370z / 350z Akebono Brake Install and Upgrade
Parts needed: Parts were ordered as a kit via TunerzStore.com and included Akebono front and rear calipers, Project mu front pads, Hawk rear pads, front and rear StopTech slotted rotors, front caliper mounting bracket with bolts, retainer clips.
|Parts Layout. Everything was laid out to help ensure everything was in place. Not pictured is the billet bracket for mounting the larger calipers.
|Rim Validation. These brakes are BIG and need lots of room. DO NOT install these brakes without validating your rims will work with them. Use the Akebono Rear Brake Template and Akebono Front Brake Template to check BEFORE installing the brake kit.
|Step 1. Using 21mm ratchet or wrenches, remove the two 21mm bolts as shown via the red arrows. If you are going to replace the brake lines then suspend the caliper or set it on a bucket as we did during the installation. To fully remove the caliper use a 10mm brake line wrench and remove the line. Once the caliper is completely disconnected it can be removed and set to the side. Be careful with the loose brake line as brake fluid will spill out.
Step 2. Mount the front caliper bracket using the two supplied bolts. The bolts on one end require a H12 allen head socket and the other is a 11/16th nut. Tighten both down. Reference: bolts being installed
Bracket is only required for 350z models. 370z does not require this step.
|Step 3. Install the new rotor. You can use two lug nuts to hold them on. Try not to touch the braking surface with bare hands unless you have some brake cleaner to wipe it down afterward.
|Step 4. The bottom of the dust shield will need to be adjusted for clearance before installing the caliper. The shield can be cut or bent. The red arrow shows where, in this case, the dust shield was bent to allow the caliper to mount on the bracket.
|Step 5. Install the new caliper on the bracket utilizing the other two bolts which came with the bracket and tighten down. You can reconnect the brake line at this time.
|Step 6. Gather installation parts and prepare front pads. To install the front pads you will need two pad pins, two clips (not shown), the cross spring, pads and shims. Begin preparation by installing the shims on the pads and applying the supplied grease to the outside of the shim. At this time also add some grease to the two pad pins.
|Step 7. Install the pads into the caliper by simply sliding them in evenly as it's a tight fit. Position the Cross Spring over them. The Cross Spring is the flat metal part shown installed via the picture to the left. Next, install the two pad pins, one at a time. The pad pins go in one way with the head (has indention's for a phillips head screwdriver) on the inside of the caliper. Slide the pin under the outer clips of the Cross Spring as shown via the red arrows, and over the center clip as shown via the orange arrow. It should slide in relatively easily. Do both pins the same way. If tight you can use a phillips head screwdriver on the back to help set the pins. Finally add the the supplied locking clips onto each pin as shown via the blue arrow.
Do the same steps above for the other side.
|Step 8. Remove the two 19mm bolts from the rear rotors and disconnect the rear brake line using the brake line wrench and set aside. If you are upgrading from a non-sport to a sport then you can reuse these bolts to mount the Akebono caliper. If you are upgrading from a 350z with Brembo brakes then you will need to use the two supplied 19mm bolts as the Brembo bolts will not work on the Akebono caliper.
|Step 9. The Akebono caliper is too big for mounting directly using the factory 370z or 350z heat shield, thus, the heat shield needs to be modified. Start by using tin snips to make cuts approximately every 1.5" around the lip of the heat shield as pictured to the left. Then, using a pair of pliers, bend them up and flatten them out as shown.
|Step 10. Once the heat shield has been flattened out on the rear you need to trim the edges in order for the caliper to fit. Trim the top and bottom as shown by the image to the left. You can hold up one of the rear calipers to validate how much to cut off if needed
|Step 11. Install the rear rotor and use spare bolts to hold in place. Install the Akebono caliper over the rotor and use the appropriate 19mm bolts to mount them. Install the brake line using the 10mm brake line wrench.
|Step 12. Get the parts together for the rear brakes. You should have two pins, the cross spring, two locking clips (not shown), two brake pads, 4 pad shims (a black pair and silver pair if Hawk as pictured, and grease. Start by putting the shims on the brake pads and adding some grease as shown via the inset picture. Smear the grease around to coat the back of the shim.
|Step 13. As with the fronts, install the rear pads into the caliper by simply sliding them in evenly as it's a tight fit. Position the Cross Spring over them as before. Next, install the two pad pins, one at a time. Slide the pin under the outer clips of the Cross Spring as shown via the red arrows, and over the center clip as shown via the orange arrow. It should slide in relatively easily. Do both pins the same way. If tight you can use a phillips head screwdriver on the back to help set the pins. Finally add the supplied locking clips onto each pin as shown via the blue arrow (see front brake picture above for image of clip in pin). This should be easy after doing the fronts.
|Step 14: Bleeding Brakes. There are multiple ways to bleed the brakes and plenty of shade tree mechanic methods to make life easy. We were able to use two kits to make life MUCH easier: Brake power bleeder and a Brake Vacuum Pump kit. In effect, the power bleeder, which attaches to the vehicles brake fluid reservoir, contains spare brake fluid and is under pressure, 15psi in this case, to allow fluid to be pushed towards all four calipers during the bleeding process. The brake vacuum pump kit allows each caliper to be bled and uses pressure to help draw fluid out of the caliper and into an attached reservoir cup which makes bleeding easy and clean (keeping the kit under pressure helps ensure there is no fluid spills. There is no need to have someone constantly pump/hold brakes to bleed the calipers with this configuration.
Unlike single piston brakes the Akebono brakes have to be bled from both the front and back as each side provides even pressure during braking. When bleeding the brakes we performed 3 complete passes of the calipers to ensure they were completely bled. Always start with the caliper furthest from the Master Cylinder and work your way to the closest in this order: Rear passenger, Rear drivers, Front passenger, Front drivers.
Disclaimer: The author will not be held responsible nor held liable for any damages due to these instructions. Anyone following these directions are doing so at their own risk. This Documentation may not be distributed without the authors consent.