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Brake Upgrade Tips

Written by Jim Wright

I just thought I'd share this tip with everyone (even though it's common sense), since my ignoring this turned a one day project into a two day project (I'm just finishing up day 1...).

When you go to put the new calipers on your car, or for some reason you've pulled both calipers off at the same time, be sure to note when putting the calipers on the L and R symbols on each one. This is the left and right from the driver's seat point of view, so the driver side is the left, passenger side is the right, unless you're in one of those countries where they drive on the wrong side of the road, that is... LOL

If you happen to ignore this tidbit, you can still put the wrong calipers on. I've proved that fact today. The only difference will be that the bleeder valve will now be located on the bottom, instead of on the top!

I was just finishing bolting on the second caliper when I noticed the bleeder position (on the first side I was just assuming it was located differently since the caliper model was different), and it occurred to me that with the bleeder on the bottom, you would NOT be able to get all the air out! A quick check of the letters confirmed that I had in fact reversed the sides. ARGH!

Being Halloween, I couldn't leave my car up on jacks overnight, so I had to slap everything back together (without tightening everything fully, of course) so that I could wrap it up [the next day].

One more tip, on removing the dust shield. Some folks have cut this to allow the new calipers to mount, others have removed it. It is just pressed on to the hub, but is very secure. What I did was used a screwdriver to pry up an edge of the metal right in the middle of where the caliper was. A bit of prying finally caused the metal to tear, and I pried each side of this rip to widen it, until finally I had split the metal all the way through. A bit more prying with a large screwdriver bent back each side until I was able to slide it off of the hub. If it won't come off all the way, pry from the opening underneath, basically just like if you were removing a very large C clip.

Hope this helps!