Evo 8 - Brake Pad Replacment

This one is really easy. Here's what you'll need:

-New brake pads (I'm a big fan of the Ferodo DS2500)
-A jack (the factory jack in your trunk will work in a pinch)
-2 jack stands
-21mm socket (to remove the wheel lug nuts)
-Small punch
-Large screwdriver
-Shop towels

-Brake cleaner

All the tools you'll need for this job

One note - do not push the brake pedal once you have begun this work. Wait until after you are completely finished and then be certain to pump the brake pedal repeatedly until full pressure returns.

Start by loosening (just barely) the lugnuts on the left front and left rear wheel.

Ensure your car is in gear and the parking brake is FIRMLY applied.

Place your jack under the left front jacking point and raise the car until both left wheels are in the air.

Place your jack stands under the car - one up front, one in the back.

Remove the left front wheel.

You might want to spray the entire brake assembly down with brake cleaner at this point.

Here is the brake caliper with the 2 pads inside. This is a cartridge design, kind of like a toaster. Rather than having to remove the calipers to replace the pads (*cough* BMW), the pads just slide out the back side of the calipers after you remove the 2 retaining pins.


The left front Brembo brake caliper

Take your small punch, place it on the face of one retaining pin and lightly tap it with a hammer. The pin will slide out the back side. Be careful that the retaining spring (this flat piece of metal) doesn't fly up and hit you. It is under a bit of tension.

Placing a small punch over the brake pad retainer pin

Remove the second pin, set the retaining spring aside, and slide the old brake pads out.

Retainer pin loosened and ready to be removed from the caliper

Look inside the caliper and you should see all 4 brake pistons protruding inwards towards the brake rotor. With new pads the clearance between the pistons and rotor may be too small. If so, CAREFULLY and slowly push the pistons back into the caliper. Use a large flat screwdriver or pry bar. Also be aware that pushing one piston in tends to push the other pistons out. So you might need to apply pressure to both pistons on one side at the same time.

Looking inside the caliper at the four pistons and rotor

Also realize that you are working with a closed hydraulic system. If all the pistons are being pushed inwards, your brake fluid may not have anywhere to go. So do not top off your brake fluid before you start this process. Raise the hood of the car and inspect the brake fluid reservoir. If it has some air in it, it might be enough room to play with but you might want to loosen the reservoir cap and place some paper towels around the cap opening in case the reservoir overfills.

The brake master cylinder reservoir.

If your pads have rattle plates, stick them on. If the new pads didn't come with any, you might want to reuse the plates from your old pads.

Prying the original Brembo backing plate off the pad.

Now that there is enough room between the pistons and rotor slide the brake pads in. When both new pads are in, place the retaining spring back in and slide the retaining pins in from the back of the caliper. Use your hammer to carefully tap the pins all the way back into the calipers. Make especially sure they are all the way in. You should see the pins sit at least flush with the hole on the front of the caliper.

Now do the same thing for the rear brake (which has only 2 pistons total per caliper). Replace the wheels on the left side of the car. Remove the jacks and lower the car back down. Torque the lug nuts to spec and repeat this process for the right hand side of the car.

Place the brake fluid reservoir cap back onto the reservoir. BE CERTAIN to pump the brake pedal repeatedly until you get full pressure. Do this BEFORE you move the car or you could be in for a nasty surprise - NO BRAKES!.

Once you've done this a time or two, the total job can be done by one person in under 30 minutes quite easily.

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