It's like family, only weirder…

4-Wheel Disc Brakes

If you’re about to do your first set of 4-wheel disc brakes, read this first! I’ll save you some frustration and a sore hand.

My 2005 Mazda3 was up for new brakes and that’s the kind of work I will do myself. What I didn’t realize was that rear wheel disc brakes involve some fanciness to allow for a parking brake. They have some sort of protection to keep your car from slipping down a hill when pressure is applied back to the piston within the brake caliper. This mechanism, therefore, can’t simply be pushed in with a hand clamp like your front brakes. Despite the tons per square inch of force I insisted my hand to deliver unto said clamp, I managed only to introduce a slight bend in the clamps bar. After some mental cursing and Google.com searching, I finally came across autoblog.com. It was here that I learned the little piece of information I needed to make the job so much easier. I *know* it’s always about having the right tool for the job, but this time it really was that easy. Theoretically, anyway. I got the screw-type clamp designed specifically for pushing and rotating the rear piston into place at AutoZone as recommended (less than $40.00 refundable rental charge), but of all the parts in the kit, none fit my Mazda3 properly. The width of the pegs for insertion into the piston were a millimeter too wide and the diameter of these pegs were another ½-1mm too large. Ridiculous! I was able to make it work with some persistence, but my hand was already in some pain from my clamping experience. Everything said and done, I have four new pairs of pads installed and a wealth of new wisdom under my belt – just in time for my 30th birthday!


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