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Miata calipers

I am changing my rotors and pads on my sons 1992 mazda miata.Ican’t figure out how to get my cylinder to depress all the way so I can put the pads in

[i]Ordinarily, When Istalling Brake Pads, The Caliper Piston … [/i]

… is slowly pushed back into its bore by using a caliper piston compressing tool, made for this purpose, or just a common C-clamp. Be sure to have the old brake pad in place on the piston side. Either tool should contact it to protect the piston. Don’t press directly on the piston. I don’t know if Miata calipers are something out of the ordinary.

A service manual would be a good addition to his Miata.

Tomram, Does This Seem Like It Will Work?

Can you use a C-clamp over the caliper body to press on the inboard used pad and compress the piston? My information is vague. In one place I looked, a special tool # 49-0221-600C is mentioned for use with a 4-piston type caliper. In another, the advice is to just use a C-clamp whether single-piston type or 4-piston type. Will this work for you?

I can’t tell from your question if the problem is that you haven’t installed brake pads before on any car or whether this car is different than most. You should draw some brake fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir to make room for the rising fluid level first, as the piston displaces it when being retracted. Fill it with new brake fluid after the brake installation.

Again, a manual for the Miata should explain this to you.

Thank you. I already tried that, Son lost the mnual. Guess I will buy another manual.

Are you replacing the front or rear brakes?



If you look at the face of the caliper piston, you’ll see a feature such as slots or holes. This is because the piston must be rotated back into it’s bore. So you need a tool such as this.

If you try to compress the piston back into it’s bore, you’ll damage the parking brake mechanism.


Thank you I will not have to pull my hair out after all simple just not easy sometimes. Tomram


If you haven’t already resolved this problem…

A wonderful source of Miata goodness is They have a “Garage” section that includes a good deal of Miata-specific detail.

While I pine for a garage to have a place to do half the things in it, I can also heartily recommend Keith Tanner’s Miata books. Lots of good info and pictures, including a brake replacement how-to. Also you can google to see if there is a local Miata club around you- these cars seem to attract lots of gearheads willing to lend a hand.

If you haven’t solved it, which I assume you have…and for anybody else looking

On the rear.
There is a ?14mm headed bolt that needs to come of the back of the caliper. Then insert a 5mm allen wrench into the bore and back off/unscrew the gear which will retract the piston.