Ran into a snag when trying to change rear pads. HELP! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ran into a snag when trying to change rear pads. HELP!

So I went to replace the rear pads today and I ran into a problem. I removed the top caliper bolt but the caliper would not rotate backwards for me to swap the pads. After removing the top bolts and making sure that everything is retracted, the caliper could be wobbled but not move outwards. I looked all over and it doesn't look like anything is in the way. I must have watched the S111 video 50 times now and just don't see how they can do it so easily. Help please!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:47 PM
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Try sliding the outer pad out towards the inside of the rotor. I had the same problem you describe a few times before, but there has always been enough free play to get one of the pads out without rotating the caliper.
And once the pad is out the caliper rotates easily.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Do you know how it is causing it to get stuck and not rotate out? So just take the outter one out first? I was thinking about that but since I wasn't sure that I could get everything back together if it didn't work, I decided not to do it.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:01 PM
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There is a sliding pin (the upper bolt slides inside it) that is held in place by rubber boots on the caliper. Once you remove the upper bolt, you have to slide that pin inward a small amount (maybe 1/4" or so) to clear the surface of the upright. Once you've slid it inward, the caliper should be able to be rotated rearward.

In the drawing below, it's the "top guide bush", and it has to be slid leftward (the left rear caliper is shown), to allow the caliper to rotate.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 02:14 AM
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By the way:
Sliding the pad out first before rotating the caliper as well as rotating the caliper back into place before installing the outer pad helps to protect the inner "top guide bush boot" from being cut.
The boot is easily damaged when trying to put the pads in place and then rotating the caliper back. The boot then gets caught on the upright and gets cut.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apk919 View Post
There is a sliding pin (the upper bolt slides inside it) that is held in place by rubber boots on the caliper. Once you remove the upper bolt, you have to slide that pin inward a small amount (maybe 1/4" or so) to clear the surface of the upright. Once you've slid it inward, the caliper should be able to be rotated rearward.

In the drawing below, it's the "top guide bush", and it has to be slid leftward (the left rear caliper is shown), to allow the caliper to rotate.



I did exactly this but no dice. I made sure that everything cleared. I guess I will just remove the outter pad and see what happens.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:25 AM
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E-brake?

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:59 AM
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E-brake?

I'm not saying that this can't be the case, but if it is and the OP hasn't figured that one out by himself, then I would recommend to have a shop do the pad change...

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Nope ebrake not engaged for sure. That would be hilarious if it was.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Actually to be honest, I really wish it was the ebrake because right now I'm stumped. I will tackle it this weekend when I have more time and report back. Will try to remove the outside pad. I'm thinking that it might be binding when I try to rotate it.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:50 AM
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Is there a big lip on your rotor? It may not rotate if there is a big lip.
The moderately suicidal psychotic fix is:
Jack the rear end of the car up with the wheels removed.
Make sure all the bolts are tight on your brakes. E-brake is dis-engaged.
While the car is in first gear, and idling (spinning hubs), take a grinder to the lip.
When the lip is gone (or after you are a ghost from this going badly), Shut off the engine.
The caliper should rotate easily now.
I will hold a sťance next week so you can tell me how it went.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Haha. I'll keep that in the back of my mind. The rotor actually moves a little bit when I try yo rotate it. Everything seems loose because I can wiggle the caliper slightly. Anyways will report back over the weekend.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 02:46 PM
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What you can try also is using a flat head screwdriver and leverage the pad abit to get the piston to retract alittle. This should give you enough room. If all else fails just remove the lower bolt and slide the whole thing out.

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 04:38 PM
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You have a lip on your rotor that the pads are catching on. Open the bleed screw and lightly pry the pads away from the rotor. You have to open the bleed screw to allow the piston to retract. When the pads are out of the way of the lip on the rotor, the caliper will rotate easily.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 05:43 PM
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I thought the rear calipers required you rotate the piston to compress it. Simply squeezing them with the bleed open doesn't significantly compress them.

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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 05:56 PM
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The rear caliper's piston cannot be retracted by force. The self-adjusting mechanism must be retracted by turning the piston by the two holes drilled in its face.

I've changed the rear brake pads on my 3 Lotus probably 20 times... even with a slight "lip" on the rotor due to wear, there's no reason to try to retract the piston by force.
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 06:07 PM
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I thought the rear calipers required you rotate the piston to compress it. Simply squeezing them with the bleed open doesn't significantly compress them.
I beg to differ. With the bleed screw open, they can be compressed easily enough to get the pads to pass by the rotor lip. I have done this myself at least 4 times.

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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 06:11 PM
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I beg to differ. With the bleed screw open, they can be compressed easily enough to get the pads to pass by the rotor lip. I have done this myself at least 4 times.
I'll bet dollars to donuts that the piston didn't move at all. There was just enough mechanical play to get the pads past the lip.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 06:13 PM
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The rear caliper's piston cannot be retracted by force. The self-adjusting mechanism must be retracted by turning the piston by the two holes drilled in its face.

I've changed the rear brake pads on my 3 Lotus probably 20 times... even with a slight "lip" on the rotor due to wear, there's no reason to try to retract the piston by force.
If you have more than a slight lip then you must compress the piston or remove the caliper while leaving the pads in place. The amount of lip your rotors have had may have been less than what the OP is experiencing. Either way works but compressing the piston a little is easier than removing the caliper with the pads in place.

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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 06:15 PM
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I'll bet dollars to donuts that the piston didn't move at all. There was just enough mechanical play to get the pads past the lip.

When the piston is compressed, brake fluid comes out of the bleeder. This cannot happen if the piston doesn't move.

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