Subaru 2001 brake job

The following was done by myself, a well knowledged repair person. I have rebuilt a number of engines, changed numerous brakes pads/shoes and various other advanced auto repair.  The car will need to be jacked up and the wheels taken off.  Should the car slip off the jack, you can be crushed to death or seriously injured. I take no responsibility of your inability to perform this service.  If you car does not stop due to your oversight, you can be severely injured or killed.  If you don't know how to do serious repair work... let a professional keep you alive and healthy.

My Subaru 2001 needed brakes at 48K.  The fronts were squeaking (as they should) when the brakes were applied.  I bought the "lifetime" brand for $38.  I jacked up the back with my lift.  I used a small 2X4 to even out the point in the back where I jacked up the car.  It was a slightly curved area.   I also used a jack stand !   
Taking off the wheel I used a serious screwdriver to push back the piston AFTER unscrewing the brake fluid reserve.  That allows the fluid to go back easy when the pistons are pushed back. You can see on the caliper the holes that bolt to axle. BE CAREFUL to only grab the brake shoes with the screwdriver. Cutting the piston seal rubber and you will be giving your brakes to a pro in 8 months when they seize from water/rust.  The back pistons can be pushed back by hand after they are 3/4 back.  That is due to the single piston in back. Not true for the front ones.  After they are pushed back I unscrewed the two bolts that hold the piston to the axle. Watch the rubber seals by the mounting bolts. That needs to slide as the brakes wear.  The front brakes have TWO pistons.  The brake shoes must be used to push them back in unison. If you try one at a time, the other side comes out.  Again be very careful of the rubber piston seals.  Cut them and they need to be replaced. They must be pushed all the way down.  The new shoes are thick.  Note he nice rotor, no grooves or scratches... replacing a rotor that is not smooth due to the pads wearing to metal... looking for trouble.

These shoes all have a two piece "wear guards". These two parts keep the shoes from vibrating or squeaking.  These are NOT supplied with the shoes. They must be removed from the old shoes, clean off any dirt.  The back shoes needed the old safety arm that squeaks when the pads are low. That is the back view.  This is a side show of the back shoes showing how they are mounted.  The fronts had this "wear guard" attached.  I replace both but the backs still had 5-10K left.  But that would put me pulling them off in the Jersey winter months.

Fitting the shoes in was easy. As you can see on the axle there are anti-squeak brackets where the shoes are held by the axle.  Nice tight fit. Holds them in place while you put back the caliper.  Make sure they have the two metal anti-squeak pads per side and the "wear guard".  After the front and back are in, screw back the brake fluid top.  It should have NOT overfilled unless you filled the reservoir as the brakes wore.  The whole thing took 45 min. to an hour.

When you first get back into the car SLOWLY press on the brakes 3/4 to the floor, SLOWLY bring the pedal up and slowly down and up until it feels hard. Start the car and press again.  You should have nice hard brakes.  Bring it out and try them.  A few good hard stops to seat them (not locking from a 50mph stop).  Try the hand brake. It should only go up 1/3 the way before they lock tight.  When stopping the car should stop straight.  It's been a month and no problems.  In Jersey my 2001 does not have to be inspected until 2005.