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    Thread: How to change front rotors (and pads) for MkIV 2.0

    1. 12-02-2007 01:12 AM #1
      I couldn't find an updated DIY with working pics, so I decided to make my own!

      (Not my fault if you blah blah don't be an idiot)

      TOOLS NEEDED:
      - 7mm Allen wrench
      - C-clamp or F-clamp. Needs to fit inside the caliper (see below) and around the back of the caliper.
      - Hammer or rubber mallet for bolt-turning and rotor-removing
      - Turkey baster or other device to extract some brake fluid
      - New rotors/pads


      1. Remove wheel. If you don't know how to do this, STOP. Here's what you see:

      At the back of the caliper you can see the sensor cable (driver side only). There's two bolts holding the caliper on at top and bottom; the top one is pointed out where it peeks between the caliper and the hub:

      There's little plastic end caps that you can pull off.

      Here's a shot from the back. The arrow points to where you insert the Allen wrench to turn and remove the top bolt (bottom is similar):

      2. Unplug the sensor cable. (Since I wasn't changing my pads, and the cable was a b!tch to disconnect, I just left it.)

      3. Remove both plastic caps. Then stick the Allen wrench into the top hole in the caliper and turn. (Remember it's facing you, so turn RIGHT, not left.) I had to hit the Allen wrench with a hammer 8-10 times before it finally moved. Sorry the picture is crappy:

      3. Repeat for the bottom hole. The bolts look like this:

      4. Once the bolts are out, the caliper slides off of the rotor. It's heavier than you think. Most people recommend hanging it from the suspension coil, but it's much easier to just find a box you can rest it on. Be careful not to kink or twist the brake line:

      5. Now you have access to the rotor itself. It's held on by a single screw, but the screw can be tough. I had to spray the screw with WD40 and leave it for a minute before getting it to turn:

      6. Now it's time to get the rotor off. Rotors are notorious (on most cars, not just Dubs) for getting fused to the hub and refusing to budge. If this happens to you, spray around the seam with WD40 and then start tugging. BE CAREFUL you don't yank the car off the jack stand!

      If it's still on, start hitting the back of the rotor with a rubber mallet or hammer. Don't worry; you're not gonna break it. (You're not using this rotor any more any way!) Be firm with it. I was just about convinced it wasn't gonna come off when it fell off, so keep it up!

      ...

      YAY! You got it. Here's the naked hub:

      7. Put the new rotor on. To avoid it getting stuck next time, you might want a thin layer of anti-seize compound around the hub where it makes contact with the rotor. Put the screw back in to hold it in place.

      8. I didn't change my pads (the rotors were warped) but they're easy to change at this point; yank em out of the caliper and install the new ones.

      9. Now you gotta put the caliper back on. Since the new rotor and pads are thicker than the old ones, the caliper won't just slide back on; you need to compress it just a little bit.

      (I was really at this point; how would I compress the piston and get the caliper on at the same time? Little did I know that, when you compress it, it doesn't bounce back; the piston stays compressed until the next time you push your brake pedal.)

      10. Don't skip this step! Pop your hood and find the brake fluid overflow tank. Unscrew it and use a turkey baster or similar instrument to extract some fluid from the container. This keeps it from overflowing when you compress the piston:

      11. Then, use your F-clamp or C-clamp to smush the piston in the caliper. The picture hopefully shows how you should position it: one end against the inside pad, the other end on the back side of the caliper somewhere:

      Keep fiddling with it until you've expanded the gap enough to fit the caliper back on the rotor. It should slide right back on.

      Shiny!

      12. Plug the sensor cable back in, then get to work screwing the bolts back in. Because of the weird bolts, it was harder than I thought it would be to properly line them up and screw em in. Remember the plastic caps when you're done.

      13. Squirt the brake fluid back into the container under the hood (hehe, "squirt") and screw the cap back on.

      14. Pump the brake a couple times, then make sure the brakes work to get you out the driveway.

      15.

      That's it! Email me with questions: vortex@happywaffle.com


      Modified by happywaffle at 6:23 AM 12-2-2007


    2. Member aphythiate's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 01:29 AM #2
      Thank you so much! You are a god among men. I'm getting ready to do this exact job, most likely this winter break.

      Quick question-would you go ahead and to the rear rotors, or do they even wear that much?


    3. 12-02-2007 01:31 AM #3
      lol don't forget to screw the brake fluid cap after you're done

    4. Member Swizz!!'s Avatar
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      12-02-2007 01:32 AM #4
      nice!
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    5. Member bootymac's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 01:38 AM #5
      Very nice DIY. Once people do it, they'll realize how easy it is to change your brakes

    6. 12-02-2007 07:46 AM #6
      this is a good time to switch out your brake fluid too. There is a nice DIY video in the DIY section. Props

    7. Banned lpbudV's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 08:13 AM #7
      2. 's dont have the pin on the caliper???




      Modified by lpbudV at 8:14 AM 12-2-2007


    8. Member rain724's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 08:33 AM #8
      very nice write up!!!!

    9. 12-02-2007 08:38 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by lpbudV »
      2. 's dont have the pin on the caliper???


      Modified by lpbudV at 8:14 AM 12-2-2007


      that's right 2.0's don't have those. Good observation...

    10. Member Tattoos's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 08:43 AM #10
      Sweet, I ordered new rotors and pads last week... I hope they get here soon so I can tackle this
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    11. 12-02-2007 08:46 AM #11
      Awesome writeup

    12. 12-02-2007 09:02 AM #12
      nicely done

    13. Member tojones's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 09:13 AM #13
      Good write up, but shouldn't that've been posted in the Brake forum?
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    14. 12-02-2007 09:17 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by lpbudV »
      2. 's dont have the pin on the caliper???


      Modified by lpbudV at 8:14 AM 12-2-2007

      LOL you painted your caliper with the pin on? Ahahaha


    15. 12-02-2007 10:37 AM #15
      Quote, originally posted by aphythiate »
      Quick question-would you go ahead and to the rear rotors, or do they even wear that much?

      (1) The rears don't wear down NEARLY as much as the fronts. Maybe someone else can answer definitively how often you should change those; just check the pad level and that should be a good indication.

      (2) Rears are also harder to do; compressing the piston afterwards requires a "specialty tool." The fronts are the easy ones.


    16. 12-02-2007 10:40 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by uglybaby »
      this is a good time to switch out your brake fluid too. There is a nice DIY video in the DIY section. Props

      Good call. Or at least bleed your brakes while you're at it. The only reason I changed my rotors is cause they warped after I ran over a 2x4 in the road which made my car wobble every time I stopped. I had a shop turn the rotors, but they couldn't get em straight without going below the minimum allowed thickness. So I had the unusual situation of changing my rotors while leaving my pads and fluid as-is.


    17. 12-02-2007 11:07 AM #17
      Quote, originally posted by happywaffle »

      10. Don't skip this step! Pop your hood and find the brake fluid overflow tank. Unscrew it and use a turkey baster or similar instrument to extract some fluid from the container. This keeps it from overflowing when you compress the piston:

      That is the dumbest thing i've ever heard, it will not overflow. as long as the owner didnt try to top off the fluid when it was getting low. as soon as you compress the piston it will go right back up to the full line. telling people this is a good way for them to get air in there system.

    18. 12-02-2007 12:14 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by md3788 »

      That is the dumbest thing i've ever heard, it will not overflow. as long as the owner didnt try to top off the fluid when it was getting low. as soon as you compress the piston it will go right back up to the full line. telling people this is a good way for them to get air in there system.

      I would respond, but anything I said would be the dumbest thing you've ever heard.


    19. Member KG18t's Avatar
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      12-02-2007 12:16 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by happywaffle »

      (2) Rears are also harder to do; compressing the piston afterwards requires a "specialty tool." The fronts are the easy ones.

      They're not -that- hard to do, exact same steps, just have to turn the piston while compressing. And you can do them sans tool, which would definitely make it harder You can pick up the tools from ECS or a harbor freight if you've got one near you, they're cheap.

      Oh, if your fluid's that dark, it's about time for a system flush.

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    20. 12-02-2007 02:37 PM #20
      Do you put back the same fluid you extracted? If so does this not introduce moisture to the system?
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    21. 12-02-2007 04:02 PM #21
      haha i get to freeze my ass off doing this next week, ... score

    22. 12-02-2007 07:32 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by dimsum »
      Do you put back the same fluid you extracted? If so does this not introduce moisture to the system?

      In the method described you would put back the same fluid. Normally I would want the reservoir to be pressurized as I'd be more worried about introducing air then water. Brake fluid by design aborbs water from your braking system so you should be okay. I always do a flush once a year anyway. Maybe too conservative, but once I got the Motul power bleeder I actually started to like doing it. Plus it makes is soooo easy. And it pays for itself the very first time.

    23. 12-06-2007 08:01 AM #23
      Awesome Write-up, glad its updated with pics as they really help show the process. I've done brakes on my MkII and MkIII but wasn't sure if there was anything special about the MkIVs. Seems like the same process, but quick question for ya'll:
      I've never done brakes on a car with ABS and a buddy of mine showed me once the best thing to do would be to open the bleeder valve on the caliper while pushing the piston back with the clamp. This way you don't push fluid back thru the ABS sensor and possibly damage it. Then just top off as needed. Any thoughts on this method?

      Seems to me like it wouldn't cause any harm 'cept for the slight possibility of getting air into the system, but then you can just do a flush easily enough...Oh yeah and its fairly easy (and much cheaper) to make one of those pressurized brake bleeders. Just do a search on here or google, I'm sure theres a good guide.


    24. 12-12-2007 08:48 PM #24
      I have a question about the sensor cable. Is that attached to the break pad? What is the cable for? I'm looking at doing my pads and rotors but wanted to know if I need to order special pads for my jetta.

    25. Banned butterface's Avatar
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      12-12-2007 09:31 PM #25

    26. 12-12-2007 10:04 PM #26
      Quote, originally posted by ddamico2003 »
      I have a question about the sensor cable. Is that attached to the break pad? What is the cable for? I'm looking at doing my pads and rotors but wanted to know if I need to order special pads for my jetta.

      Since I didn't take the pads out, maybe someone else can answer better. It appeared to wedge between the pad and the caliper, and it's there for detecting when the pad is below minimum thickness and lighting up the dashboard light for you. You don't need "special pads" but you do need the RIGHT kind of pads. Just go to your auto parts store. They'll have what you need.


    27. Junior Member PedroV1's Avatar
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      03-06-2008 05:12 PM #27
      Thanks for saving me headaches and a ton of dough...On a sidenote, the last VW tech who replaced my pads apparently forgot to put back the screw that holds the rotor in place...nice...Any ideas where I can get a replacement?

    28. 07-03-2008 10:17 AM #28
      to answer DiscoBubba using the bleeder screw is the best way to do it it avoids getting air in your lines and possible damage to any brake components. just make sure you attach a piece of hose or be careful when compressing the piston not to spray brakefluid all over the place

      and pedro the screw is not necessary as your lugs and pressure of your wheel hold the rotor in place but replacement would be from the dealer or possibly and auto part store but may be a special order item


    29. Junior Member jgauth's Avatar
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      09-29-2009 06:24 PM #29
      this has help so much great pics but when i started doing mine the screw that holds the rotor on got stripped any ideas of how i can get it out im desperate

    30. 09-29-2009 06:39 PM #30
      Dremel a line across the screw face and use a large flat head to twist it out. Orr, use a screw extractor.

    31. Junior Member jgauth's Avatar
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      09-30-2009 09:57 PM #31
      thank you that worked perfectly
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    32. Member daryl2.slo's Avatar
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      11-23-2009 10:23 PM #32
      well this worked for a 1.8t as well. it worked amazing
      thank you
      but question... when you push the piston back in do you need to add an lubricant to it or no? because after i did mine i pumped the brakes and turned the car on the brakes feel the same but it did stop quicker but i thought it pedal would of gone down further
      i guess an indigo blue GTi works for now
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      01-03-2011 03:46 AM #33
      Would it not be best to also clean the hub between point 6 and 7.
      With my rotor kit, they have highly recommended that the hub be brushed with a drill and brass wire end brush to clean off the rust and dirt in order for the new rotor to seat correctly and flush onto the hub.


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    34. Member Skippy C's Avatar
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      01-03-2011 04:00 AM #34
      Nice DIY i was just about to look for one this weekend.
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    35. Member nick93mac's Avatar
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      01-03-2011 07:11 AM #35
      I have been looking for a good DIY on this forever! I will be doing this in the spring!!
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      Hookers do make you lower, but tend to leave your car with rake when they're in the trunk.
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