Last post on Mar 06, 2013 at 9:45 PM
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Subaru Forester, Brakes, Wagon
#23 of 113 Help! Installing rear brakes on a 2001 Forester by myself!
Aug 09, 2006 (5:55 am)
Can anyone give my some pointers on how to install new calipers, pads and rotors on my 2001 Forester S. Rear wheels.
I've got the parts and a brake installation toolkit that I rented from my auto parts store - but any procedures that anyone could enlighten me on would be appreciated. I know I have to bleed the fluid a bit and I have never done that before.
I'm going to save at least $400 by doing it myself.
Thanks in advance!
#24 of 113 Re: Help! Installing rear brakes on a 2001 Forester by myself! [jimhefpgh]
Aug 09, 2006 (11:09 am)
Do a Google Search for "scoobymods brake", you'll be warm, keep looking there, threads of note. They have instructions for the Legacy's rear discs, and this should be similar. Edmunds rules don't allow me to link directly to the site.
Forester is actually easier, becauser the rear strut suspension is not in your way, you have a lot more clearance to work with.
Bleeding the fluid is the easy part. You'll find a rubber plug at the end of the brake line, it sticks out so it's easy to find.
Remove that, use a plastic tube to plug into that, then put the other side in a jar with a little bit of brake fluid in it so that it doesn't suck air back in. I'm not sure what size but I used stuff that I had left over from my acquarium, which flexed enough for the job.
Actually, the place that has Legacy brake install instructions also has brake bleeding procedures. The order is rather unusual, it's:
1. Front right
2. Rear left
3. Front left
4. Rear right
I just did the front pads on my Forester, then bled the system, then bled my Miata, then the front pads on my dad's Outback, then bled those!
Tip: get all your materials first. A quart (not pint, quart) of brake fluid for each car you do. Some anti-squeel compound, the stuff I got was red and gooey. And some high-temp brake grease for the sliders. The plastic tube/hose. A jar. A tool to push the brake piston back in, for me my C-clamp did not clear properly so I recommend the specialized tool. Torque wrench, 14mm and 17mm sockets, and a 10mm closed wrench for the brake lines.
There may be more, but you get the idea, just be prepared. Get a helper. I got a hand pump to bleed the brakes and it did not work well, I kept getting air in the system. So I called my wife to pump the brake pedal the old fashioned way, while I bled them.
DO NOT let the fluid level go low while you're bleeding it, else you have to start all over again, and I mean all 4 corners all over again.
#25 of 113 Re: Help! Installing rear brakes on a 2001 Forester by myself! [jimhefpgh]
Aug 09, 2006 (11:11 am)
e-mail me if you want, I did get some pics.
#26 of 113 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak
Aug 24, 2006 (10:54 am)
My car has 43,000 mostly city miles (San Francisco, and the car is a manual transmission). My mechanic just called to say that there are early signs of a rear brake drum leak. Isn't this early for such a problem? I'm the original owner and have been diligent about maintenance. (But I do not have an extended warranty.) I did a lot of research about cars before buying, and heard only good things about Subaru, but this is disappointing news to me. Am I being unrealistic in my performance expectations? Any guidance on this subject would be appreciated.
#27 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [erniesf]
Aug 24, 2006 (11:24 am)
"My car has 43,000 mostly city miles (San Francisco), and the car is a manual transmission....Am I being unrealistic in my performance expectations?"
Given the amount of steep hills in San Francisco, one of the most congested cities in the US, all stop-and-go driving, all the time, perhaps you are.
I am thrown off by the mechanics statement, however. Either one has a leak, or doesn't. Any kind of a leak can lead to you, or someone else, being killed, because one cannot know when a "small" leak will expand, and leave you without break fluid.
Given that most of San Francisco is nothing but steep hills, this isn't something I would agonize over very long!
Anything mechanical has a predictable life within certain operational parameters. When parts are constantly pushed outside of those "normal" parameters, failure can occur sooner. Likewise your clutch assembly will fail sooner there than someone living in, say, Kansas, due to the extreme amount of shifting one does where you live versus Kansas, or another mostly flat locality. I am surprised he didn't say your pads needed replacing as well....
It only took me six months of living in Piedmont, and commuting daily into the city, to realize my next car would be an automatic.
#28 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [terry92270]
Aug 24, 2006 (11:41 am)
Thanks for the quick, thoughtful response. And I am going to have my mechanic do the drum work immediately. As for the brake pads, he's replacing the front ones as I write this--I just didn't bother to mention that in my first note. So, this will be a fairly costly visit, but you are right, this is a city that is tough on cars! Thanks!
#29 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [terry92270]
Aug 24, 2006 (12:06 pm)
A quick follow-up...I'm glad you questioned my detail about the brake drum. I just talked to my mechanic and it's actually the brake cylinder that's showing the first signs of a leak (I'm no experts on brakes, as you can tell!). Anyway, I'm still going to have the work done immediately because you are right, you don't want to fool around when it comes to brakes when you are driving in a city like San Francisco.
#30 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [erniesf]
Aug 24, 2006 (12:11 pm)
I guess he means the high-temp grease around the two pistons that line up the caliper is leaking through the rubber seals. That should not be hard or expensive to fix.
Leaking brake fluid means you have no brakes at all!
#31 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [ateixeira]
Aug 24, 2006 (12:37 pm)
"Leaking brake fluid means you have no brakes at all!"
Well, not really...
A small leak will gradually deplete the fluid, and depending upon how fast it leaks, wouldn't be noticeable at first, then the brakes would turn very mushy and the pedal would travel a great deal in stopping. At that point, you are very close to not having any breaking ability at all...
#32 of 113 Re: 2003 Forester With Brake Drum Leak [terry92270]
Aug 25, 2006 (8:33 am)
I had a hydraulic leak in my Miata's clutch slave cylinder. The pedal basically went soft. I would not want that to happen to my brakes, yikes!
But yeah, it didn't just "give" suddenly, it was gradual, but I would not want to lose any brake pressure.