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Can’t fit new brake pads! Is it a calliper issue?


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Hey guys

Noticed my rear brakes were squealing like anything, so bought some Brembo brake pads from Euro Car Parts and took the time to try and fit them myself. There were many well documented videos on how to do this so thought it’d be fairly simple. Unfortunately I cannot seem to get my pads to fit. There seems to be plenty clearance for the inner pad however for the outer one there is not enough room for me to fit a pad in there. I have depressed the pistons in as much as I can by hand but no matter what I do there doesn’t seem to be a way for me to get clearance for the outer calliper to accommodate the brake pads. I tried this for the driver side and I got very frustrated thinking I may have messed something up, however I took the time today to look at the passenger side and it’s the same situation there. 
The old pads are extremely worn down so they’re skinny enough to fit into the calliper. 

I don’t know if this is a calliper issue as I do know these seizing up is a common thing and until it’s sorted I won’t be able to drive the car. Can anyone provide any guidance for this? I’ve not been able to take many photos but here are the few I did.

One is showing the clearance I have for the calliper on the left being non existent but plenty on the right. And im comparing the thicknesses of the old pad versus the new one.

39574531-6023-4664-BC62-BADBAF29031C.jpeg

07D7C336-34C3-4460-A3F3-88A066F9F4F6.jpeg

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You normally need a bit of leverage to push it in all the way. A piece of wood in the middle of the piston levering against the disc for example (being careful not to damage the rubber seal) or use a G Cramp to force it in just a few more mm to get enough clearance for the new pads. Plus as above, just loosen the reservoir cap so air can be released and make sure the fluid doesn't overflow if it has been topped up when the pads were wearing down.

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1 hour ago, ColinBarber said:

You normally need a bit of leverage to push it in all the way. A piece of wood in the middle of the piston levering against the disc for example (being careful not to damage the rubber seal) or use a G Cramp to force it in just a few more mm to get enough clearance for the new pads. Plus as above, just loosen the reservoir cap so air can be released and make sure the fluid doesn't overflow if it has been topped up when the pads were wearing down.

Perfect answer ….. use a g clamp and a piece of wood across the face of the piston. Tightening down the g clamp gently should move the piston back into its body giving you the clearance you need. Keep an eye on the reservoir for any spill out.

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Agree with all the above, that piston needs to go a lot further back. Use one of the old pads to protect the piston face when using a G-Clamp.

Watch this video to see how far the piston retracts and at the 6 min 14 second mark, the caliper should slide across easily enough by hand assuming the slide pins are free as they should be.

 

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Or you can buy special tool to do it, if you planning on doing it more than once - 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neilsen-CT2590-Handed-Caliper-Set-Black/dp/B0045KBN70/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=caliper+compression+tool&qid=1649673588&sprefix=calliper+compre%2Caps%2C50&sr=8-8

This is not necessary the best, so check all options, but you get an idea. 

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Put worn pad back in. Get your biggest screwdriver in BEHIND it and the ,’sticking out piston,’  lever the piston back into caliper applying constant steady pressure.

the old pad is protecting the disc from the screwdriver .

observe master cylinder isn't dumping overflowing brake fluid.

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How are the slider pins? It's these that seize. When both pads are out can you move the caliper body towards you and away from you about an inch or two? If not then you won't get your new pads in as the caliper slider pins are seized. 

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Just a thought, always check old pads with ALL the new ones to ensure same profile/shape.

I recently opened a sealed box of pads that had 3 of one shape instead of 2 pairs.

They didn’t fit.

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Hi everyone, first of all thank you so much for the guidance it’s been greatly appreciated! I’ve managed to get the new pads on. It took a combination of completely depressing the piston and feeling up the sliding pins as they were quite seized up. The right driver side seemed to accommodate the pads fine after depressing the piston however the left one required me to remove the Aldi of pins, grease them up and put them back in. Even that wasn’t enough and I had to bash the back of the pins with a hammer to give just about enough room to get the left hand pads in.

one thing I’ve noticed however is my brakes seem to be very spongey upon use, no squeal but I suspect the brakes need to be bedded / broken in? It’s worth noting I did have quite a lot of fluid come out of the Piston on the driver side so will I need to top up the brake fluid for the car?

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I’ve used one of these for years doing just this and it works a treat with nice plastic contact points👍( about £6 from Toolstation and of course has many other uses😀)

52DB15FF-BB31-4311-86FB-A6E87181CD57.png

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22 minutes ago, McShmoopy said:

Hi everyone, first of all thank you so much for the guidance it’s been greatly appreciated! I’ve managed to get the new pads on. It took a combination of completely depressing the piston and feeling up the sliding pins as they were quite seized up. The right driver side seemed to accommodate the pads fine after depressing the piston however the left one required me to remove the Aldi of pins, grease them up and put them back in. Even that wasn’t enough and I had to bash the back of the pins with a hammer to give just about enough room to get the left hand pads in.

one thing I’ve noticed however is my brakes seem to be very spongey upon use, no squeal but I suspect the brakes need to be bedded / broken in? It’s worth noting I did have quite a lot of fluid come out of the reservoir on the driver side so will I need to top up the brake fluid for the car?

Dude, when people post help on here at least read the answers!!!!

You were told the fluid might overflow!

it is over full now

look for the max line on the resevoir.

glad you got your pads in, remember and collect Brake pad fitters T shirt and be ready for next problem your car throws at you, remember utube is your friend!

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11 minutes ago, LexusRbest said:

Dude, when people post help on here at least read the answers!!!!

You were told the fluid might overflow!

it is over full now

look for the max line on the resevoir.

glad you got your pads in, remember and collect Brake pad fitters T shirt and be ready for next problem your car throws at you, remember utube is your friend!

Apologies I had a typo I meant the piston not the reservoir 😂 I did keep an eye on the fluid and it didn’t seem to overflow or go beyond the max line from what I can see. So not quite sure why the brakes are spongey, could be air or does the fluid need topping up? 

E1045D0F-A400-4987-83DB-A11C79F09A3E.jpeg

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Bilal. New pads always need bedding in. I'd suspect since a lot of fluid escaped the reservoir then some air may have sneaked in. Just to be sure bleed your brakes even if you've done so just to make sure. Take it easy for a good few hundred miles to break the pads in. Well done in eventually getting the pads in 👍

Just seen your pic. Yes it looks like you need to top it up a little. 

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Spongy is usually air in brake lines.

unless you have opened a bleed nipple or a brake pipe air should not have got in.

If pads are not bedded in they sometimes feel spongy.

If discs are-old or crappy I scratch them clean with very coarse sand paper to bust the glaze on them( superheated rust) and then take car for 50mph panic stops to fade new pads in

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If the pads wore down they may have dropped fluid level so low that air got sucked inside the master cylinder.

unlikely but possible.

also possible that piston came so far out of caliper it let air in, also unlikely but possible

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3 minutes ago, LexusRbest said:

If the pads wore down they may have dropped fluid level so low that air got sucked inside the master cylinder.

unlikely but possible.

also possible that piston came so far out of caliper it let air in, also unlikely but possible

I suspect it may have been this as I noticed the piston on the driver side was pretty much misaligned and letting out quite a bit of fluid. As I didn’t touch the front brakes would it be necessary to bleed those also or shall I just stick with the rear brakes? If I recall I believe you have to do it in a sequence furthest away from the driver seat.

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7 minutes ago, LexusRbest said:

If pads are not bedded in they sometimes feel spongy.

You can test for this by the following:

  • Engine off
  • Pump brake pedal a few times to clear any remaining vacuum assistance
  • If no air pedal should now be firm
  • If pedal is still spongey you most likely have air in the system
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If you think air got in then I would get a long bit of clear tube, fit it on the bleed nipple for the caliper ( it needs to be a good fit)

open the bleed nipple and observe .

if any air bubbles come out with the fluid.

get an assistant to slowly press brake pedal.

close / tighten brake bleed nipple while fluid is flowing clear.

keep topping up master cylinder and be sure bleed nipple is closed each time brake pedal is coming up.

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Thanks for the guidance everyone, I'll head to Halfords and get one of those Brake Bleeding kits and give it a go in the morning! 

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Quote: ‘It’s worth noting I did have quite a lot of fluid come out of the Piston on the driver side’

That is a bit worrying because you shouldn’t have any fluid coming out of the piston or the caliper area at all.

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Just now, Razor61 said:

Quote: ‘It’s worth noting I did have quite a lot of fluid come out of the Piston on the driver side’

That is a bit worrying because you shouldn’t have any fluid coming out of the piston or the caliper area at all.

I think that happened because the piston was completely out of the calliper  and the rubber gasket seal wasn't covering up the edges, I ended up sorting this by pushing it back in by hand and it seemed to be fine after that. The passenger side I didn't have any issue with that happening with the Piston so I suspect I may have loosened it up accidentally! 

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1 minute ago, McShmoopy said:

I think that happened because the piston was completely out of the calliper  and the rubber gasket seal wasn't covering up the edges, I ended up sorting this by pushing it back in by hand and it seemed to be fine after that. The passenger side I didn't have any issue with that happening with the Piston so I suspect I may have loosened it up accidentally! 

That would explain it then, pushing the piston completely out of the caliper isn’t good but if you pushed it back without damaging it and the dust/dirt cover is back in correctly then you may be ok. That is assuming the piston was in good condition with no rust etc. I would suggest getting things checked out by a mechanic or someone that has done this sort of thing before. Just my advice of course, you can’t take chances with brakes………..


 

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