Time to change your disc brake pads? Time to break out the cube!
No not the Nissan Cube, a brake piston cube!
I first learnt about this handy little device when the mechanics report came back on my Series 5 Rx7 and down the bottom of a very long list of things to fix was ‘Rear brake pads extremely low..’ – what can I say? I really enjoyed that screaming rotary..
And since this was the first time I’d ever attempted to change over a set of pads, I made sure I did two things first 1) Read up on the process first from people who had done it before and 2) Made sure Baz the ex-gearhead mechanic was within shouting distance was nearby in case I managed to do something stupid during the process (highly likely).
According to a guide on Ausrotary.com I was going to need something to wind/push back the brake piston in order to get the pads over the disc comfortably. And while people had managed to get it back in place with a pair of needle-nosed pliers and occasionally a g-clamp (this was highly useful in changing the pads on my GC8 WRX), someone suggested saving some time and frustration with a brake piston cube tool:
Work out which side you need to use (there’s a few to choose from to go with the indents on your brake piston), slot in a 3/8 socket wrench in the opposite side and slowly wind that piston back enough to get the pads in and sitting nicely. A lot less fiddly than a pair of pliers (which my brother in law learnt when working on a skyline) and very affordable if you’re planning to do more than a couple of pad changes in your lifetime.
Of course if you’re working on your brakes for the first time, make sure you have someone on hand (like a Baz for example) to keep an eye on you and to point out some time saving tips (ie: You can leave the bottom bolt in the caliper to swing it out and change the pads over rather than taking the whole thing off.) Wish I learnt that before I took the whole thing apart..
So where can I buy one of these brake piston cube tools?
Try your local tool shop, they should have a least one brand in stock. Alternatively try one of these ones online:
CTA Tools – 1455 Disc Brake Piston Cube
AMPRO – T71921 Disc Brake Piston Remover