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Old 18-04-10, 22:29  
Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
Wavestarved Wavestarved is offline 18-04-10, 22:29

Thought this might help someone who's never done these before.

Ok now a disclaimer first of all; I am not a qualified mechanic and any advice offered here is to be taken at your own discretion. I will hold no liability or responsibility for what might happen if you choose to follow the following set of procedures.

Like I said, I'm not a mechanic but I feel that I have enough experience of this sort of thing to do my own, and have done on every vehicle I've ever owned. The brakes on the 2.5 TDi T4 which I am basing this on are as easy as any other vehicle's braking system. BUT if in doubt get a qualified mechanic to do it.

First the fronts:
Lift the bonnet and unscrew the brake fluid reservoire lid, but leave it loosely on top of the reservoire (it helps to keep any dirt from dropping in).

Start by making sure that the handbrake is on then jacking the front of the van up til the wheel is not quite off the ground, loosen all of the wheel bolts a half turn (or there abouts) now continue to jack the van up til the wheel is clear of the floor, remove the wheel bolts and remove the wheel. This is what you see...

This is the front brake caliper and disc.

Start by prying the spring clip from the caliper,

put it somewhere safe.
Look at the rear of the caliper and identify the two 21mm bolts that hold the caliper in place;

remove these. For this, it is likely that you'll need a good impact type socket and a breaker bar or length of scaffold pole. Oh, and some strength.

With these bolts removed, you can now start to work the caliper (complete with old pads) free of the disc, this sometimes results in swearing and grazed knuckles.

Once the claiper is free from the disc be careful not to twist, kink, bend, or stretch the rubber hydraulic hoses as if these rupture you'll be stuffed.
I place mine on top of a large plastic box placed inside the wheel arch.

Remove the slider side pad by simply pushing it towards the piston side pad, this will push it out of its locating grooves.

With the slider side pad removed you can now remove the piston side pad, which is held onto the piston by spring clips which clip inside the piston. This usually needs to be pryed away with a screwdriver (be careful not to pinch the rubber dust seal).

Take your wind back tool if you have one and locate the end onto the piston screw the barrel part into position then place the plate into the locating groove and tighten it up.
This is a pic of the tool being used on the rear caliper but it works the same way on the front...

Give the tool a half turn at a time to allow the fluid in the system to settle (this lessens the risk of pushing fluid past the seals).

If you don't have a wind back tool a G clamp can be used with some care for the front calipers (not the rears though).

Once you have pushed the piston back far enough (pretty much all the way if you're renewing the pads) get your new pads and remove the anti squeal shims and put a coat of copper-slip on the BACK side of the pad, replace the shim then put another coat of copper slip on the outside of the shim. DO NOT GET ANY ON THE FRICTION SURFACE OF THE PAD as this will stop your brakes working.

Hold your caliper and look at the rear side of it, if the slide is extended.. like this...

push it back in so it's like this...

now replace the new piston side pad and make sure that it's pushed fully into the piston so that the spring clips hold it there.

Now replace the new slider side pad.

You're now ready to replace the caliper with new pads back over the disc and replace the two 21mm bolts (put a dab of copper slip on the ends of the bolts too).

Once the bolts are done up tight (sorry don't know the correct torque setting) but make sure they're proper tight!!

Now replace the spring clip, line it up and just push it in the centre and!

Check you've tightened everything. Stick your foot on the brake pedal a couple of times till it firms up, check your brake fluid level, top up if necessary.
Put the wheel back on and do the other side..

Now the rears...

Jack up and support the rear of the van and remove the wheel in the same way as the fronts. This time though it is essential to make sure you have chocked the front wheels and that you're working on level ground as you are going to be working without the handbrake on. It's also a good idea to put the van in gear.
Take the handbrake off.
This is what you see with the wheel removed...

Look at the back of the caliper and locate these two 13mm bolts

Just behind these there are two nuts which are attached to the rubber boot things, hold this nut still with an open ended 15mm spanner and undo the 13mm bolt and remove, repeat for the other one.

Once you have these removed remove the handbrake cable end by levering out of its locator..

This should allow the caliper assembly to pull out (rearwards) leaving the old pads in the retainer on the disc.

Again be careful here not to twist, kink, bend or stretch those hydraulic hoses, do not leave the caliper hanging on the hoses; NOT GOOD!!!

If the caliper doesn't want to move from the disc, loosen the top 18mm bolt a turn or two.

To do this you will need a good 18mm 1/2" drive socket, a breaker bar, a scaffold pole and some biceps.

With this bolt loosened it should give enough to wriggle the caliper out.

Pull the old pads off the retaining clips. Get your new pads and coat the backs and shims with copper slip as per the fronts, being very careful not to get any on the friction surface of the pads or the disc.
Take the windback tool and put it together as before...

and wind the piston in as before, half a turn at a time until it's fully retracted.

Now locate the new pads into the springy locating clips (on the pad retainer part of the caliper, still attached by the disc) so that the friction side is against the disc (obviously? read what happened last time I replaced mine in the dark), don't expect these springy clips to hold the pads there; you'll need to keep a couple of fingers there as well for a minute.
Start to push the caliper over the pads until it is in position.

Now do the 18mm top caliper bolt up nice and tight.

Now locate the bottom 13mm bolt first, you'll need to pull the caliper up a bit to get this lined up, again holding the 15mm nut still with the open ended spanner, do it half up then replace the top 13mm bolt in the same way. Now fully tighten both bolts and recheck the 18mm one at the back of the caliper.
Once this is done replace the handbrake cable in the locator on the lever arm.
Go to the cab and press the foot brake a couple of times til it firms up, then as before check the brake fluid level and top up if necessary.

Replace the wheel and do the other side.

Hope this has been of some help to someone, it's not a big job and I've got it down to about 20 minutes a corner now.
Any questions please ask or if you feel I've left anything out please add.

Oh, Copper slip rules!!! If your pads come with a sachet of nice blue gluey stuff, chuck it and use the old copper slip instead. No more squeally brakes. Hoorah!

Last edited by Wavestarved; 18-04-10 at 22:46.. Reason: spelling, such poor spelling. Tsk tsk.
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Re: Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
10-06-18, 17:09 #51
Full of Cr*p....
Official MemberVW Transporter

If you're buying new calipers, they should come with the correct pins....
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Re: Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
13-07-18, 17:45 #52
Full of Cr*p....
Official MemberVW Transporter

Wavestarved system is WAY too complicated if you just want to change pads.

All you need is a screwdriver and a 7mm Allen head (long) key.

Took less than an hour to do both front pads. (and 10 mins of that was trying to find the missing wheel bolt, which "some moron" had put in his back pocket instead of next to the wheel! )
Didn't find it until I sat down and got a "pain up the a$$"
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Re: Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
17-07-19, 00:22 #53
Van Pro

Few tips for rusty seized bolts:

1. The best tip for breaking the bolts (not the head of the bolt!): use a gas torch (a lot of videos about it on youtube). Heat area where bolts are siting, NOT the bolt! With heat, metal will expand and it will make the job much easier and safer for the really seized bolts which you can literally brake. Try to avoid heating the bolt, because it will make it expand too. The heating works much better than any anti-rust spray. You should heat for about 5 minutes the whole area around (or at least where you can reach, because are of the bolt located behind the brake disc).

2. If you don't have a long enough breaker bar (or usually there is not enough space) then you can use a jack under the wrench (try to avoid using socket wrench because you can brake the springs (or whatever is inside). The jack will not help on the left rear side, because there is not enough space from the other side and you will lift the whole wheel with suspension. Always be sure that you are going to move the bolt anticlockwise. With the rear left side, you can use a ratchet strap: connect one side to the part under the rear bumper (NOT to something fixed near the car, because you will move the whole car from your jack/stands!!!) and the other side to the wrench. Be careful with your face and hands, if it will slip somehow, it can hit you!

I had a super seized bolt and I put a lot of anti-rust spray on the bolt for 2 days and then broke one 1/2" - 3/8" socket adapter with the ratchet strap method, and only after that I heated the caliper carrier bolt area and that bolt came out like freshly screwed!

3. If your seized bolt moved a bit but doesn't go any further, then try to move it there and back, eventually, it will go more and more.

4. Try to avoid using 12 point wrench, use 6 point socket. 12 point is the way to round your bolt head.

5. If you change brake pads, make a full inspection of caliper pins and change grease (clean old) with new silicon grease (not copper, because it's bad for rubber sleeves!). Also check all sleeves and other rubber things, if there are any holes, better to change it, otherwise you will have problems soon. Caliper pins are very important parts of the brakes and if they don't work, then your new brake pads will not make any difference!

6. With rear calipers also check that handbrake mechanism works fine and easy. If it sticks or moving very difficult (you should be able to move it with one hand), then probably it's time to clean and change rubber parts (then you have to remove it and make full rebuild with a repair kit).

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Re: Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
17-07-19, 19:45 #54
Van Expert

Am sure use of a proper wind back tool makes the job a lot easier but if not available it is possible to improvise.
From garage junk box I found a short piece of three quarter inch iron pipe with a one inch BSP bush screwed on the end.(Ex a replaced gas boiler)The bush dia was virtually the same as the brake pistonn. The end of the bush was therefore filed to just leave two small projections which fitted into the recesses of the brake pistons. Rotation was by mole wrench.
Might have been crude but it did the job in the absence of a very rarely used special tool.
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Re: Changing pads on a 2.5 TDi
17-07-19, 19:54 #55
Full of Cr*p....
Official MemberVW Transporter

OLD SCHOOL wood-workers clamp!
NOT the newer ratchet type....just the old style with a wood handle and a screw thread in a "F-Clamp".

Just use a piece of wood against the piston as you push it back.
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