DMSBD Tech Tips

Brakes, Pads, and Plungers - Submitted by  David Gibson

  1. You can reduce drag from the brake plunger and pad by cutting off the bolts. Make sure the pad  is installed before you try to cut off your first bolt so that you obtain the proper length.
     
  2. When figuring out the proper length, do not over-tighten the brake pad bolts. When you over  tighten the bolts the heads can pull through and you will lose your pad. The top of the head  should not be farther into the pad than the fibers that show on the side. Besides, the more you tighten the bolt the more of a bulge you produce on the side and create more wind resistance.
     
  3. Note the fibers on the sides of the pad.  Place one of the sides with the smooth fibers towards  the front.  The pad will wear longer.
     
  4. Use a greaseless lubricant (WD-40 is NOT greaseless) on the plunger. You will get much less  road and brake pad debris build-up on the underneath side of the car during the day.
     
  5. When working on a brake pad while it is on the car, place a weight, wrench or, better yet, a piece  of soft wood cut to length, between the top of the pad plate and the bottom of your car.  This will  keep the pad plate away from the car and make it easier to work on.
     
  6. Use the same piece of wood and drill four holes in it using the brake pad holes as a pattern.  Over-drill the holes to 5/16.  Then place the pad over the holes and use a drill motor with a screw bit  to run the bolts into the brake pad a little ways - allowing the bolt ends to pass down into the holes.
     
  7. When putting the pad onto the pad plate, use a set of channel locks to grip the top EDGE of the pad  plate and leverage them against the bolt head area of the pad. This will push the short bolt up through the pad plate and make it much easier to put on the lock washer and nut. Following these hints on  replacing brake pads really speeds up the process.

Contact Author: David.R.Gibson@lesschwab.com

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