Installing rotors without changing pads - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Installing rotors without changing pads

Does anyone know if you'll need a piston retraction tool if you're changing the rotors without changing pads? My understanding is that with the old pads in the piston's position will be fine but want to confirm before starting the job. Did the pads semi-recently, planning to get some more mileage out of them.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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ive done it without moving the piston.


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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If the old rotor is thinner than the new one, you might have a hard time fitting the caliper back into place. See if your local auto parts store will loan you the tool (usually for a refundable deposit). Alternatively, you could remove the pads and file/sand them down, but ONLY if you can remove material evenly. Personally, I'd seek the tool.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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Yeah, it depends on how worn the old ones were.

My local parts stores do not have the tool, but you can buy one on Amazon pretty cheap . . . I don't recall the price but it was less than $50 for sure. They work great; and once you buy one, you never have to fight with one of those stupid cubes, or think about this problem, again.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Thanks, I think I'll go rent a tool just in case and hope I don't have to mess with it. Appreciate the input.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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Everything you will ever need to compress/retract brake pistons for $45. I use mine on every brake job on every car.

Disc Brake Pad and Caliper Service Tool Kit 18 Pc
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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Will those work with the Brembo's?


ok - found it


http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...er/A-p8031408e


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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You don't need it for the Brembos. You can just push those back with a screwdriver or whatever.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016
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I have even been able to squeeze the pistons in by hand since there are 4 little pistons per caliper if I remember correctly.

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From what I have experienced, you only need the little tool for the rear brakes and can compress the fronts with a C clamp. You can get a little adapter for a 3/8" socket for about $10 at most parts stores. Don't know about Brembo's.
My experience in doing pads and rotors is that you should replace both at the same time. If you only replace the pads, the grooves in the rotor will be transferred to the new pads quickly - maybe not a real problem but any rusty areas won't grab and you will have reduced grab area. If you only replace the rotors, then the grooves in the pads won't contact the new rotor and those non contact areas may rust.
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Just scuff the pad faces lightly with some 90 grit or so sandpaper, don't need to get to wild with the sanding. Install your pads and new rotors and do a few easy stops on a empty road from about 35mph or so and space stops out a minute or so apart to let the pads bed into the rotors, don't let them get too hot. Avoid hard stops if you can for awhile as the pads could glaze over and all should work out fine.

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No need with Brembo front brakes. The rear brakes require a special tool, and for the dots where the tool sets into the piston to line up with a mark on the calipers. Front Brembos are seriously easy to work on.

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If you need to push the pads back any amount to install the new rotors, be sure there is enough room in the master cylinder reservoir for the fluid that will back up when the pads are pushed back. If there is not enough room the reservoir, the brake fluid will overflow and cause a big mess.

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Good call. This is why I don't like to "top off" brake fluid. It should be full with new pads, but it will never empty itself unless there is a leak. Under normal operation, fluid level serves as a quick-n'-dirty pad life gauge.

Of course, if the fluid is dirty, this would be a good opportunity to change it.

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