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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just did the front brakes on my 15 Forester Limited which had 60k on the original pads/rotors. I had no issues with the brakes but I figured I would do them before I had any problems. I saw no unusual wear on the old rotors or pads. I replaced the rotors and installed Hawk pads which I have had good luck with on my other cars. While doing the job, I took the caliper mount brackets off and pulled the caliper slide pins out and cleaned and lubed them. I noticed one of the pins has a ribbed bushing near the end and the other has none (same on both sides of car). When reinserting the ribbed pin I was met with some resistance but I was able to push it in. The brake pads seem to seat into the bracket nicely and I reattached the calipers with no issues. The brakes seemed to be dragging a bit and after a short drive, both front brakes were smoking! The calipers aren't frozen or anything as I was able to drive and stop ok, but they are definitely dragging. I installed Raybestos rotors 980360 and Hawk pads HB711F.661 D1539 HPS. I checked both and their respective websites say they are compatible with my Forester. I'm no pro but I've done quite a few brake jobs on many different cars over the years so I pretty confidant that I did it properly. I referenced a great you tube video that was helpful for the socket sizes needed. I'm thinking of replacing the caliper pins and bushings but I want to reach out here as there are a lot of experienced Subaru owners on here. I have another car available while I sort this out so I'm not dead in the water. Any suggestions? Thanks, Matt
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i
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300 Posts
when i did my 60000 mile front brakes on my 14 i was surprised to see how thick the rust was on my brackets and caliper. did you have any trouble at all getting the caliper over the pads? i know you said they went on well. mine went on good but only got a minimum movement from the slide pins with it all put together. like if the pads were a half of a 32nd thicker they would'nt have even fit. another thing to note is those rotors even though they say professional grade they're rabestas lowest grade and it sounds like hawk pads are performance pads. i'm not bashing raybestas rotors because i use them all the time and never have a problem.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ruminator, thanks for the reply. There wasn't much rust on the calipers or brackets. I took off the clips and cleaned the caliper brackets a little with a wire brush. I bottomed the pistons to put the calipers on, but they were a little tight. Whenever I do new pad and rotors it seems like they are tight so I didn't think anything of it. The rotors are the middle of the line "Raybestos Advanced Technology" ones which are better than OEM supposedly. I have a feeling the pads are too thick so I'm going to take everything apart and measure the thickness of the rotors and pads and compare them with the stock specs.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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492 Posts
I just did my fronts and have done several Subaru brake replacments for myself and my parents. I always use OEM parts and never had a issue with fitment. Cost can be higher but internet sources and working with a smart dealer parts counter are key to keep the price down.

Get a caliper repair kit ($30)at the local dealer. It has all the slide pin rubbers and grease. Clean the slide pins and the bore. I use CRC Brake Clean. The pins should not have any friction and i suspect this is the problem.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Did you lubricate the guide and slide pins? I use Molykote G3407 caliper pin grease and NigLube. The pins need a good lubricant that won’t attack the rubber and work well under high and low temps, etc.
these lubes are speced for SUBARU brakes.

Those pins need to slide. Good luck.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Emilio and Klemmer for the replies. I bought Hawk pads a year and a half ago before I knew I could get crazy mileage out the the stock brakes (60,000miles +!) I had a Ford Edge which ate brakes before this car. I bought a pair of pads at the local auto parts store tonight and compared them to the Hawks and found they were significantly thinner, 3/8" per pair. I'm pretty sure that is the problem as I lubed the caliper pins and everything like a normal brake job but the pads were rubbing on the rotors. Now I have to get after Amazon for saying they fitted my car. I will update when I have the new pads on take a test drive.
 

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2016 Forester
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898 Posts
A couple of thoughts:

1. you will need to clean the grooves on caliper bracket with a file, a brush will only polish the rusts, then make sure the pad ears move freely within the channel after shim is installed. Given your location you definitely need a good filing to remove all the rust.

2. when you say you met resistance when insert the guide pins, how much? Do they spring back after you insert them? If you over grease the pins, it will seal the air in and creating an air spring that constantly pushing the pads onto disc and rubbing.

3. if you can easily fit caliper onto bracket/pad then the thickness should be okay, check previous things first.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Those pins ride inside steel so using the correct lubricant is important. The pins can seize. I would remove the entire caliper assembly and remove all the rust. Inspect all of the rubber boots, pins and inside their respective holes. Using a torque wrench on all of the bolts is also recommended.

I prefer OEM brakes and rotors also. They cost more but seem to last and are well made.
 

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I just did the front brakes on my 15 Forester Limited which had 60k on the original pads/rotors. I had no issues with the brakes but I figured I would do them before I had any problems. I saw no unusual wear on the old rotors or pads. I replaced the rotors and installed Hawk pads which I have had good luck with on my other cars. While doing the job, I took the caliper mount brackets off and pulled the caliper slide pins out and cleaned and lubed them. I noticed one of the pins has a ribbed bushing near the end and the other has none (same on both sides of car). When reinserting the ribbed pin I was met with some resistance but I was able to push it in. The brake pads seem to seat into the bracket nicely and I reattached the calipers with no issues. The brakes seemed to be dragging a bit and after a short drive, both front brakes were smoking! The calipers aren't frozen or anything as I was able to drive and stop ok, but they are definitely dragging. I installed Raybestos rotors 980360 and Hawk pads HB711F.661 D1539 HPS. I checked both and their respective websites say they are compatible with my Forester. I'm no pro but I've done quite a few brake jobs on many different cars over the years so I pretty confidant that I did it properly. I referenced a great you tube video that was helpful for the socket sizes needed. I'm thinking of replacing the caliper pins and bushings but I want to reach out here as there are a lot of experienced Subaru owners on here. I have another car available while I sort this out so I'm not dead in the water. Any suggestions? Thanks, Matt


Something I learned on my f250 was too much caliper slide pin grease will cause resistance too. it almost acts like a suction on the pins with the rubber boot It was causing my right rear to drag a little until warmed up. I cleaned and used a little less grease and have been problem free since.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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That makes good sense. Just enough lube on the slide pins. A thin coating with the right lubricant will work fine, but it must be something that won’t wash or burn off. NigLube grease or Molykote G caliper pin grease are perfect.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I installed the pads I bought at Advanced Auto which were 3/16" thinner (each pad) tonight and the brakes work perfectly. The Hawk HB711F.661 don't fit my 15 Forester Limited w/ Eyesight. They were so thick that they contacted the rotors with the caliper pistons fully retracted. I got the pads on Amazon and they said they would fit my car using the drill down. I checked on Tire Rack and they also show they fit my Forester. Maybe the fit the XT but not mine.
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, good info there paul1968, I wish I had seen this before I had installed the new pads. I used the exact grease you showed in your post when you had a problem with swelling of the pin bushings. The pads I installed originally were too thick, that's why they were rubbing. But now I'm thinking I should take the brakes apart again, replace all the pins and bushings and relube with the silicon based lube before I have a problem with the new set. It's probably a good idea to take care of it now so I don't have a problem in a few thousand miles and have to do it anyway. I guess it's best in everyone's experience to get the caliper pins with bushings at the dealer?
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i
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i don't know how the dealer sells them but if your pins are good just get the grommet and bellows kit. i think usually they sell the pins without the rubber pieces. you can also go one better and get the brake hardware kit that has the clips and rubber for a couple bucks more.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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The Subaru hardware kit comes with rubber parts mostly, Caliper parts. It also comes with the red NigLube grease made for rubber. Most of the brake lubricants come from Japan, including Molykote a880sn and Niglube rx2. They don’t wash out or break down from heat. Never had a problem.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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474 Posts
In my experience, it's always the piston seized up when you replace well worn pads with brand new pads in an old caliper.

Calipers are relatively cheap, I just buy new ones whenver I'm doing a brake job. Then everything including fluid is new
 

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2015 2.5 For CVT EyeSight
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I am exactly where the OP was. 20-15 forester with 65k on it and brakes were fine probably with another 10k-20 wear left on them, but since I had centric kit kicking around I decided to swap out pads and rotors. Mine are dragging like crazy, red hot after 3 mile test drive, cant spin the wheel when on jack stands.

My post in thread with guy who used same pads:

I get that lubricant matters, but I doubt you ae going to see an immediate affect. Nor bilateral, both sides failing at once if it is caliper.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,353 Posts
The Raybestos caliper boot kits and caliper pins are pretty cheap at RockAuto. And by the way, the Raybestos EHT brake pads feel quite nice on my Forester. I replaced the front and rear with them, and the same for the rotors. No issues, even the parking brake works great. ( reminder to help someone, you may need to back away the parking brake adjuster mechanism to be able to remove the rear rotors)
 

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2015 2.5 For CVT EyeSight
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OK I got up early and re-did install with same parts. the new cetnric pads and rotors I had installed, and all original caliber, and pins. This time no drag at all.

What I did different:
1) turned front wheels left and right as I did each so I could see better in back.
2) I installed caliper and bracket first, then swung up caliper to install pads. The first time I had installed bracket, installed pads and then put on caliper.
3) Used less lubricant on pins. The pin with the rubber ring was stuck after first install, despite it looking perfect it was not in place properly when I reinserted it.
4) torqued down wheel lugs before test (lol)
 
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