How to Do a Brake Job for an MR2 Spyder

The MR2 Spyder is a two-seat, convertible sports car built by Toyota. It comes fitted with a 1.8L, in-line four-cylinder engine, which produces 138 horsepower at 6,400rpm and 125 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400rpm. It also comes standard with front, ventilated disc brakes. Over time, typically every 25,000 to 35,000 miles, the front brake pads require replacement, due to their friction lining wearing out. Fortunately, the replacement process for these pads is relatively easy.

Open the MR2's engine cover in the rear of the vehicle. Remove the cap from the master cylinder, the plaster reservoir near the passenger's side of the firewall. Siphon out about one-third of the brake fluid from the master cylinder using a turkey baster, and transfer the fluid to an empty container.

Loosen the front lug nuts, but do not remove them, using a ratchet and socket. Jack up the front of the MR2. Place the jack stands beneath the Toyota and lower the car until it is sitting on the stands. Remove the MR2's lug nuts and pull the wheels off.

Look on the rear of the brake caliper and locate the caliper bolts. Notice the bolts screw into small sleeves. Hold the bottom sleeve with a combination wrench while you loosen and remove the caliper bolt with a ratchet and socket.

Repeat for the upper caliper bolt, but only loosen the bolt, do not remove it.

Swing the caliper up, using the upper bolt as an axis, exposing the brake pads. Notice there are two thin wires on the rear of the brake pads. These are called anti-squeal springs.

Grab the lower anti-squeal spring and pull it from the holes in the rear of the brake pad. Grab the upper ant-squeal spring and pull it from the holes in the brake pads.

Grab the inner and outer brake pads and pull them from the brake assembly. Take note of now the pads are positioned prior to removal, as the new ones must be installed the same way.

Place the 8-inch C-clamp over the caliper so the screw portion contacts the piston inside the caliper and the fixed portion contacts the rear of the caliper. Tighten the C-clamp and observe as the piston begins pressing into the caliper. Continue tightening until the piston stops moving. Loosen and remove the C-clamp.

Place the new brake pads on the brake assembly, just as the old ones were before removal. Insert the anti-squeal springs onto the rear of the new pads, just as they were on the old pads.

Swing the caliper over the new pads and tighten the caliper bolts to 25 foot-pounds, using the torque wrench and a socket while holding the sleeves with a combination wrench.

Place the wheels back on the MR2 and hand-tighten the lug nuts.

Raise the Toyota from the jack stands, with the floor jack, and pull the stands from under the MR2. Slowly lower the vehicle to the ground.

Tighten the MR2's lug nuts -- in a crossing-pattern -- to 80 foot-pounds, using the torque wrench and a socket.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder, it must be between the "Min" and "Max" lines on the reservoir. Add fluid from the container if it is low. Close the MR2's engine cover and prepare for driving by pressing and releasing the brake pedal until it feels firm.


Take the leftover brake fluid to your closest auto parts store for recycling or disposal.

Things You'll Need

  • Turkey baster
  • Empty container
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Combination wrench set
  • 8-inch C-clamp
  • Torque wrench
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About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.