Wrench Tips #5 – Retracting Pistons the Easy Way

wrench tips retract those pistons

Wrench Tips
Tip #5: Retracting Pistons the Easy Way

Changing brake pads is 15 minutes of simpleness.

Step1: Pull the old pads out.

Step 2: Push the pistons back in.

Step 3: Put the new pads in.

That's 1 minute each for steps 1 and 3, 13 minutes of sweat and profanity for step 2. Unless you have two screwdrivers.

First, thread two lug nuts on and tighten them against the brake rotor to hold the rotor firmly in place. Then follow the pictures:

wrench tip retract caliper pistons this way wrench tips changing brake pads
Jam a scewdriver between the rotor and the piston. Push the tip agains the rotor and the shaft against the piston and pry. The piston will cock slightly sideways, drag against the bore, and refuse to retract. Ok, now try putting the tip against the back of the piston and the shaft against the rotor and pry that way. That's right, cock, drag, profanity.


wrench tips change your brake pads with two screwdrivers
If you use both screwdrivers, though, and push evenly on the front and back of the piston at the same time, it will slide right in with minimal effort. Pad swap in 3 minutes flat.

 -Dave Coleman


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