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Thread: Mazda 5 - Rear Brake Pad Replacement

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    Mazda 5, Mazda Tribute, & 1996 Miata MX-5

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    Mazda 5 - Rear Brake Pad Replacement

    Tools needed: 7mm hex wrench with 3/8" ratchet drive, pliers, special homemade tool (see below), coat hanger wire, emery cloth

    Step 1 – With the vehicle in park on a level area, set the parking brake, and block the front driver side wheel to prevent the car from rolling when lifted on the jack. Slightly loosen both rear driver side and passenger side lugs.

    Step 2 – Raise rear passenger side of car on jack and place this corner on a jack stand. Remove rear passenger side wheel. Release the parking brake so that the rotor can rotate freely.

    Step 3 – Hang a 12” piece of coat hanger wire bent in an “S” on a bolt hole inside the wheel well as a place to hang the caliper when the time comes. Using a pair of pliers, pull off the large brake spring clip on the outer face of the brake caliper assembly. Using a pair of pliers, gently pull off the plastic caps covering the two brake caliper bolts on the back of the brake caliper. Using a 7mm hex wrench in a 3/8” ratchet drive socket, loosen and remove both brake caliper bolts. Gently slide the caliper off the outer brake pad and rotor. Hang the caliper onto the “S” hook made of coat hanger wire.

    Step 4 - Pull the inner brake pad out of the caliper by hand, being careful not to damage the rubber seal around the piston of the brake caliper. Discard inner brake pad, outer brake pad, and old brake spring clip.

    Step 5 – You now need to push the caliper cylinder back into the caliper with a large amount of pressure and a slow clockwise turning motion. There are two 5mm holes set 18mm apart in the face of the caliper cylinder that can be used to grip and turn the cylinder. At first, I tried using a pair of needle nose pliers, and could turn the caliper cylinder, but could not apply enough pressure to move it inward. I purchased a “brake cube” tool for $12 at the local auto parts store, only to learn that the tool did not fit the Mazda 5 brake caliper hole pattern. You can buy an expensive tool kit (more than $50) to do this, or fashion one of your own for real cheap like I did. I took 12” x 1” wide by 1/8” aluminum bar stock, and drilled two 3/16” holes 18mm apart and Ό” from the end of the bar. I then drilled a 5/16” hole centered between the 3/16” holes. Aluminum bar stock is available at most big chain hardware stores. A drawing for the tool is shown below:

    Mazda 5 Brake Tool1.jpg

    Two #8-32 x ½” aluminum bolts and nuts are fastened through the 3/16” holes and serve as the pins that will grip the holes in the face of the caliper cylinder to turn it clockwise, using the 12” length of the flat aluminum bar as the handle and leverage for this homemade wrench. A Ό” x 1” hex head bolt is placed in the center hole, and pressed against the center of the caliper cylinder with the threaded tip and stock of a Craftsman 2-jaw gear puller I had in my tool box. A photo showing the tool parts, and a second photo of the tool pushing against the brake caliper cylinder are shown below:

    Mazda 5 Brake Tool.JPG Mazda 5 Brake - Rear.JPG

    The caliper cylinder will travel inward by several turns of the threaded pushing tool for every half turn of the homemade wrench. So you need to continually thread in the pushing tool to apply pressure as you slowly turn the caliper cylinder clockwise. The caliper cylinder moves inward quite easily with this tool, and I only needed hand threading of the pushing tool to get inward movement.

    If you don’t have the parts from the gear puller, you could easily use a 4” x Ό” bolt, a Ό” nut, and 3” x ½” x 1/8” aluminum bar stock with a 5/16” centered hole as your pushing mechanism. Epoxy the nut to the aluminum bar to keep the nut from spinning. You could also use aluminum C channel in place of the bar stock. This will provide a stiffer tool, and can be sized so that the nut fits inside the C channel and will not turn. Aluminum C channel is available at most common big chain hardware stores. I’ve drawn the pushing tool below:

    Mazda 5 Brake Tool2.jpg

    Step 6 – Take a 4” x 4” sheet of 180 grit emery cloth and gently hand sand the inner and outer surfaces of the rotor to remove old brake deposits. Turn the rotor several times to allow you to sand the full surfaces of the rotor. Use a paper towel to wipe the rotor surfaces clean.

    Step 7 – Place the new inner and outer brake pads into the caliper, and position the caliper back onto the rotor. Tighten both brake caliper bolts with the 7mm hex wrench. Replace the plastic caps that cover these bolts. Remove the coat hanger wire from hanging on the coil spring. Install a new brake spring clip with the aid of a pair of pliers.

    Step 8 - Set the parking brake several times until the rear caliper holds the rotor tight. Replace the wheel and lightly snug up the wheel lugs. Lower the car off the jack stand until the wheel is just in contact with the road surface, and fully tighten the wheel lugs. Lower the car off the jack completely.

    Step 9 – Move the block from the front driver side to the front passenger side of the vehicle. Raise the rear driver side of the car on jack and place this corner on a jack stand. Remove the rear driver side wheel.

    Step 10 – Repeat steps 3 through 8 to complete the opposite side of the car. Remove the block from the front of the car before attempting to drive.

  2. #2
    Registered Member SonicBoy's Avatar

    2012 Mazda3 GTE - Indigo Lights Mica

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCrunch View Post
    Tighten both brake caliper bolts with the 7mm hex wrench. Replace the plastic caps that cover these bolts. Remove the coat hanger wire from hanging on the coil spring. Install a new brake spring clip with the aid of a pair of pliers.
    Any idea what the torque should be on the caliper bolts? Anyone with the shop manual handy?

  3. #3
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    They sell a universal brake tool you attach to a 3/8 drive for under $10.. or you can rent one from a local autoparts store..but Props to How to..(no despect..)

  4. #4
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicBoy View Post
    Any idea what the torque should be on the caliper bolts? Anyone with the shop manual handy?
    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...nce-Spec-Sheet
    see torque specs

    Quote Originally Posted by 757Premacy View Post
    They sell a universal brake tool you attach to a 3/8 drive for under $10.. or you can rent one from a local autoparts store..but Props to How to..(no despect..)
    I highly recommend against the universal retraction tool (the cube). While it works in a pinch, it just don't hold steady or apply the compression forces. You are better off renting (or buying) the tool that has the backing plate that fits against the caliper, which translates compression forces. Let the tool do the work.
    Last edited by Silentnoise713; 11-09-2013 at 12:48 PM.
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  5. #5
    Registered Member SonicBoy's Avatar

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    Thanks Silentnoise. I forgot you had posted that info prior. Great reference link.

  6. #6
    Registered Member Indelibility's Avatar


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    Sissy, I used needle-nose pliers just fine on the caliper piston. It's all about leverage
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  7. #7
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    I have used needle-nose pliers a couple times when replacing rear brake pads on a Mazda5. The trick that I have found works best is that you have to turn the piston to the left, fully extending it first, before you turn it to the right to compress it. Make sure that you push in fairly hard while turning to the right to compress.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indelibility View Post
    Sissy, I used needle-nose pliers just fine on the caliper piston. It's all about leverage

  8. #8
    Registered Member DarthTurducken's Avatar

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    I just tried this the first time and went with renting the toolkit from O'Reilly for about $61, However NON of the adapters fit my 2006 Mazda 5. Two of them were close but no cigar. Advanced Auto had a similar kit for about $130. It had some extra tools but none that I thought I needed. The adapters all looked to be the same size as with the O'Reilly kit so I didn't bother. They did have the cube tool which I tried and while one side sort of fit, it was-off center when attached to my 3/8" ratchet and I could get a complete revolution without it getting stuck. Needle nose pliers helped me turn the piston, but I also couldn't get it to compress it. I was PISSED. Maybe I should've tried going counter-clockwise first as you said, but I'm not sure why that would've helped. Maybe making my own tool like CaptCrunch did, but I didn't have the time or resources to do it this time. I have a Craftsman rechargeable drill but am not sure it's strong enough to go through metal. I'm in an apartment and and don't have a garage or workshop. Several trips to O'Reilly and one to Advanced and I ended up having to put my old pads back on!
    Last edited by DarthTurducken; 04-28-2014 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Typo

  9. #9
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    2012 Mazda5 sport

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    I just did my first rear brake pad replacement using the Needle Nose Plier trick (left first then right) and it worked great on the drivers side. I didn't turn far enough left on the passenger side, so after several turns right without compressing I went back left a little further and then it worked great again. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVII88 View Post
    I have used needle-nose pliers a couple times when replacing rear brake pads on a Mazda5. The trick that I have found works best is that you have to turn the piston to the left, fully extending it first, before you turn it to the right to compress it. Make sure that you push in fairly hard while turning to the right to compress.

  10. #10
    Registered Member Silentnoise713's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5 Grand Touring; 2009 Honda Fit Sport/Nav MT

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthTurducken View Post
    I just tried this the first time and went with renting the toolkit from O'Reilly for about $61, However NON of the adapters fit my 2006 Mazda 5. Two of them were close but no cigar. Advanced Auto had a similar kit for about $130. It had some extra tools but none that I thought I needed. The adapters all looked to be the same size as with the O'Reilly kit so I didn't bother. They did have the cube tool which I tried and while one side sort of fit, it was-off center when attached to my 3/8" ratchet and I could get a complete revolution without it getting stuck. Needle nose pliers helped me turn the piston, but I also couldn't get it to compress it. I was PISSED. Maybe I should've tried going counter-clockwise first as you said, but I'm not sure why that would've helped. Maybe making my own tool like CaptCrunch did, but I didn't have the time or resources to do it this time. I have a Craftsman rechargeable drill but am not sure it's strong enough to go through metal. I'm in an apartment and and don't have a garage or workshop. Several trips to O'Reilly and one to Advanced and I ended up having to put my old pads back on!
    Did you try using just the retraction tool WITHOUT any of the adapter plates? The tool's base has two pins and is actually the smallest plate. That is my experience with AutoZone's rental tool, which I've used twice for the Mz5's rear with no issue. You may need to clean the piston's recessed dimples if there's crud build-up. Good luck.
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