I recently renewed the brake pads on my newly acquired 2000 Buick LeSabre and have a few tips for you if you are about to attempt the same task.

Brake pad replacement of the front brakes is pretty straight forward.  Tip - when working on the left wheel turn  the wheels to the left so you can get an air wrench on the caliper hold-down bolts.  They are torqued down really tight and a standard 3/8 socket wrench will not touch them.  A 1/2 inch breaker bar hits the wheelwell if the wheels are straight forward. (on the right turn it to the right full stop)

On the rears . . they are rear disk brakes, not drum brakes.  You remove the lower caliper mounting bolt and then remove the clamp bolt shown in the picture below.  This allows you to pivot the caliper on the top pivot pin and then slide the whole caliper off its mounting pin.  You can then easily access the brake pads to replace them.  When it comes time to retract the caliper pistons you do NOT just press them back using a c-clamp!!  You must rotate the pistons clockwise a turn or so to retract them. The face of the piston has two grooves into which you can stick the handles of a pair of water-pump pliers and turn the piston to retract it.  Make sure that when you are finished rotating the piston, that the grooves in the face of the piston are lined up so that a line thru the center of each groove (see red line in the picture) is perpendicular to  a line drawn between the caliper mounting holes (yellow lines).  If the piston is aligned incorrectly as shown in the picture below, the piston will hit one of the "tits" on the back side of the brake pad and you will get a terrible vibration when applying the brakes . . . I speak from experience on this one!!


Remove bolt to enable pivoting of caliper to remove pads



Piston Alignment (shown incorrectly)

red line should be perpendicular to the yellow line


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