If you decide to do a disc brake job on your vehicle, the right tools are a must to successfully complete the project. Here are six must have tools to make sure you have before you get started.
A Four-Way Wrench
You can’t do the job if you can’t get your tires and wheels out of the way. It’s an easy step, the only problem you might encounter here is the lug-nuts you have to take off could be wrenched on pretty tight.
A lot people make the mistake of lifting the vehicle up first and then trying to wrench the lug-nuts off, but if the lug-nuts are on too tight, your tires might spin and your force will be no good. Your best bet is to break the lug-nuts loose while the vehicle is grounded but making sure you don’t unscrew them out of their holes (maybe a half-turn at the most), then you can jack the car up and continue unscrewing them the rest of the way.
Floor Jack and Jack Stands
Obviously, a jack is needed to put the car in the air, but the mere importance of jack stands can easily be overlooked.
The car should be jacked up just high enough to make your brake job as easy possible. Then the jack stands should be placed under the frame on both sides and the jack should be lowered down on those jack stands. Just trusting you jack is a horrible idea. When you push and pull on parts the jack could easily slip from its position and cause tremendous injury or death.
Socket and Ratchet for Caliper Bolts
This could be the hardest item on the list to find. Two caliper bolts will have to be removed to remove the caliper off the rotors. These will be located on the back side of the caliper and can range from a standard size bolt head to a metric or even a torque size bolt fitting. Different vehicles will come with different sizes and if it’s a torque head bolt, you might end up heading to the parts store because these bolt head types are not very common, but are commonly used on a disc brake job.
Note: A lot people will compromise with something that comes close to a torque fitting, this is a bad idea for it can cause the bolt head to strip, and if you do that, your disc brake job has just turned into a nightmare.
Brake Cleaner and WD40 or Zepreserve
Brakes get very dirty when you drive and a powerful brake cleaner that comes in a spray will insure an easy way to give yourself a clean place when doing a brake job. Just take the wheel off and spray the whole wheel well down. The WD40 or similar products will help with any stubborn parts that don’t want to release, especially the caliper bolts.
Caliper Retractor tool
It’s a possibility that when you go to reinstall the new pads, you will need to press the brake piston caliper back in its place. A caliper tool is designed to help you when attempting a disc brake job and you can find them at your local parts store, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. I have done many brake jobs myself and have found that a large enough C-Clamp can do the trick as well. A little bit of back yard engineering here can go a long way.
A Small Hammer/Mallet
Sometimes a little extra convening is needed to get parts like the rotor or the caliper to move.
Note: If anything needs to be hammered really hard, you might have a bigger problem, it might be time to step back from the brake job and reassess the situation.
When ever attempting a disc brake job, safety is always the first priority. Gloves to protect your hands, goggles to protect your eyes and never attempt to work on your brakes after you have just drove the vehicle. Brakes take at least a half-hour to cool off to a safe temp.