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Thread: DIY Brakes?

  1. #1
    Gen-1 Kodo Design 👌 ColoradoDriver's Avatar
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    DIY Brakes?

    How hard is it to DIY front brakes? I've never done it before, but I feel like I overpayed when I had my rears done, and want to avoid that again for the fronts.

    So I have a few questions:

    1. Is there an easy way for me to see/measure what my brake pads are at? Last year my fronts were at 6mm, but I suspect they may be in the range of needing replacement now.
    2. I've lately noticed some bumpy braking, so I suspect that may be due to uneven wear or warping of the rotors? Anything to be done with these, or should new rotors be put on?
    3. How long would it take to do a brake job for the first time? I would probably have to rent a lift as I don't have room in my garage for anything but ramps.
    4. Any kind of special tools needed?

    Thanks all.
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  2. #2
    2008.5 MGM MS3 rsvinylgraphics's Avatar
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    you will have to remove the wheel to get a good look at your brake pads to see how much of the pad is remaining, make sure you look at the inner brake pad too as they sometime can wear faster than the outer brake pad.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u9lBRhAqco

  3. #3
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    It's simple, 30 minutes or less. If you have room for ramps, you have room for jack stands, just if you wanna buy some or not. The pads will come out with a simple pull with your fingertips. I used to turn rotors back in the day, but I'd just assume replace them these days with the cost being so minimal compared to how long they last.

    Good luck, you can do this fairly easily and will be glad you did it on your own once you're done...

    There should be a simple 10-15 minute video on youtube for the CX-5 as a tutorial, and it should be all you need.

  4. #4
    Gen-1 Kodo Design 👌 ColoradoDriver's Avatar
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    Thanks all!

    Sure there is room for jackstands under the car, but I have literally no room side to side in the garage to jack the car up, and having enough room to work on one side will mean I will not be able to fit between the car and the other side LOL! It's a very tiny garage.
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  5. #5
    Registered Member yrwei52's Avatar
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    Arrow DIY Brakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoDriver View Post
    Thanks all!

    Sure there is room for jackstands under the car, but I have literally no room side to side in the garage to jack the car up, and having enough room to work on one side will mean I will not be able to fit between the car and the other side LOL! It's a very tiny garage.
    Can you do this by the road side in front of your house or in a parking lot near by?

    Front brake is easier than the rear. A disk brake pad spreader would help for your job but not a necessary brake tool. Make sure to turn / resurface the rotors by a shop or auto parts store if they have enough thickness by specs and you want reuse them. Or get some aftermarket rotors which usually are cheaper than OEM. Most Euro vehicles such as my VW and BMW have very soft rotors and they becomes too thin you simply can*t reuse them. And their new OEM rotors usually are very expensive too.


  6. #6
    Gen-1 Kodo Design 👌 ColoradoDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrwei52 View Post
    Can you do this by the road side in front of your house or in a parking lot near by?

    Front brake is easier than the rear. A disk brake pad spreader would help for your job but not a necessary brake tool. Make sure to turn / resurface the rotors by a shop or auto parts store if they have enough thickness by specs and you want reuse them. Or get some aftermarket rotors which usually are cheaper than OEM. Most Euro vehicles such as my VW and BMW have very soft rotors and they becomes too thin you simply can*t reuse them. And their new OEM rotors usually are very expensive too.

    It's a condo, I doubt they'd allow me to do work outside of the garage.

    I am by a big mall with a big parking lot with plenty of space. Problem is the parts that are pretty empty are not really flat, and lots of through traffic.

    Since I use ramps, I also don't actually own a jack, so guess I need to get one. Alternatively, there is a rentable DIY garage with tools/lift for like $30 or $40 for an hour. But I'm going to see if I can find a flat parking lot first. Maybe Walmart even? How much is a quality jack?
    Last edited by ColoradoDriver; 10-04-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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    If your rotors have never been off. it's a good bet they're rusted on. Might be the hardest part of the job getting them off.

  8. #8
    Registered Member CX-5um's Avatar

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    https://www.paulstravelpictures.com/...nce-Guides.htm

    PS if the dude's guides helps you please try to donate.


    Now that I've mastered changing pads/rotors, and lubricating pins my next step is learning to bleed brakes. I recently purchased a brake bleeder bottle with check valve = I can do 1-man brake bleeding as opposed to needing someone help me.


    Oh and warped rotors= its really hard to warp rotors. The work "warped" gets thrown around a lot. In reality you merely have brake deposits imbedded. Turning the rotor essentially gives you a new surface to work with again.
    Last edited by CX-5um; 10-04-2018 at 12:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Gen-1 Kodo Design 👌 ColoradoDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CX-5um View Post
    https://www.paulstravelpictures.com/...nce-Guides.htm

    PS if the dude's guides helps you please try to donate.

    Oh and warped rotors= its really hard to warp rotors. The work "warped" gets thrown around a lot. In reality you merely have brake deposits imbedded. Turning the rotor essentially gives you a new surface to work with again.
    Thanks, that looks like a good guide.

    What does it mean to "turn" them? What does one need to do?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoDriver View Post
    Thanks, that looks like a good guide.

    What does it mean to "turn" them? What does one need to do?
    Turning rotors means basically having a shop machine a thin layer of the rotor surfaces off to give you a fresh flat braking surface on both sides of the rotor. Like NelsonLewis said, I would just get new quality aftermarket rotors. I am getting ready to do my 4Runner brakes and I will again be purchasing some aftermarket Brembo rotors. I replaced the original rotors with Brembos at about 90K miles and I now have 175K.

  11. #11
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    I've good results from EBC Premium Rotors on my Mazda6. Made in UK and only cost $120 at autoanything.com for a pair of front rotors. 3-4lbs lighter than stock rotor but don't let the weight fool you, its made from high carbon virgin iron which is a higher quality metal. It also has high quality venting. I did some driving in a parking lot and touched both front EBC rotor and rear stock non-vented rotor and the rears were much hotter to the touch. Then again maybe its like that comparing vented with non-vented.

    At any rate in hindsight I wished I kept the stock ones and turned them and reuse them until they got too thin. (26mm) at which I'd toss them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CX-5um View Post
    I've good results from EBC Premium Rotors on my Mazda6. Made in UK and only cost $120 at autoanything.com for a pair of front rotors. 3-4lbs lighter than stock rotor but don't let the weight fool you, its made from high carbon virgin iron which is a higher quality metal. It also has high quality venting. I did some driving in a parking lot and touched both front EBC rotor and rear stock non-vented rotor and the rears were much hotter to the touch. Then again maybe its like that comparing vented with non-vented.

    At any rate in hindsight I wished I kept the stock ones and turned them and reuse them until they got too thin. (26mm) at which I'd toss them.
    No surprise there considering the car is harder on rear brakes than the front ones like the numerous amount of post here suggest...not opposed to better rotors, even with better venting, but this example isnít a very good one...

  13. #13
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    Been using Centrics over the years. I put these on with a set of OEM pads on my '14.

    https://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brakes.jsp?make=Centric&model=Plain+120+Series+Rotors&group=Plain+120+Series+Rotors&cat=Rotors


    Last edited by madar; 10-04-2018 at 07:19 PM.

  14. #14
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    My original rotors were rusted to hell after 60k miles.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by madar View Post
    Been using Centrics over the years. I put these on with a set of OEM pads on my '14.

    https://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brakes.jsp?make=Centric&model=Plain+120+Series+Rotors&group=Plain+120+Series+Rotors&cat=Rotors


    I use Centric on my Tundra too. Work just fine and the price is/was right.

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