Stilo: Renewing Front Brake Pads

Readers, can anyone offer help on the ease of renewing the front pads on a Stilo 2002/52 plate car? I have the OEM pads - wondered if I need any special tools or if easing the cylinders back with a suitably sized piece of
wood will be good enough?
with thanks in anticipation,
Cashman
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Hi Cashman
I've not yet done this on my Stilo Abarth but I see no reason why you should have any problems.
The calipers may bolt on, in which case the new OEM pads will probably come with new bolts. If not then reuse of the old bolts is OK but I would clean them and put a drop of lock fluid (Loctite) on the threads before reassembly.
With regards to pushing the 'pots' back then:
1) syphon off some brake fluid from the top-up reservoir unless the is obviously plenty of spare space/capacity left in the reservoir. 2) gently press the pots back into the caliper. With ABS systems the resistance can be higher so I've often used a strip of steel and two adjustable pliers (one on each end of the steel strip placed over the pot and each side extending outside of the caliper profile) to squeeze the pot back into the caliper. When pushing the pot back check how the reservoir level is going otherwise this will get very messy topside!
Nick /////

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Brake cylinders can get coated with dried on fluid/dust/gunge, if you can, remove the dust cap. Then clean well with aerosol can brake cleaner (Q-tips and a fine brush can help). When thoroughly clean apply brake fluid to cylinder, once it reaches the seal the brake fluid will lubricate it and it will push back much easier. Pushing gunge encrusted cylinders back is a good way of knackering the seal. I use silicone grease instead of brake fluid for this, the seal stops it contaminating the fluid, and in any case performance brake fluids are silicone based. The silicone grease provides better long term lubrication to the piston, as well as being non-hygroscopic. Attach a bleed pipe to the cylinder bleed screw, loosen the screw, then when you push the cylinder back you are less likely to flood the master cylinder. Reclean with spray cleaner, replace dust cap. I made a pusher back from a cartridge gun, suitably sized sockets drop into the hollow cylinder to fill it and aid pushing back. Make sure any fluid, greasy fingermarks, are removed from disk when you have finished.
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Your point about opening the bleed nipple before attempting to push the cylinder back is a good one. I've done this in the past but found that manupilating the cylinder push back and trying to collect and control the bleeding of fluid into a container a bit of a handfull. Having said this though it does make the push back of the cylinder so much easier.
Nick /////

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Guys, thanks for all the advice. I got a quote from the local garage - Nationwide Auto Centres - they were happy to fit the pads I supplied, cost was 36.00 UK Pounds, all in - labour. Pads were mail order at 40.00 Quite happy with that, it included a check of all of the rest of the car's vitals. Cashman

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