Volvo Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1970-1989 Repair Guide

Brake Pads



See Figure 1

The rear brake pads may be inspected without removal. With the rear end elevated and supported and the front wheels blocked, remove the wheel(s). View the pads-inner and outer-through the cut-out in the center of the caliper. Remember to look at the thickness of the pad friction material (the part that actually presses on the disc) rather than the thickness of the backing plate which does not change with wear.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Use a ruler for more precise gauging of pad wear

Remember that you are looking at the profile of the pad, not the whole thing. Brake pads can wear on a taper which may not be visible through the window. It is also not possible to check the contact surface for cracking or scoring from this position. This quick check can be helpful only as a reference; detailed inspection requires pad removal.


See Figures 2, 3 and 4

Brake pads and shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling and dust from brake surfaces! When cleaning brakes, use commercially available brake cleaning fluids.

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Fig. Fig. 2: Use a hammer and drift to drive out the brake pad retaining pin from the rear caliper

The rear brake pads for all models are removed following the same procedures as the front pads. Identify the type of caliper-ATE or Girling-and refer to the instructions for front brake pad removal earlier in this section.

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Fig. Fig. 3: After removing the pins, remove the anti-rattle spring clip and the pads

In 1988, with the introduction of the Multi-Link rear suspension, Volvo redesigned the rear caliper and disc on certain 700 Series cars. The rear caliper is virtually identical to the front caliper, but before the rear caliper can be swung up (on its upper pivot), it may be necessary to push the piston back. Do this by inserting a small prytool into the recess between the outer pad and the caliper and gently moving the caliper. Remember that doing this may cause the brake fluid reservoir to overflow.

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Fig. Fig. 4: Pry the piston back into the caliper to provide clearance for the new (thicker) pads

Reinstall the pads following the directions given earlier under Front Disc Brakes-Removal and Installation. Remember that the rear brakes must also be bedded in the first few miles of driving.