Chevrolet Full Size Cars 1979-1989

Disc Brake Pads

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INSPECTION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Disc brake pad inspection



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Fig. Fig. 2 Relative size differences between a new and worn pad lining



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Fig. Fig. 3 Front disc brake pads have a built-in wear indicator

Brake pads should be inspected once a year or at 7,500 miles, whichever occurs first. Check both ends of the outboard pad, looking in at each end of the caliper; then check the lining thickness of the inboard pad, looking down through the inspection hole. On riveted pads, the lining should be more than 0.030 in. (0.76mm) above the rivet (usually so that the lining is just thicker than the metal backing) in order to prevent the rivet from scoring the rotor. On bonded brake pads, a minimum lining thickness of 0.030 in. (0.76mm) above the backing plate should be used to determine necessary replacement intervals. Keep in mind that any applicable state inspection standards that are more stringent take precedence. All four front pads must be replaced as a set if one shows excessive wear.

All models should be equipped with a wear indicator that makes a noise when the linings have worn to a degree where replacement is necessary. The spring clip is an integral part of the inboard pad and lining. When the brake pad reaches a certain degree of wear, the clip will contact the rotor and produce a warning noise.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 4 Use a C-clamp to seat the caliper piston before removing the old pads



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Fig. Fig. 5 Loosen and remove the caliper retaining pins using an Allen head driver



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Fig. Fig. 6 Wire the caliper to the suspension an old coat hanger may be easily adapted for this use



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Fig. Fig. 7 Carefully pry the old outboard pad loose in the caliper



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Fig. Fig. 8 Once the outboard pad ears are freed from the caliper it may be removed



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Fig. Fig. 9 Withdraw the inboard shoe and retaining spring from the caliper piston



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Fig. Fig. 10 Remove the retaining clip from the inboard shoe, but be very careful not the break the clip



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Fig. Fig. 11 Exploded view of the pads and clip



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Fig. Fig. 12 Most replacement pad kits will come with an anti-squeal compound which may be applied to the pad backing plates



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Fig. Fig. 13 Installing the pad support spring



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Fig. Fig. 14 Install the inboard brake pad and lining



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Fig. Fig. 15 Caliper bolts must go under the pad retaining ears



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Fig. Fig. 16 Use pliers to fit the brake pad to the caliper housing

  1. Siphon off about 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the full master cylinder. A turkey baster may also be used to remove the brake fluid.
  2.  


WARNING
The insertion of the thicker replacement pads will push the caliper pistons back into their bores and will cause a full master cylinder to overflow causing paint damage. In addition to siphoning fluid, keep the cylinder cover on during pad replacement.

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  

Replacing the pads on just one wheel will result in uneven braking. Always replace the pads on both wheels.

  1. Install a C-clamp on the caliper so that the solid side of the clamp rests against the back of the caliper and the screw end is against the metal part (backing plate) of the outboard pad. Slowly tighten the clamp until the caliper moves enough to bottom the piston in its bore, then remove the clamp.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two Allen-head caliper mounting pins so that the caliper may be pulled off the disc.
  4.  
  5. Remove the inboard pad and loosen the outboard pad. Place the caliper where it won't strain the brake hose. It would be best to wire it out of the way. NEVER hang the caliper by the hose or the hydraulic system could be damaged.
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  7. Remove the pad support spring clip from the piston or the rear of the inboard pad.
  8.  
  9. Remove the two bolt ear sleeves and the four rubber bushings from the ears.
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To install:

  1. Check the inside of the caliper for leakage and inspect the condition of the piston dust boot.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate the two new sleeves and four bushings with a silicone spray or a suitable grease.
  4.  
  5. Install the bushings in each caliper ear. Install the two sleeves in the two inboard ears.
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  7. Install the pad support spring clip and pad into the center of the piston.
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Make sure the wear sensor is toward the rear of the caliper.

  1. Place the outboard pad in the caliper with its top ears over the caliper ears and the bottom tab engaged in the caliper cutout.
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  3. After both pads are installed, lift the caliper and place the bottom edge of the outboard pad on the outer edge of the disc to make sure that there is no clearance between the tab on the bottom of the pads and the caliper abutment.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the sliding surfaces (not the threads) of the caliper pins and caliper bracket using a suitable caliper grease.
  6.  
  7. Place the caliper over the disc, lining up the hole in the caliper ears with the hole in the mounting bracket. Make sure that the brake hose is not kinked.
  8.  
  9. Start the caliper-to-mounting bracket bolts through the sleeves in the inboard caliper ears and through the mounting bracket making sure the ends of the bolts pass under the retaining ears of the inboard pad.
  10.  
  11. Push the mounting pins through to engage the holes in the outboard pads and the outboard caliper ears and then threading them into the mounting bracket. Tighten the mounting pins to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Pump the brake pedal to seat the linings against the rotors.
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  15. With a pair of channel lock pliers placed on the notch on the caliper housing, bend the pad upper ears until no clearance exist between the pad and the caliper housing.
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  17. Install the wheels, lower the car, and refill the master cylinder with fluid. Pump the brake pedal to make sure that it is firm. Do not attempt to move the vehicle until and firm pedal is obtained.
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