C3 Corvette: How to change the brake pads

By -

Changing the brakes on your C3 Corvette:

Changing your brake pads is a great way to save money and the work is
not as hard as some people think.  To do your own brake job you will
need the following items:

Needed Items:
-A floor jack
-Jack stands
-Wheel wrench
-Large pliers
-A socket set and ratchet
-Light sand paper
-Small hammer

Step One
Before jacking up your C3 Corvette, use your wheel lug wrench to break the lug nuts loose.
DO NOT REMOVE THEM; just make sure that they are all broken loose so
that they are easier to remove once you have the car 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
but keep in mind that if your brake pads are very worn, the brake fluid
level may look lower than it actually is; so you will want to check the
fluid before and after changing the pads.

Step Two
Jack up the driver’s side of your C3 Corvette and
put a jack stand at a safe point under the car then repeat on the
passenger side.  Use your lug wrench to remove the lug nuts from both
front wheels.  If your brake fluid looked very low, be sure to inspect
in around the brake calipers and brake hoses for any wetness.  C3
Corvettes have issues with the caliper piston boots tearing and leaking
so inspect everything thoroughly.  If you are new to brake work, I
recommend doing only one side at a time so if you get one side apart and
cannot get it back together, you still have the other side assembled
for reference.

Step Three
There is a pin running through the top of the
brake calipers that also runs through your brake pads to hold them at
the right place on the rotors.  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 the brakes have not been
serviced in a long time you may need to tap this pin out with a small
hammer as the dirt and brake dust can get the pin stuck in place.  Be
careful when removing this pin not to damage it unless you plan to
replace it as well.  Once you have the pin out, it’s a good idea to
lightly sand off any dirt and/or rust.

Step Four
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.  You want to get your large pliers, clamping down
on the inside of the brake pad and the outside of the caliper.  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 you’ve 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

Step Five
Once the pads have been lubricated and placed in
the caliper, replace the caliber pin and don’t forget the clip on the
back side of the caliper!  Once everything on that side is set, repeat
the entire process to the other side of the car.

Step Six
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.

You’re done!

Comments ()