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YACT: What tools do I need to change my brakes?

axelfox

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 1999
6,721
0
0
The brakes are starting to squeal when I hit them, so I think it's time to have them changed. I've read here and at some other places that it's pretty simple and easy to do. What tools and materials do I need?

I know pretty much next to nothing about cars, so is this something I should try? Because if I make a mistake, there could be some DEADLY consequences.

Or should I just pay the mechanic to do it?
 

KLin

Lifer
Feb 29, 2000
29,419
30
91
Originally posted by: axelfox
The brakes are starting to squeal when I hit them, so I think it's time to have them changed. I've read here and at some other places that it's pretty simple and easy to do. What tools and materials do I need?

I know pretty much next to nothing about cars, so is this something I should try? Because if I make a mistake, there could be some DEADLY consequences.

Or should I just pay the mechanic to do it?
Take it to a mechanic. I wouldn't take the risk just to save money.
 

Originally posted by: KLin
Originally posted by: axelfox
The brakes are starting to squeal when I hit them, so I think it's time to have them changed. I've read here and at some other places that it's pretty simple and easy to do. What tools and materials do I need?

I know pretty much next to nothing about cars, so is this something I should try? Because if I make a mistake, there could be some DEADLY consequences.

Or should I just pay the mechanic to do it?
Take it to a mechanic. I wouldn't take the risk just to save money.
I would follow his advice this time, or have someone who knows what they are doing show you. Its pretty simple once you are shown.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Administrator
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
162
111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
Find a knowledgeable friend, offer a case of beer or something. Disc brakes are easiest (and what kelvrick is referring to with the C clamp) Drum brakes are a little more difficult to do. Drum brakes are easiest with a few specialized tools for dealing with the springs, but the tools can be found fairly cheaply at cheap tool types of places.

In my opinion, I'd rather change the front brakes on the car than try to adjust the brakes on a 10 speed. While a little more labor intensive(jacking the car, removing the tire, etc.) it's easier to get it just right.
 

CraigRT

Lifer
Jun 16, 2000
31,440
5
0
Originally posted by: DrPizza
Find a knowledgeable friend, offer a case of beer or something. Disc brakes are easiest (and what kelvrick is referring to with the C clamp) Drum brakes are a little more difficult to do. Drum brakes are easiest with a few specialized tools for dealing with the springs, but the tools can be found fairly cheaply at cheap tool types of places.

In my opinion, I'd rather change the front brakes on the car than try to adjust the brakes on a 10 speed. While a little more labor intensive(jacking the car, removing the tire, etc.) it's easier to get it just right.
I actually for some reason really enjoyed doing drum brakes when I used to do this in auto shop class.. (we functioned as a public repair shop pretty much, so all kinds of customers came in for brakes and more simple things)
 

MikeMike

Lifer
Feb 6, 2000
45,885
66
91
i did it, no manual, c-clamp, jack, air compressor, wire brush. and OPEN lid on brake fluid, but dont forget to shut it.

MIKE
 

Grey

Platinum Member
Oct 14, 1999
2,737
2
81
Get the manual (Haynes or Chiltons) and read it through to see what tools you need. It wasn't that hard to do..
 

gourmettea

Senior member
Aug 11, 2003
381
0
0
take it to mechanic......you can't resurface your rotors yourself.....

the time the hassle the worry.....brake jobs are so cheap these days let the pros do it.......

 

Compton

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2000
2,522
0
0
Originally posted by: axelfox
The brakes are starting to squeal when I hit them, so I think it's time to have them changed. I've read here and at some other places that it's pretty simple and easy to do. What tools and materials do I need?

I know pretty much next to nothing about cars, so is this something I should try? Because if I make a mistake, there could be some DEADLY consequences.

Or should I just pay the mechanic to do it?
Do it yourself. Its an easy job. You can get some brand name high quality brake pads for around $30. Which is a lot less than a shop would charge you.

You will need a c-clamp, and probably a torx or allen socket to remove the caliper retaining bolts.
 

Siddhartha

Lifer
Oct 17, 1999
12,501
1
81
Originally posted by: axelfox
The brakes are starting to squeal when I hit them, so I think it's time to have them changed. I've read here and at some other places that it's pretty simple and easy to do. What tools and materials do I need?

I know pretty much next to nothing about cars, so is this something I should try? Because if I make a mistake, there could be some DEADLY consequences.

Or should I just pay the mechanic to do it?
Take it to a mechanic.

 

mdcrab

Platinum Member
Feb 9, 2001
2,105
0
0
Don't forget, you will need a lathe to turn down your rotors.

Do NOT use cinder blocks, use either good jack stands or ramps of sufficient capacity.

mdcrab
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,020
14
81
Originally posted by: gourmettea
take it to mechanic......you can't resurface your rotors yourself.....

the time the hassle the worry.....brake jobs are so cheap these days let the pros do it.......
Great plan


My father-in-law got two quotes for his '92 Taurus wagon, and both totaled over $600.00. I got him rolling for $50.00 total.

I'd like to know WTF size allen head the bolt used, that held the front calipers on. I had to grind down a 3/8" SAE hex wrench to fit it. I've got full sets of metric and SAE, and neither had a wrench to fit it. :confused:
 

Quixfire

Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2001
6,892
0
0
Originally posted by: Ornery
Originally posted by: gourmettea
take it to mechanic......you can't resurface your rotors yourself.....

the time the hassle the worry.....brake jobs are so cheap these days let the pros do it.......
Great plan


My father-in-law got two quotes for his '92 Taurus wagon, and both totaled over $600.00. I got him rolling for $50.00 total.

I'd like to know WTF size allen head the bolt used, that held the front calipers on. I had to grind down a 3/8" SAE hex wrench to fit it. I've got full sets of metric and SAE, and neither had a wrench to fit it. :confused:
Ah, I believe it's a T-40 torx bit. ;)

 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,020
14
81
Nope, it wasn't torx. I used an inspection mirror to see it, and it definitely was a socket head cap screw for hex. I suppose you could jam a torx wrench in it, but I didn't try.
 

Quixfire

Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2001
6,892
0
0
Originally posted by: Ornery
Nope, it wasn't torx. I used an inspection mirror to see it, and it definitely was a socket head cap screw for hex. I suppose you could jam a torx wrench in it, but I didn't try.
Then it was an aftermarket replacement bolt. All factory installed caliper bolts use a T-40 head bolt.

I have seen some 7mm bolts similar to the Jeep caliper bolts used on these vehicles.
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,020
14
81
That's pretty strange. And, it's still a puzzle what size it was. I mean, WTF? It's not like it was corroded to an odd size or anything, because it was in pretty good shape. Busted loose easy enough. Well, I have a truly bastard size hex wrench now, in case I ever need it again.
 

Quixfire

Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2001
6,892
0
0
What is really strange is the threads in the knuclkle for the caliper mounting bolts are 9mm x 1.25 pitch.
How often do you see that thread size?
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,020
14
81
I don't know metric from mouse sh|t, even though I worked for a machine tool builder. All I know, is it's a pain in the ass to have to own two sets of tools.

My wife's brakes are pulled apart for the fourth time. Been fighting with brake squeal since last year. Now the front brakes are pulsing, even though the rotors were turned last April, only 5,000 miles ago. NAPA counter guy told me this would be due to heating up, probably because the caliper isn't releasing. I'd just slap some new calipers in there, but they're from $40.00 to $55.00 each.

Autozone just sold me a packet of Permatex Disc Brake Quiet in paste form. I already used the spray, as well as caliper lube on sliding points. I'll try working the pistons (dual) in and out to see if that helps with the overheating. Getting just a little bit tired of this project! :disgust:
 

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
27,331
1,357
126
why do you need a c-clamp? to push back the piston? why not just use a flat piece of wood, place it over the piston, and stand on it to push it back?
 

DuffmanOhYeah

Golden Member
May 21, 2001
1,903
0
0
just because they are beginning to queak doesn't mean they are going bad. Have your pads and rotors measured to see what you have left before you jump in and change them.
 

Kipper

Diamond Member
Feb 18, 2000
7,366
0
0
Originally posted by: JEDI
why do you need a c-clamp? to push back the piston? why not just use a flat piece of wood, place it over the piston, and stand on it to push it back?
It's not that simple as the piston usually slightly engages when you remove the caliper. It's also nested inside the caliper, so I'd certainly like to see you use a piece of wood to push back a hydraulic piston...

I used the c-clamp for was to push it back as I bled the line, pushing fluid out of the chamber...then I was able to get it back onto the disc. Complete pain in the neck doing this without the manual. It took my friends and I 8 hours to change the rotors on his Toyota. The ironic part is that it took seven and a half hours for the first rotor and 30 minutes for the second.
 

Quixfire

Diamond Member
Jul 31, 2001
6,892
0
0
Originally posted by: Ornery
I don't know metric from mouse sh|t, even though I worked for a machine tool builder. All I know, is it's a pain in the ass to have to own two sets of tools.

My wife's brakes are pulled apart for the fourth time. Been fighting with brake squeal since last year. Now the front brakes are pulsing, even though the rotors were turned last April, only 5,000 miles ago. NAPA counter guy told me this would be due to heating up, probably because the caliper isn't releasing. I'd just slap some new calipers in there, but they're from $40.00 to $55.00 each.

Autozone just sold me a packet of Permatex Disc Brake Quiet in paste form. I already used the spray, as well as caliper lube on sliding points. I'll try working the pistons (dual) in and out to see if that helps with the overheating. Getting just a little bit tired of this project! :disgust:
Try lubricating the pistons inside the dust boot with a few drops of brake fluid. This helps sticky seals from grabbing the pistons too hard and causing drag. Also inspect the caliper slides/bolts to make use they are not binding due to lack of lubrication.
 

Ornery

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
20,020
14
81
I sort of did that Kyle, but I used 'Liquid Wrench Super Lube With Teflon' sprayed under the boot. I C-clamped three pistons, and pushed on the brake pedal to push out the remaining one. Squirted the lube under the boot, and repeated three more times.

As it turns out, that may not have been the problem. When I went to pick up the rotors, the NAPA guy told me they usually turn blue, if they've been overheated, but mine weren't. However, they were about .02" under the low limit, so he couldn't turn them, and said that may have contributed to them warping. Fortunately, he had the sense to order a couple in from another store, that were half the price of the ones he had in stock. $53.00 each, was $2.00 less than Autozone was selling them for.

I slathered the slide pins with more grease. Their protective boots were still intact. Slathered the 'Permatex Disc Brake Quiet' over the backs of each pad. I tightened the bolts that hold the calipers REAL good, as well as the bolts that hold the caliper in place. I figure that could add to vibration, if it isn't super tight. Took it around the block, and it seems OK. Time will tell if holds up. Finger's crossed...

Thanks for the info!
 

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