Hi fellow Hiveians,
Today I'm back with some fun DIY car brake job that actually went well! Lol.
One of the things that's a little tricky sometimes is when you get everything ready and set up to do a job like brakes on a car and you realize that you have the wrong parts! What a pain in the ass lol. That happened to me recently, a couple months ago according to my post. I used it as a learning opportunity for the little man to see what happens when we are working on something. Things don't always go smoothly! Just gotta roll with it.
Thankfully I was able to secure the correct parts this time and so we took full advantage of a beautiful weather day and changed the brakes in a comfortable 70 degrees with overcast skies! I didn't include all of the setup this time since I posted about it previously but we took care of all the setup, raising the car and getting our tools organized. The very first thing I did when I successfully got one of the brakes off was measure the rotors against the old one!
I left the new rotors in the bag so that way I wouldn't have any issues when it came time to returning them if I had to. Thankfully they are the exact same size! What a relief, let me tell you! Lol.
One of the important things that I was showing the little man was that we take advantage of time to do other things that are important while we are doing work. I took the time to just do a little cleaning and maintenance while we had the wheels, brakes and rotors off! One great thing is to just do a little preventive maintenance so that we don't introduce future headaches. He was curious when we were taking the tools out of the toolbox, what this brush was. I was trying to tell him it was for cleaning but he wasn't entirely sure. He's like me and wants to have hands-on experience with something! I know he understood the use of the wire brush much better after this.
On the topic of cleaning and preventive maintenance.. I was pretty happy and surprised to see that the suspension components were actually in very good shape! We don't have a lot of miles on the car for sure but it's still good to see things in good shape. The anodized steel here is looking awesome!
Now that the components were off, I spent a little time to figure out what I could do to make my life and job a lot easier when trying to get the brakes back onto the caliper clips. Trying to do this with reaching behind the rotor to put the brake pad on was a huge pain in the ass! I was sitting there and trying to think of what I could do better when I was like "seriously, I didn't think of this before? LOL" I put the brake on the caliper clip before putting and securing the clip on the rotor! Man that was an awesome thing to come to realize. It saved me about 10 or 15 minutes of headaches and swearing that it won't go in nicely lol.
I certainly did the same with the back brakes! I was wicked excited to figure that out hahaha. Saved me a lot! These little things are great!
Now came the next phase of the brake job that I wasn't entirely looking forward to.. getting the caliper compressed so I could get the caliper over the new brakes! I bought a new set of tools, because you can never have too many tools, am I right? This set of tools is specifically for brake caliper work! There are different sizes that are in here and it doesn't necessarily apply to all of the sets of brakes but I found it helpful. It's more for older brakes, I think.
What was great is that I did end up needing it to help me do what I needed! I was a little confused that the caliper separator tool didn't compress the caliper itself so I will admit defeat and I looked up what to do. It was pretty easy and something I had handy! I needed to just use a giant pair of pliars to compress the caliper. That opened up the other caliper piston when I did it lol so I thankfully used the caliper compression tool to hold down the other side so it doesn't pop up and I compressed the side I needed. Bam! Calipers now fully compressed and ready to fit over the brand-new brakes.
The little man of course was my final-job inspector here. He approved and was doing his own work!
Thankfully the job went smoothly on the front brakes. The back brakes were a little tricky but were largely the same
The next thing that I learned was the holes that Subaru had inserted in the brakes weren't just some weird holes that had no purpose. The holes, if you look at the picture above, are placed right near the center and are quite intentional!
The holes are so that you don't have to use a sledgehammer to smack the rotor to oblivion to get the rotor to loosen itself off and take it off. The holes are meant to fit two screws in it! I was having a hell of a time getting the back rotor off and I decided to look up how others did it easily. They showed me that little tidbit! I thankfully had some screws in my toolbox that were sort of the correct size, enough to thread in the hole and let me do what I needed! I was a little nervous doing it at first since I thought it would be under insane pressure and snap off, sending shrapnel flying and impale the little man. I had him sit at the front of the car, far away from the danger zone while I did it for the first time. Thankfully it's not under that much pressure and it came off quite nicely! Let me tell you, next time I do the brakes I will be doing that on all of the wheels, it makes it so much easier!
It was a lot of fun to do this brake job. I learned a few things in this DIY session which was awesome. The caliper clamp trick, the screw trick and inserting the brake pads on the caliper hanger ahead of time. These are things that increase our efficiency quite a bit and we know that we don't have enough time in a day!
What was your weekend DIY job that you had fun with? I'd love to hear about it or see some pictures!
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