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Brake Shim Replacement (850/S70/V70/C70)

By Tsquared
I recently replaced my rear wheel bearing and noticed that I needed to replace my rear pads as well. These were original pads that had minimal life left after 100k miles. I looked at the R&R procedure from the VolvoSpeed Bay 13 website ( and proceeded to jump in for a rear brake job. It went well, no surprises, for a simple maintenance procedure that rates a 3 on my 10-point skill level of difficulty (9 and 10 being an engine or transmission overhaul - call the expert). The bearing replacement was successful and I had new rear brakes.

Then after about 100 miles the rear brakes started to squeal. Not just a light squeal, but the annoying, hey-look-at-me-I-have-something-wrong type of squeal. After a web search on rear brake squeal I learned that there is an Anti-squeal shim that Volvo came out with on a TSB. Also, a plethora of opinions on OEM vs. aftermarket brake parts and grease (I won't go there). I couldn't find anything other than a picture of the improved shim. Here are the steps for replacing the shims - very similar to a rear brake job.

  • Parts  (shim kit $19.06 & springs $24.54)

  • Remove rear wheel
  • Knock out brake pad retaining pins (punch, hammer, & pliers)
  • Remove pin with pliers (hands don't get as dirty and I left the punch in the front side to hold the pad in place so the pad didn't hit the floor)
  • Spread caliper (necessary on brake replacement but not on shim replacement)
  • Remove old shim and brake pad
  • New shim w/ orientation arrow on left, brake pad, and old shim
  • Lube back of pad and new shim (keep the new shim oriented so that it is pointing down - this is the passenger, outside pad)
  • Re-install pad
  • Re-install retaining pin and spring (don't forget to put a dab of grease on the contact parts of the spring)
  • Finished brake - all I need to do is re-install the wheel and then do the other side

If I were doing a brake job, instead of replacing just the shim, I would also bleed the brakes and try to purge all of the old brake fluid to replace with new fluid. The emergency brake drum worked fine and did not need any adjustment so I did not mess with it when I replace the wheel bearing or the shim replacement two weeks later.

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