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Changing Brake Pads

629 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jim in Houston
Need a little help on changing rear brake pads.
After removing the rear pads I am trying to depress the piston on the rear calipers. They do not move. It feels like a mechanical stop rather than a hydraulic stop.
Any advice. I have changed many pads before, just never on a VW. I have a 2000 Jetta TDI, if that makes a difference.
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Re: Changing Brake Pads (Jim in Houston)

lucky for you! i've got a how-to on my website which may help.
Re: Changing Brake Pads (jaydub)

Thanks for the reply.
Just as I thought. A special tool. I've got the brakes off so I guess I will have to find a large c-clamp to do the job.
Re: Changing Brake Pads (Jim in Houston)

actually i wouldn't recomment a C clamp to push the piston down, it has to be "screwed" in. That's what that piston tool does.
I was able to use just a c clamp on my wife's old ford escort, but i have read that using a c-clamp will mess up the caliper.
Re: Changing Brake Pads (jaydub)

I had some pictures up on photopoint that I'd give you a link to, but the site is currently down. Anyway, I had problems with this myself. A couple things you can try.
A) You can go and buy a generic brake caliper spreader. put this into the caliper, snug it up to put pressure on the caliper (just a little pressure, not too much), then turn the caliper with a pair of channel locks on the edge of the piston. Be careful not to rip or tear the rubber boot around the piston. The caliper spreader should loosen as you turn the piston. Snug up the spreader, turn the piston, repeat. After a turn or so, you shouldn't need to put pressure on the piston anymore. You should be able to turn it and it should retract.
B) buy a "brake caliper tool" from autozone or wherever. It looks like a big dice. It'll have a couple different patterns that fit the indentations on the face of the piston. There'll be one that's close, but it will have four nubs instead of two. Grind off two of them. Then with a 3/8 ratchet, push like hell on the piston and turn it in. I wasn't able to push with enough force to get this to work, but I'm not a big guy by any means. You have to push REAL HARD so that's why I did method A) above.
C) Buy the right tool for the job. You can get the tool from Potterman. Here is a link directly to it. I now own this tool and it's a great help. Easier and safer. But the other methods will work. Proceed at your own risk, etc...

[Modified by lamfalus, 3:37 PM 2-6-2002]
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Re: Changing Brake Pads (lamfalus)

Thanks for the recommendations. I used the clamp, light pressure, and the channel locks. Worked fine.
Will buy the tool as I have a couple of VW's and will be doing this again.
Jim in Houston
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