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2002 Toyota Corolla

How to replace the front disk brakes

Also applies from 1993 through 2002

The following article describes the process for removing, reviewing and replacing the front brake pads and/or rotors on a 2002 Toyota Corolla. I have to say that this particular car was one of the easiest cars I've had the chance to work on in this regard.

Items Needed Tools Needed
New Brake Pads (Wagner QC741 ThermoQuiet Ceramic Disc Brake Pad Set )
New Brake Rotors (Beck Arnley 083-2525 Brake Disc )
Brake Cleaner (Gunk M720/6 Pro-Series Brake Parts Cleaner - 19 oz. )
A piece of wire or old metal coathanger
14mm Socket or spanner
Screwdriver Set
3 Ton Jack Stands
2 Ton Floor Jack
6-Inch C-Clamp

First step is to get the hubcap popped off.


Once the hubcap is removed loosen, but do not remove the lug nuts. Note, if you're doing both sides, don't forget to do the passenger side as well. Once the lug nuts are loosened, put the front end up on jack stands and finish removing the lug nuts and tire.


With the wheel removed you want to examine the rotor for thickness and grooving. The grooves don't necessarily appear bad in this picture, but they were enough for me to decide that the wife needed new rotors. Note, you have to look at both sides of the rotor. Also, the caliper will have a hole in it that you may peer through to see the thickness of the brake pads. Hers were non-existent.


There is a bolt at the top and bottom of the caliper. Remove them and the caliper is ready to be pulled out.


Use a piece of wire to hang the caliper of the front strut. You need to ensure that the caliper is appropriately supported and is not hanging by the brake hose.


The brake pads slide out from the sides of the remaining caliper assembly. Here you can see the front pad removed.


And here is the rear pad removed. In the event that you do not need to replace the rotor, you can skip down to where the new pads are being installed.


There are two additional bolts that hold the remains of the caliper assembly in place. Remove them.


Witht the two bolts removed you can lift the caliper frame away.


The rotor is free floating, with the caliper frame removed you can pull the rotor off. One of the rotors didn't want to be removed, but a whack with a rubber mallet freed it.


Here's the new rotor we're going to install.


You need to always wipe down the new rotor with brake cleaning fluid before installing it.


Set the new rotor in place and bolt down the caliper frame.


Remove the old brake squeaker from the pads that are being replaced.


Install the squeaker on to the new pad.


Press the new pads into place.


Take a big C-Clamp and one of the old brake pads. Set the pad across the caliper piston and use the C-clamp to compress it back into the caliper.


Here you can see the caliper with the piston completely compressed.


Set the caliper back in place and bolt it back down.


Finally, put the wheel back on the car, tighten the lug nuts until the wheel spins. Then, lower it off the jackstands, perform a final tightening of the lug nuts and reinstall the hub cap.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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