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Cant get brake pads to fit


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#1 gunskill

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:47 PM

This seems real stupid. But I took my brake pads, rotor, and yoke off to fix a clicking noise. And now I can't get them to fit back together. The yoke will bolt back on, and the rotor will bolt in place, but i cant fit the brake pads back in. Any ideas? This is my first time ever taking the brakes apart, so theres a good chance it could just be a mistake I made somewhere...

#2 jasper

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:01 PM

YOKE?........Brakes???????
These two don't go together. Did you press the pistons back into the caliper?

If this question does not make sense to you..........You need to read, and learn ......... :blink:

#3 gunskill

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:20 PM

YOKE?........Brakes???????
These two don't go together. Did you press the pistons back into the caliper?

If this question does not make sense to you..........You need to read, and learn ......... :blink:


lol i was quoting out of the service manual. Umm...when i said yoke i was referring to the thing that bolts onto the frame and hold the piston and brake pads around the rotor. And yes, i pressed the piston all the way back into the caliper. Im uploading the brake service manual in case im still calling the parts the wrong names, im getting it from page BR-8.

Attached Files


Edited by gunskill, 27 March 2010 - 06:21 PM.


#4 jasper

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:31 PM

Are we talking about.............Rear disc brakes on a 280zx ??? :rolleyes:

I apologize... :oops: ..yoke is not an often heard term when it comes to brakes!!! I have seen very few over the years.
However, with the piston fully compressed into the caliper.....there should not be a problem fitting the pads...........

Edited by jasper, 27 March 2010 - 07:47 PM.


#5 gunskill

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:17 PM

Are we talking about.............Rear disc brakes on a 280zx ??? :rolleyes:

I apologize... :oops: ..yoke is not an often heard term when it comes to brakes!!! I have seen very few over the years.
However, with the piston fully compressed into the caliper.....there should not be a problem fitting the pads...........


Yep =), lol i forgot to specify that part. 1981 280zx t-tops non turbo, rear disk brakes.

Idk..the piston is fully retracted. The only thing i can think of that might work is to shave off a millimeter or so off one of the brake pads. Is that something that is ok to do? I really dont know what i could be doing wrong, it all fit together before...

#6 19762802+2

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:45 PM

I have messed around with a caliper like that, a 240sx, which is basically the same and the brake pads slide along two pins and I know if you don't pry those apart even if the piston is fully retracted it won't fit. So check to see if your brake pads are as far apart as they can be along those pins. On my calipers they like to slide together when they are off the rotor so you have to spread them before you can put them on.
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#7 gunskill

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 09:54 AM

hmm...i dont remember seeing any pins. Ill look though and see. Thanks

#8 jasper

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:24 AM

I took another look.
This caliper has the integral park brake.(not used in many of todays cars)
In order to fully retract the piston, you must rotate it (the piston) clockwise, while pushing in. I use a pair of needle nose pliers.
DON'T STAB YOURSELF!!!
Also, when done, the slots(in the piston face) must line up with the pin on the back of the pad.
I seem to recall a little dificulty with seating the yoke on the back of the caliper.
Good luck.......

Edited by jasper, 28 March 2010 - 10:25 AM.


#9 gunskill

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 10:43 AM

mmhm, i figured that out last night and tried it. But im still like a half mm away from it being able to fit together. Idk, ill mess around with it some more today, see if i can get anything figured out. Would it be ok to shave a little bit off the brake pad though? If it comes down to that...

#10 gunskill

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:02 PM

ok, i still cant get it back on. I tried putting it all together off of the wheel mount and the rotor is still a half millimeter or so too wide to fit between the pads. I looked at the brakes on the other side of the car and noticed the rotors were different, the one im trying to fit on right now is just a hair wider then the other. It fit on before though so i would think it would have to fit again. Anyway im uploading some pics if that helps at all, the orange things are hose washers that im using to hold the two brake pads apart at the moment.

The rotor would fit between the pads if it wasnt for those medal things on the side getting in the way.

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Edited by gunskill, 28 March 2010 - 12:28 PM.


#11 jasper

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 12:45 PM

Make sure the park brake lever is fully off.

I think this is your Problem>>>>the WHOLE PISTON ASSEMBLY slides in/THROUGH the caliper housing. The housing is open at both ends, and has seals at both ends allowing the whole unit to move some, back and forth.
See illustration BR178A

You need to move the piston/yoke assembly
THROUGH the caliper housing (maybe an 1/8 inch).This will push the inner pad past the metal protrusions on the caliper housing, that now hit the rotor when you attempt assembly.

Edited by jasper, 28 March 2010 - 12:57 PM.


#12 gunskill

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 01:06 PM

Make sure the park brake lever is fully off.

I think this is your Problem>>>>the WHOLE PISTON ASSEMBLY slides in/THROUGH the caliper housing. The housing is open at both ends, and has seals at both ends allowing the whole unit to move some, back and forth.
See illustration BR178A

You need to move the piston/yoke assembly
THROUGH the caliper housing (maybe an 1/8 inch).This will push the inner pad past the metal protrusions on the caliper housing, that now hit the rotor when you attempt assembly.


:D i just realized that. lol i was looking at that picture, and i was like wait a minute, theres no way the rotors gonna fit with those metal protrusions, so i started pounding on them with a hammer, and it all fits together now =). Thanks for the help!

#13 getoffmyinternet

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:00 AM

This is why you do one side at a time so if all else fails you can refer back to the side which is still together.
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#14 Chace

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:00 PM

Make sure the park brake lever is fully off.

I think this is your Problem>>>>the WHOLE PISTON ASSEMBLY slides in/THROUGH the caliper housing. The housing is open at both ends, and has seals at both ends allowing the whole unit to move some, back and forth.
See illustration BR178A

You need to move the piston/yoke assembly
THROUGH the caliper housing (maybe an 1/8 inch).This will push the inner pad past the metal protrusions on the caliper housing, that now hit the rotor when you attempt assembly.


I have this exact same problem, but I'm struggling to visualize the fix, what illustration are you referring to?




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