How to seat front brake pad retention springs?
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  1. #1
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    How to seat front brake pad retention springs?

    Hi,

    I hope this turns out to be an easy explanation - but I've already lost two of these clips by obviously not installing them correctly. I have a 2003 passat 1.8T.

    I've installed the caliper & bolted the slide pins into the caliper bracket. The last step is seemingly to install these clips as the pictures show in the "information" section.

    I did install them as shown, but it just doesn't seem like they are seated in the caliper holes deep enough - like they could pop out. Also, there is probably an 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap from the clip/spring to the back of the pad. Should the spring wire actually be in contact with the (back of) the brake pad?

    What are people's techniques for assuring that these clips are seated? Also, do you put both prongs into the holes first and then stretch them over the caliper bracket, or visa versa?

    Thanks,

    Dave

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  3. #2
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    This is kind of hard to describe, but I put the lower pin of the spring fully in first. I hold it there with my knee (I'm working at jack-stand height) and then use a screw driver to position the other pin in place. Then I tap both ends of the spring in with the end of a screwdriver. Haven't lost one yet.

    There may be an easier way to do it, but that works for me.

  4. #3
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    I did it for my buddy's 2007 A4 with S4 brakes and you need a screwdriver.
    It is not an easy task.

  5. #4
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    Thanks!

    That's what I've done, so hopefully they will hold tight.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by reflexsac View Post
    I did install them as shown, but it just doesn't seem like they are seated in the caliper holes deep enough - like they could pop out.
    It's possible that the end of the clip has bent. I had one end bend on one spring clips while I was removing it. I'm not even sure how that happened, or it may have been bent previously.

    I usually just replace the springs with new ones when I'm doing the front brakes. They're cheap and it eliminates just one more concern on my part.

  7. #6
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    Since I lost one of the original spring clips, I bought a replacement from Napa Auto for about $3.00 - the dealer was $10.00 each (I would have bought one from the dealer, but they were out of stock so I went to Napa).

    The wire gage is about 1/2 of what the OEM's is - so, next weekend I'm going to another dealer and replacing it with the heavier gage. After I installed it, it just seemed too flimsy, like it wasn't doing anything.

    I really thought before I replaced the pads these spring clips were butted up against the pads - but now they aren't even close.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  8. #7
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    I keep forgetting to actually look in between the spokes on my Wellingtons to determine if I can see the spring and if it touches the pad. I did find this photo I took before I started on my brake job, but you can't really tell if the clip touches the pad or not.



    -- EDIT --

    I just went out to the parking lot to check this out: the spring clip does not touch the back of the front outer pad. The spring (which is part # 4A0 615 269, retaining spring, per ETKA) keeps things from rattling by applying tension to the brake caliper and pads against the caliper carrier.

    I think you're good to go!!!

    PS: I think these clips were about $6 or $7 at my dealer (they charge pretty much MSRP at my dealer).
    Last edited by Altair 4; 01-23-2008 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #8
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    Thank you! That's what I was looking for & thanks for the picture.

  10. #9
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    If you are losing the springs, it is probably becuase you aren't laying the caliper into the bracket correctly. You can get this wrong and still not notice any weird braking or wear issues.

    Also, the ends of the wire are at like a 115 degree angle, not just 90, so check that too. This is so they bite into the holes better.

    As far as installing the springs, I always used a pair of 10" slip-Joint pliers. Both ends in thier holes, one side of the spring in the spot where it goes, the grab the other end longitudinally and lever it into place. One motion. Then just tap spring ends all the way into the holes....

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