The write-up from my weekend job. Mostly redundant with Thrift Vader's one above, but hopefully readers can learn something new. I'll try to be as clear as possible, aiming this at first-timers with a bunch of detail. Questions and suggestions welcome.
Symptom: Over the last 2 weeks or so I have had a shimmy in the steering when braking from 40mph and higher. Coming off a highway exit ramp was particularly bad. As I found out, the front rotors were trashed.
I replaced my front brake discs and pads, lubed the caliper slide pins, and bled the front brakes. Total time was about 60 mins, total cost around $140 ($67 per rotor x2 and the rest the small amount of fluids I used). I'd previously paid independent mechanics to do it at a cost of just above $400. No thank you.
Getting Started (Click to show)
Remove caliper and rotor (Click to show)
Lay out your materials. You'll need:
Jack & jack stands to lift and hold the car
Tire iron to remove the wheels
Replacement brake rotors (I got mine from FCP Euro, which ships from nearby and for free, good for a package weighing 45lbs). They also came with new caliper bolts.
Ratchet and appropriate socket (15mm for me) to remove caliper bolts
Breaker bar for leverage
Torque wrench for putting back caliper bolts and lugnuts to spec
Wire brush to clean hub surface
Coat hanger to hold caliper. I ended up using an upturned bucket.
Penetrating spray, Brakleen, Sil-Glyde, Anti-Seize, paper towels
Plastic tubing and bleed bottle
Beverage of choice.
With the wheels on the ground, break the lugs. Jack the car up, support with jack stands on each side, and finish removing the wheel:
Re-install rotor and caliper (Click to show)
Locate the caliper bolts. There should be an upper and lower on the inside of the caliper. I'm pointing to the upper here. Spray with penetrating spray and let soak for a few minutes to coax loose easier.
Remove caliper bolts and pull caliper off. Support by hanging with bungee, wire, or setting on a bucket. This is to prevent stress on the brake line.
Without lugnuts or caliper holding the rotor to the hub, the rotor is ready to come off. Mine didn't need any coaxing but will often be rusted solid to the hub. Hit with a rubber hammer if necessary.
The inner surface of the rotors. New on left, busted on right.
Bleed the brake lines (Click to show)
Take a wire brush and knock off as much rust as you can from the hub.
Spray a quick hit of brake cleaner on the rotor and wipe down. Removes the oil film of the rust-inhibitor they are shipped in.
Put some anti-seize paste on the mating surface of the hub or rotor to help your future self next time:
Slide the rotor on, hold it steady with a lug nut.
I replaced the pads in each side of the caliper, then put the caliper back on the rotor.
Re-attach two caliper bolts.
Find the bleed screw on the caliper, attach some plastic tubing and feed that into a clean plastic bottle with a little brake fluid.
Using the right tool will make a big difference. The bleed screws are soft metal, in an area exposed to a lot of road grime and salt. A flare-nut wrench like the one on the right is your best friend. Using a conventional wrench as on the left will likely lead you to stripping the bleeder and giving up.
I used the two-person method like this:
1. Have friend pump brake pedal until firm.
2. Loosen bleeder screw while he slowly depresses brake pedal.
3. At the end of pedal travel close the bleeder back up.
4. Repeat until fluid runs without any air bubbles in it.
5. Move to other side.
Another shot of the old rotor with warped surface:
New rotor in wheel:
Interior (after test drive, before overdue vacuuming):
Edited by Close Horse - 10/18/15 at 2:09pm