How to Change the Rear Brake Pads on a Miata

by Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017
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brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from

Items you will need

  • Brake fluid siphon

  • Tire block

  • Jack wrench

  • Car jack

  • Jack stand(s)

  • Metric hand wrench set

  • Metric Allen wrench set

  • Replacement pad set with hardware clips

  • Silicone brake lubricant

  • Torque wrench and metric socket set

  • Brake fluid

The rear brake pads that come equipped on some Mazda Miata models (also known as the MX-5 Miata) only account for about 30 percent of the braking power for the compact import. Therefore, the front brake pads do more of the work and will require more frequent service. However, the rear pads will eventually have to be replaced since they're smaller and not as thick as the front brake pads.

Remove one-third of the brake fluid from the master cylinder in the engine compartment after parking the Miata on a hard level surface suitable for lifting and supporting the vehicle. Discard the fluid.

Ensure the parking brake is not engaged and place a tire block in front of one of the front tires.

Loosen the rear wheel nuts with the jack wrench by turning them one-quarter turn counterclockwise.

Lift the rear of the Miata with the car jack, one side at a time, and then support the car on jack stands in a safe and secure location. Finish removing the wheel nuts and wheels.

Locate the manual caliper piston adjustment gear plug on the back side of the caliper housing and pull it out of the housing by hand.

Insert a metric Allen wrench key and turn the piston adjustment key counterclockwise until the caliper piston is fully retracted within its bore. Replace the plug after the piston has been retracted.

Remove the lower caliper bolt with a metric hand wrench and lift the caliper upward off of the brake pads.

Remove the old brake pads from the caliper mounting bracket and then remove the brake pads' upper and lower hardware clips from the bracket.

Install the new hardware clips onto the bracket and then apply a light coat of silicone brake lubricant to the brake pad contact points on the clips.

Insert the new pads onto the hardware clips in the mounting brackets.

Pivot the caliper down over the pads and rotor, align the lower caliper mounting bolt and then tighten the bolt to 30-foot pounds with a torque wrench and metric socket. Replace the pads on the opposite side.

Replace the wheels and wheel nuts and then tighten them flush to the wheel and hub. Raise the Miata up just enough to remove each jack stand and then lower the Miata slowly to the ground. Torque the wheel nuts to 80-foot pounds with a torque wrench and socket in a crisscross pattern.

Ensure the master cylinder cap is secure and then pump the brake pedal several times until it feels normal. This will seat the new pads to the rotors and extend the caliper pistons outward.

Recheck the brake fluid in the master cylinder and top off as necessary with new brake fluid only.

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