Hey guys, here is part 2 of the Mk4 Jetta brake servicing completing the front brakes and focusing on the important points regarding the rear brakes.
Like we mention in the video, we use Anti-seize on any surface or components we want to be able to easily disassemble in the future. However, on the slide pins/bolts we use the silicone based brake grease which does not dry out unlike Anti-seize. Be careful to not get any Anti-seize or grease on the brake pads or brake rotor (braking surfaces) or you may have brake failure or decreased braking force. Follow the torque specifications to avoid stripping threads and causing yourself more work.
The rear calipers are a bit different and will require some sort of special tool depending on what you have available to you. The slide pins on the rear calipers are different from the front in that they are a hex cap screw mounted through the caliper ear into the slide pin which rides in the caliper carrier bracket. You will need a 13mm socket or wrench for the cap screws and a 15mm wrench (needs to be a thin head) to hold the slide pin while you loosen the cap screws. Clean and service the slide pins as normal. Once the caliper is off, then you can push it out with the brake pedal same as before, clean and put some brake fluid in the boot. But, before you go pushing it back, you need to know that the pistons on the rear calipers need to be rotated as they are pushed back. The reason for this is the rear calipers have a special threaded mechanism that allows the parking brake cables to activate the brake pads on the rotors through the hydraulic brake system creating a superior parking brake force and functionality. There are a few options for tools to push the pistons back. The best option is the proper tool that pushes against the caliper itself and all you have to do is hold the caliper and rotate the T-handle. That is the tool we use in the video. There is also a small cube tool that is used with a ratchet and is known as the knuckle buster as you will most likely have bloody knuckles by the time you are finished. Lastly you could just use needle nose pliers, provided the piston is free enough that it will move with minimal force. The objective is to rotate the piston clockwise as you push it back to avoid internal damage. Whichever method you choose, work the piston in and out a couple times as before and finish with the piston bottomed and begin reassembly of the brake components. Again, pay close attention to the torque specification on the slide bolts and cap screws. We have seen many knuckles with the slide bolt threads stripped out.
For the rear suspension, the shock and spring are separate. For shocks as with any car the “bounce” test is how you know if your shocks need replaced. Simply get each corner of the car bouncing and then let go and it should come to a stop in two or less bounces, if not that shocks needs replaced. As for the rear springs, it is rather easy to tell if a spring is broken or damaged and they are much easier to replace than the front springs. Mechanics and manuals will tell you to unbolt the shocks and tip the rear axle down to change the springs but I have done it just by compressing the coil spring with a clamp for spring compressor and squeezing it into place without any disassembly. Always be careful and think it through before you begin, fingers are non-replaceable.
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