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Old 07-14-2003, 01:47 PM
Randy L
Posts: n/a
1996 C220 Brake & Rotor Replacement Lessons Learned

Hello All,
First of all let me thank all those that posted previously about changing the brake pads and rotors...doing an extensive search enabled me to compile a lot of information and tips. Without them, I would have been left in the dark...since there deoasn't seem to be any 1996 C220 repair manuals written yet. With that said, I just finished changing the front rotors, pads, and wear sensors on my C220.
On the first one, I took my time to carefully check my work and what needed to be done. IT took me about 1-1/2 hours. The second one took me all of 30 minutes complete!
Here's what I've learned that might help others out.
-- Many posts stated to remove the bottom caliper bolt (with a 13mm socket & a 15mm open end wrench) and just loosen the top on to allow the caliper to swing up and out of the way. I found this too hard to since the tension on the brake line prevented me from swinging the caliper up as told. I found it MUCH easier to simply remove both bolts and remove the caliper all together. This enabled me to push the piston back in (with a C-Clamp) and place the new pads much easier. It also didn't put excessive strain on the brake line.
-- The pads I got were very thick so I had to push the caliper
piston back in all the way. Don't forget to place a rag around the brake resevior to catch overflowing fluid, and do one side at a time. I was lucky, it came REAL close but didn't flow over.
-- Several posts stated that a 19mm socket was needed to remove the caliper bracket bolts. MY car required a 18mm socket.
-- Also, a hammer or rubber mallet came in VERY handy to impact the socket wrench to get the TIGHT 18mm caliper bracket bolts loose. It also was needed to knock the left rotor loose from the wheel due to some grime and rust (which I cleaned off).
-- When loosening and tightening the 5mm allen screw that holds the rotor (brake disc), be careful since the wheel spins freely. You'll have to hold onto the wheel to apply "counter pressure".
-- I found it MUCH easier to work on the calipers and brackets by turning the steering wheel to the right for the right side and the left for the left side. This enabled me to easily see the work and tool positions were MUCH better to handle.
-- The wear sensors I got were skinnier than the stock ones so the retaining clips had a lot of play. I squeezed the clip to reform the shape so it was tighter to the sensor.
-- KUDOS to Mercedes for putting anti-sieze compound on all the bolts!! This REALLY helped me out. Put some back on when putting everything back together...or at least spray on liberal amounts of a rust inhibiting lubricant.
Here is a list of ALL the tools I needed to get the front brake pads and rotors replaced.
-- 2 jack stands
-- 1 wheel chock (2 is better though)
-- 1 C-Clamp (to push the calipers back in)
-- 1 18mm socket (for Caliper bracket bolts)
-- 1 13mm socket (for the caliper bolts)
-- 1 15mm open end wrench (for the "inside" nuts that the caliper
bolt tighten into)
-- 1 pliers (needle nose works best) to remove and push in the
wear sensors & reform the sensor clips if needed
-- 1 small-med tip flathead screwdriver (to remove the cap on the
car sides for the jack
-- 1 hammer or rubber mallet (be VERY careful using a hammer)
-- 1 5mm allen/hex head socket or wrench
-- work gloves
-- Brake cleaner spray ( I didn't have any but it DOES help to
keep everything clean)
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