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Brake disc and pad replacement tips

Discussion in 'Leon Mk3 (2012-2020)' started by CHINA ED NO!, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. CHINA ED NO!

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    I wanted to share this as I have recently replaced the front discs and pads and Just finished the rears today. Before I did them I looked for as much info as I could on forums like this and also YouTube.

    The fronts are pretty straight forward watch the videos on YouTube. Everything is easily accessible, no non-standard tools are required. I would recommend a thin profile 17 mm open spanner.

    The rears are a little tricky (I do not have an electronic brake). There a certain tools that will make the job easier that I will list at the end. Removing the Calipers are the same as the fronts (13 and 17 mm bolt/nuts) just less room. Caliper carriers are a different matter and require an M14 hex bit (shortest one you can find). They are an absolute a**e to get off due to the limited space especially if you don’t have access to a ramp or pit.

    The part where I found a lot of questions but not many useful answers were regarding rewinding the caliper piston and I hope this will answer many questions as my pistons were sticky and I have a brake rewind tool although you do not need one (there are a few videos on YouTube). It took me a while to get them unstuck, but the answer was really simple and this is where the rewind tool comes in handy. Put something in the caliper to stop the piston coming right out but allows a 5-10 mm movement and press the brake pedal. If the caliper is in good order then you should be able to wind back the caliper using a pair of long nose pliers! Turn the caliper clockwise to rewind, so make sure you use the correct tool. You do not need to crack the bleed nipple, but I would recommend replacing the brake fluid as this is most likely the cause of it sticking. I have been lazy and not done mine for 4 1/2 years, but then this is first time I have had to replace the pad (would recommend every 2 years). The rest is straight forward again.

    Tools that will help:

    13 mm ratchet spanner (sockets don’t fit in the rear)

    Thin socket wrench (mine is about 25 mm and getting the carrier bolt off was very tight. Also if you have a hinged one that helps too.

    If you can find the M14 hex bit on the end of a breaker bar is ideal.

    The rewind tool is good if you have sticky pistons as once you have move the piston you can release it.or just ind it back in. If you use something solid you have to remove that before rewinding and that may be difficult depending on how hard you pressed the pedal!

    Hope this helps.
     
  2. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    Did you examine the calliper carrier bolts closely once they were off the car, VW Group tend to use common parts across their marques/ranges where possible, and I'm sure that these bolts have either multi spline or Torx heads - you can get hex keys into them but using hex if the head has Torx or multi spline will end up with bolt head damage sooner than using the correct tool. Also, I'm sure that these bolts have a built in serrated locking face that will get destroyed when removing these bolts, so you should always replace them if you have removed them.

    Anytime, and that was only twice, I have had any trouble rewinding these pistons on VW Group cars, I've applied the handbrake slightly and tried again - that always worked for my but I can't say why.

    Using long nosed pliers is one way to damage the rubber covers and let moisture in, and hurt your hands.
     
  3. Oldbutswift

    Oldbutswift Active Member

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    Only thing I can add is that,lacking a proper wind back tool,I seem to remember that an angle grinder key will just about do the job!!
     
  4. CHINA ED NO!

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    Sorry yes the bit was a spline bit (the Americans call it a triple square). I never had a problem with the bit, only access getting purchase on it. Yes, pulling the handbrake should also work, but that would mean going too far into the car for my liking with dirty clothes.

    If you go any where near the rubbers with pliers then you deserve to damage them! The pliers should be no where near them and you should not have to put that much pressure on them. If they don’t wind back smoothly you should be looking at servicing or replacing them.
     
  5. CHINA ED NO!

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    Yes never thought about that either!.
     
  6. cupra14

    cupra14 Active Member

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    I bought a wind-back kit to suit many cars for about £30. Been great!
     
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  7. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Active Member

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    Exactly, why would anyone want to make their life difficult by not buying the correct tools!
     
  8. black_sheep

    black_sheep Active Member

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    It is good practice to change the brake fluid, but the most likely reason for the rear callipers sticking is due to the fact that alloy wheel cleaner, degreasers and pressure washing the rear brake assembly removes any graphite grease/lubricant, which in turn causes the machined surfaces (that the pads move across) the calliper to corrode. The pads then stop moving, which in turn causes the piston to seize.
     
  9. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I got one on eBay for about £15 delivered! Works perfectly.
     

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