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How to Change the Brakes on a 1983 Subaru GL

One of the most important safety components on your vehicle is the braking system. The 1983 Subaru GL is equipped with disc brakes that include two brake pads mounted on either side of a rotating disc. Through hydraulic pressure (brake fluid), the brake pads squeeze against the disc to create friction, which slows down your vehicle, allowing you to stop.

Tools Used: Floor jack, Jack stands, Lug nut wrench, Small plastic cup, Flat-head screwdriver, Ratchet and socket set, New brake pads, DOT 3 brake fluid

Change Brakes

Park the vehicle on level ground and turn off the engine. Raise and secure the vehicle's hood. Allow the brakes to cool before proceeding.

Locate the brake fluid reservoir on the driver's-side rear of the engine compartment. Remove the reservoir cap and use a small plastic cup to scoop out a small amount of brake fluid.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front tires using a lug nut wrench. Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and insert jack stands. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands and remove the floor jack.

Remove the lug nuts, using the lug nut wrench, and remove the front wheels from the vehicle.

Locate the brake piston on the brake caliper. Use a flat-head screwdriver to rotate the piston clockwise into the bore until the alignment marks are matched up.

Remove the caliper lock pin bolts with a ratchet and socket. Grab the caliper with your hands and rotate it up and away from the brake disc.

Note the positions of the brake pad shims and clips. Remove the brake pads by pulling them out by hand.

Attach the new brake pads to the caliper and secure them by pressing them on with the brake pad clips. Rotate the caliper back into place and tighten the two lock pin bolts with a ratchet and socket.

Reinstall both front wheels and hand-tighten the lug nuts.

Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle and remove the floor jack. Tighten the lug nuts with the lug nut wrench.

Fill the brake fluid reservoir to the "Full" line with DOT 3 brake fluid.

Close the vehicle's hood. Test drive the car, checking the brake operation at different speeds.

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