*** NOW UPDATED *** with new retaining clips. See photos step 14.
This project won the Technical Video Rental 'Cool Project' award!
Step 1: Gather materials
- new brake pads
- brake disc lube (high temperature synthetic grease)
- probably, new retainer pin spring clips
- floor jack or other jack
- lug nut wrench
- assorted screwdrivers and pliers
Brake pads come in several flavors, named (in order of increasing high-techiness):
1 organic -- old style asbestos
2 semi-metallic -- fitted to most new cars
3 metallic -- usually used on race cars
4 ceramic -- the New New Thing in brake pads
Since you're saving beaucoup $$$ by replacing your own pads, it certainly does not hurt to spend a few extra bucks for the next better pads than the factory pads.
For instance, in my case, my car (1997 Ford Escort LX wagon -- not-too-sexy!) was factory equipped with semi-metallic in front, and organic in rear. I bumped up to ceramic in front, for $18 more, and if I were to do the rear, I would probably fit semi-metallic.
Step 2: Raise car and remove road wheel
Remove the road wheel to expose the disc and the brake caliper.
If you're doing front brakes, you may wish to turn your steering wheel to afford better access to the caliper.
XXXTRA SAFETY TIPS:
- put car in gear
- apply parking brake
- chock wheels
- stash road wheel UNDER the chassis while you're working on the brake. That way, if you have your head stuck in the fender well and your car falls off the jack (against all odds), the chassis will fall on the wheel, and hopefully your head won't be squished like an overripe cantaloupe.
Step 3: Remove retaining clips
Using needle nosed pliers and a flat blade screwdriver, remove these spring clips.
The ones on my car are broken, so the tangle doesn't make much sense in this photo. I'll add new photos when I get the new clips.