency brake is disengaged. Then rotate the pawl (green arrow) downwards with your thumb. This will allow you to move the ball end of the cable out from the backside.

Left and Right Sides - Now use a pair of pliers to pull the locking clamp (green arrow) off the securing bracket.
Figure 7

Left and Right Sides - Now use a pair of pliers to pull the locking clamp (green arrow) off the securing bracket. Pull the cable out of the bracket.

The last step is to pull the caliper off the mounting bracket.
Figure 8

The last step is to pull the caliper off the mounting bracket. Be sure to inspect the brake pads (green arrows) for wear before installing the new caliper. Installing the new caliper is the reverse order of removal, except that you'll need to bleed the braking system afterwards. See our article on Bleeding Brakes for more information.

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