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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
I failed miserably at today's attempt to replace pads and brake lines.:icon_frown:

Everything was so tight that I couldn't take anything apart. All the 10mm flare wrench did was start to round off the corners on the brake line fitting. I couldn't get enough torque with my 3/8" socket wrench to get the caliper off, and my 1/2" breaker bar wouldn't fit in the wheel well. I briefly considered my impact wrench, but that looked like it would be a tight fit as well. The only accomplishment of the morning was to get the snow tires off.

I'm just going to throw in the towel on this job, pack up all my new parts, and take them over to the local independent shop that I trust.
 

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Did you hit 'em with PB Blaster or another penetrant?

For rounded bolts that are a PITA here's what I do if I can fit tools in the area.

Take a vice grip and tightly grip two flat sides of the rounded bolt. Use the PB Blaster and let it soak a while.

Then take a hammer and tap as hard as you can, the vice grip up higher on the handle. It should break the rust free and start the nut. You'll need to replace the nuts with some from ACE or Home Depot, but that's trivial (if you have a way to get there).

Frank
 

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Eh? I never had such problems with mine. I never even had to use a breaker bar. You should be using metric sockets. I think its a 14mm for the caliper. I had no problems with the lines either. The trick is to hit the handle of the ratchet or wrench with your palm to break the parts loose.

PB Blaster is good stuff if you need to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I used a metric socket on the caliper nut and a metric flare wrench on the flare connector. The rounded corners were on the flare connector on the brake line--the line that goes back to the master cylinder, not the flexible one. I don't think this would be a suitable candidate for vice grips.

No, I didn't try a penetrant. Would be leery of using that on the brake line connector, but it would be OK on the caliper nut.
 

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2004 FXT MT Cobb Stage 2
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I bought a flare nut wrench to use on mine, but it felt like they started to round, since they weren't breaking loose. I ended up using an adjustable (crecent) wrench and it worked like a charm. On the caliper bolts, make sure you are turning them the correct direction. I've tried to turn them the wrong way more than once, since the head points away from you. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
CraigB said:
I bought a flare nut wrench to use on mine, but it felt like they started to round, since they weren't breaking loose. I ended up using an adjutable (crecent) wrench and it worked like a charm. On the caliper bolts, make sure you are turning them the correct direction. I've tried to turn them the wrong way more than once, since the head points away from you. :wink:
I've gotten over some of my discouragement and might try again with a few additional tools and some penetrant. I might have persisted a bit longer today were it not for the cold weather and subsequent snow showers. Gotta build that garage!

Yes, when working from behind it's "lefty tighty, righty loosy!"
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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I just did my brakes in the front again and getting to the caliper bolts can be a chore. Sometimes I have to do this old trick to get enough leverage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Peaty said:
I just did my brakes in the front again and getting to the caliper bolts can be a chore. Sometimes I have to do this old trick to get enough leverage.
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." - Archimedes
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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Isn't that the same guy that ran down the street naked?
 
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I recently did mine, used a combination box/open end wrench. On the left front, I did have to tap it with a soft mallet (tapped the wrench) I think my hand was a bit sore by then from the sharp blows I used on the others.
Replacing the brake lines, the right front was the last one I did, and I sort of rounded it off, before I realized I had picked up an old open end wrench, one that was just worn. I grabbed a pair of vice grips and finished it off.
On your fronts, you could use an angle extension, set the impact on a light setting, they should come right off.
 

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I did my caliper bolts with a 14mm ring spanner, smacked with a rubber mallet to start it off. The brake lines with the flare nut, I think they did 'start' to round a bit, they are soft material, but after a certain point mine held up and started turning, thats very delicate area there, so i'm not willing to say everyone should go ahead and twist away when the thing looks like its gonna round off. Blast it with the.. penetrating fluids.

Heh I think i did do the exact same mistake of turning the bolts the wrong way on one of the calipers..
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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A 3/8 10" breaker bar is a handy tool for such a job to get the caliper bolt off. I may use a rubber mallet here and there for assistance. Those Subaru assembly line workers are Gorillas I tell ya. The first time taking off any bolt in a Subaru seems hardest because everything is torque more than spec. Well, that is my theory after all the tuneups and modding I have done. But every job after that is easy - if you use a torque wrench that is.

Good tools are also very important. One thing about tools I figured over the years is you get what you pay for - like everything else. I use to buy cheap tools and find the specs weren't up to par. Say the spec of a cheap 12mm wrench being off just a tad can cause nuts to round. That is why my garage is only stocked with Snap-on tools. I was spoiled when I went to automotive school getting tools for half-price. :tongue:

Nonetheless, chin up and don't give up. It maybe you just turning the bolts the wrong way as Joth stated. I have done it plenty of time. Beer and wrenching is bad. :p
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
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Peaty said:
I just did my brakes in the front again and getting to the caliper bolts can be a chore. Sometimes I have to do this old trick to get enough leverage.
I don't think it is a worthwhile day unless you learn something new during it. Thanks for the new info Peaty.;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Success, mostly!

I recovered from the depression that hit me after my abject failure to accomplish the brake job described above, the weather was beautiful today, and I really wanted to get my brakes in shape for a big drive that's coming up soon.

Here's the red-faced admission: I had been trying to loosen the wrong bolts. :redface::redface::tempertantrum:redface::redface: I'd been attacking the big mother ones that hold everything together, not the 14mm ones that keep the calipers in place. Once I realized my mistake it was a piece of cake. Torque on those is actually quite low, and my normal 3/8" ratchet did a fine job.

I never did succeed in disconnecting the right front brake line. I blame the 10mm flare wrench for rounding off the corners on the fitting. I also tried using it on the 10mm speed bleeders just because it was the right size, and it was starting to do the same thing there. So I chucked it. 10mm seems to be a difficult size for an open-end wrench of any variety--too small to make a really tough wrench, but a big enough bolt for somebody else to have torqued down really tight. I've had problems with them before.

I ended up leaving the original rubber tube in place. It's never going to come off in a non-destructive fashion. I even tried vicegrips. I think I'll check with the dealer and probably invest in a new hard line, saw the old one off, and do it right. Fortuately right front hard line is the shortest, and maybe the cheapest??

I succeeded in installing stainless steel lines on the other three wheels using a good adjustable wrench.

I ended up getting the wrong rear pads. Mine have fat lugs, and the ones I got were skinny. Time for hassle with the vendor. Fortunately the existing pads still have life left on them.

I love speed bleeders and blue brake fluid! Thanks to these I was able to fire my wife from her normal job in the bleeding process and do the thing myself. Strangely I found that I had to use an 8mm wrench on the "7mm" rear bleeders, both taking off the OEM bleeders and installing the speeds.

I'm back to being pretty cheerful again. I'll be happier when I get the proper rear pads, but now that I know how easy the job really is it won't be a big problem to put them on. But no car will be as easy as my VWs were. Didn't have to remove calipers. Could push back the pistons with the handle of a pair of pliers. Pads just pulled out and snapped in.
 

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Two other indispensable tools that come in handy on brake jobs:

1. Beer, and lots of it
2. US Navy Big Book of Cuss Words and Indelicate Phrases

And don't be afraid to use your middle finger at the offending nut or bolt. It shows that you mean business and the thing just might un-thread itself out of pure fear.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
^^^

Good suggestions, thanks, and I failed at both. Don't know how I let the beer supply get so low, but there was a liquor store along the route of my bed-in drive afterwards, so that was a good opportunity to use the brakes one additional time. As for the Navy words, I'm an Army vet and we don't know any of those words. We have our own.
 

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Ol' Timer
2006 WRX Spec-C 6MT
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And don't be afraid to use your middle finger at the offending nut or bolt. It shows that you mean business and the thing just might un-thread itself out of pure fear.
:icon_razz: :biggrin:
If that fails, thrust your finger back and forth toward object, in combination with strong mother-derived explatives.
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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Sorry to hear about your brakes. Your MY03 has the same fronts as MY04, but the rears of the 03 are the same as the 01/02's. Sounds like you ended up with the 04 and up rears.

I have 70K and when I did my last tire rotation, my pads are getting pretty thin also. So I ordered a set of Hawk pads. At 75K, I'll be doing the same as you, but I'm not planning on replacing the brake lines. Already have the Speed Bleeders from the 30K and 60K fluid service. Had them also on MY02 and wife's vehicles. Once you have used them, there's no going back !!

Re: VW's............Yeah I remember those. My 71 411 had 2 pins that you just drifted out, then pull the pads, push the 2 opposing pistons back in, replace the pads, and push the pins back in. At least SOMETHING was easy on that car. Don't ask to change the Alt belt !!!! IT was easier to drop the motor, than replace the belt in that vehicle.
 
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