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    Buick Regal 1997-2000

    Brake Pads

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    Removal & Installation



    Two main types of rear disc brake calipers were used by GM W-Body vehicles: with built-in parking brake mechanism and without built-in parking brake mechanism.

    On vehicles with the built-in parking brake mechanism, the rear disc brake calipers have a single piston and the added complexity of a built-in parking brake mechanism. The rear calipers work in a similar fashion to the front calipers and are also mounted by two slide pin bolts.

    On vehicles with built-in parking brake mechanism, when the parking brake is applied, the external caliper parking brake lever moves and rotates a spindle within the caliper housing As the spindle rotates, a connecting rod is pushed against an internal adjusting screw which is threaded into a sleeve nut (cone) in the piston. This causes the piston to move outward bringing the inboard brake pads against the rotor. Since the caliper is free to slide on the mounting pins, as the inboard pads contact the rotor, a reaction force causes the caliper housing to slide inward, pressing the outboard brake pads against the rotor.

    The piston contains a self-adjusting mechanism to keep the parking brake in proper adjustment. As the pads wear, the piston moves through the seal to maintain proper pad-to-rotor clearance. The parking brake adjusts to proper clearances through an internal sleeve nut that rotates and moves as one unit with the piston.

    On vehicles with rear disc brake calipers without built-in parking mechanism, the rear caliper is much like a single-piston front caliper and is easily serviced. On these vehicles, the parking brake mechanism uses two small brake shoes that work against the inside of the rear brake rotor (sometimes called the 'hat'). This basic design has been used successfully for many years on the Chevrolet Corvette and many other vehicles.

    With Built-In Parking Brake Mechanism


    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The rear disc brake caliper mounts in the same manner as the front caliper. The arrows indicate the mounting bolts (slider pins)



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the two mounting bolts (slider pins) and lift the rear caliper in the direction of the arrow, away from its mounting bracket



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. With the rear caliper removed, the outboard (1) and inboard (2) brake pads can be replaced



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of a rear disc brake caliper with built-in parking brake mechanism



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the outboard brake pad



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the inboard brake pad and retainer, if necessary


    NOTE
    It is not necessary to remove either the brake line or the parking brake cable from the rear disc brake caliper to replace the brake pads. Freeing the cable support bracket allows enough flexibility in the cable to pivot the caliper up and remove the brake pads.

    1. Using a suction gun, remove approximately 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder. The reason for this is that the caliper pistons must be pushed back into their bores so the caliper can be removed from the rotor. This could cause the brake fluid to overflow from the reservoir onto painted surfaces or wiring.
    2.  
    3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on safety stands.
    4.  
    5. Mark the relationship of the wheel to the hub so it can later be installed in the same relationship. This helps retain the balance of the rotating assembly.
    6.  
    7. Remove the rear tire and wheel assembly. Install two wheel lug nuts to keep the rotor on the hub.
    8.  
    9. Remove the bolt and washer attaching the parking brake cable support bracket to the caliper. It should not be necessary to disconnect the parking brake cable or brake hose to service the rear brake pads.
    10.  
    11. Remove the caliper slide pin bolts and carefully pivot the caliper up. Do not completely remove the caliper.
    12.  
    13. Remove the outboard and inboard brake pads from the caliper support. Remove the two pad clips (sometimes called 'anti-rattle springs').
    14.  

    To install:

    1. Bottom the piston into the caliper bore, noting the following:
      1. There is a special spanner-type tool designed to fit in the piston slots. This allows you to turn the piston and thread it into the caliper, retracting it. Use care if using a substitute tool. Careful work with suitable pliers may enable you to turn the piston back into its bore.
      2.  
      3. After bottoming the piston, lift the inner edge of the dust boot, next to the piston, and press out any trapped air. The boot must lay flat.
      4.  

    2.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Before installing the brake pads, retract the piston by turning it with the proper tool or a suitable pair of pliers



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The slots in the piston must be horizontal when the caliper is in this position

    1. Make sure the slots in the end of the piston are positioned "horizontally" when looking at the caliper with the mounting bolt holes at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock position. The slots in the piston must be in this position before pivoting the caliper down over the brake pads in the caliper support.
    2.  

    1. Install the two pad clips in the brake caliper support. Whenever new brake pads are installed, these clips should be in the new disc pad kit.
    2.  
    3. Install the outboard and inboard brake pads in the caliper support. The wear sensor is on the outboard pad. The sensor is positioned downward at the leading edge of the rotor during forward wheel rotation. Hold the metal pad edge against the spring end of the clips in the caliper support. Push the pad in toward the hub, bending the spring ends slightly, and engage the pad notches with the support abutments (the machined edge of the caliper support).
    4.  
    5. Pivot the caliper down over the brake pads. Take care not to damage the piston boot on the inboard side of the caliper. Compress the sleeve boot by hand as the caliper moves into position to prevent boot damage. After the caliper is in position, recheck the installation of the pad clips. If necessary, use a small flat-blade tool to re-seat or center the pad clips on the caliper support.
    6.  
    7. Install the mounting bolts and tighten to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
    8.  
    9. If removed, install the parking brake support bracket (with cable attached). The bolt is tightened to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
    10.  
    11. Install the tire and wheel assembly, aligning the balance marks made at removal.
    12.  
    13. Lower the vehicle.
    14.  
    15. Fill the master cylinder reservoir to the proper level using only fresh, clean DOT 3 brake fluid. Pump the brake pedal firmly to push the pistons back out into operating position and to seat the lining.
    16.  
    17. After the brake pads have been replaced and/or rotors have been refinished, GM recommends that new brake pads be broken in, or "burnished". Use the following procedure:
      1. Make 20 stops from 30 mph using medium to firm brake pedal pressure.
      2.  
      3. Take care to avoid overheating the brakes.
      4.  

    18.  

    Without Built-In Parking Brake Mechanism
    1. Using a suction gun, remove approximately 2 / 3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder. The reason for this is that the caliper pistons must be pushed back into their bores so the caliper can be removed from the rotor. This could cause the brake fluid to overflow from the reservoir onto painted surfaces or wiring.
    2.  
    3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on safety stands.
    4.  
    5. Mark the relationship of the wheel to the hub so it can later be installed in the same relationship. This helps retain the balance of the rotating assembly.
    6.  
    7. Remove the rear tire and wheel assembly. Install two wheel lug nuts to keep the rotor on the hub.
    8.  
    9. Install a large C-clamp over the brake caliper and against the back of the outboard brake pad. Tighten the C-clamp until the brake caliper piston pushes into the brake caliper bore enough to slide the caliper off the rotor. Remove the C-clamp.
    10.  
    11. Remove the upper brake caliper mounting bolt.
    12.  
    13. Rotate the caliper downwards to access the brake pads. Do not remove the brake caliper from the caliper bracket.
    14.  
    15. Remove the brake pads from the caliper bracket. Remove the pad clips (retainers).
    16.  



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Use a large C-clamp to push the caliper piston back into its bore



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The caliper does not have to be removed for brake pad replacement. Remove the upper caliper bolt and swing the caliper down for access to the brake pads



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of a rear disc brake caliper without built-in parking brake-1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue shown



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Inspect the caliper mounting bolts and the rubber boots for deterioration



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Use a small, flat-bladed tool to carefully lift the piston dust boot to release trapped air

    To install:

    1. To make room for the increased thickness of the new brake pads, the piston must be pushed back all the way into its bore. Insert a block of wood or the old brake pad between the C-clamp and the brake caliper piston to prevent damage to the piston and dust boot. Install the C-clamp over the brake caliper and against the block of wood (or old brake pad). Tighten the C-clamp until the brake caliper piston pushes completely into the brake caliper bore. Remove the C-clamp.
    2.  
    3. Inspect the caliper mounting bolt boots and the piston dust boot for cuts, wear and deterioration. Replace as necessary. When the piston is pushed back into position, air tends to get trapped under the caliper piston dust boot, causing it to bulge outward. Use a small flat-bladed tool to lift the inner edge of the caliper boot next to the piston to release any trapped air. Make sure the piston dust boot is below the level of the piston face. Inspect the caliper bolts for corrosion or damage. If corrosion exists, replace the caliper mounting bolts and the boots. Do not try to polish away corrosion.
    4.  
    5. Install the two brake pad retainers (also called pad clips or anti-rattle springs) to the caliper bracket.
    6.  
    7. Examine the new brake pads. If equipped with a sheetmetal wear indicator, it should be positioned at the leading edge (downward) of the outer pad during forward wheel rotation. Install the brake pads over the pad retainers and onto the caliper bracket.
    8.  
    9. Swing the caliper upward in position around the pads. Use care not to damage the mounting bolt boots when rotating the caliper. Lubricate the mounting bolt and boot with silicone grease. Use care to keep grease off the mounting bolt threads to avoid having the mounting bolt loosen in service. Torque the upper mounting bolt to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm).
    10.  
    11. Install the tire and wheel assembly, aligning the balance marks made at removal.
    12.  
    13. Lower the vehicle.
    14.  
    15. Fill the master cylinder reservoir to the proper level using only fresh, clean DOT 3 brake fluid. Pump the brake pedal firmly ( 3 / 4 of a full stroke) as many times as necessary to push the piston back out into operating position, seat the linings and obtain a firm brake pedal.
    16.  


    CAUTION
    Do not move the vehicle until a firm brake pedal is obtained. Air in the brake system can cause the loss of brakes with possible personal injury.

    1. After the brake pads have been replaced and/or rotors have been refinished, GM recommends that new brake pads be broken in, or "burnished". Use the following procedure:
      1. Make 20 stops from 30 mph using medium to firm brake pedal pressure.
      2.  
      3. Take care to avoid overheating the brakes.
      4.  

    2.  

     
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