Repair Pontiac Mid-size 1974-1983 Repair Guide

Disc Brake Pads

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INSPECTION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Inspect the inner brake pad at the caliper center opening, and the outer pad at the caliper ends



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Fig. Fig. 2 When the lining of the brake pad is equal or less that the thickness of the metal backing, the pads must be replaced



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Fig. Fig. 3 Starting in 1979, all front disc brake pads were equipped with wear indicators

Brake pads should be inspected once a year or at 7,500 miles, whichever occurs first. Check both ends of the outboard shoe, looking in at each end of the caliper; then check the lining thickness on the inboard shoe, looking down through the inspection hole. Lining should be more than .020" thick above the rivet (so that the lining is thicker than the metal backing). Keep in mind that any applicable state inspection standards that are more stringent take precedence. All four pads must be replaced if one shows excessive wear.

All 1979 and later models have a wear indicator that makes a noise when the linings wear to a degree where replacement is necessary. The spring clip is an integral part of the inboard shoe 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 To remove the brake pads, bottom out the caliper piston is its bore, using a large C-clamp



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Fig. Fig. 5 Remove the upper and lower allen head caliper mounting bolts



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Fig. Fig. 6 Lift the caliper up and off of the rotor



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Fig. Fig. 7 With the caliper suspended from the body with a piece of wire, remove the outboard brake pad



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Fig. Fig. 8 Remove the inboard pad from the caliper



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Fig. Fig. 9 Remove the pad support spring clip from the inboard pad



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Fig. Fig. 10 During installation, the allen head caliper bolts must go under the pad retaining ears



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Fig. Fig. 11 Install the inboard brake pad into the caliper housing



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Fig. Fig. 12 Proper retaining spring installation



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Fig. Fig. 13 Clinch the outboard shoe during installation using a pair of locking pliers

  1. Siphon off 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder.
  2.  

The insertion of the thicker replacement pads will push the caliper piston back into its bore and will cause a full master cylinder to overflow.

  1. Jack the car up and support it with jackstands. Remove the wheel(s).
  2.  
  3. 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 rests against the metal part of the outboard pad.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the clamp until the caliper moves enough to bottom the piston in its bore. Remove the clamp.
  6.  
  7. Remove the two allen head caliper mounting bolts enough to allow the caliper to be pulled off the disc.
  8.  
  9. Place the caliper where it won't be supported by the brake hose (hang it by a wire hook from the frame). Remove the outboard and inboard pads.
  10.  
  11. Remove the pad support spring clip from the inboard pad.
  12.  
  13. Remove the two bolt ear sleeves and the four rubber bushings from the ears.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Brake pads should be replaced when they are worn to within 1 / 32 in. of the rivet heads.
  2.  
  3. Check the inside of the caliper for leakage and the condition of the piston dust boot.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the two new sleeves and four bushings with a silicone spray.
  6.  
  7. Install the bushings in each caliper ear. Install the two sleeves in the two inboard ears.
  8.  
  9. Install the pad support spring clip and the old pad into the center of the piston. You will then push this pad down to get the piston flat against the caliper. This part of the job is a hassle and requires an assistant. While the assistant holds the caliper and loosens the bleeder valve to relieve pressure, you get a prybar and try to force the old pad in to make the piston flush with the caliper surface. When it is flush, close the bleeder valve so that no air gets into the system.
  10.  

On models with wear sensors, make sure the wear sensor is toward the rear of the caliper.

  1. Position the outboard shoe with the ears of the shoes over the caliper ears and the tab at the bottom engaged in the caliper cutout notch.
  2.  
  3. With the two shoes in position, place the caliper over the brake disc and align the holes in the caliper with those of the mounting bracket.
  4.  


CAUTION
Make certain that the brake hose is not twisted or kinked.

  1. Install the mounting bracket bolts through the sleeves in the inboard caliper ears and through the mounting bracket, making sure that the ends of the bolts pass under the retaining ears on the inboard shoe.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the bolts into the bracket and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. Bend over the outer pad ears.
  4.  
  5. Install the front wheel and lower the car.
  6.  
  7. Add fluid to the master cylinder reservoirs so that they are 1 / 4 in. from the top.
  8.  
  9. Test the brake pedal by pumping it to obtain a "hard" pedal. Check the fluid level again and add fluid as necessary. Do not move the vehicle until a "hard" pedal is obtained. Bleed the brakes if necessary.
  10.  

 
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