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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: South Florida
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Brake Writeup, Abridged

I mentioned in a previous post that, once I have received all my parts for the semi-overhaul of my brakes, I would provide a more complete writeup to complement the other writeups on this forum that cover a lot of the process, but leave out some details.

I am replacing everything except the calipers and brackets (for now).
Here are the parts I purchased from RockAuto, costing a total of $128.85 shipped:

- RAYBESTOS Disc Brake Hardware Kit (RAY H5691A)
- CARLSON Caliper Guide Pins (CAR 14119)
- POWER STOP 10.08 in. OE Replacement Rotors w/Z16 Ceramic Scorched
Pads (PWR KOE1604)

I want to go on record now and say that the full hardware kit (guide pin boots, guide pin bushings, and stainless steel guides) is crap. I wrote Raybestos an email to express my dissatisfaction- no response yet. The guide pin bushings are entirely too thick and the boots are too thick and do not allow the pin to travel. Luckily, my original boots and bushings are in good shape, so I reused them. The ss guides, however, are awesome. Clipped right on and are very snug.


I decided to protect my investment by painting the hats of the rotors, and the inside of the hat where the hub contacts the rotor.

To do this, I used:
- 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper
- 91% isopropyl alcohol (you can use acetone, up to you)
- Self-Etching primer
- 1200 degree semi-gloss black High Temp Spray Paint
- Easy release blue painter's tape
- Razor blade (strasight and angled)
- Cutting board
- Bungee cords for hanging up to paint/dry
- Something to fit between the cooling vents to attach the bungee cord. You can use fishing line or the like

*After opening the box of goodies and removing the rotors, you have to clean off the rust-inhibiting grease from the factory. I used a bucket of water with some mild dish soap, a microfiber cloth (lint free) and brake cleaner*

So I played around with a few different ways of masking the friction surface of the rotor. The most time consuming way is to just go for it, layering the tape, and trying to make straight lines evenly cover the circular shape of the hat.

My first attempt is not pretty. For one, I suffer from TBI, so my hand is not steady. Two, I am a man of limited patience, so I got to the ďGood enough for government workĒ mentality after the first half of layering. After covering the friction surface that you want to protect, trim with razor blades. It's an art really, so good luck.


Masking the second rotor was much better. I started with the back, layering the tape across the circle area as little as possible so there is less to trim, and simply flipped it over on the cutting board and went around the edges with the razor

Trsacking so far?

Tie your piece of line, chord, string, rope, whatever to the rotor by pushing one end through a vent towards the middle, then loop it up and out . Tie, make sure it will hold, and loop bungee chord through and find a good place to hang. I used my open garage door

Now, hang your rotor, and clean the surface to be painted with rubbing alcohol and your lint free cloth. I suggest wearing gloves to avoid accidental contact with the surface, because the oils from your skin will contaminate the paint and shorten the life of all this work that you are engaged in.

I primed the rotor by spraying multiple light coats (between 6 and 10, depending on how heavy your hand is), spraying across the face of the rotor horizontally, waiting two minutes between coats. I rotated it (carefully) 90 degrees and did the same thing, for both sides.


I then primed the round surface of the hat and vents in short strokes, being careful not to cause any excessive spray.


I let the primer dry overnight (you donít have to, the can says 3-4 hours- I just ran out of daylight), then sanded it gently with the 400 grit sandpaper. Remember, you're trying to smooth the primered surface, not get back to bare metal. Make sure you get in the edges on the inner side of the hat, in the holes for the wheel studs, etc. I wiped the rotor down again with alcohol to remove primer dust and got ready for paint.


Paint goes the same way priming did. I wound up applying like 5-6 light coats, and doing one final roundabout (continuous circular) coat that evened everything out.


Tadaa! Itís rough, but the job is done.

You let them dry at least an hour before putting them to heat, so I just started on breaking down/cleaning the old brakes and prepping the new ones.

Moving on to the fun part. This is where I learned that the Raybestos hardware kit is less than ideal.

Tools needed:
- 14mm socket (caliper guide pin bolts)
- 15mm socket (bracket bolts)
- 3/8" drive Breaker bar or a cheater bar (for the bracket bolts)
- 6 inch C-clamp
- Bungee cord (to support caliper)
- Jack/jackstands
- Tire chock
- Tire iron
- 1/2in drive Torque wrench
- 1/2 and/or 3/8 drive wratchet
- Lots of paper towels
- Brake cleaner (I like 3M)
- Syl glide brake lube (NAPA)
- I suggest a good set of gloves
- Wire wheel
- Drill
- Wire brushes


I believe this covers it. Okay, for the sake of thoroughness (duh), crack the lug nuts on both front wheels, chock the rear tires (I use a 40lb dumbbell), engage e-brake, leave vehicle in neutral (this requires leaving the key in the ignition, so turn off your lights- I almost killed my battery doing this the first time), jack the car up, and place jackstands under the framerails. I like to use the little openings as a placemark to keep everything centered and even


I forgot to take a picture of where I place my jackstands. Forgive me.

Orient wheels so that the wheel studs are at 12, 3, 6, and 9 oclock positions. Remove wheels and keep lug nuts in the corresponding order (so that they go back on the studs they came off of). I had to replace the hub-centering rings on my wheels, so now is a good time to check on those if you have them. They should fit snug and have little play. More on that later.

This is what you should see after removing the wheel (remember, I'm writing this so that someone who is just learning how to hold a wratchet can do it)


Open your C-clamp so that the round part fits where the blue arrow is, and the flat end sits on the banjo bolt. This is the only point I have found that provides ebough flat surface to effectively use the clmap.


Tighten the clamp until it can hold itself againt the caliper and pad. Give it a half turn more, then release it, and put out of the way. This is to break the pads loose from the caliper in case anything is stuck.

With your 14mm socket and ratchet, start by loosening and removing the guide pin bolts (blue arrows below). Thatís turning upwards on the driver side, downwards on the passenger side. Set aside.


If you find yourself stuck looking for the banjo bolt, you can see a red arrow (above) pointing to something just out of focus. This is the banjo bolt.

Support your caliper with bungee cord (the blue arrow shows you where to run the bungee through) or alternative to the strut coil spring.


Inspect caliper at this time. You can see the red arrow pointing to a grease stain from unknown origins. I am still weighing my options for replacing the calipers. Mainly because both calipers looked like this:

I popped the boot back in later (more to follow).

Remove the pads, sliding out and then down.


Sorry for the low quality pic. I actually had to borrow it since I forgot to take one of my own. You should see the bolts, and recognize them since there isn't much else down there, but..


Gather your 3/8" drive breaker bar and 15mm socket, and in the same motion as the guide pin bolts, crack the top and bottom bracket bolts. DO NOT LOOSEN ONE COMPLETELY AND THEN THE OTHER. Take the two seconds to go back and forth.

(Don't ask why the boots and pins look new. Pretend they are rusty and dirty)

Remove your bolts, keeping them oriented so that you can reinstall to the correct hole. The bracket will be free at this point. Put aside.

The rotor with basically fall onto the hub due to the lack of retainer screws. I personally detest this design, but what do I know.

Put the rotor out of your way. Use your wire wheel and brush, some ingenuity and patience to get the rust around the hub off. I used brake cleaner intermittently as a rinse. Also, clean the surface of the hub where the back of the rotor hat makes contact and use a wire brush to get all the crud behind the hub off. Wipe off with rag when finished.

Going back to the brackets. You will need:
- A set of basic picks ($2.99 at Harbor freight)
- Many rags
- Wire wheel/brush
- Brake cleaner
- Needle nose pliers
- Sil-Glyde Lubircant

You now have to take the guide pins from their boots, and boots from the bracket. The pins slide out (with effort if they lack lubrication) from the boots, and the boots are a little tricky. Taking this picture even more so.


Lube the tip of the pick with your sil-glyde, run it around the base of the boot, and turn it into the rubber to gain some purchase. You have to work the pick in while pulling the boot out. Be gentle, be patient. It'll come.



Now the guide pin bushings, if you are not reusing them, just slide onto the new bolt. If you need the old ones, use your fingernails to pull it off the pin, from the back (head) to the end.

I left this picture big so you can see the size difference of the bushings for the guide pins. OEM is on the right, Raybestos on the left


This is BS too. They aren't even designed the same.


With your brackets basically stripped, remove the stainless steel guides with a pair of needlenose pliers if they donít fall out (like mine did).


This is where I decided to take my wire wheel, wore brushes, and brake cleaner to the brackets and restore the factory finish (fancy for cleaned them). If you clean them good enough, you can take some time to paint them, same way as the rotors.
If you decide to paint, insert the boots, insert an old guide pin with bolt, tie a piece of fishing line or string or whatever around the head of the bolt mask around the whole thing for insurance, hang, and begin..

I made the mistake of using the bs black CRC Synthetic Brake Grease before this project. It will make your pin bushings swell, so try to clean as much as you can out. I used the old pins by inserting, removing, wiping, and repeat.

Now go get your:
- Sil Glyde lube
- New guide pins
- New ss guides
- New guide pin boots

Lubricate your new guide pins liberally with the Sil Glyde brake lube. Insert some lube inside the bracket. After you pop out the boots, you will see how easily they go back in. I had to reuse the guide pin bushings, because the Raybestos ones are way too big. Same with the boots. You can now install the new stainless steel guides.


I chose to lube mine now so I donít have to worry about getting anything on the new rotors. There's really only one way for these to go in, so pay attention to how they came out and you'll be fine. Also, apply some of the sil glyde to the outside of the boots to protect them.

With your new guide pins, boots, and guides installed on the bracket, set it aside near the hub.

At this time grab your new pads and sil glyde. It is my practice to lubricate the entire backing of each pad, and the ends that fit into the guides. These PowerStop pads have double rubber coated shims, so no disc brake quiet was needed.


Just for your benefit, I snapped a pic of the old pads and the new pads together, so you know what pads should NOT look like.

The old pads were a semi-metallic set from Budget Brakes in Clarksville, TN. They also replaced the rotors. This was MAYBE 20k miles ago. Probably on the lower side of 15k. Anyways, this is what $700 got me; crap rotors and worse pads that were not bedded in right. Jerks.



The rotor also developed a lip around the outer edge on the outside.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Before moving on, allow me to Segway here and remind you that your caliper is still engaged, and the piston needs to be compressed back in. So since we still have room, grab your C-clamp. Affix the c-clamp like we did in the beginning (flat side on the banjo bolt, round part inside the bore of the piston).


If the piston boot is jacked up like mine was, get a q-tip (cotton swab) and tear off the cotton on one side. Really get as much off as possible. Now dab a bit of sil glyde (be generous) onto said tip, and work into the creases of the boot. This is more effective if you take a nylon brush and scrub the caked up dirt, dust and grime off. As you tighten the C-clamp each, say half a turn, massage the boot with the lubed up swab. It should pop back in within a couple of turns. Be gentle, try not to deform it any more than it already was. Continue compressing the piston until it reaches it furthest point inside the caliper. Do not force it, once it's flush, you're good (like in the picture above).

Put the rotor on the hub. Like so:


It is not going to stay, so I recommend using a lug nut or two to secure it while reattaching the bracket, pads, and caliper.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Get your bracket and two bolts. Line up the bracket with the holes and insert one bolt to try to get it lined up. This is tricky because you cant see, and the bolts wont thread unless lined up just right. Get one in, I suggest starting at the top, and hand tighten. Manuever the bracket back and forth with the other bolt in to get it lined up and thread it. Hand tighten.

Grab your 1/2" drive torque wrench and set tq to 85 ft/lbs. The head of my tq wrench was too big, hitting where the strut connected to the steering knuckle and could not tighten the top bolt. So attach a 3-4 inch extension and 15mm socket. The steering knuckle may try to turn, so you can try putting the car back in park, (start it for about a minute to get some juice back in the battery) turn the car off, and lock the wheel. Tighten top, then bottom. Insert pads into their respective slots.

At this time, you should be looking at this:


Take your caliper off the bungee cord (and remove the bungee from the strut; toss aside) reorient the guide pins so that they lock into the caliper, and handtighten the bolts. Get your tq wrench again, attach the 14mm socket and tighten to 25 ft. lbs.

You are done with this side. If you do not have to replace hub-centering rings, throw your wheel back on, hand tighten the lug nuts, grab your tq wrench and set it to 100 ft/lbs and tighten top, bottom, right, left. You will need to lower the car enough for the tire to grip the ground to get that much torque to the lug nut.

For those replacing hub-centering rings, I had to use Kroil and brake cleaner to get them loose (a tech sprayed them down with disk brake quiet to "glue" them down). Wipe the brake cleaner off with a rag quickly so you don't damage anything. Then use two angled picks to get the retainer spring off. You have to finagle one pick just between the spring and where it sits. I pulled at the end of one side to pry it out some, then placed the other pick in the space between and in one deft motion brought the pick around and the spring popped out. Then cleaner the shit out of the slot with wire wheel and rag. I sprayed the rings with disk brake quiet on one side,


and desqueak on the other once installed into the wheel again. Mounted and wheel shudder is gone!

When you have both sides done, torqued to spec, cleaned off, and wheels mounted, time to break in the pads. Here are the instructions from PowerStop


Good luck, thanks for reading and sorry for the typos.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:28 PM
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Nicely done sir^
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, sir.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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Any time.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 09:58 PM
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Brake Writeup, Abridged

This is a blessing for anyone doing a brake job on this car. You have really helped out a lot of folks!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Justinw303 View Post
This is a blessing for anyone doing a brake job on this car. You have really helped out a lot of folks!
That was my goal! I found a few decent threads for doing these kinds of brake services, but there was a pattern of missing information/pictures, and nobody did all of it at once. Drove me crazy trying to tab back and forth from thread to thread. I also wrote it so that a potato could understand (we all start there lol).
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 12:07 AM
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Lol I just winged it when I did my brakes. luckily my slides were still nice and lubed up or I would of been stuck.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 04:50 AM
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good job!!

2009 cobalt ss,k&N typhoon intake, short shifter,tuned cat-back exhaust, jet black.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 04:56 AM
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Didn't show how you cleaned the inside of the guide pin holes in the caliper brackets. Or did you clean them?

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