Tight fitting brake pads

Handling, suspension, and brake tuning discussions
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Tight fitting brake pads

Post by Crusader556 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:28 am

I am changing the front break pads on 2007 FWD and the brake pads were on so tight I had to remove the claliper bracket so I could knock the pads out with a rubber mallet. I assumed that the pads were tight because of all the rust/corrosion on the pad retaining shim.

However, the new pads I got came with new pad retaining shims but after cleaning the caliper bracket and installing them it appears that break pads are still a really tight fit. I've done a lot of break pad replacements over the years and I have not noticed any being this tight.

As far as I ca tell there is no damage to the caliper bracket. I also measured the new pads and they the same size as the old ones. Can anyone tell me what the measurement between the pad retainer slots on the caliper bracket should be without the shims? Does this tightness seem normal for Vibe front brake pads or am I missing something?


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Re: Tight fitting brake pads

Post by sideshowalan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:55 pm

I've run into this a few times on different cars.
Take a metal file or grinding wheel and take the 'wings' on each side of the pad down a little bit. It should fit in the caliper bracket snugly but easily. Can't be too tight or they won't self adjust when wearing down.
2008 Pontiac Vibe
2008 Toyota Sienna XLE
(Former 2003 5-speed Vibe owner)

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Re: Tight fitting brake pads

Post by ehoff121 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:42 pm

Crusader556 wrote:pad retaining shim
There's not much in the way of shims...


Could it be that the caliper bracket is in bad shape? On both sides? The shims should fit snug into the caliper bracket and then the ears on the pads should slide easily enough that light pressure will move them. Maybe the shim wasn't seated properly? Did you apply a little brake grease in the pad tab slots?
2005 Pontiac Vibe AWD - Platinum

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