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Old 16th September 2014, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Front brake pad change [guide with pics]

Recently did a front pad change on my R35 and there wasn't a great deal of info out there on what to expect. I therefore thought it might be an idea to pull together a brief how to guide.

Firstly, apologies for the pic quality. I wore my camera batteries out last night on another project so only had my blackberry for pics



In terms of difficulty it is actually very straightforward. It's a good design. I score it a 2 out of 5 spanners, but this is mainly based on having the kit.

So to start, this is the kit you need. New pads, torque wrench, socket set (with 21mm and 13mm sockets), a smallish hammer and some brake cleaner

Add to it, large flat head screwdriver, copper slip and a punch, some kitchen roll plus a trolley jack
IMG-20140913-00375.jpg

Then you need to jack the car. Mine is lowered and I have a normal height trolley jack which doesn't fit under the car. So to get around this I drive the car onto planks of wood (on both sides) which raise it enough to get the jack under. Wheel bolts are 21mm. You don't need to raise the car much to be able to remove the wheel. Getting the wheel off isn't too hard although be warned, it is quite heavy but is mostly an issue when putting it back on.
IMG-20140913-00376.jpg

I took the opportunity now to give the callipers a courtesy clean. Now would also be the time to soak / clean your alloys if you were so inclined.

Then I removed the two thin bars as per the pic. These are gently tapped out of the calliper, from the outside of the calliper, to the inside. This is where punch is required. It makes it easier although be careful or you could hit the calliper and damage it / scratch the paint.

The lower thin bar is holding down a metal retainer. There isn't significant force on this so as the lower bar comes out it shouldn't spring too much - but yours may be different so proceed with caution when sliding it out
IMG-20140913-00382.jpg




Then remove the metal spring clip. If you use a screwdriver carefully and rotate the clip and hold the screwdriver head against the clip as shown, then with a little forward force on the screwdriver, you can use your other hand to rotate the long part of the clip which pops itself off. Should be fairly easy if you have the correct angles. I didn't find I had to bang it with a hammer or make the metal deflect a great deal.
Stratford-on-Avon-20140913-00411.jpg

The next step once the two little bars are out is to remove the thicker bars. These are 13mm bolts and not tight or difficult to remove. Once the bolts are out you need to slide them out of the calliper. These are removed from the inside to the outside. The fit will be tight, as there will be brake pad residue on them. I took care and made sure that if I persuaded it at all, that it did it square on, not damaging the threads or using a great deal of force. It really is gentle persuasion, or wiggling (by hand) to get it out.
IMG-20140913-00384.jpg
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Old 16th September 2014, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Now all the bars and spring plates should be removed and your should be ready to remove the pads. I decided to soak the bars and clips in brake cleaner. I queried this with myself as I know many have had brake clicking and squeal issues. I have never had this and was wondering if by cleaning everything perfectly it would result in greater play in the parts (less of a snug fit) which could give me some of the horrible noises. To test this I have really cleaned up one side and didn't do a great deal of cleaning on the other side, so will see if there is any difference.

At this point, release the brake fluid reservoir lid. Wrap some kitchen towel around the lid and put it back on. This makes it easier to spread the calliper pistons. The kitchen towel is to catch brake fluid should your reservoir overfill. Mine was ok as it was very low when I started, but I did keep checking the fluid level as I was spreading each set of pistons back.

I tend to spread the pistons back whilst the old pads are still in there. The reasons for this are having a pad in there means you push all the pistons back at the same time and at equal pressure. It also means you can push against the (old) pad without fear of damaging anything. I tried a few ways here, initially getting a large flat head screw driver onto the old pad to carefully, albeit with some force slowly push the pad back on one side. Remember this is a gradual thing - do not use a hammer. Do not lever the pads or pistons back using the disk. It worked and was fine. More difficult on the pad on the other side as it's coming towards you, so instead tried using fingers which worked ok although was hard work. Then tried removing the old pad and actually pushing the pistons by hand. This worked ok, although it's a pain as when you push one in, another comes out so it takes a while to work them all back.
IMG-20140913-00388.jpg


Once pistons mostly spread I removed the old pads. They come out this way so no need to remove the disk. With pistons most of the way back I found it easy to remove the old pads. I then took the opportunity to carefully clean the rest of the calliper. I read somewhere to keep brake cleaning fluid off the pistons. I don't know why you would or wouldn't, but took a conservative decision and proceeded with caution with the cleaning fluid
Stratford-on-Avon-20140913-00389.jpg


These are my old pads. Pagid RS29 and they were amazing. No squeal, no sqeeks, never faded, minimal wear on the aftermarket disks, fantastic cold performance, I could go on. In the end I decide to try the Ferrodo DS2500 pad as I wanted to see how they performed and as they are at a lower price point I figured it was a low risk option as if they weren't upto scratch I would just swap them out (I haven't tracked my car so they only need to perform as a fast road pad). As you can see, the Pagids took a beating and were cracked although they are right at the end point of life and if you look closely you can see the little rivets coming through. I had been holding off using the car until my new pads arrived as I knew they were low.

Stratford-on-Avon-20140913-00391.jpg


I include this pic so you can see how much material looks to be left on the pad, but as you can see from the last pic actually any more heavy use could have risks damaging the disks.

Stratford-on-Avon-20140913-00392.jpg


New Ferrodo DS2500 fitted. Looks like lots of material. I can see the metallic elements within the pad compound. I hope these are ok and don't ravage my disks. I will be keeping an eye on this. Whilst the Pagid RS29 are quite pricey, I believe the sympathy they have on disk wear counter acts this additional price.
IMG-20140913-00394.jpg
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Old 16th September 2014, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With new pads in, refit the metal bars. I first did the thick ones and did the 13mm bolts up finger tight, then pushed the loose fitting pads into approx. position and then trial fitted the thin bars without the spring clip. Getting the alignment right now will make it easier to fit the final lower thin metal bar with the spring slip in place. Once it's all aligned I fitted the upper thin bar and then refitted the spring clip to the thicker lower bar. You then push the spring slip down against the pads and slide in the lower thin metal bar. The thin bars go from the inside to the outside of the calliper. They have a tapered end which makes it easier to guide them home, particularly for the lower bar when being slightly deflected by the spring washer.

Once it's all fitted, make sure the thin bars are fully home. Then tighten up the thicker bars. I didn't have a torque figure for these. If someone does by all means post up. What I will say is these are not done up tightly, less than 60lbs. get a feel how much force is required to remove yours and keep this in mind when refitting.


Something I noticed upon inspection was that the DS2500 is a bigger pad than the RS29 and as such as a bigger sweep going closer to the centre of the rotor. As my disks are not particularly worn I am ok with this and will keep an eye on wear. Initial test results / bedding in look good and my hope is the pad will simply wear with a slight step. You might want to consider this point though if you were changing to a different pad type on a set of disks that are quite worn
IMG-20140913-00403.jpg


Then I copper slipped the hub as per this pic. I also copper slipped the inside of the alloy face. I read a few bits where people said about putting loads on. I wouldn't as I found with only a small amount it still started leaking out on the brake hub when I actually drove the car. With loads on I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on your disks and new pads.
IMG-20140913-00396.jpg


All should now be sorted with the pad and calliper. Pop the lid back on the fluid resoirvoir. Press the brake pedal a few times for everything to harden up and seat. Give it another check and then your ready to put the wheel back on and do the other side.

I found the wheel bloody heavy and found it easier to lift using the spokes rather than picking up the wheel by the outside / tyre.

Now I was worried about developing clicking having done this work as my car has been good as gold so far with none of the brake clicking or clonking and I wanted to keep it this way. I read about varying torque levels and decided I would torque to 110NM / 160lb/ft. Interesting one of my wheels took the best part of 200lb/ft to remove the bolt. Perhaps there is something in this as to why I never had clicking.

Anyway, I got the wheels on, torqued up in (several) stages and by doing every other nut in turn. Then lowed the car and took it for a test and to start bedding everything in. Brakes felt great. Got the car back and rechecked torque settings once cold. They did need a little tightening. I took the opportunity to check the rest of the bolts and they were fine.

I hope this guide is of use to people. I did have more pics but struggled to get them off my Blackberry so have posted the main ones. As it turns out only 5 pics allowed per post anyway, hence why this mail is spread across three posts.

The design of the calliper is good and it makes changing the pads a satisfying cinch.

Cheers
Mart
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Old 8th October 2014, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great wright-up.

Did all 4 corners with discs and pads. I did have some issues with getting the larger bolts out but mine had been in for 4 years!!

Don't forget if you do the back that handbrake is done by shoes inside the hub of the rear disc. Slacken off first.

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Old 21st October 2014, 08:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How are the DS2500 pads??
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Old 21st October 2014, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Awesome. Minimal squeal (if any). Strong performance and modulation, even when cold. Have used from very high speed to a (harsh) stand still (190mph+) without any fade or juddering or anything like that. I do think they are wearing my disks (AP slotted) faster than my previous Pagid RS29 though. Will keep an eye on it. Not harsh, just more than the Pagids did. I don't know how they would cope on a track day with repeated and sustained braking though.

For what I have used them for, I would recommend them.
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Old 22nd October 2014, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great write up - nice and clear
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Old 22nd October 2014, 10:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice write up Mate
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Old 22nd October 2014, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've got ds2500 with alcon discs and when they get hot it sounds like I've got a load of pigs under the bonnet squealing lol
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Old 22nd October 2014, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the kind words about the write up. Very much appreciated

As for brake squeal, from my experience, I believe it is a 50:50 split between brake compound and how they are bedded in and used. If you're too gentle, or riding them all the time then whatever pad you use, their going to squeal. Whereas if you bed them in well and then use them 'with gusto' over shorter braking periods then they should be fine.

Might be worth re bedding them in. After they have had a good clean (as part of washing the car) I would go out and put your g force screen on (B) and then on a quiet road, in say third gear accelerate to 70 then brake down to 30 / 40. Start off with g force at just over half a g, do several of these to get heat into the brakes. Say 4 or 5. Hard and sharp. Not riding the brakes. Then progress and do some faster and even harder stops (make sure nothing is behind or around you whilst doing any of this). Accelerate to say 80 / 90 (kph of course) and then brake like made, to around 1 g peak and brake down to 40/50. Again, do like 4 or 5 and then give the brake s a rest. When you stop, don't put the handbrake on or sit with your foot on the brake either.

Make sure you don't overcook your brakes, Doing this puts material on the disk and makes for quiet brakes.

As for how I use my brakes on the road, I tend not to use my brakes much for normal driving (instead using anticipation, a bit of distance and gears (got to watch for people behind though as your brake lights wont come on)) and then when doing a little more spirited driving I tend to brake late and hard.

I haven't had any issues
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Old 3rd December 2014, 12:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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R35 pads change just like evo's, very easy, thanks for sharing.
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Old 28th December 2014, 10:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks for the guide, very helpful!
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Old 6th January 2016, 07:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Had my car serviced recently and was confirmed that the front pads were worn to 90% and the rears to 70%

meaning the rear pagids have worn very well and the front DS2500s have lasted about 13 months and I guess about 8000 miles, which is ok. The disks are both still in good condition which is pleasing.

I have bought more DS2500 and will replace atleast the fronts soon. I will also take the opportunity to do a bit more of a write up on how I got on with them and general thoughts.
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Old 6th January 2016, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Another great diy thread martin
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Old 6th March 2018, 09:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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so mighty thread revival here, however I have some interesting information to add.

My brakes don't feel the best at the moment and I think it is the rear pads in need of replacement. This would be the same pagid RS29s that were on when I did this write up.....! (in 2014)

So they have lasted atleast 4 years although I think they have been on for even longer than that (possibly upto 6 years). Car has done well over 30k miles in that time including some track, a vmax, TOTB, a few runway days and loads of fast road. Simply amazing.

The disks are also the same disks!!!! So, I will shortly inspect the disk thicknesses if they are ok replace the rear pads with some DS2500, then when the front / rear disks are toast I will replace them (probably AP again as they have been amazing) and pair them with some Endless MX72 pads I have recently purchased.

When I bought my GT-R I had expected to be replacing the disks every 2 years. I'm really surprised and delighted on the longevity they have provided.
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Old 11th March 2018, 03:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mart, I want to have my wheels off for cleaning and as you've done the jacking and wheel removal could I ask a couple of questions please?

The jacking points on the GT-R, are there special jacking 'chocks' you need?

What weight rating is your jack?

And lastly, did you keep to the 110nm torque nut rating and was this ok for the clicking etc?

Thanks
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Old 12th March 2018, 09:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Paul

When I did this I used a 2 tonne jack which was fine. I now have a 3t ultra low profile jack which is awesome. The new jack also means I no longer need to drive the cars onto planks of wood to get the jack under the side. In relation to your question though, 2 tonne jack will be fine. If you're buying a jack look on ebay and get an ultra low profile one. (I have a 3t version only because I also jack up my Audi Q7)

You don't need special chocks. If you have a look under the side sills you will see the large square jacking points. They're pretty good and you can jack right on them. Unless you are precious about tiny marks on bits on like that in which case then maybe. But for me, absolutely not.

If you have a low profile jack then you can slide it under the rear of the car and jack the entire back of the car up. The lug is in the middle. In line with the centre of the wheel line. It's a little unnerving as it just looks like a bit of the undertray (round bulge) but this presses up against a metal lifting lug and is fine.

As for the torque setting, I always run the track setting. Which is 147nm / 110ftlbs. Although I just realised I have over torqued mine when I just changed the rear pads. Oops. Will back them off a bit. I haven't suffered any wheel clicking.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for that Mart, not sure I'll ever be brave enough to lift the whole rear in one go though, lol

It's just a normal 2t jack so I'll see if it goes under before I go any further.

Ta
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Old 14th December 2018, 03:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Nice one martin
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Old 14th December 2018, 09:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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No problem. Just a shame all the pictures have disappeared!
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