Welcome to the second in this new series of Flying Spares/Rolls-Royce & Bentley Driver technical guides.

Our first technical guide covered fluid checks Back To Basics I Fluid Checks  This time we’re looking at something a bit more advanced: a front brake disc and pad change, including wheel bearings, on our 1990 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit II test and development car.

It’s one of those jobs you’ve probably had to do a few times. That grinding or squealing sound when you brake, which you know means a reasonable outlay! Don’t delay though. Doing so can cause quite serious damage, and braking is as safety critical as it gets – literally a lifesaver. It's something of an industry best-practice mantra to always change them in pairs too, for balance.

I’ve been doing a lot on brakes recently, working with our chief quality control engineer, Malcolm, and head of procurement, Phil, on a new range of Bentley discs. This included putting them on a brake disc testing dyno which carried out recurring brake applications until they hit thermal fatigue, repeatedly slowing from 206mph to 12mph with a simulated weight matching that of a Flying Spur. Bentley GT Brake Testing

We start by removing the caliper, getting the hub and disc assembly off, and giving it all a good clean. Then we put it all back together again, fitting new parts to the correct tolerances. We don’t open the hydraulic system though. We’ll get into that another time.  One of the most important points is to always ensure that the bearings are retained with their respective outer races, as they’re supplied in matched sets. Incorrect setting of the bearings will result in premature wear. Also, pay close attention to the disc run-out measurements, and it is good practice to check the brake fluid level before driving.

The usual caveats apply. Please note that these articles are intended as general guidance only. For model-specific instructions please refer to your owner’s manual. I’ll try to use generic product names, rather than pushing certain brands. Finally, and I can’t emphasise this enough: safety is paramount. Please use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and dispose of waste products responsibly. Good luck and mind your head!

Click the links for the step-by-step guide

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4