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418 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I searched in vain here and other forums. Found someone posted a Youtube video for an Elise to replace the rear discs but with the original lug bolts, not studs. The advantage of studs is its much easier to mount the tire and presumably it will stay on more secure than with the lug bolts. The disadvantage is that the studs are long, stick out a bit, and with the rear brake caliper (on all Elise/Exige cars - unless you modified) it doesn't completely swing out of the way of the disc.

Prelude to all this:
  • Jack the car up on one side
  • Place jack stand under car
  • Now, the above might sound simple but its actually more of a pain than one would realize because, well, the jack spot is the same spot where you want to put the jack stand (sort of). If you are doing a lot of other suspension work, I suggest then using this opportunity to take off the rear flat panel with all the tons of small bolts. Also required if you are changing your oil anyway. But, if you aren't doing that, I instead did the following:
----- Put jack stand a few inches forward of the actual jack spot labeled under the car (I've since put side arrow stickers on the side of the car because those under car stickers wear off)
----- Then put your jack stand just to the back of the actual sticker labeled area. Be careful not to go as far back as the large sheet metal piece
  • Take wheel off
  • Jack up car a little further and put another jack stand under the A-arm suspension.
  • Remember, most of the weight is on the rear of the car and you don't want to just rely on the side jack.

I feel its ok to rely on that area for changing the wheel only as you aren't under the car but when working on the brakes/suspension, you do not want to rely just on a jack (for sure) and not just the side jack stand.

Anyway, back to the rear caliper - the problem then is that you can't take the caliper off or swing it further out of the way due to the emergency brake wire (on the back side of the caliper).

I spoke to Andrew at BOE and he said its not too hard to remove the e-brake wire. If you want to go that route, here's what he suggests:
1. Disengage the e-brake handle (inside the car :) )
2. Use channel lock or vise grip to grab the dimple/ball and pry against the e-brake arm.
3. Should come off
4. Then use 6mm allen wrench to remove rear caliper

While that sounded simple enough, its also not so easy as you have to work under the car, looking up, and kind of get your head in there to see what the heck you are doing as its not easy to get to. So I figured, let me see if I can get the disc off without doing all that. It took some doing but I was able to it. Here's how - with illustrated pictures in next post.

1. First, in this case and case above you have to take off the little allen screw that secures the disc to the hub - or so they say. Its really just there to align the disc and apparently you don't need it. In fact, I found on my car that while the allen screw was there, it was not even screwed in all the way to the hub! I presume thats because, as is noted on other posts, the screw itself is a bugger to get off without stripping. As a result, everybody ends up stripping it and replacing with another one or not replacing at all. In my case, the screw was shiny hence it had been replaced - not by me but whomever put in the lug studs for me about 10 years ago (not sure who - Rob or Eric in the Bay Area). Anyway, the screw was easy to come out for me because, well, it wasn't even in - I guess they couldn't find one long enough (even though thread thickness was right). I spoke to Andrew about this too - he said its not too hard to drill the screws out (there are special drill bits for this if needed) and you don't need to put it in anyway as the friction from the wheel attached to the lugs is going to ensure the disc isn't going anywhere.

2. Unbolt the rear bolt on the back of the caliper. Take the bolt completely out. Same procedure as taking out the pads.

3. Take the caliper brake pin and spring out. You have to put something in the small hole from the other side. I used to use a punch but that is too small and ruins the pins. Instead, I use a small star or allen screwdriver because they are flat on the end. You don't have much room to work from the back but it also doesn't take much force to hammer toward you either). May take a minute and a number of small hits to get the pin out enough that you can pull it out the front.

4. Take the pads out by swinging the caliper out of the way and pull the pads out the bottom. BTW, Michael Sands ( has good instructions with pics for all this too.

5. Next, the procedure is really just a matter of flipping caliper out of the way and wiggling the disc toward you. I'll show in next series of pics. The disc will come off at an angle because the caliper is still there holding onto about an inch of the disc which is why you can't just take it off the bolts. I just kept using a mallet to get it unstuck off the bolts and wiggling a lot and eventually it came off.

That it!

Now to just decide on what discs and brakes to go with. I won't give recommendations here because everyone is different and presumably if you are doing this procedure you probably already have a favorite. I've played with a number of different pad materials until I found what I liked.


418 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Before getting started:

Rear bolt on back of caliper - shown loosened (at top) without taking off all the way:

Small screw that (sort of holds) in disc to hub - shown bottom left partially unscrewed:

Backside rear hole you put small flat (allen or star) screwsdriver and hit with hammer to extract pin out the front

Yay! Pin comes out front:

Now lower pads and pull caliper out of the way. May take a bit of force to push down on pads to get them out.

Viola, pads are out, caliper flipped out of the way:


Another view

Let the wiggling begin to get the disc off:

Top view - shows angle of disc and caliper at bottom prevents just easily taking off:

418 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Keep going:

The last few are a big harder as you have to kind of twist out of the way but its possible:
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