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Q: Rear disc brake pad replacement on 2004 Saturn L300

How the heck do you replace or even remove the pads from the caliper of the rear brake system of a Saturn L-300 v6 ? I have done quite a few brake jobs and never have ran into this style of brake system. Thepads have pins going through the caliper into the pads themselves and exiting out the other side of the caliper holding the pads in place.
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Removing the caliper is totally wrong, you don't have to remove the caliper. All you need to do is get a pin punch (or if you don't have one, an awl will work in a pinch), and drive out the two pins that hold the pads in. The pins will be on the top of the caliper, and you will drive them out from the wheel side towards the middle of the car (after taking the wheel off, of course). Use a large screwdriver to gently push the old pad and caliper piston back in, take the old pad out the top of the caliper, and reverse the process to replace the pad, dropping the new pads in and re-seating the pins and the spring in between them. If by some unfortunate circumstance you bend or break the pins, you will need to replace them.
Thank You you are totally correct. I was about to disconnect the fluid line and remove the caliper when I decided to do a little investigation. I am glade I read all the answers. The only suggestion I do have is to purchase new pins and replace them when you replace the brake pads. Mine were pretty rusty and pitted. I may go back and replace them if the pins are available. I did remove the two bolts holding the caliper so I could get a better angle to compress the pucks. I do not believe I would have had to do this if I had a smaller C-clamp to use to compress the brake pad pucks. On the drivers side rear I left the caliper on and compressed the puck with a screw driver being careful not to damage the seal. Make sure you remove the brake fluid reservoir cap and keep an eye on the fluid level. You do not want to over flow the reservoir when compressing the pucks as the fluid returns to the reservoir. You may have to remove some brake fluid as you continue to compress the pucks .Thank You for your instructions they worked out great and saved me time and unnecessary steps. Removing the calipers would have meant some fluid loss and bleeding the air from the caliper once reinstalled. You made me a happy guy : ) and allowed me to enjoy more of my sunny spring Saturday with my girl.
Agreed. You do not have to remove the caliper. Drive the pins out, pull the pads and the pistons are EASILIY able to be pushed back into the caliper..... even on my '03 with 195K miles doing the first rear pad replacement. Don't hassel with opening up the brake lines & having to bleed etc.

Thanks for the advice... It saved me a ton of time !! I spent more time searching the web than actually doing the brake job...
You actually need to remove the rear calipers to replace the brake pads. NUTS, EH? Yeah, I know. You have to remove the brake line, cap it with the cover for the bleed valve, then unbolt the caliper (two bolts), pull the caliper, remove the old pads, compress the piston back into the caliper body (i did this by hand after 135,000 miles, no sweat), then install the new pads, "spring/clip", and reinstall the caliper. I've never before had to remove a brake line and unbolt the calpier to replace brakes, and I've done ALOT of brake jobs. Thanks GM!
You dont remove the caliper you remove the 2 pins going thru the back of the caliper that hold the brakes in. once you do that depress the calipers and pull the brake pads right out the back. its that simple.
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