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  #1  
Old 11-27-2002, 11:03 AM
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DIY tips for rotors?

Time for new rotors after 70,000 miles. My first rotor job. The parts are in the garage. Borrowed my buddies floor jack. Any tips would be appreciated, detailed instructions would make me indebted.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2002, 11:48 AM
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Much has been written here on the subject of brake work. The SEARCH facility will bring up all sorts of info.

I hope you're using more than a floor jack to support the car. Dual jack-stands(one on each side) is the only way to safely elevate the front for DIY work. I'd also block the back wheels with chocks.
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Old 11-27-2002, 12:00 PM
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Thanks Mike:

Yeah, I knew someone would bring up the safety issue. I will use jack stands and chock the rears. I have used the search function, too. There wasn't much specifics on things like expanding and removing the calipers, removing the old rotors, replacing the new ones, and assuring the whole process is complete before replacong the wheels and test driving. I wish this was a DIY topic on this forum.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2002, 12:16 PM
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"I wish this was a DIY topic on this forum."

You are in luck:
http://www.peachparts.com/Wikka/W124BrakePads
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2002, 12:43 PM
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CSNOW

Saw that. Thanks. Used it to do the pads the last time. Great help. Now I'm doing the rotors. Any links to that procedure?
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2002, 02:05 PM
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Oh. Got it. Nevermind.

You know, there is really nothing to it in the front.
The rear is complicated by the E-brake.
Sounds like you are doing the fronts, so here are the steps:

1) Remove caliper assembly and tie it up so it does not hang from hose. I use a bungee cord or a coat hanger.

2) Remove rotor set screw. This is all that holds the rotor on at this point, since the lug nuts and wheel secure it when you are underway. Set screw is either a 5 or 6mm hex key. I can't remember.

3) Remove rotor

4) Install new rotor (make sure you remove protective coating, if required. Some manufacturers no longer require this for some models.)

5) Install set screw. Don't overdo it on the set screw torque. I don't know the specified value, but 20Ft-lbs would be plenty. Keep in mind that the set screw does nothing once the wheel is installed. A little low-strength thread-lock would not hurt, though enough of the factory stuff probably remains.

6) Replace pads and re-install caliper assembly. You know about this part already. I use a milk crate to hold up the calipers while I work on them. For best results, be sure to lightly lube all of the sliding surfaces and pins on the calipers with brake grease (Sta-lube and Permatex both make good stuff).

Best of luck.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2002, 02:59 PM
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CSNOW

Looks like CSNOW has covered it. I also use the coat hanger technique for supporting the caliper while I work. I use an upside down bucket to hold the caliper when not hanging by the coat hanger. Don't forget to remove the coat hanger from the car when finished, I left it hanging on the spring one day.

Should be a fairly straight forward job, great DIY work.

Good luck,
Joel

PS> Always a good time to clean the wheels when you have them off the car.
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2002, 03:10 PM
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A couple of additional thoughts regarding the DIY brake job-

-It is a good idea to compress the caliper puck into the caliper. It makes the installation of the pads and the new thicker rotor (disk) easier but also cleans and "lubes" it.

One caution though: Take a closer look at the master cylinder. If it is full, you will need to remove some brake fluid so it doesn't spill out and curdle your paint.

-Never pry against the rotor ..... NEVER

-I use extra-large channel lock plyers to compress the puck into the caliper. I use either an old brake pad for one side and the out housing of the caliper on the other.

-If you clean the rotor (some don't require this, so be *absolutely* sure which is required of your new rotors) make sure they are completely clean. Twice in the past I have *thought* the new rotors were clean. Just a little grease, oil, residue will cause eventual "high-spot" resulting in pulsating rotors and brake pedal. If in doubt, clean them again, both sides before installing. BTW, a simple dot of pad lube the size of the period at the end of this sentence can cause a problem.

-Break squeak: Typically pads come with shims and some with anti-sqeak paste. You should put the paste (lube) on the "upper and lower" edges and the back of the pads, only. Be careful of this lube in that it will lube the braking friction surfaces (which you don't want).

-If your brake pad sensors have any wear on them, replace them.

-I have found that if you turn the steering wheel full lock, it is much easier to access the caliper.

-The retaining bolt is straightforward but it often will turn unless you also hold its respective nut. The catch here is that the nut requires a thin wrench. You can substitute with another tool (vise grips etc) but ideally you want to use a thin headed wrench.

Haasman
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Last edited by haasman; 11-27-2002 at 03:30 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-27-2002, 03:55 PM
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C-clamp

The only thing I would like to add is that prior to removal of the caliper, use an 8" c-clamp to compress the pistons by squeezing the whole caliper against the old rotor. Take them all the way in. You risk no damage to the piston boots doing it this way (versus uninstalled) and the big c-clamp makes it go like butter ( and won't leave the gouge marks that c-channel pliers can ). Depending on the level of your brake fluid, you may overfill it once you start moving the pistons back in so keep an eye on it and remove fluid as necessary. Otherwise, front brakes are a breeze.
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  #10  
Old 11-27-2002, 04:06 PM
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Excellent posts to all. Thank you!
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2002, 10:24 PM
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Don't try to remove the rear rotors with the parking break on.
If the old rotors don't come off easy, a good long strike with a 2 lb ball peen hammer should take them off.
If you get dealer rotors, don't try to remove the dealer coating - it WILL come off, and the shop manual says to leave it on!!
Balo is the only manufacturer that makes rotors the way M-B dealers are made, they are better than the ATE from what I understand.
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2002, 12:28 AM
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A Thanksgiving tech tip....

The ideal tool for removing excess brake fluid from the reservior is a turkey baster.
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2002, 09:11 PM
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I'll be damned if I can't get the upper caliper bolt on the driver's side broken free.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2002, 09:50 PM
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Is it turning or frozen?
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2002, 10:57 PM
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I've experienced this problem before on Asian cars. I applied a good dose of penetrating oil and let it sit over night. The following morning I reapplied another dose and had breakfast while it soaked a bit more. I then carefully slid a long hollow piece of pipe onto the ratchet and gently applied pressure.

The combination of a long soak with penetrating oil and a LONG cheater bar may solve the problem.
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