How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; this is a How To document for anyone who doesn't have an FSM or doesn't know how to change brake ...
  1. #1
    iametarq's Avatar
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    How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    this is a How To document for anyone who doesn't have an FSM or doesn't know how to change brake pads and rotors.

    This was done on a 98 Seville. These are the rear pads and rotors but the front if i remember correctly is similar.

    Tools Required: 12mm, 15mm sockets or box wrenches, caliper piston socket tool, Jack & Jack Stands.

    Complete set of pictures are here: http://gallery.iametarq.com/photos/c...%20sls/brakes/

    Before starting the procedure it is sometimes necessary to remove the cap from the brake fluid resevoir and remove some of the fluid so it does not over flow when turning the caliper piston. I have never had this happen before, but if you are uncertain you should check with a professional. Some also bleed the brake lines, but I have never done this for just changing rotors and pads, and I have not had any issues in not doing so. If you DO have problems braking, such as petal going all the way to the floor, you may need to bleed your lines to remove air. This document should be used as a reference and not as law. I am not a certified mechanic, GM has no affiliation with me, nor does any repair manual. With that being said...

    1. Loosen all the lugs on the wheels.

    2. Raise the vehicle properly and secure with jack stands.

    3. Remove the wheels.

    4. when you remove the wheels you will see the following:




    5. Remove the Brake Pad Wear Sensor by removing the silver clip seen in the picture below. It has the black wire going into the back side of the silver clip. The sensor is set in an intent in the brake pad. Remove/Unplug any other sensors you feel might get in the way of the repair and keep them out of the way.



    6. Remove the lower caliper bolt by using a 12mm socket. Be careful not to strip the head if it is frozen on place. image below:




    7: Lift the caliper from the bottom and support it/hang it with a wire coat hanger. If your caliper wont budge like mine wouldn't I used a pry bar, VERY CAREFULLY on the bottom edge of the caliper for some extra leverage. You don't want to damage the brake fluid line going into the caliper. At this point you are supposed to remove the parking brake cable but for the life of me, I have never been able to get it off, so I leave it as is. Once the caliper is lifted you can pull off the inner and outer brake pads.




    8. Using the caliper piston tool you already picked up from the auto parts store you will need to twist the caliper piston back into the caliper as far as it will go in preparation for the new brake pads. Do it slowly, it's a bit time consuming anyway. If you don't need to replace your rotors skip to step 12.




    9. Now that you have supported the caliper and removed the old brake pads, it is time to remove the large metal 'guard' the the caliper is attached to in order to remove the old rotor. This requires a 15mm socket, and probably a VERY long handled wratchet. i had to use my 24" torque ratchet. There are two bolts, one on top, one on bottom. You can see my socket on the lower one in this picture:




    10. Now that you have removed the two bolts support the caliper and guard somehow, so they are not dangling. this will prevent damage to the brake line and parking brake cable. You will now have a naked wheel hub:



    11. Put on your new rotors and put the two 15mm bolts back in place and tighten them. I didn't have my FSM handy but I torqued them down to 50lbs, official torque is 94lbs.




    12. I don't know if this is necessary anymore, but i apply a bit of anti-squeel compound to the backs of the brake pads. let it dry for about 5 minutes then reinstall the brake pads, while holding the caliper (it should still be hanging by the coat hanger, anyway) in the UP position. Sorry no picture if JUST the pads on with out the caliper in the installed position.

    13. Put the caliper back into position and reinstall the lower caliper bolt and torque it down with 20lbs. "Plug" the Brake Pad Wear Sensor back into the indent on the brake pad.

    14. Double check that any sensors that were unplugged are attached again, and make sure all your bolts are properly torqued back in.

    15. Install your wheel, hand tighten lugs, lower vehicle, torque lug nuts to 100lbs.

    16. Start the car and pump the brake petal until it is firm again.

    17. Take car for test drive.

    18. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    **disclaimer: i am not responsible for any unfortunate turn of events due to user error in this procedure. if you don't feel comfortable doing this, have a professional do it for you.

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  3. #2
    The Ape Man's Avatar
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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Very nice job. Where were you when I was learning this stuff?
    One step missing though. After the job is finished and BEFORE you go for that little test drive, pump the brakes a few times to get your pedal back!

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Ape man, I did forgot to write that step down!! I'll add it.

    I have noticed that on the Seville, the brakes dont get nearly as squishy after a brake job as they do on my chrysler, it takes about 10 pumps to get those firm again. but the chrysler and brakes is a whole other bucket o' problems.

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Just for the record (1998 Sevilles):

    Rear brake caliper anchor bolt torque = 94 Lb Ft
    Rear brake caliper pin bolt torque = 20 Lb Ft

  6. #5
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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    94lb Ft for those two rear bolts!? damn that's high. No wonder I couldn't get them off with my little ratchet.

    Thanks for the official specs Jim!

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    This is a very nice write up... nice job.

    I have a question: instead of this caliper piston tool... let me back up. Somewhere around step 6, I get out a 6" (big) C-Clamp, put it around the calipers in what looks like a centered position over the whole assembly, and start turning it in SLOWLY. Like, 1/2 a turn, wait 20 seconds, 1/2 a turn, wait 20 seconds....

    This takes a few minutes, but eventually, the piston is all the way in.

    Then, I believe in your step 6 or 7, when you remove those caliper bolts, the caliper comes right off, no prybar. You removed the tension by pushing in the piston already.

    And no special piston tool required, just a big C-Clamp. The piston will already be pushed in.

    My question is, am I doing this wrong??? Is there a problem with my method??? I was shown this way by a mechanic, but this was in the mid-1990's, so.... am I wrong to do it this way??? I have done a couple dozen GM cars this way, I never noticed a problem, but I would like to know if I'm wrong...

    Thanks!

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick7997
    This is a very nice write up... nice job.

    I have a question: instead of this caliper piston tool... let me back up. Somewhere around step 6, I get out a 6" (big) C-Clamp, put it around the calipers in what looks like a centered position over the whole assembly, and start turning it in SLOWLY. Like, 1/2 a turn, wait 20 seconds, 1/2 a turn, wait 20 seconds....

    This takes a few minutes, but eventually, the piston is all the way in.

    Then, I believe in your step 6 or 7, when you remove those caliper bolts, the caliper comes right off, no prybar. You removed the tension by pushing in the piston already.

    And no special piston tool required, just a big C-Clamp. The piston will already be pushed in.

    My question is, am I doing this wrong??? Is there a problem with my method??? I was shown this way by a mechanic, but this was in the mid-1990's, so.... am I wrong to do it this way??? I have done a couple dozen GM cars this way, I never noticed a problem, but I would like to know if I'm wrong...

    Thanks!
    Never use a C-clamp on rear calipers. Fronts are fine this way. You "MUST" screw them back in. Failure to screw them back in, will damage the piston / bore. If you do not want to pay for a caliper tool, a pair of needle nose piers will do just fine. It takes a bit to get the piston moving, but once it starts, it gets real easy to complete.

    Don

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    I have also read what Don stated above about using a C - Clamp on the rears. The little tool to turn the piston into the caliper is only $4 or something at the parts store. I actually had to get one because I was doing the brakes on a Ford for a desperate friend of mine and I had never seen it before.

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    That's real good info, thanks for your replies.

    Come to think of it, I have drums on the rear of the Tahoe, and the friends/relatives cars I was just doing the front.

    I foolishly assumed the rears were the same.

    Thanks guys. I appreciate your responses. I will go get the tool.

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick7997
    Thanks guys. I appreciate your responses. I will go get the tool.
    that's what we're here for.

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Nice job. One other thing I would add: That fluid has to go somewhere when you screw/compress the caliper pistons. Start by taking the cap off of the brake reservoir so that the fluid/pressure has somewhere to go. You may even have to draw some fluid off first if it's really full and your brakes are badly worn.

    I also recommend spraying down the rotor with brake cleaner to remove greasy fingerprints before everything goes back together.

    Those of you installing non-OEM style pads without the sensor holes will need to tie back the harness plugs so that they don't get damaged. You may want to reuse the warning system someday.

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    EcSTSatic,

    good points. I didn't clean anything this time, since everything was pretty damn clean, and i'm not too bad at not getting my hands dirty during the job...

    I did mention removing the resevoir cap and some fluid in the 1st paragraph of the how to.

    the chrysler on the other hand...that's another story.

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Another good tip while doing brakes: buy a vacuum pump, and replace the old brake fluid. You can get a pump for about $25 - $100+, depending on what you want. I have a cheapy one. Real easy too. After doing the brake job, remove as much old fluid from the reservoir as possible. Top it off with fresh fluid. Attatch the pump to the bleeder screw (after placing an appropriate box wrench on the screw), pump up the vacuum, and crack the bleeder screw. I keep the pump going (hand pressure, really gives the forearms a workout). until the fluid runs clear. Close the bleeder screw, and top off the reservoir. Having dirty contaminated fluid in a brake system, with fresh pads and rotors, is like changing the oil filter, and leaving in the old oil (well maybe not as bad). Brake fluid is the most neglected fluid in the car. There are cars that are 10 - 20 years old, that have the same fluid that came from the factory. Brake fluid absorbs moisture (water), and will rust and eat away brake lines in a hurry. If you change out your fluid when you change your pads, your brakes will perform much better, and your equipment will last alot longer. Plus, it is cheap. Brake fluid is cheap. And the pump isn't expensive either, and can be used until you break it.

    Don

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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    Quote Originally Posted by iametarq
    EcSTSatic,
    .... I did mention removing the resevoir cap and some fluid in the 1st paragraph of the how to.

    the chrysler on the other hand...that's another story.
    My bad. I looked but I missed it. I guess you could elaborate if you want, but it's covered.

  16. #15
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    Re: How To: Change Rear Brake Pads & Rotors, Documented

    odd. i lost the edit button on the original post! i'll try when i am at work today. i forgot to add the part about cleaning the brake parts with brake cleaner that EcSTSatic mentioned!

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