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Brake change on Toyota Camry and 2 pad retaining clips are different, won't fit pads

I was almost finished with the brake change, when I realized I was unable to even jam the new pads into two of the eight retaining clips. Six of the clips are the same but two on the passenger side are different. They have a metal tab that keeps the pads from having enough room to fit in there. I have included pictures. Would appreciate your opinion, are these generic retaining clips that possibly a garage used when the originals got broke or lost?

I usually get my brakes changed at the garage, but I’ve had a lot of misalignment and sticking brake issues over the years that keep costing money. This made me decide to do my first brake job.

Normally, you want to change those with the pads. Most decent sets of pads have the new clips with them. The pads need to slide in those clips as they wear and move closer to the rotor. I’ve had bad luck in the past with pads sticking when I reused the clips…likely, those clips fit the tangs for the pads that were installed. Do the old pads associated with those clips look any different than the new ones you’re trying to install?

Hi, good suggestion. Checked all four of the old pads to see if the old pads were different, but they look exactly the same as the old pads. I got some bendix pads but didn’t come with clips. I’ll be buying pads with clip sets in the future.

@Mac B
"Toyota Camry"

Model-Year, please?

1998 Toyota Camry LE 4 cylinder , bought some clips from autozone. Haven’t had a chance to install them yet. Not the same as the originals, I could have ordered originals online for same price.

Concur w/above advise, I always install new clips too. I’ve never bought a box of replacement pads which didn’t include new clips, and usually new shims, anti-rattle gadgets, and other fasteners. I expect what happened is somebody bought those pads before you, then decided not to use them for some reason, but forgot to put the clips back into the package. A common problem for us diy’ers.

One idea, if you can’t find clips with the right geometry, go back to where you bought the pads receipt in hand and explain the pads they sold you didn’t have the clips. They may have another package of pads with clips, in which case they should give the clips to you and secure order new clips so they can put that box of pads w/clips back on the shelf.

Just curious, if the old clips won’t fit the new pads, how did the old clips fit the old pads? The clips attach to the pad backing plate, right? Are you certain you didn’t mix the clips up and one of those “different” clips is a special version and one goes on one side, on the other side?

I don’t see anything wrong with the factory clips. They go in specific locations, fore/aft and inboard/outboard. In the center picture the top clip with two springs is for the leading edge of the pad, the bottom clip goes in the bracket in the trailing location of rotor rotation.

Installed the new clips from autozone, they fit perfectly. Got those brake pads on a discount from rock auto . Manufacturer close out. The new brake pads fit in there nicely and we’re not too tight. You asked me how the old pads fit in there, they fit in there extremely tight. I am thinking they may have had to tap them in with a hammer. They were extremely difficult to remove and had to use a screwdriver. It was just that one brake pad which had two clips Different than the other 6.
I got 4 arcing pieces of metal they called a spring I think. It came in the bag with the pad clips. I posted a pic. Any idea where this goes and if I need them? LOL. Didn’t see them on there when I changed brakes. Thanks for the help

Once you have the new pads in place you should have a hole near the top and bottom of each pad on the edge facing you. One spring spans the top two holes. the other the bottom two. Their purpose is to help retract the pads.

I have those springs on my 2012 Camry, I don,t know if they were usrd in 1998.

On bargain brakes…
I buy “premium” brake pad sets, although they cost more, they could be less expensive.

The “top-shelf” pad sets I buy usually come with hardware that is not included in the cheaper sets. also, I use ceramic pads which are usually more expensive to begin with.

They’re brakes! They’re important! It’s not like buying seat covers or scented tree air-freshener.

Any saving you gain on cheap brakes can be spent on trips to the store for additional hardware or cleaners to get brake dust off your rims and the side of your car. They usually don’t give the hardware away when you purchase it separately, they hose you.

The more expensive pads often have rebates which I take advantage of and the more expensive pads often qualify me for bigger discounts (especially when added to rotors, discounts can be 40%) when ordering online with (very generous and lucrative) discount codes. Last time I did that I also additionally received a $15 gift card. It’s like a game show.

My most recent purchase of 2 brake rotors and premium ceramic pads with hardware ($49/pads) @ 40% off plus tax came to $71.41total. I used a $15 rebate and got back $15 more after that.

Long story, short, I have purchased the best for less than the cheapest!
When I shop pads I have the counterman (non-PC sexist comment) pull different pad sets in order to see what comes in each box (hardware contained or not contained often isn’t known until one looks).

That’s how I roll… and stop!
Edit: I forgot to mention that better pads usually wear longer, stop better, and are less likely to cause noise problems (many have better backing material).

Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions. This is a great website and super helpful contributors!