2003 WRX - Pads / Rotors / Calipers
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This is a discussion on 2003 WRX - Pads / Rotors / Calipers within the Maintenance, service, and repair forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; Howdy, My front brakes and rotors need changed out and it's probably getting close to the calipers as well. So, ...

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    2003 WRX - Pads / Rotors / Calipers

    Howdy,

    My front brakes and rotors need changed out and it's probably getting close to the calipers as well. So, I'm curious - how difficult is it for one person to change all of that out? I'm fairly handy and smart enough usually so if I set aside a whole day...? I see there're a lot of really great guides with pictures so I guess mostly I'm making sure there's not hugely complicated "gotchas" or something that requires someone to have spent years messing with cars.

    Wouldn't ask normally but the cheapest I've found (naturally through my local good car shop) is $700 for parts & labor for brakes/rotors/calipers. So if I can save a large chunk of that by doing it myself then I'll take it.

    As a somewhat related question - can anyone recommend parts? I don't race. Mostly I commute but then some longer distances for camping and stuff. I live in the PNW so lots of rain.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sshults View Post
    Howdy,

    My front brakes and rotors need changed out and it's probably getting close to the calipers as well. So, I'm curious - how difficult is it for one person to change all of that out? I'm fairly handy and smart enough usually so if I set aside a whole day...? I see there're a lot of really great guides with pictures so I guess mostly I'm making sure there's not hugely complicated "gotchas" or something that requires someone to have spent years messing with cars.

    Wouldn't ask normally but the cheapest I've found (naturally through my local good car shop) is $700 for parts & labor for brakes/rotors/calipers. So if I can save a large chunk of that by doing it myself then I'll take it.

    As a somewhat related question - can anyone recommend parts? I don't race. Mostly I commute but then some longer distances for camping and stuff. I live in the PNW so lots of rain.

    Thanks!
    Calipers aren't really a wear item, unless the rubber boots on the pistons have corroded. If you really want to replace them, I'd get a set of '06/'07 WRX 4/2 pots. All four calipers will be in the $800-$1k range, maybe cheaper if you look around.

    I have Centric Premium rotors (~$48/ea on Amazon), StopTech Street Performance pads, and ATE SuperBlue brake fluid. That's a solid upgrade over the stock parts without breaking the bank and maintaining stock-like street manners (no brake squeal, low dust, etc).

    I live in PDX, and this setup has been great in rain and snow, but of course tires are the biggest factor for stopping.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Whoa. That seems really super expensive for calipers. They were quoting $700 total (parts & labor) for the pads, calipers and rotors and they're a good shop. Is it because the ones you mention are super fancy? I'm looking for solid yet cheap-ish on all three things so I can save some money ... but not enough that I worry about my wrx falling apart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sshults View Post
    Whoa. That seems really super expensive for calipers. They were quoting $700 total (parts & labor) for the pads, calipers and rotors and they're a good shop. Is it because the ones you mention are super fancy? I'm looking for solid yet cheap-ish on all three things so I can save some money ... but not enough that I worry about my wrx falling apart.
    Well, they're an improvement over what you have. I guess I'm not sure why you feel the need to replace the calipers? Are they damaged? We don't have salted roads in the NW, so even my 2003 calipers looked great at 100k miles.

    The pads, rotors, and brake fluid I mentioned can be found for around $300 total. If you want to save money and your calipers really are damaged, you could have them rebuilt, then do the rotors, pads, and fluids yourself.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Oh. I read: "All four calipers will be in the $800-$1k range, maybe cheaper if you look around." and got really, really confused.

    The calipers are more of a "just in case" thing. I have about 167k right now. The shop I go to gave me two quotes - one with and one without changing out the calipers. Said they'd look at them when they changed it. There's nearly a $400 difference in pricing for the two different quotes.

    So I figure - if the price isn't *too* terrible and they're going to need to be replaced eventually anyway, why not all at once and still save money?

    Is replacing all of that a not-horribly difficult job for one person?

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond and be patient with me

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambo View Post
    Well, they're an improvement over what you have. I guess I'm not sure why you feel the need to replace the calipers? Are they damaged? We don't have salted roads in the NW, so even my 2003 calipers looked great at 100k miles.

    The pads, rotors, and brake fluid I mentioned can be found for around $300 total. If you want to save money and your calipers really are damaged, you could have them rebuilt, then do the rotors, pads, and fluids yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sshults View Post
    Oh. I read: "All four calipers will be in the $800-$1k range, maybe cheaper if you look around." and got really, really confused.

    The calipers are more of a "just in case" thing. I have about 167k right now. The shop I go to gave me two quotes - one with and one without changing out the calipers. Said they'd look at them when they changed it. There's nearly a $400 difference in pricing for the two different quotes.

    So I figure - if the price isn't *too* terrible and they're going to need to be replaced eventually anyway, why not all at once and still save money?

    Is replacing all of that a not-horribly difficult job for one person?

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond and be patient with me
    If you're replacing the rotors, you're 95% of the way to replacing the calipers, since you have to unbolt them from the hubs to change out rotors. At that point, the banjo bolt for the brake line is the only thing attaching them to the car. It's certainly manageable with one person, although it helps to have a buddy for bleeding the lines at the end.
    Isaac -- 2003 WRX sedan Stg II - Gave its life for mine 6/2013.
    2007 Outback 3.0R wagon
    Proud owner of a N.E.R.D, Member 1.3810-23

    He who shall be last, shall be sideways and smiling... - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Hello again!

    Another question on the calipers (which I'm not sure I'm going to replace this time around but I'd like to know anyway) - do you have any links on where to purchase the ones you're thinking about? And, will they work well on an 03 WRX without modification?

    Thanks!

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