Inspection and Maintenance of Brakes|Daily maintenance of brakes may be dangerous for amateurs, especially for brakes

I thought I might as well just look at the condition of the tires and brake pads, but I didn’t want to get into changing the pads or even the slide pins…

The promise of a tire change.

In early winter and early spring, I jack up the tires and remove them, so I check the thickness of the brake pads and the cracks and rust on the rubber dust boots at the joints. This time, I decided to replace the brake pads and grease up the slide pins, which I had felt the limits of six months ago, while changing the tires.


If you remove the slide pin, the caliper comes off.

The slide pin is hard, but if you hit it with a hammer using a spectacle wrench, it will be loosened very easily. Once it is loose, you can use a ratchet to loosen it.

By the way, in the rear, a gear wrench would have been handy as there are a lot of things that get in the way.

Be careful how you attach the pad.

There are two types of brake pads, one has a thin steel plate which is supposed to prevent squeal, and the other doesn’t. The one with thin steel plate is installed on caliper side (inside). I used to have the opposite installation, so only in the morning at low speed, when I stepped on the brake, there was a squeal.

By the way, I couldn’t install the rear one with the steel plate inside. The reason for this is because the “pad wear indicator” on the pad without a steel plate is in the way and it doesn’t fit on the outside.

Shim grease is where the calipers hit.

If brake squeal even after installing pad correctly, apply shim grease on back side of pad. I applied on the part of brake pads with thin steel plate where the caliper contacts, but if it doesn’t stop squeal, remove the thin steel plate and apply also between the steel plate and brake pads.

When it still squeals, I look for white shiny part (where metal is rubbing) around the base of pad and apply a little bit of paint to it. If you paint it so far, brake squeal will be stopped.

Either way, be careful not to apply too much grease

The calipers should be brought back slowly.

Since you have to replace the worn out pads with thicker ones, of course you have to pull the calipers back, otherwise you can’t assemble the calipers to the bracket. It is often said to “open the reserve tank and remove 1/4 of the brake fluid” but I didn’t do it this time.

I haven’t added brake fluid since I installed the current pads, which means I have less fluid in the tank to replace the pads, but since I haven’t poured any more, I didn’t need to remove the fluid from the tank.

However, I removed the tank cover so that the caliper can return easily.
Now, how to put back the caliper, if the caliper is normal, you can push it back a little bit with your finger. It’s much easier if you use some kind of brace to push it back.

If you use water pump pliers, it’s much easier. But the trick is to put on a brace and push it straight and slow. You don’t want to feel like you’re going against the resistance of the piston.

At this point, you can visually check if the dust boot of the caliper is folded and retracted correctly. And is there any dust or rust on it? Are they inflated with air? Are there any oil leaks? etc.

Silicone grease on the slide pins

When restoring the extracted slide pins, I clean them with Wes and apply new silicone grease to them.

At this time, the “squeal stopper rubber” at the tip of the lower slide pin was missing. There is a possibility that it was left in the hole on the bracket side, so I used a small mirror to look into the hole…it was there.

I pulled it out with what looked like a thin wire-like object with a bent tip.

If you can’t get it out, or you don’t know where it is, it might be easier and easier to just take the bracket off.

You can reuse the rubber that was pulled out, but there is a big chance that such rubber products will come off again during the next inspection, so I replaced it with a new one.

I think it was about 100 yen per piece at a parts store.

Well, I don’t think the brakes would squeal prematurely without the rubber on them. But if you’re going to do brake maintenance yourself, you might want to always have a spare.

Don’t run as soon as you get back up and running.

Once everything is back up and the jack is down, I’ll press the brake pedal a few times first. Maybe the first hit will be a scar and the pedal will go in deep and you’ll be like, “I broke it! You might think, “I don’t know what to do,” but after you step on it a few times, it will become normal.

Of course, after you start driving, check your brakes before you increase your speed.

Thoughts after the work is completed

This time I realized the danger of DIY. I was out of silicone grease the last time I did brake maintenance, so I shouldn’t have substituted shim grease!

The grease is running off both front and back, and I’m about to run out of grease! And what little grease was left was altered and looked like garbage residue.

Still, the front seemed to work for the most part, but the rear was completely out of whack!

It was ugly, with only one side of the pad worn out.

Originally, I knew there were only a few pads left, so I had to do this job, but if I had replaced even the pads last time, I don’t know if I would have opened the brakes to see if I would have opened the brakes for this tire change…

It’s utterly terrifying.

The brakes work much better now, but for a while you have to pay attention to how much the brake pads are decreasing!