[Brakes] Newbie Brake Pad Changing Advice Please
#1
I've done a few jobs on cars before - I'm reasonably mechanically competent but a long way from being a mechanic. I'm about to change (or at least check) my brake pads for the first time, a job I've never done before on any car.

I've read the Haynes Brake Manual and the brake pads section of the Haynes Berlingo Manual. I've got or have ordered...
  • Two sets of brake pads
  • Ceramic grease
  • 22-piece brake piston rewind kit
  • 1-man brake fluid bleed kit*
  • Brake hose clamps*
  • 500ml brake fluid*

* These are only because Haynes states that you should avoid shoving fluid back up the cable when rewinding the piston, because it could be dirty and because shoving it back could also damage the master cylinder seals. So you need to clamp the hose and open the bleed valve before retracting, so it may need topping up after. I'm betting that most garages probably don't worry about this and harm never results, but I'm going for the cautious approach.

But there are still some things I'm quite confused about...

  1. Haynes says that, for the rear calipers only, "New guide pin bolts must be fitted on reassembly". Is this normal, does everyone else do this, why are they not needed for the front, and does anyone know anywhere other than Citroen to get them from?
  2. For the front brakes, there's a spring clip over the pad. Does this need to be replaced or is it OK to re-use it? It's £11.79 at ECP, part no 107770038.
  3. For the rear brakes, there are some shims. Similarly, do these need to be replaced or can they be re-used? They are £14.49 at ECP, part no 107735188.
  4. I have axle stands, and would prefer to put each end on stands and do two sides at once, but I don't have a clue where to put them. Haynes isn't at all helpful, as they state that they can only go in the jacking point. But my jack will be there, and there's a metal tab pointing down that I wouldn't want to rest the thing on. They also state NOT to use the front crossmember, rear axle, engine, transmission or any of the suspension components. So lots of places you shouldn''t but no place you can other than the jacking points. Is it actually possible to use a jack and axle stands together? If not then I'll just chock the wheels and do each corner while jacked up, with the wheel under the sill as a backup measure.

Anything else I need to know?

Thanks in advance for all help - hopefully this thread may be useful to others who are embarking on the same confusing journey.

Sorry if I sound clueless - everybody did everything for the first time once.
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#2
(15-04-2018, 03:17 PM)doofer Wrote:  I've read the Haynes Brake Manual and the brake pads section of the Haynes Berlingo Manual.  I've got or have ordered...
[*]1-man brake fluid bleed kit*
[*]Brake hose clamps*
[*]500ml brake fluid*

* These are only because Haynes states that you should avoid shoving fluid back up the cable when rewinding the piston, because it could be dirty and because shoving it back could also damage the master cylinder seals.  So you need to clamp the hose and open the bleed valve before retracting,...
[*]

Sometimes I wonder about Mr Haynes.
This is only my take, but I would never clamp a brake hose, even using the 'soft clamp' tools.
Brake hoses are laminated, and clamping can delaminate the layers, causing potential trouble many months down the line. Garages do this often because it's a quick way of doing the job, but if trouble occurs a long time later, it is not their responsibility.
Certainly open the bleed valve on the brake you are servicing - this is a must -  so that any fluid exits through this valve and does not get forced back up the brake lines. But clamp the lines? Never.

Others will disagree with me no doubt, but I stand by the warning here.

Gravity
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  • doofer
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#3
I don't like clamping hoses either so I would just open the bleed nipple when pushing the piston back. 

As you screw the rear caliper piston back watch the rubber gaiter stays still and doesn't turn with the piston, if it does turn stop and remove the wind back tool, gently lift the gaiter from the piston groove and apply a little rubber or silicone grease into the groove so the gaiter is free to slide on the piston as it is turned.


1.  New guide pin bolts must be fitted on reassembly.

Depending on the caliper type used and the fixing method you sometimes get two new bolts with the replacement pads, the only real reason you get new bolts is because they have thread locking compound on them. You can use the old bolts and just place a dab of locking compound on the threads. 
Personally I have never bothered with the thread locking compound and I have never had a bolt come loose in all of these years.


2.  Front brakes, spring clip over the pad.

These are re-usable, put a dab of your ceramic grease on the ends of the spring clip so it will not seize into the holes in the caliper. 


3.  Rear brakes, shims.

Clean & re-use.

You may have to scrape the area on the caliper carrier under the shims where the pads sit to remove any rust build up, use a flat blade screwdriver or if you have a file use that.

The pads when fitted should be a snug fit and free to move, not tight. 


4. Jacking & Axle stands.

I would jack the car up on the jacking point using a scrap piece of wood between the jack and the body of the car. Position the axle stand at the end of the axle where the trailing arm is. 
At the front you can use the subframe beside where it fixes to the body of the car.
Haynes always states not to support a vehicle by the axle etc, this is because you could possibly bend the axle (Unlikely) if you supported it only in the middle. 


Once the pads and caliper are refitted you need to press the brake pedal a few times to bring out the piston and seat the pads, make sure you only push the pedal half way down whilst doing this, don't push the pedal right down to the floor. So take a few short presses, use the same method if you have to bleed any fluid out.


I would advise you to watch a few youtube videos showing a brake pad change, the calipers may not be exactly the same as yours and they don't always show the bleed nipple being opened etc, but they will give you an idea.


Here's a starter video for you, you will find others.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6OvfPkGtiA


.
My vehicle .... 2006 (m59) Berlingo Multispace Desire - 1.6 HDI 92 
[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to jj9 for this post:
  • doofer, Gravity
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#4
(15-04-2018, 07:45 PM)Gravity Wrote:  Sometimes I wonder about Mr Haynes.
This is only my take, but I would never clamp a brake hose, even using the 'soft clamp' tools.
Brake hoses are laminated, and clamping can delaminate the layers, causing potential trouble many months down the line. Garages do this often because it's a quick way of doing the job, but if trouble occurs a long time later, it is not their responsibility.
Certainly open the bleed valve on the brake you are servicing - this is a must -  so that any fluid exits through this valve and does not get forced back up the brake lines. But clamp the lines? Never.

Others will disagree with me no doubt, but I stand by the warning here.

Gravity

That sounds like very good advice. As the route out of the bleed valve should have far less resistance than the route up the hose it shouldn't go up it anyway. I'll be using the bleed kit that includes a one-way valve, so there shouldn't be any chance of air getting in.
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#5
Thanks for taking the time to give such detailed advice, very much appreciated.

1. As long as they're not stretch bolts then I'm comfortable with re-using them. I have a tube of proper threadlock so will use that. My understanding is that threadlock expands as it sets so it gives more friction when first used than you get after you pull it out and re-insert it. So even if there's some there, I'll blob some more on.

2-3. It's good to know I can safely re-use them. I'm in two minds about re-using them, will see what discount codes ECP have before making my mind up. The reason that I'm looking at it is because there's a squeal under breaking and a squeak when not. So perhaps a weak spring is causing this, I don't know but I may go all-out to kill the problem at all costs.

4. I think I might wimp out of the axle stands thing and just use the jack one corner at a time - I'll stick the stand in where you say, just loosely as a backup. I have traumatic memories of bending the underside of a previous car through not knowing what I'm doing. One worry is that the stands have U-shaped tops, so will support on a really tiny amount of area if used on any flat area, or could slice into a block of wood.

That video is extremely useful thanks, I think it's probably even the same caliper as the Berlingo on the 3008. I have already watched a few others but most gave really bad advice. My complaints from that video are that he left the caliper dangling on the hose (I have thick cable ties), and didn't use a torque wrench for tightening it (I have one, and the number is given in Haynes).
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#6
I ordered the springs and shims, as they were all of £16.89 with free same day delivery.
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#7
Great - glad you've got it all sussed. Jj9 has good advice there.

Regarding the caliper left dangling, there's a lot of talk about tying it up so as not to put weight on the brake hose.

But consider - hydraulic pressure while braking hard in a moving car puts far higher loads on the hose and associated fittings. If that same hose cannot take the static weight of the caliper while you're servicing the brakes, then it shouldn't be on the car.

Gravity
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  • doofer
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#8
1.  No they're not stretch bolts.

I've been round a lot of garages in my time and replaced a lot of brakes and the bolts are always reused unless new ones come with the pads.

2-3.  The springs on the front caliper are just an anti- rattle spring to stop the caliper rattling, plenty of cars driving around with them missing as they sometimes come off if the ends aren't pushed fully home and the spring seated correctly!

Squealing or squeaking could be corrosion around the edge or the centre of the disc catching the pad, remove it with a file.
Pay close attention to the friction material on the pads, this may show witness marks to help you find the problem, also look closely to see that the friction material isn't starting to crack away from the steel of the pad, this can cause the squeak you mention when not braking.

4.  A block of wood on top of the axle stand is the method I use when the vehicle has to be supported on a flat area. 
 

I don't use a torque wrench either so I won't hold that against the video, I like to trust my feel and experience, you can't feel if a bolt is close to stripping with a torque wrench, you can by hand. 

There is also a lot of mistakes made with torque wrenches, I've seen bolts sheared off because the wrong scale has been mistakenly used, I would hope that wouldn't occur if tightening by hand because you would think common sense would kick in before the snap.

Don't throw you old springs / shims away, keep them safe, you may need them one day.


.
My vehicle .... 2006 (m59) Berlingo Multispace Desire - 1.6 HDI 92 
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to jj9 for this post:
  • doofer
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#9
Thanks for all the wonderful help, hand-holding is very much appreciated as I venture into safety-critical stuff!

It will probably be a week before I can do it, I'll update with the outcome if I survive the test drive after.

The ECP springs and shims arrived about 2 hours after clicking the button. Great service, especially for free delivery.
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#10
No problem, you're welcome, it's nice to help others and pass on the tips you have learned.  Wink

You have probably planned on tackling the front brakes first, I would advise you to do that as they are easier to do as the piston just pushes back, that said them springs can be pretty tricky to get back in place.

The rears with the wind back piston can be awkward, sometimes the piston will just not budge, despite giving the wind back tool quite a handful. 
A good tip is to pump the piston out a few half pedal presses, not too far as your wind back tool won't fit in place. With the piston in its new position you may find that it will start to wind back a bit easier as you have moved its position on the fluid seal.


Keep us posted.

.
My vehicle .... 2006 (m59) Berlingo Multispace Desire - 1.6 HDI 92 
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to jj9 for this post:
  • doofer
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