[XD] HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads
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Thread: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

  1. #1
    Newbie SpeedyD has not yet proved knowledgeable
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    Default HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Hello all,

    I was hoping to get some insight to this problem. While changing the front brake pads on my '03 Elantra GT, I can't seem to get the calipers back on with the new, thicker pads. I have the caliper piston pressed all of the way in, the pads pressed snugly up against the rotor, but still no dice. The caliper's bolt holes are about a cm short of where it needs to be to mate with the caliper bracket. It seems the only thing keeping them from mating properly is the thickness of the new pads.

    Either I'm doing something way wrong (I followed the illustrated guide here http://www.elantragtclub.com/id581.html) or these pads are actually too thick. They are Wearever Gold Premium (GMKD 941) from Advance Auto Parts.

    Any insight would be helpful. The first thing i thought of was that the caliper piston wasn't pushed in far enough but I do have it pushed it as far as it can go using a c-clap. It it only a mm from being completely flush, so I didn't think that was the problem.

    Thanks in advance!

    -SpeedyD

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  3. #2
    Soon to be Banned NovaResource knows about Elantras NovaResource's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Are you sure the piston is ALL the way in? You may have too much brake fluid in the master cylinder preventing you from compressing the piston alll the way in. Try removing some brake fluid from the master cylinder first and then try compressing the cylinder in further.

  4. #3
    Poster God mtlelantra knows a lot about Elantras mtlelantra's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    so the pads are installed into the carrier okay? the pads themselves shouldn't stick out over the edge of the carrier/slides and should look centered in the carrier. Ideally there should be a 1/16" or so space between the side of the pad and the edge of the slide/carrier... if not then they might be too thick...
    You can try bolting up the top side of the caliper and then swing it down over the pads and see if it'll fit that way... either way it shouldn't be tight.

    ---------- Post added 11-03-2010 at 11:17 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaResource View Post
    Are you sure the piston is ALL the way in? You may have too much brake fluid in the master cylinder preventing you from compressing the piston alll the way in. Try removing some brake fluid from the master cylinder first and then try compressing the cylinder in further.
    yeah, you're supposed to pop the lid off the fluid reservoir before you push in the piston...
    2004 Hyundai Elantra VE 2.slow
    One of the few 138 HP ULEV XD2s in California.

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    Newbie SpeedyD has not yet proved knowledgeable
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    I thought I did, there is about 1-2mm of the piston sticking out past the caliper body. I didn't think it was enough to cause the issue. I had the Master brake reservoir uncapped, but I didn't remove any fluid. I can def try that, thanks.

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    Newbie SpeedyD has not yet proved knowledgeable
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    I did pop the lid off, didn't remove any fluid because it wasn't filled to the brim so I figured there was room for expansion. The pads do sit all the way into the carrier slides with room to spare. I'm starting to think that 1-2mm the piston still sticks out is more of a problem than I thought. If it's completely compressed, should it be flush with the caliper body with nothing sticking out at all?

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    Soon to be Banned NovaResource knows about Elantras NovaResource's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by mtlelantra View Post
    yeah, you're supposed to pop the lid off the fluid reservoir before you push in the piston...
    Actually, you aren't. The brake system should remain closed at all times. There is no reason to open the master unless there is a leak or you are flushing old fluid. When you start with new pads/shoes and the master full, the fluid level in the master will go down as the pads/shoes wear. Never fill a master cylinder with fluid if the pads/shoes are worn. When you push the pistons back in when replacing pads/shoes, the fluid will return to the master. Keep the system closed to prevent moisture from getting in and to prevent overfilling the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyD View Post
    I'm starting to think that 1-2mm the piston still sticks out is more of a problem than I thought. If it's completely compressed, should it be flush with the caliper body with nothing sticking out at all?
    Correct.
    Last edited by NovaResource; 11-03-2010 at 01:32 PM.

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    Newbie SpeedyD has not yet proved knowledgeable
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaResource View Post
    Actually, you aren't. The brake system should remain closed at all times. There is no reason to open the master unless there is a leak or you are flushing old fluid. When you start with new pads/shoes and the master full, the fluid level in the master will go down as the pads/shoes wear. Never fill a master cylinder with fluid if the pads/shore are worn. When you push the pistons back in when replacing pads/shoes, the fluid will return to the master. Keep the system closed to prevent moisture from getting in and to prevent overfilling the system.


    Correct.

    OK, I'll try compressing the piston further and the swivel method as well. Will let you guys know how it turns out. Thanks for the help!

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    Poster God mtlelantra knows a lot about Elantras mtlelantra's Avatar
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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaResource View Post
    Actually, you aren't. The brake system should remain closed at all times.
    It can build a bit of back pressure when you press back the piston which you don't want. a 10 second opening of the reservoir isn't gonna hurt the fluid. I agree that you don't want to have it open the whole time you're doing the brake job though.
    2004 Hyundai Elantra VE 2.slow
    One of the few 138 HP ULEV XD2s in California.

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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by mtlelantra View Post
    It can build a bit of back pressure when you press back the piston which you don't want.
    That's not true. The master cylinder is sealed so no air get's in. As the pads wear, the fluid drops in the master because the pistons don't return 100%. The master is designed to allow for this in a sealed system. In the same way, when the pistons are pressed back the fluid returns. The system stays sealed at all times. The only time back pressure is created is when you open the master. This is why you never open or fill the master unless the pistons are fully pressed in the calipers and you have new pads.

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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by NovaResource View Post
    This is why you never open or fill the master unless the pistons are fully pressed in the calipers and you have new pads.
    Exactly what OP trying to get to... meh, I know it's hygroscopic, but not *that* hygroscopic**... like I said, the 10 second opening of the reservoir doesn't hurt... plus the travel of fluid is normally mediated by the power assist when the car is on. when you're pushing the calipers back manually, it doesn't hurt to pop the lid.

    **trust me, I'm a chemist by profession... I routinely need to deal with anhydrous solvents on a regular basis, and even hygroscopic solvents like acetone, DMSO, THF, MeCN will absorb at most a small fraction of a percent of moisture at 100% humidity with, what, a 2" diameter opening for a few seconds.
    2004 Hyundai Elantra VE 2.slow
    One of the few 138 HP ULEV XD2s in California.

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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Just a quick FYI...last time I did this, I had to ROTATE the caliper piston to get it back in. It doesn't just push in, it is threaded. There is a tool that you can rent to do it, if you want to keep all your skin/fingers, or you can use needle nose pliers to twist it back. Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: HELP! Caliper won't fit with new brake pads

    Quote Originally Posted by mtlelantra View Post
    Exactly what OP trying to get to... meh, I know it's hygroscopic, but not *that* hygroscopic**... like I said, the 10 second opening of the reservoir doesn't hurt... plus the travel of fluid is normally mediated by the power assist when the car is on. when you're pushing the calipers back manually, it doesn't hurt to pop the lid.

    **trust me, I'm a chemist by profession... I routinely need to deal with anhydrous solvents on a regular basis, and even hygroscopic solvents like acetone, DMSO, THF, MeCN will absorb at most a small fraction of a percent of moisture at 100% humidity with, what, a 2" diameter opening for a few seconds.
    Again, the system is designed to stay closed. There is no reason to open the system to just change pads. The master cylinder and lines are designed to operate with a specific amount of fluid. Fluid does not need to be added or removed during the normal cycle of the pads wearing. The only time there will be a "bit of back pressure" is if you open the system and add fluid to the master while the pads are worn. If you never open the system to add fluid, you never need to open the system to remove fluid.


    Quote Originally Posted by robs02elantra View Post
    Just a quick FYI...last time I did this, I had to ROTATE the caliper piston to get it back in. It doesn't just push in, it is threaded. There is a tool that you can rent to do it, if you want to keep all your skin/fingers, or you can use needle nose pliers to twist it back. Hope this helps.
    That's only for the REAR brakes, not the fronts.

    Original question:
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyD View Post
    Hello all,

    I was hoping to get some insight to this problem. While changing the front brake pads on my '03 Elantra GT, I can't seem to get the calipers back on with the new, thicker pads. I have the caliper piston pressed all of the way in, the pads pressed snugly up against the rotor, but still no dice. The caliper's bolt holes are about a cm short of where it needs to be to mate with the caliper bracket. It seems the only thing keeping them from mating properly is the thickness of the new pads.

    Either I'm doing something way wrong (I followed the illustrated guide here http://www.elantragtclub.com/id581.html) or these pads are actually too thick. They are Wearever Gold Premium (GMKD 941) from Advance Auto Parts.

    Any insight would be helpful. The first thing i thought of was that the caliper piston wasn't pushed in far enough but I do have it pushed it as far as it can go using a c-clap. It it only a mm from being completely flush, so I didn't think that was the problem.

    Thanks in advance!

    -SpeedyD

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