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  1. #1
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    ABS brake question.

    I need to change the rear brake pads on my car (2004 Hundai Elantra), and it's got ABS. I've done plenty of brake jobs in the past where I'm not worried about most of the job, but I've never done this on a car with ABS, and don't want to break the ABS "stuff" - what do I need to do that's different? Open the bleeder wide open and allow the fluid to bleed out there instead of trying to force it back into the master cylinder? Should I disconnect the battery? Take it to Ruben's neighbor who got his car to quit going whaka whaka pouff pouff?

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    I have done lots of brakes (front and rear) with ABS and I haven't ever done anything differently...I haven't broken anything yet or ever had issues. I know people were scared to touch them back in the 90s, but I don't find this true anymore.

    I looked up 2004 Hyundai Elantra and I found both discs and drums for that car. Was there a conversion kit or are people just selling things that don't exist...? Heh!

    Others will have more to say, but this may get you started. Do you really have discs with pads in the back, or drums with shoes?

  3. #3
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    It may have discs up front and drums in the rear. For an ABS car, bleed the fluid as usual (starting from the caliper farthest from the reservoir and moving closer). Then go drive the car and activate the ABS (i.e. hard braking so you feel it pulsing). Bleed the brakes again and you're done (and this may not even be necessary).

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    Senior Member noise boy's Avatar
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    No different than doing old school brake pad changes, just force the fluid back into the master cylinder as you always have. What you need to watch out for are the wheel speed sensors, but they are not (usually) located in the brake caliper.

  5. #5
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    The one thing I've seen get people in trouble is resetting the piston on cars with rear disks. Often you have to turn them back in rather than just shoving them in with a C-clamp as with front calipers. Using a C-clamp will destroy the self adjuster for the parking brake.

  6. #6
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    if you have no motor why do you need brakes? just asking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
    The one thing I've seen get people in trouble is resetting the piston on cars with rear disks. Often you have to turn them back in rather than just shoving them in with a C-clamp as with front calipers. Using a C-clamp will destroy the self adjuster for the parking brake.
    I was going to mention this, but OP said they have done plenty of brake jobs, so I let it go.

    But since it has been brought up, I like to share that I found a neat little tool that you use as a socket to turn the rear calipers in. It costs a whopping $10 (cheaper than buying or renting a real-caliper set). It's a cube with all the [supposedly] possible configurations to turn in the pistons.

    That being said, within only a month or so, I have noticed some cars that have the parking brake set up inside the rear rotor as a hub with shoes, then the rear caliper just pushes in like the front. I have never done anything on an Elantra, though, so I have no idea at all...

  8. #8
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    I have done lots of brakes (front and rear) with ABS and I haven't ever done anything differently...I haven't broken anything yet or ever had issues. I know people were scared to touch them back in the 90s, but I don't find this true anymore.

    I looked up 2004 Hyundai Elantra and I found both discs and drums for that car. Was there a conversion kit or are people just selling things that don't exist...? Heh!

    Others will have more to say, but this may get you started. Do you really have discs with pads in the back, or drums with shoes?
    It does have discs back there, it's the GT model (with 4 doors) and 4 wheel discs were standard on them. I remember when shops used to charge more for doing disc brakes when they were new too, ABS sounds like the same thing. My motorcycles didn't have ABS, but the BMW shop manuals for the early bikes with ABS were filled with the usual stern Germanic warnings about catastrophic damages if the instructions weren't followed. Just like the ones in the luggage that said not to go faster than 80 with the bags on.

    Quote Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
    The one thing I've seen get people in trouble is resetting the piston on cars with rear disks. Often you have to turn them back in rather than just shoving them in with a C-clamp as with front calipers. Using a C-clamp will destroy the self adjuster for the parking brake.
    I've got the tool that's supposed to work for that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    But since it has been brought up, I like to share that I found a neat little tool that you use as a socket to turn the rear calipers in. It costs a whopping $10 (cheaper than buying or renting a real-caliper set). It's a cube with all the [supposedly] possible configurations to turn in the pistons.
    The cube tool sucks. The edges always round off, and you have to still have some way to apply pressure to the piston as you twist it in.

    The old school 80s Subarus all had front parking brakes, and the caliper pistons had to be twisted in. I've owned like six of 'em... I hated doing the front brakes.

    This is the tool you need for those: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bike: 2008 Globe City 7

  10. #10
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    The cube tool sucks. The edges always round off, and you have to still have some way to apply pressure to the piston as you twist it in.

    The old school 80s Subarus all had front parking brakes, and the caliper pistons had to be twisted in. I've owned like six of 'em... I hated doing the front brakes.

    This is the tool you need for those: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=
    That's only $8 more than the cube tool!

  11. #11
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    ^^Good point. I can personally testify that the cube tool does in fact suck, but is also readily available. As for having done lots of brakes, my dad has done dozens of brake jobs over the last 50 or so years, but was never aware of the brake cube because he always had drums in the back.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    The cube tool sucks. The edges always round off, and you have to still have some way to apply pressure to the piston as you twist it in.

    The old school 80s Subarus all had front parking brakes, and the caliper pistons had to be twisted in. I've owned like six of 'em... I hated doing the front brakes.

    This is the tool you need for those: http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...bCategoryName=
    I wish I had that when I had my Subies. It was always a struggle getting that piston back in with channel locks.

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