How To Change Your Polaris RZR Brake Pads
Oct 15th 2021
Regardless if you ride your Polaris RZR brakes like a mule during steep descents down mountainous trails, or if you avoid even tapping your Polaris RZR brakes until it’s absolutely necessary, you’ll eventually need to service your rig with some Polaris RZR brake pad replacements. And the cheapest option for this is to do the work yourself with either some brass brake pads, organic base brake pads, or sintered brake pads from Everything Polaris RZR! Procuring high-quality, long-lasting, and effective brake pads is easy to do, but unless you're mechanically inclined or already have the knowhow, replacing your Polaris RZR brake pads can be a bit tricky. So how exactly does one go about conducting a Polaris RZR brake pad change? Well, this is exactly what we’re going to cover here in this article!
Tools Required To Replace Your Polaris RZR Brake Pads
Before getting into the thick of it, you’re going to need the right tools to change your Polaris RZR brake pads. If you’ve got a standard set of sockets and some allen wrenches, you should be good to go. Specifically, however, make sure you have a 15mm socket and a 5mm allen wrench. Additionally, you’ll also want to have a c-clamp available, a torque wrench, a drain pan, some rags, and rubber gloves. When you’ve got all the requisite tools assembled, you can begin the process of changing your Polaris RZR brake pads!
How To Change The Brake Pads On a Polaris RZR
The first thing you must do to change the brake pads on your Polaris RZR, Polaris RZR 4, or Polaris RZR Turbo is to elevate the machine so that the tires can be easily removed. For this, a jack or side-by-side stand work best, but you can also use a UTV winch in a pinch. Take your tire iron, loosen the lug nuts, and then you can start working on the brake caliper.
Before you disassemble the brake caliper, however, you must first remove the lower radius rod using a 15mm socket wrench. Pulling the bolt on the lower radius rod allows you to remove it on one end, and if you’re replacing the rear Polaris RZR brake pads, you’ll want to place a jack underneath the trailing arm for added support.
If everything is sturdy, you’ll then move on to loosening the pad adjuster screw. Give it a few turns in the counterclockwise direction, and then you’re good to remove the two bolts that hold the Polaris RZR brake caliper to the hub. With the brake caliper mounting bolts removed, you’ll be able to wiggle the caliper free from the brake rotor.
The next step required to change your Polaris RZR brake pads involves compressing the brake piston cups. This step creates a gap that not only lets you remove the old brake pads, but it also opens things up enough to you slide the new brake pads into place once the old ones have been extracted. To compress the pistons, you’ll want to use your C-Clamp, keeping the old brake pads in place as you go to ensure that pressure is applied evenly.
One thing to consider while compressing your brake piston is the fluid in the brake lines. If the system is completely full, the contents of the brake fluid reservoir will overflow, so monitoring that and removing excess brake fluid as needed is a smart move.
After the piston cups are pushed fully into the body of the brake caliper, you can then apply pressure to the caliper’s mounting bracket to create a gap through which the brake pads can slide. Following the removal of your old Polaris RZR brake pads, you can spray the brake caliper as well as the brake rotor down with a few shots of brake cleaner to remove dirt, brake dust, and other gunk that has accumulated.
Before you install your new Polaris RZR brake pads, it’s important to also clean the pins that allow the caliper to move smoothly in and out on the brake stay. When properly cleaned, these pins will self-adjust as the brake pads wear to ensure that the right amount of contact is made between the caliper and the brake pads. If the caliper moves fluidly in and out, the pins might not require any attention. But if the caliper is stiff and rigid, the pins likely need a bit of grease. Fail to grease these pins and you'll likely experience uneven pad wear and sub-optimal breaking!
As soon as you finish servicing your brake caliper, you can then begin installing your new brake pads -- making sure that the pad closest to the caliper body is facing outward, and the pad closest to you is facing inward. Once the brake pads are properly positioned in the caliper, you should be able to reverse the previous steps and slide the caliper assembly around the brake rotor and onto the hub.
When re-inserting the caliper bolts, it is best to tighten them down to a pressure of 40 foot-pounds. For the next step regarding the lower radius rod, Polaris advises riders to replace the nut after removing the bolt because it needs to avoid stripping as you torque it down with a force of 100 foot-pounds. Subsequent to re-installing the lower radius rod, it is important to pump the brakes so that the pressure in the brake lines goes back to normal. And once you feel a significant amount of pushback when pressing on the brake pedal, you can go back to the caliper and twist the adjuster screw until it’s snug. Once the brake pad adjuster screw is seated, backing it off by a half turn or so will ensure that your brakes don’t shake, rattle, or rub.
Moving on from the adjuster screw, you can then put the tire back onto the hub, tighten the lug nuts, and lower your vehicle back to the ground. The process is the same for the front brake pads, rear brake pads, left brake pads, and right brake pads, so regardless of whether you’re replacing one or all of your Polaris RZR brake pads, you now know how it’s done!
To take full advantage of having your machine torn apart, it wouldn’t hurt to check your wheel bearings while servicing your Polaris RZR brakes -- and if they’re low on grease, replacing them or repacking them with a grease gun is advised. You should also check the a-arm bushings while your Razor is disassembled, and inspecting both the a-arms and tie rods for damage and fitment issues is a good thing to do as well.
If you drive your Razor like a race car or if you use it as if it were a submarine, you’ll want to check and replace your brake pads with frequent regularity. But even if you ride casually on mild terrain, your brake pads will still wear out over time. Ergo, it’s important to know how to change the brake pads on a Polaris RZR. And if you’re reading this, you are now among those who have this skill set in their box of tools!