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Old 11-30-2008, 06:16 PM   #1
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rear brake piston


I am having problems adjusting the rear brake piston on my 98 passat I continuosly turned the piston clock wise like the manual suggested but he piston does not retract in the caliper HELP!!!!


Last edited by rcm5835; 11-30-2008 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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rear brake piston


I'm not familiar with the Passat, but I've never retracted pistons by turning them. I always use a big C-clamp and press them back into the caliper. If you do this, make sure to press straight back, not off to the side as you can "cock" the piston to a side and damage it.

However, like I said, I'm not familiar with the Passat, so make sure that there isn't some sort of "turning" mechanism like the book says, because pressing it might damage the caliper if there is.

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #3
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rear brake piston


yeah you were correct after some extensive probing on the web I found a site that mentioned using a C clamp went and bought a 6" clamp and put the pads on about 30 minutes just a little important tid bit thats not mentioned thanx for the help

Robin
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rcm5835 View Post
yeah you were correct after some extensive probing on the web I found a site that mentioned using a C clamp went and bought a 6" clamp and put the pads on about 30 minutes just a little important tid bit thats not mentioned thanx for the help

Robin
You were lucky they were not the turn in type or a C Clamp would have completely destroyed them. Most GM rear wheel drive and probably some European use a different type of piston on the rear disks. You have to turn then in using a pair of needless nosed pliers or an appropriate tool. For future readers if the pisiton doesn't look like a normal "cup" piston, then you have the "turn in type. Do not use a C Clamp on thise.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarzak
You were lucky they were not the turn in type or a C Clamp would have completely destroyed them.

You have to turn then in using a pair of needless nosed pliers or an appropriate tool.

Do not use a C Clamp on thise.
Lucky indeed
As the OP's project turned out fine, I normally wouldn't add to this
But as many, if not most, rear disc brake pistons need to be turned to be pushed in, and many people merely peruse threads rather than post when seeking answers, I'd be remiss not to mention this fact again

Most rear disc brake pistons need to be rotated to be pushed in
Some you can use needle nose pliers, some you need a special tool
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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now I am a little nervous because that is what I did in the first place I used needle nose pliers and after turning the piston clockwise 25+ times the piston was in the same position as when I started so I loosened the screw for the brake fluid and used the C clamp the brakes are real spongey on the first press and really grab on the second press called a local shop and said that I didn't have pads positioned in the calibers correctly so now it sits in the driveway
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Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Lucky indeed
As the OP's project turned out fine, I normally wouldn't add to this
But as many, if not most, rear disc brake pistons need to be turned to be pushed in, and many people merely peruse threads rather than post when seeking answers, I'd be remiss not to mention this fact again

Most rear disc brake pistons need to be rotated to be pushed in
Some you can use needle nose pliers, some you need a special tool
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rcm5835 View Post
now I am a little nervous because that is what I did in the first place I used needle nose pliers and after turning the piston clockwise 25+ times the piston was in the same position as when I started so I loosened the screw for the brake fluid and used the C clamp the brakes are real spongey on the first press and really grab on the second press called a local shop and said that I didn't have pads positioned in the calibers correctly so now it sits in the driveway
They don't retract into the caliper, just go flush. Perhaps they were fine, because you were able to install the pads and caliper. If the piston was out even a little, you would not have been able to install the pads and the caliper. Once the piston is in, you can turn it a thousand times, it will go no further in. Spongy brakes usually indicate air in the lines.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:48 AM   #8
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rear brake piston


Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm5835 View Post
yeah you were correct after some extensive probing on the web I found a site that mentioned using a C clamp went and bought a 6" clamp and put the pads on about 30 minutes just a little important tid bit thats not mentioned thanx for the help

Robin
If you don't have a c clamp , a trick is to carefully put a flathead screwdriver between the pad and rotor to free it up,

Then you could always use a pair of water pump pliers
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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rear brake piston


Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm5835
now I am a little nervous...
I have run across rear pistons that did not need to be rotated
...once
I can't remember if it was a VW
It may have been, I've worked on very few VWs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm5835
the brakes are real spongey on the first press and really grab on the second press called a local shop and said that I didn't have pads positioned in the calibers correctly so now it sits in the driveway
The other issue with working on ABS rear discs is the extreme importance of proper bleeding sequence (each brake, front and rear, may now need to be bled, in a specific order) once the system is compromised (beyond simple pad replacement), and possible need of specialized equipment to do so (vac and 'puter)

Definitely refer to a model specific manual or online source such as AllData for the procedure for your car

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