Thursday, March 8, 2012

1996 XJS front Brake Caliper replacement

Here is the procedure for replacing the front calipers and changing the brake pads on your 1996 XJS:

You will need:
  1. Brake Pads: Jurid Brake Pad Set
  2. Brake Calipers: Beck Arnley 077-0472S
  3. Brake fluid: Motul Brake fluid
  4. Basic Tools 
  • Jack up the vehicle and remove the front wheels.
  • Make sure the brake fluid reservoir is full.
  • Turn the wheel so that the caliper is facing out in the side you are going to work on, the side shown on the pics is the right hand side so you can start there.

  • Remove the to holding clips, and the pins. I use needle nose pliers for this step. Be careful these don't jump and hit you in the eye, goggles are recommended.
  •  With some channel-locks, push the caliper back slightly and fish the pads out one at a time. 
  •  With a pair of Visegrips, clamp the brake line. Don't do this so close to the caliper that way it won't bother you while you work.
  •  Start undoing the caliper bolts. There might be some mechanic wire, just cut it, but when you put them back make sure to use Locktite. There are shims that affect the alignment, so note where they go because they have to go back. If not, you'll be messing with the alignment of the car. 
  • Take the top bolt out, the short one, and leave the long bottom bolt in to hold the caliper for you.
  • Place a container to catch the brake fluid.
  • With a 14mm wrench hold the bottom of the metal brake line connection. With a flare nut 11mm wrench undo the top.
  • After undoing the line, take the bottom bolt of the caliper out and fish the caliper out. Try not to bend the metal line to much.
  • Check that you have everything you need to put everything back together:
    • New or refurbished calipers
    • New hardware for each side
    • Brake Pads
  • With the caliper out you have to undo the line, use a 11mm flare nut to undo the line.
The calipers look a lot alike but are not the same, make sure you got the right one. The difference is the fitting where the metal line goes.
  • Catch the new line by hand and slightly tighten it, but not completely. You want the line to be able to move to put the caliper back in place.
  • Fight the caliper back in place, and slightly catch the metal line BY HAND, and the short top bolt BY HAND (yes catching the long one is easier but do as I tell you!)
  • Place a screwdriver where the shims go (if you got shims if not smile 'cause this is a pain the first couple of hundred times) and put the shims back in place. This takes practice. put another screwdriver through the bolt hole and align them. Then put the bolt in place and catch it BY HAND.

  • Tighten the caliper bolts.
  • Tighten the line. the side that goes to the brake line and the side that goes to the caliper.
  • Now to put the pads back in place, but since we are good informed people (that's why you are reading this blog because you research before tackling a job no matter how easy it might seem) we are going to grease the contact points on the pads. This is a very important step to avoid noises. The contact points are the points at which the pad makes contact with the caliper (not the rotor please). The back of the pad, and the side, make sure you don't get grease on the lining of the pad.
  • Now you can put the pads in place, you might need to push the piston back with the screwdriver.
  • Put the pads in place.
  • Now to install the new hardware. Put the pins through, with the clips, and then the locking clips that prevent the pins from walking off. Watch your eyes and use those goggles!
  • Now crack the caliper bleeder and allow the brake fluid to drip out, this is to get the air we had in the system. Don't let that brake fluid reservoir go empty!
  • Not required but recommended: drink a beer before heading to the other side.

  • Repeat the procedure for the other side.
  • Step on the brake with the car of several times to make sure that the brake pedal feels nice and hard. If it doesn't make sure you got no leaks. If you do, fix that! If not, you probably have air in the system and need to do a brake fluid bleed.
  • Put the wheels back.


  1. Nisely done, thank you

  2. I'll seconed that. Thank you.


    1. glad to see people are reading, makes me wanna keep blogging

  3. These steps are really great. It's easy to follow. Thanks a lot!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hello, is there any way to figure out where the shims (3) came fell from if they come out before we notice them? I know they were together for they were stuck together.