C2 Corvette: How to change the brake pads
Changing your own brake pads is an easier job than many people think and a job like this is a simple way to save money. To do your own brake job you will need the following items:
-A floor jack
-A socket set and ratchet
-Light sand paper
With your C2 Corvette on the ground, take your wheel lug wrench and break the lugnuts loose. DO NOT REMOVE THEM; just make sure that they are all broken loose. This can be much harder to do when the car is off the ground. Open the hood and check the brake fluid level before beginning. If your brake fluid is very low you may have more severe brake system problems.
Jack up the driverís side of your Corvette and place a jack stand under the car then repeat on the passengerís side. Use the wheel lug wrench to remove the lug nuts and front wheels. If you have an issue with brake fluid, inspect in around the brake calipers and brake hoses for any wetness. C2 Corvettes have issues with the caliper piston boots tearing and leaking so inspect everything thoroughly.
You will see a pin running through the top of the brake calipers, that also runs through your brake pads. On the back side of that pin there should be a clip holding the pin in place. Remove that clip and remove the pin running through the caliper. If its been a long time since your brakes were serviced you may need to tap this pin out with a small hammer. Be careful when removing this pin not to damage it unless you plan to replace it as well. Once you have the pin out, itís a good idea to lightly sand off any corrosion.
The brake pads may slide right up out of the calipers but very often there will still be too much tension provided by the caliper pistons. This is where the large pliers come into play. You want to clamp down on the inside of the brake pad and the outside of the caliper and when you apply pressure it will slowly push in the pistons on that side of the caliper. Repeat on the other side, but never add pressure to one side without having a brake pad in the other side or without having a pad in any other caliper, as the back pressure can push the piston out of the caliper and damage the piston boot. Once youíve added a little pressure to both pads, they should slide out. If you are unable to put the new pads in, add only enough pressure to the pistons on one side to fit the pad between the pistons and brake rotor then do the same to the other side of that caliper. Once you have the pistons pushed in enough to fit the pads, I recommend using the grease that comes with the brake pads as this will help prevent any friction noise and allow the pads to move smoothly.
Once the pads are lubricated and inserted into the caliper, replace the caliper pin, and then put the safety clip on the back of the pin. Repeat the same actions to the other side of the car.
Inspect your calipers to ensure that the caliper pins and the safety clips are all in place, then put the wheels back on. Hand tighten the lug nuts at first to make sure that they are not cross threaded then use your lug wrench to tighten them. Once the wheels are tight, you can remove the jack stands and lower the car. Check the brake fluid again and top off if needed. If you are installing a performance brake pad, they generally come with break-in directions that can help to season the pads properly to avoid glazing and early wear and tear to the pads.