Volkswagen Passat Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time poster here...the car is my wife's daily driver, purchased in 2004 with 10K on it, now has about 55K.

I'm not shy about working on these things...my own DD is a '93 300ZX Twin Turbo, and it can be a temperamental bitch at times. In the six years I've owned it, I've collected quite a set of tools in my garage and a decent understanding of modern fuel-injected, direct-ignition engines.

On to the point: I noticed the other day that I could hear a soft, low grind/rumble from the chassis when braking at low speeds (like over speed bumps, into driveway, etc). As my wife drove away and I listened, I could also hear a rhythmic metal sliding sound...time for new brakes.

I've been running PBR Metal Mater pads on my Z for the better part of 5 years, and I see from other posts on here that they're available for the B5, too.

I've read the writeup in the Information Base here on changing brakes and it looks pretty straightforward, similar to jobs I've done before.

Any advice on gotchas or things to look out for as I do this?

Also, can the stock rotors be turned? Or will I have to get new ones? If so, any recommendations on brands? I've got slotted/drilled Brembos on the Z, but that's hardly appropriate for my wife's DD... :p

Edit: One more question...any way in particular to check for a sticky caliper? Until I pull all the pads, I won't know if it's just one corner acting up or time for new pads all around.

TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,873 Posts
Sorry, didnt read you whole post. Biggest suggestion is buy a pistion retraction tool, like the one sold by Harbor freight or ECS tuning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,555 Posts
Any advice on gotchas or things to look out for as I do this?

Also, can the stock rotors be turned? Or will I have to get new ones? If so, any recommendations on brands? I've got slotted/drilled Brembos on the Z, but that's hardly appropriate for my wife's DD... :p
I have to 2nd the recommendation of the piston retraction tool for the rear brakes! Also, VW rotors are very thin to spec so it's not a good idea to turn them on a lathe. Just purchase a new set from one of the recommended online vendors with free shipping; i.e. GetCoolParts.com or StopShopandDrive.com. I normally recommend ATE PowerDiscs for the fronts and plain faced for the rears, but you can't go wrong with a set of Brembo's..

Good luck, and welcome to the club!

Will aka The Swami

p.s. I miss my 93 300ZX TT.. If I could find another one in good shape I'd make it a $$$$ maker!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,414 Posts
Sorry, didnt read you whole post. Biggest suggestion is buy a pistion retraction tool, like the one sold by Harbor freight or ECS tuning.

x2
that tool(only need it for the rear) is the only thing that different compared to all brake jobs ive done (front & rear)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, fellas...this is exactly what I was looking for!

I was afraid about the rotors being thin...I know from my buddies w/BMWs that this thin, non-resurfaceable design has become the "norm" in OEM rotors. Out of curiosity, does anyone know a minimum thickness limit for them...or does everyone just replace them outright every time they do a brake job?

Also, about that caliper retraction tool...is there something special that it accomplishes that can't be done with C-clamps and a piece of 1x4? I've got a Harbor Freight nearby (nextdoor to Fry's, actually...bastards!), so I can pick one up fast...I'm just curious as to why I need it.

p.s. I miss my 93 300ZX TT.. If I could find another one in good shape I'd make it a $$$$ maker!
Yes, I fear I'll never break free from the pull of the darkside, no matter how fast she chews up pricey rubber!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
Also, about that caliper retraction tool...is there something special that it accomplishes that can't be done with C-clamps and a piece of 1x4? I've got a Harbor Freight nearby (nextdoor to Fry's, actually...bastards!), so I can pick one up fast...I'm just curious as to why I need it.
Unlike the front, the rear caliper piston has to be turned while it is retracted. You can do the C-clamp but will also need pliers to rotate the piston at the same time. Much easier to have the proper tool and avoid damaging the caliper piston.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,873 Posts
It needs to be turned as it goes in, because of the intergrated E-brake. The tool allows you to turn the pistons as its pushed back in. As for thickness, 22mm rings a bell, but dont quote me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,407 Posts
One more thing, the rear pad on these cars tend to wear a lot faster than the fronts. You may only need to do the back half of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
Edit: One more question...any way in particular to check for a sticky caliper?
I second this question. When I did my rear pads and rotors a few months ago, I noticed that the inner and outer pads had slightly different amounts of wear. Any way to prevent that? Thanks.

Patrick.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,975 Posts
I second this question. When I did my rear pads and rotors a few months ago, I noticed that the inner and outer pads had slightly different amounts of wear. Any way to prevent that? Thanks.

Patrick.
Slightly different wear is a natural characteristic of floating calipers. No way to avoid it.

However, the best way to check for a sticky caliper is to just slap some wheel bearing grease (lithium and molybdenum, not just lithium) on the slider pins. If you do this every time you change your brakes, and you remember to put the plastic caps back on the sliders, you'll never have stuck calipers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That brings up a question I forgot to ask: I've always used MDS (molybdenum disulfide) grease on my car's brake system...I assume this is the way to go with the Passat as well?
 

·
Punches Dubs. True Story
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
I went with ATE plain rotors on the back (getcoolparts.com, I think) for all of $50 for the rears. I had to have my backs done after 25k miles on my first Passat. It sucked, but it was necessary. And it made a difference. Best bang for the buck, IMO.

For the number of times you're likely to have to change these rears, I second the motion to borrow/rent the tool. Unless you absolutely must add to the collection of tools. Some people have that addiction.

As for the 300zx ...My father-in-law has a '91 with some nifty Jim Wolf upgrades. He loaned it to me all summer while I was getting the front end of my wagon rebuilt. Hay. Zoos. That's all I have to say about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm surprised you were able to let it go... :)

Thanks for all your input, guys...I've ordered new hardware for the rears from GetCoolParts and plan to spend Saturday morning with the wagon's ass in the air (on jackstands, of course!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, how difficult should it be to get these rear caliper pistons to retract using the right tool?

I'm pretty sure the piston on the rear driver corner is stuck. The pad in direct contact with it was gone...no friction material left at all. The other pad had less than 1mm of friction surface left on it.

Nothing I did was able to get that piston to retract. I tried the tool from Autozone...I could rotate it, but couldn't get the strike plate inside the caliper frame. There wasn't enough room to get the little nubs into place...piston was out too far. Nothing I did could get it to push back in, even with the fluid bleed screw open to relieve pressure.

My experience with other calipers has been that their pistons retract easily enough under moderate force. I actually broke the blade off a screwdriver trying to lever this piston back...didn't even budge it.

Does it sound like this caliper is shot to you guys? How much of a PITA is it to swap out one of these things? I've never had to deal with one that has an integrated e-brake like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,414 Posts
you can not do the rear pads WITHOUT the caliper piston retraction tool ::::
less than 2 minutes to retract the rear calipers with the tool
without it youll be there for 2-4 hours


your not trying hard enough
my exprience was ... i took out the rear piston till the point that brake fluid came out and i was able to get it back in with the tool after i took of the caliper from the brake line ....
i hope you have the right tool
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
you can not do the rear pads WITHOUT the caliper piston retraction tool ::::
less than 2 minutes to retract the rear calipers with the tool
without it youll be there for 2-4 hours


your not trying hard enough
my exprience was ... i took out the rear piston till the point that brake fluid came out and i was able to get it back in with the tool after i took of the caliper from the brake line ....
i hope you have the right tool
i can do the same job with a long screw driver and adjustable pliers :whistle:
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top