How to Replace Front Brake Pads
Username
Do you already have an account?
Forgot your password?
  • Log in or Sign up

    Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2014
      Location
      Central Mass.
      Posts
      880

      Smile How to Replace Front Brake Pads

      20200311_173516.jpg
      It’s been a long time since my last post here, mainly because our 2WD XC60 has been very reliable. After 72K mostly highway miles, it began making intermittent scraping noises from the right front during and briefly after braking. It sounded like a pebble got in there, then would go away. I started exploring on Swedespeed and elsewhere like YouTube for how to replace the front pads. Some common themes emerged:
      A. The inner pads wear more, so when you look at the caliper through the wheel, the outer pad has deceptively plenty of material left, ¼” in our case. I think that is because any drag in the slides or rails will impede application of the outer pad, favoring the inner one. That seems to be a fact of life with floating calipers.
      B. The passenger (right) side wears more. That may be because of how the stability control works the brakes.
      C. Volvo DOES NOT USE WEAR INDICATORS! Is that a plot to sell more rotors or what?
      D. Many of these instructions leave out torque specs or important steps, even those that Volvo mechanics use (which the parts guy copied for me), like how to properly compress the pistons.
      E. I really miss having a physical book like a Haynes manual. Is there anything like that available yet for 2015 models?

      So I decided to write a complete DIY procedure, sans lift, one front wheel at a time, assuming that the rotors are still OK (no bad grooves or pulsing).
      *= see photo.
      1. Put on neoprene gloves, then chock one rear wheel.
      2. Apply the ebrake, then shift into Neutral, then shut the engine off.
      NOTE: It may tell you to put it in park, but after a few tries, will shut off the engine. You will need it in Neutral so you can turn the rotor. If you jack up both sides at once, you don't need to put it in Neutral. [TNX to RyanR] When you turn one rotor, the opposite side will turn in the opposite direction, which may take more effort to overcome the drag of both sides.

      3. Use a sturdy floor jack under a front jacking point and lift it about an inch.
      4. Loosen the 5 lug bolts slightly using a breaker bar and 19mm socket.
      5. Continue jacking until the tire is ~1/2” clear of the floor.
      6. Place a jackstand for safety under another front jacking point.
      7. Undo the lug bolts completely.
      NOTE: Even a light duty impact wrench makes this easy.

      8. Remove the wheel and check the tire, then put something like a tray or pizza pan underneath to collect debris*.
      9. Using a screwdriver, remove the anti-rattle spring from the outside of the caliper.
      10. Inboard of the caliper, remove the plastic caps from the upper & lower slide pins.
      11. Unscrew the slide pins using a 9mm Allen bit.
      NOTE: This odd size, left out of most Allen kits and not close to any SAE size, is available, e.g. from AutoZone. It is apparently becoming common for brakes by other manufacturers as well.

      12. Compress the brake pistons just enough to slide the caliper out.
      13. Unplug the brake hose from the holder (welded to the strut)*.
      14. Pull out the caliper, then rest it on top of the backing plate* and pull out the old pads.
      15. Using brake cleaner spray and a non-metallic brush that won’t harm the boots that protect the pistons, clean up the caliper.
      16. Remove the rubber cap from the bleed screw.
      NOTE: Many procedures omit these steps and just have you push old brake fluid back up into the master cylinder, but that has been known to cause corrosion problems there and in expensive ABS units. If your brake fluid needs to be changed anyhow, these steps are not necessary. [TNX to Tech]

      17. Put a 11mm combination wrench on the bleed screw*.
      18. Add a clear hose* to the bleed screw that leads into a bottle* to collect waste brake fluid. Keep it off any painted surfaces.
      19. Position a brake piston compressor tool with a wooden block so it pushes on both pistons*.
      NOTE: You can do it one at a time, but sometimes pushing in one piston pops out the other.

      20. Open the bleed screw very slightly, then compress the pistons fully, collecting the waste fluid.
      21. Tighten the bleed screw and replace its cap.
      22. Using a file and steel brush, clean up the outer edge of the rotor as you turn it, and clean the slides in the caliper bracket.
      23. Using coarse emery cloth, go over both rotor surfaces as you turn it.
      24. Clean everything with brake cleaner spray, making sure that no debris is stuck between the rotor and stationary surfaces.
      25. Clean the slide pins using a wire wheel.
      26. Using a brake lube like SilGlyde, grease the sliding edges of the pads and corresponding slides in the bracket.
      NOTE: This is important to enable the caliper to float freely, but don’t get any grease on the pads or rotor.

      27. Plug the inner pad into the pistons, taking care not to damage the boots.
      28. Put the outer pad in place and slide the caliper into the bracket.
      29. Screw the slide pins in and torque to 60 Nm.
      NOTE: The Volvo book says not to lube the slide pins. They slide in non-metallic bushings that are designed to help pull the pads away when not braking. Caliper hardware kits with new anti-rattle springs and slide pin bushings are also available [TNX to RyanR].

      30. Plug in the plastic slide pin caps and the brake hose to it’s holder welded to the strut.
      31. Install the anti-rattle spring.
      32. Pump the brakes, which should firm up after 1 or 2 strokes, then check that the pads are firmly in place, but the rotor can turn freely.
      33. Using silicone spray, spray the brake hoses, CV boots, rack boot, ball joint and tie rod boots, and anything rubber to resist dirt and help preserve them.
      34. Put the wheel back and torque to 103 Ft-Lbf.
      NOTE: I made an installation aid that screws into one of the lug bolt holes.*

      35. Remove jack stand, chocks, and jack.
      36. Test drive.
      37. Repeat for the other side.
      38. Clean up and note in your service log.

      I will probably do the rears soon and will write that up as well. It is complicated by the electric parking brake. While the car was getting some warranty work done, the rear pads were replaced at just ~35K miles “because of the stability control using them a lot”, according to the dealer. Volvo always replaces rotors along with pads, so that was very expensive and not covered by warranty.
      Last edited by TonyJag; 03-12-2020 at 10:11 PM. Reason: typo
      2015 XC60 DRIVE-E T6, Platinum, Heated F. Seats, Crystal White Met, Xenon, Tech, BLIS
      Custom: Valentine mount/City Safety IR filter, Dog Seat, Superchager ind., REAL dipstick
      2004 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon (Now in Ohio)
      2002 Acura RSX Type-S 6 speed

    2. Remove Advertisements

      Advertisements
       

    3. #2
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2018
      Posts
      344
      Nice write up. Indeed, the 9mm is an odd size that caught me when I did the XC90's brakes. I've since rectified that.

      Regarding the transmission in 'N': Not necessary if you lift the front of the car all at once. It's an open differential, so even in Park you can rotate the wheels. As long as the parking brake is off, the same holds true with AWD models.

      As for lubing slide pins, DO NOT. It's actually a cool system. A problem with floating calipers, is that the pad on the side without a piston has nothing to pull it back from the rotor. The slide pins in the rubber bushing "fixes" this problem as the slide pins naturally return to their "rest" position in the same way that the piston seals pull the pad from the rotor. It's clever. On this note, it's worth getting new caliper hardware. I think it's $15 an axle for the kit with slide pin bushings and pad retaining spring-a-mathing.

      I'm waiting for Akebono pads to arrive from IPD for the wife's car.

      For a manual, VIDA is really the only game in town.

      Thanks!

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    4. #3
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2014
      Location
      Central Mass.
      Posts
      880
      Quote Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
      Nice write up. Indeed, the 9mm is an odd size that caught me when I did the XC90's brakes. I've since rectified that.

      Regarding the transmission in 'N': Not necessary if you lift the front of the car all at once. It's an open differential, so even in Park you can rotate the wheels. As long as the parking brake is off, the same holds true with AWD models.

      As for lubing slide pins, DO NOT. It's actually a cool system. A problem with floating calipers, is that the pad on the side without a piston has nothing to pull it back from the rotor. The slide pins in the rubber bushing "fixes" this problem as the slide pins naturally return to their "rest" position in the same way that the piston seals pull the pad from the rotor. It's clever. On this note, it's worth getting new caliper hardware. I think it's $15 an axle for the kit with slide pin bushings and pad retaining spring-a-mathing.

      I'm waiting for Akebono pads to arrive from IPD for the wife's car.

      For a manual, VIDA is really the only game in town.

      Thanks!

      -Ryan
      Thanks. Since i can still edit, I will update the procedure based on your inputs.
      2015 XC60 DRIVE-E T6, Platinum, Heated F. Seats, Crystal White Met, Xenon, Tech, BLIS
      Custom: Valentine mount/City Safety IR filter, Dog Seat, Superchager ind., REAL dipstick
      2004 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon (Now in Ohio)
      2002 Acura RSX Type-S 6 speed

    5. Remove Advertisements
      SwedeSpeed.com
      Advertisements
       

    6. #4
      Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      3,426
      FYI, simply compressing the piston will not harm anything. If your fluid has that much moisture or crap in there, it needs to be flushed.

    7. #5
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Feb 2014
      Location
      Central Mass.
      Posts
      880
      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      FYI, simply compressing the piston will not harm anything. If your fluid has that much moisture or crap in there, it needs to be flushed.
      Thanks. I learned that from a reputable local shop that services all makes. I think it was an Audi. I have also seen it recommended elsewhere. It may not apply to Volvo. If you were flushing, it would not be necessary. I will update the write up.

      Why does Volvo not include wear indicators on brake pads?
      2015 XC60 DRIVE-E T6, Platinum, Heated F. Seats, Crystal White Met, Xenon, Tech, BLIS
      Custom: Valentine mount/City Safety IR filter, Dog Seat, Superchager ind., REAL dipstick
      2004 Saab 9-5 Aero Wagon (Now in Ohio)
      2002 Acura RSX Type-S 6 speed

    8. #6
      Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      3,426
      You can open the bleeder, it's really not doing anything special though. I've changed thousands of brakes and never caused an issue by not opening the bleeder when compressing the piston.

      If you're talking about electronic wear sensors, they've never used them. They're usually only installed in one pad so aren't much use anyway.
      Last edited by Tech; 03-12-2020 at 11:00 PM.

    9. #7
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2018
      Posts
      344
      I'm a proponent of opening bleeders.... but my reasoning is iffy.

      The opening of bleeder nipples when compressing pistons goes way back. I know a number of folks wrenching on RWD Volvos who have had MC's go south after pushing a slug of fluid back upwards.

      That said, who knows the condition of the fluid or the age of the MC in these situations? The other consideration is that in the "cars of yore", the brake circuit was relatively short between caliper and MC, whereas in modern cars it's relatively long. Plus, I know loads of techs who don't open bleeders and don't have problems/comebacks. So I gotta agree with Tech here.

      The reason I still open the bleeders is that I'm usually flushing anyway. Plus,it seems to make pressing the piston in a little easier. Ultimately, it's probably that I'm a creature of habit.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    10. #8
      Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      3,426
      Like I said, you certainly can open the bleeder. It won't hurt anything. But some people may not want to deal with the fluid so I just wanted to add that it isn't as dangerous as this makes it seem to just compress the piston.

      Sure, maybe there have been cases on some 30 year old cars that a master was damaged. As a dealer tech, I very rarely see those cars though so my experience having compressed thousands of pistons without opening the bleeder is limited to mostly cars that were 15 years or newer at the time.

    11. #9
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2002
      Location
      Russell Twp, OH
      Posts
      11,588
      Quote Originally Posted by TonyJag View Post
      Why does Volvo not include wear indicators on brake pads?
      Not even the old fashioned things that made a chirping sound, no clue, though it's not unique to Volvo. Many manufacturers don't have wear sensors, though wear is sometimes not even between pads.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    12. Remove Advertisements

      Advertisements
       

    Similar Threads

    1. Rear Brake Pads Wears Faster Than the Front Pads????
      By KurosuHa in forum XC90 (SPA: 2016 - )
      Replies: 40
      Last Post: 02-05-2019, 04:53 PM
    2. Difference between parking brake pads and rear brake pads
      By sag2 in forum XC90 (2003 - 2014)
      Replies: 8
      Last Post: 11-24-2015, 04:52 PM
    3. NIB ATE EU618 Brake Pads (front pads, x70) $30 shipped
      By Big Will in forum FWD & AWD Parts For Sale
      Replies: 1
      Last Post: 11-12-2014, 12:01 AM
    4. Replace Front Brake Pads Only?
      By Bulldog6Z6 in forum R Forum (2004-2007)
      Replies: 17
      Last Post: 03-05-2009, 12:32 PM
    5. Brake pads for the track (and also low dust street pads)
      By ChuckB in forum R Forum (2004-2007)
      Replies: 30
      Last Post: 02-18-2005, 12:20 PM