This is my first post and I don't know my way around Renault Forums yet, so I hope am not offending anyone.
This is my girlfriend's 2003 (53) Clio Extreme that she has owned for 2 years and it has covered approximately 56,000 miles.
The front discs had worn down to 18mm and the minimum service limit is 17.7mm, so I decided to change both front discs and pads after an MOT advisory.
After fitting the new parts I test drove the car and immediately noticed the ABS & Service lights were both illuminated on the instrument display and the ABS would not kick in during simulated emergency braking.
When I investigated the problem I found one of the reluctor rings on the front universal joint had broken due to corrosion and needed to be replaced. It must have finally broken loose when I renewed the disc.
I found some information on the internet about replacing the rings without having to renew the universal joints so I ordered a pair of new rings and decided to give it a go.
I have documented the procedure for changing the front discs, pads and reluctor rings specifically for the Clio as the rings appear to be a common problem on cars that are a few years old.
And hopefully this information will be useful for other DIY enthusiasts on Renault Forums.
Replacing these parts can easily be achieved using a basic DIY tool kit.
2 Axle Stands
1/2” Breaker Bar
18mm Ring Spanner
1/2” Short Extension Bar
1/2” T bar
Large Flat Blade bit (from impact driver kit)
6mm Drill Bit
2 Plastic Buckets
Large Flat Blade Screwdriver
Long Thin Flat Blade Screwdriver
Flame proof mat
Snipe Nosed Pliers
2 Reluctor Rings (44 Teeth for 2003 Clio)
2 Brake Discs (inc. 2 Brake Disc Retaining Screws)
1 Set of Brake Pads
2 Front Hub Nuts
Step 1 – Remove The Wheel Trim
The wheel trims on this car are all fairly battered and I have tidied them up a bit by filing down the edges where they are most damaged to make them look as round as possible. They really all need replacing, but as they are only cosmetic and easy to fit they can be replaced later.
Step 2 – Slacken The Hub Nut
This needs to be done with the car on the ground because it is very tight and a 30mm socket with a breaker bar is needed. You may need an assistant to apply the brakes if the road wheel starts slipping when you are trying to slacken the nut.
Step 3 – Slacken The Wheel Bolts
This needs to be done with the car on the ground because they are fairly tight and a 19mm socket with a breaker bar is needed.
Step 4 – Remove The Road Wheel
The car needs to be jacked up both sides at the front and secured on axle stands. This is to remove the tension on the anti roll bar so the suspension can be partially dis-assembled. The wheel nuts can then be removed together with the road wheel.
Step 5 – Inspect The Brake Disc
The minimum service thickness is 17.7mm and if the disc is worn a lip can be felt on the outside edge. Both front discs and pads should be replaced at the same time.
Step 6 – Remove The Brake Caliper
2 bolts secure the caliper (top and bottom) to the hub. These are fairly tight so yo may need a breaker bar with a 18mm socket to slacken them off. It will help if you turn the steering wheel to full lock to gain better access to the rear of the caliper.
Support the caliper after it has been removed from the disc to prevent any strain on the flexible brake pipe. I use a plastic bucket turned upside down in the front of the wheel well.
Step 7 – Remove The Brake Reservoir Cap
You will need to wind back the piston in the caliper later, so it is always a good idea to release the cap on the brake fluid reservoir to ensure there is no back pressure in the braking system.
Step 8 – Wind Back Piston
I use a 6” G-Clamp to wind back the piston and remove the outside brake pad from the caliper. The inside pad can be used to help wind back the piston. The piston must be wound back so the caliper can be slotted over the new disc after the new pads have been fitted.
Step 9 - Remove the Disc Retaining Screws And Brake Disc
I very quickly lose patience with these screws especially as Renault decided to fit two to each disc. So I find it quicker and easier to drill into each countersunk screw by about 6mm using a 6mm drill. This is usually enough to slacken the screw so it can be unscrewed by hand. New discs come with new screws so it is not a problem to drill the old ones.
Once the retaining screws have been removed the disc can be removed from the hub. However in many cases the disc will be stuck to the hub and difficult to remove. Take care if you lose patience and resort to using a hammer on the disc face because it can shatter.
Step 10 – Disc Retaining Screws Removed
Here are the disc retaining screws removed. You can see where I have drilled only into the countersunk head.
Step 11 - Slacken Lower Arm Ball Joint Retaining Nuts
The two bolts that hold the ball joint retaining arm to the lower wishbone can be slackened using a 18mm socket and ring spanner. I decided to remove these bots instead of slackening the ball joint clamp because access was easier and I didn't want to disturb the ball joint and risk splitting the rubber boot.
Step 12 - Slacken Strut To Swivel Hub Bolts
The two bolts that hold the strut to the hub can be slackened using a 18mm socket and ring spanner.
Step 13 - Remove Hub Nut
The hub nut was slackened during step 2 and can now be removed. Now is also good time to disconnect the ABS sensor plug, located behind the plastic panel in the wheel arch. Tuck the ABS cable out of the way so it does not get damaged.
The strut bolts and ball joint retaining nuts can be removed. Move the strut out of the way and the hub lifts off of the wishbone.
The hub can then be slid off drive shaft. If it is stiff then use a pry bar or large flat blade screw driver to pry it off.
Do not whack it with a hammer because you don't want to pull the drive shaft out of the gearbox.
Step 14 - Inspect Reluctor Ring
You can now inspect the reluctor ring for damage if it is still in position. I found that on the passenger side it had fallen off the universal joint. This one was still attached.
Step 15 - Remove Reluctor Ring
If the reluctor ring is broken it is easy to spot and the ring will rotate freely around the universal joint.
Step 16 - De-rust The Universal Joint
Before you can fit a new reluctor ring the rust needs to be cleaned off the universal joint so the new ring can be slid into place.
A dremel with a suitable tool makes cleaning the surface quick and easy.
Step 17 - Heat New Reluctor Ring
The new reluctor ring is an interference fit so needs to be heated up using a blow torch to expand it. It will then easily slide into position on the universal joint. When it cools down, the ring will contract onto the universal join forming a good interference ft.
Step 18 - Fit New Reluctor Ring
The reluctor ring is very hot so use a pair of snipe nosed pliers and slide it onto the universal joint. You can apply some grease to the joint to ease fitment but I found that wasn't necessary because the ring expands sufficiently to fit into place without any interference.
Step 19 - Cool New Reluctor Ring
Hold the ring in place and let it cool to form an interference fit. The ring cools rapidly and you can continue with assembly within a couple of minutes.
Step 20 - Refit Hub to Universal Joint
Once the ring has cooled everything can be bolted back together. Start by fitting the hub back on and you are advised to use a new hub nut.
You cannot fully tighten the hub to he drive shaft at this stage, but it does need to be 'nipped' up using a 30mm socket. I stop the hub from spinning by slotting a long thin flat bladed screwdriver through one of the disc retaining screw holes.
Step 21 - Refit Lower Wishbone To Hub
The hub assembly can now be positioned so the two lower arm ball joint nuts & bolts can be 'nipped' up using a 18mm socket and ring spanner.
Step 22 - Re-Fit Strut To Hub
The strut can be moved into position and the bolts re-fitted. They can be then 'nipped' up using a 18mm socket and ring spanner.
Step 23 - Torque Strut Bolts
The Strut-to-swivel hub bolts need to be torqued to 105Nm.
Step 24 - Torque Wishbone Bolts
The Lower arm ball joint retaining nuts need to be torqued to 90Nm.
Step 25 - Reconnect ABS Sensor
The ABS sensor connector can be re-connected and the ABS cable clipped back into position. The connector can be relocated in its clips behind the plastic panel.
Step 26 - Apply Copper Grease To Hub Flange
Smear a thin layer of copper grease onto the hub flange to help prevent the new disc from sticking to it. This will aid removal of the disc when it needs to be replaced.
Step 27 - Refit Brake Disc
Clean the new disc with brake cleaner to remove any
or grease. Place the new disc onto the hub and fit a new disc retaining screw. I have modified this screw by sawing a slot across the countersunk head so I can use a flat bladed screw driver. The screw should be torqued to 20Nm.
Step 28 - Apply Copper Grease to Brake Pad Backings
This photograph shows that you do not need to smear copper grease all over the pad backing, only on the areas where there is no copper grease. I removed the grease and re-applied it only to the necessary areas.
Carefully applied copper grease stops the pads from binding and helps to eliminate brake squeal.
To much copper grease like this makes a mess and risks contaminating the brake pads and disc surface.
Step 29 - Fit New Brake Pads
Slot the new pads into the caliper ensuring they fit correctly and the springs are not twisted.
Step 30 - Refit Brake Caliper
Slot the brake caliper into place and torque the bolts to 100Nm using a 18mm socket.
Step 31 - Apply Copper Grease to Road Wheel
Smear a little copper grease on the inside of the road wheel where it comes into contact with the brake disc. The will help prevent it from seizing on to the disc.
Do not apply to much grease because it may contaminate the brake disc.
Step 32 - Refit Road Wheel
Re-fit the road wheel. The wheel bolts can be then 'nipped' up using a 19mm socket.
Step 33 - Refit Brake Resevoir Cap
Don't forget to refit the brake reservoir cap.
Step 34 - Torque Road Wheel Nuts
Remove all tools from beneath the car and lower both sides to the ground. The road wheel bolts can be torqued to 90Nm using a 19mm socket.
Step 35 - Torque Hub Nut
The hub nut can now be torqued to 175Nm. You may need an assistant to apply the brakes if the road wheel starts slipping when you are trying to tighten the nut.
Pump the brake pedal a few times to allow the piston to reset, because you wound it back earlier in step 8.
Step 36 - Refit Wheel Trim
The wheel trim can go back on.
Step 37 - Check ABS and Sevice Lights
Start the car and test the brakes to ensure everything feels right before a test drive. he ABS & Service lights should not be lit on the instrument display and the ABS should kick in during simulated emergency braking.