replacing brakes

Handling, suspension, and brake tuning discussions
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Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:46 am
Location: Bowmanville, ON Canada

replacing brakes

Post by jeff_j1701 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:59 am


I've only replaced the front brakes in my '07 Vibe once...and it took me about 2 hrs to do. Is this a normal time-frame?

I know a mobile mechanic who will replace them for $70 (only need the fronts) if I supply the pads & rotors. I'm thinking I might as well save myself the time and go this route.

Also...I used Wagner brakes & rotors and I was happy with them. Has anyone had a similar experience with this brand? They are a decent price.

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Re: replacing brakes

Post by zbyers » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:41 am

That's about the going rate for any garage. Depending on your know-how, they can be done in less than an hour.

-Jack up front of car and put jack stands underneath
-Take off front tires w/21mm socket
-Caliper unbolts w/17 and 14mm sockets. 17 for the bracket and 14mm for the guide pins. You could do just the guide pin and slide the caliper off from there if only doing pads. If doing pads and rotors, just need to undo the 17mm bolts.
-Remove old pads from caliper and clean up bracket as needed to ensure new pads seat correctly
-Compress caliper using a caliper compressor/c-clamp/channel locks. Preferably using the correct tool like a caliper compressor.
-Remove old rotors. If they're stuck on, a 5 pound sledge hammer to it can help get it off. Or using an m8x1.5 bolt (same as spare tire tie down thing) into one of the threaded holes on the rotor for it works too.
-Slide new pads into place. greasing the back sides of the pads where the caliper makes contact with it. Do not grease the side of the pad that touches the rotor.
-Grease slide pins.
-Reinstall tire and torque to proper spec
-Get off the jack stands.

That's basically the summation of the job if it goes appropriately. I've replaced pads/rotors in less than an hour and just pads in ~30minutes total.
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Posts: 136
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Location: Golden, CO

Re: replacing brakes

Post by andrewclaus » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:41 am

Depending on your mechanical aptitude, you may find the second time much faster.

I like doing this stuff myself because I get to see other pending issues like CV boot tears, loose suspension and steering joints, body parts coming loose.

Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:46 am
Location: Bowmanville, ON Canada

Re: replacing brakes

Post by jeff_j1701 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:13 pm mechanical skills depend on whatever YouTube video I can find :)

it appears that I take a long spending a few bucks might be worth it for me lol


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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:24 pm

Re: replacing brakes

Post by gginnj » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:34 am

oh, and if you use an S hook to secure the caliper to the coil spring while your taking off the rotor (so it's not flopping all over). Don't forget to remove the S hook when your done.....

I know, sounds like a duh moment.

But I didn't.....and took the car for a test drive, and heard this noise like a piece of metal just came apart. Took the car back home, jacked it up, looked at everything. Nothing looks loose, broken or out of place.

Then I wondered if I removed the S hook, drove back to where I heard the noise, and guess what was lying in the road???? YUP... The S hook - undamaged.

Live and least this one didn't damage anything, or kill me.

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Re: replacing brakes

Post by Viib » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:20 am

I just replaced the pads and rotors on my 09 Vibe last Saturday. It was my first time, and ended up taking around 5 hours. But that included setting up my new floor jack, a lunch break, sending my wife to pick up a part I needed, and a test drive at the end. Now that I've done it once, I could probably do it again in under 2 hours.

Last time I paid a mechanic to install my own pads, it cost around $100-120, so $70 sounds like a bargain to me. Those pads were actually Wagner ThermoQuiets, and the name was not accurate at all. They squealed the entire 3 years I had them on the car.
2009 Vibe GT with 5-speed manual and shrapnel-free passenger airbag

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