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As the title says, this is my first time doing my own brakes ('06 Corolla). I replaced both my front pads and rotors.

When putting the new pads in, I've been having quite a bit of difficulty with the inboard pads on both sides of the car. It took quite a bit of effort, but I was able to get the passenger side done. However I can't seem to replicate that success with the driver side. I'm able to get one tongue in, but when the other pops into place as well, the first pops out. Both sides, on their own, seem to fit into the notch just fine.

What's an appropriate procedure to get these in? Would using a metal file to take some material off of the tongues so that they fit better be a viable option?

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    Sounds like you just have the wrong pads for the brackets. If they don't slide right in, they're probably not going to move properly when you're trying to brake either. Can you elaborate on your purchase of them? – Josh Caswell Sep 14 '15 at 7:51
  • I have to agree with Josh. Are you sure the pads and rotors are the right size? – Zaid Sep 14 '15 at 9:26
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    As far as I know, they're the right ones/size. The passenger side was a pain to get in, but I'm able to slide the pads along the groove with my fingers - given the difficulty, I had that concern as well. Apart from that, I double checked with the manufacturer's website (ACDelco) to make sure the model number I was buying (bought them from Amazon) matched my car. EDIT: I lined them up with the old pads, and eyeballing it (I don't have a micrometer) they also seem to be correct. – Einbrecher Sep 14 '15 at 13:58
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A very common issue with your style of hardware is rust buildup between the cast iron bracket and the metal hardware. This is a commonly overlooked spot. This causes the effective distance between surfaces to become shorter. Remove the bracket and the hardware. Clean all the surfaces between the bracket and the hardware. Expect the rust to be very hard and require chipping it off.

  • What would you recommend using as far as getting rid of the rust? Should I be chipping away, or would filing be better? Are there any notches, tabs, or the like I should be worried about incidentally hitting in the process? – Einbrecher Sep 14 '15 at 15:27
  • My favorite way is to use a sand/bead blaster but not everyone has access to such a tool. My second favorite is a very small chisel that is very sharp. I like to use it to scrape the rust off and when the rust is very hard i use a tapping action to break the rust off. A file would work but be careful not to take off excessive metals from the bracket. Other then that there shouldn't be any notches or tabs to worry about. – vini_i Sep 14 '15 at 16:38
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You may be trying to place them too far "back". The Toyota inboard pads can be very annoying to place precisely as the feel is kind of vague. The rotors also like to "kick out" a little during the process which makes the pads look wrong (even when installed correctly). For example, on mine, when I put the inboard pads in properly they hang out front of the rotor by a couple mm... Until everything is snugged up, then it all slots together. Not knowing that at first, I would get one edge of the pad in, line up with the rotor, push, and then the other edge would go in as the first popped back out...

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I had the same issue today. Here is what I found to help.

With the caliper hung out of the way, I removed the torque plate with the old pads still on. The bolts holding this on are 17mm.

With the plate off I could quickly remove the very corroded pads with a hammer. I then could easily reach all the nooks and crannies with a wire brush to clean up the rust.
Then, with new pad support plates in, I laid the torque plate horizontal on the ground or bench so I could line up and press in the pads with my upper body weight. Took me 1/3 of the time this way. The corrosion can gett pretty bad. Lightly hitting the slots with a file would certainly help. Just be careful.

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