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How to remove and check operation of, including handbrake

How do I remove and check the condition of the rear brake caliper and handbrake cable connection of my 1994 mazda mx5 1.8i?

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1. Chock your wheels 2. Loosen the wheel nuts on the wheel that you're interested in (not too much - just crack the pressure) 3. Jack the wheel up, remove the wheel nuts and the wheel. 4. At this point you have sufficient room to inspect your brake pads and the cable connection. 5. If you require further access to change pads etc, you may remove the lower LOCK bolt - this will allow you to swing the caliper up and access the pads etc. Be careful not to press on the brake when you're carrying this step out - it might seem like a good idea to check if the piston moves freely, but you'll regret it when you pop the piston clear from the well and have to try to get it and the diaphragm back into place (almost impossible - save yourself the time, effort and headache and get a replacement from the local wreckers!) 6. If you need to replace the entire caliper - you just need to remove the remaining swing bolt - ensure you cover the brake fluid hose to prevent it from getting dirty when you are replacing the caliper. Do not touch the master cylinder or you will have to bleed the ENTIRE brake system rather than just the one line. 7. If you've disconnect the brake fluid line, you WILL also need to bleed the air from that line before you can drive again. Attach a clear piece of PVC tube to the little nipple on the caliper, loosen the nipple slightly to allow it to flow fluid and air through and drop the other end of the PVC into a container. Have an assistance pump the brakes slowly and thoroughly for you whilst you watch the tube for air. Once you are completely certain no more air bubbles are being squeezed out of the system. As you follow this procedure monitor the level of the brake fluid reservoir under the bonnet (LHS from memory) and top it up as required.
Incidentally, you can check the handbrake connection by simply jacking the car up and wriggling under for a look...
Hope this helps, Sherwin

Posted on Sep 02, 2009

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