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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a stupidly difficult time installing brake pads on the front of my 04 GT. The brake pads are toast and were making noise so i pulled off the caliper and the pads just fell out before I could get a good look at how they went in. I went and got new ones and the new ones are about twice as thick as the old ones. I pulled off the entire caliper without thinking about air getting into the fluid so I will need to bleed my brakes, but I will save that for another thread.

My main question is this: How do you get the caliper spread wide enough to get the pads on either side of the rotor? The thicker pads seem to be waaay to thick. If anyone can point me to a previous thread that could explain this, that would be great. But if not, can anyone lend me some much needed advice on this entire process? I don't want to have to break down and take her to Midas, but I don't want to compromise the ride of my car for the 90 bucks they charge to have them installed. Any help is appreciated. :dunno
 

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The caliper pistons screw back into the caliper. You can get them started back in with some adjustable pliers (although it's a pain), but I believe you'll need a special tool to get them pushed back far enough to get new pads on so you might as well go buy/borrow one now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will have to have the caliper in front of me to fully understand how that tool will work but can you give me a quick run down on how it would work?
 

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adjustable wrench, slowly squeeze (compress) the pistons. You'll have to get a bite on the caliper and the piston at the same time. A quick google will prolly turn up a picture or two. It's real simple, but if you never have brakes before you'll be confused the first time.
 

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Open you brake filler cap in the engine bay, then place the old pad up against the two caliper pistons, get a c-clap and turn it till the pistons are all the way in, all done and reinstall caliper !
 

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On all the front brakes I've ever done I put the old pad in and used a C-clamp to push the piston back into the caliper.

*EDIT* Ninja'd
 

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Like the others said.. Just toss the front used pad back in and use a c clap to re compress the caliper.

The rear brakes require a brake tool or a little knowledge of turn screw pistons.

They only fit in one way, so you should have no problems figuring it out man. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really appreciate the help. I had no idea the caliper needed to be compressed. It makes total sense now. So as the pads wear down, the caliper opens up, keeping the pad up against the rotor, right? Should there be a certain amount of contact between the pads and rotors with the brakes not applied? Should the hub just spin freely?
 
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