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Thread: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

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    Default Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    This was the first time I was working on brakes and rotors but I thought this might be a good expereince to share especially with those that have not done it before.
    I decided to change the front rotors because of some feedback when braking at high speeds (100km+)

    Car: 2010 Mazda 3 2.0L with original brakes/rotors (80K)

    1) I tried everything on the internet I could find (nuts/bolts, pb blaster and hammer between the nuts, BFH etc)
    2) So I went out and bought a 4# sledge hammer and decided to try to break the rotor off the hub.
    3) A few whacks and the rotor broke into 2 pieces (rotor surface where the brake touches and the hub part)

    4) Got out the grinder with cut off wheel and cut the rotor. Spun it 180 and cut again. I didn't cut the the very edge because I didn't want to cut the hub so I got the 4# hammer and whacked it with a little force and it split into 2.
    5) now I took a small 2# hammer and whacked the part attached to the hub and it came off with medium effort


    Lessons Learned:
    1) Expect the unexpected (stuck rotors now what to do after you tried everything). First rotor took 4 hrs. Second using the cut out technique (15 mins)
    2) Should have used my sawzall instead of 4.5" grinder (easier to cut straight through given the space constraint)
    3) cut some scores around the rotor where it meets the hub so it breaks with more ensure meat for me to hammer out the rotor piece off the hub. (I didn't have issues but I'd probably do this in the future if needed)


    Because of this extra time I spent on the rotor/brakes I didn't have time to flush the brake fluid last night. Project for next weekend.

    Hope this helps people who are stuck!

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    Newbie iAaronx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Same year same car same thing happened to me! Ended up taking me 3 hours to do the front brakes eventually I got them off but I used an air chisel to take off the part where the hub is what a terrible experience I know just how you feel

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Couldn't figure out how to edit...this was supposed to be the first pic.


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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    I have a 2010 with 100K when I changed my rotors and breaks. The rotors just needed a torch and lots of hammering to release it from the rust seal that formed around the hub, didn't want to hammer it so hard that it breaks off.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    dang. i was gonna try to do mine in the next week.... now im not so sure if i should try

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post
    dang. i was gonna try to do mine in the next week.... now im not so sure if i should try
    How many kms they been on for ?

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    I used a propane torch for only a few mins. Maybe I should have left it longer? How long did you leave it on the hub?

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by XTOTHEL View Post
    I have a 2010 with 100K when I changed my rotors and breaks. The rotors just needed a torch and lots of hammering to release it from the rust seal that formed around the hub, didn't want to hammer it so hard that it breaks off.
    I used a propane torch for only a few mins. Maybe I should have left it longer? How long did you leave it on the hub?

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by iAaronx View Post
    How many kms they been on for ?
    i have an 05 but id say they've been on for about 80-85k i think

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    I had quite a hard time changing my front rotors too. Unfortunately I didn't have a sledge hammer or anything heavy duty like that... I tried the torch for a while but that didn't work either.. I found a neat trick on the interwebs that worked like a charm though.

    You just need a pretty strong bolt and nut and some washers.. If I recalled correctly.. At least a Gr 3 bolt.

    If you put the bolt into the calliper bracket bolt hole.. The washer on the other side, then tight the nut on.. Then you just use a wrench and tight the bolt while holding the nut with another wrench. Then the bolt will just push the rotor off..

    You wanna do this on both bracket holes and slowly tighten each one incrementally.

    Here's a picture of what it kinda looks like.. Little poorly drawn.. Lol


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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by xxfinity View Post
    I had quite a hard time changing my front rotors too. Unfortunately I didn't have a sledge hammer or anything heavy duty like that... I tried the torch for a while but that didn't work either.. I found a neat trick on the interwebs that worked like a charm though.

    You just need a pretty strong bolt and nut and some washers.. If I recalled correctly.. At least a Gr 3 bolt.


    I actually attempted this but the bolt touches the inner edge of the rotor where the brakes contact (2010 Mazda 3 front). As you tighten the bolt will shift into the interior of the hub. There's actually not too much room between the calipler bolt hole and rotor. I was able to fit 2 nuts in between only. Any tips?

    I was using a 3/8" x 2.5" bolt with nuts and washers. I read somewhere to slide a 1/2" piece of wood and tighten the bolt to push the wood that is in contact with the rotor. Maybe I'll try that next time because that will at least keep the bolt pushing out at the rotor

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by w3ss View Post
    I actually attempted this but the bolt touches the inner edge of the rotor where the brakes contact (2010 Mazda 3 front). As you tighten the bolt will shift into the interior of the hub. There's actually not too much room between the calipler bolt hole and rotor. I was able to fit 2 nuts in between only. Any tips?

    I was using a 3/8" x 2.5" bolt with nuts and washers. I read somewhere to slide a 1/2" piece of wood and tighten the bolt to push the wood that is in contact with the rotor. Maybe I'll try that next time because that will at least keep the bolt pushing out at the rotor
    I actually used 2 nuts, one to actually push against the calliper bracket, and the second at the end of the bolt to act as a foot. The nut just made it so that the bolt didn't slip off the inner edge of the rotor.

    Can't actually remembered exactly what size bolts and nuts I used off the top of my head right now.

    I also put a thin layer of anti seize between the rotor and the hub too to prevent them from getting stuck again. Do the same between the rotor surface and wheel.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by w3ss View Post
    I used a propane torch for only a few mins. Maybe I should have left it longer? How long did you leave it on the hub?
    What I did was, torch around where the friction surface of the rotor meets the hub part of the rotor evenly for a min or so, then firm hammer taps, you'll see chunks of rust fall off and repeated that until the hub just came loose with the hammer taps, ended up with A LOT of rust that formed behind the rotor.

    I tried the nut/bold solution as well, it works well with rotors that are not too rusted in. If it is too rusted in, you do run the risk of bending the mount for the caliper slightly and I didn't want to have issues there.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Here is a drawing of why mine were stuck. It is actually not because of the rust between the surface of the hub and rotor, it is what's formed around it.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by xxfinity View Post
    I actually used 2 nuts, one to actually push against the calliper bracket, and the second at the end of the bolt to act as a foot. The nut just made it so that the bolt didn't slip off the inner edge of the rotor.

    Can't actually remembered exactly what size bolts and nuts I used off the top of my head right now.

    I also put a thin layer of anti seize between the rotor and the hub too to prevent them from getting stuck again. Do the same between the rotor surface and wheel.
    Yes I loaded the antiseize between the rotor and hub when installing the new one. I always put it on the rim where it contacts the rotor as well. I did that immediately after I had to sledge hammer the wheel to change winter tires the first year I got it. Never had to use anti seize with my honda or acura for the rims.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    My grandfather used to tell me "work smarter, not harder".

    First of all, hammering on the rotor itself is not really effective, as the rotor is held by the hub. That's where the hammering should be directed at.
    Second, you don't have to swing at one spot like a mad gorilla, things break this way. With a 1.5-2 lb hammer, steady and firm hits on the hub's edge, followed by rotating the rotor 45 degrees. Hit, rotate, hit rotate and so on, and the rotor should come off after few rounds as this action shocks the rust and makes it crumble into small pieces.
    Third, before installing the new rotor, clean the hub with a wire brush or sand paper and apply a very thin coat of antisieze. This should prevent the same problem next time around. If the rotors are already installed I used a can of Rust Cure and with the supplied straw spray a small amount of oil in the opening between the hub and the studs ever time I rotate the wheels. This worked very well for the original rotors.

    These methods worked for me so far on all the cars I had to do brakes. And I never broke anything on the car or my body because I missed a swing with a sledge hammer.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by stock3 View Post
    My grandfather used to tell me "work smarter, not harder".

    First of all, hammering on the rotor itself is not really effective, as the rotor is held by the hub. That's where the hammering should be directed at.
    Second, you don't have to swing at one spot like a mad gorilla, things break this way. With a 1.5-2 lb hammer, steady and firm hits on the hub's edge, followed by rotating the rotor 45 degrees. Hit, rotate, hit rotate and so on, and the rotor should come off after few rounds as this action shocks the rust and makes it crumble into small pieces.
    Third, before installing the new rotor, clean the hub with a wire brush or sand paper and apply a very thin coat of antisieze. This should prevent the same problem next time around. If the rotors are already installed I used a can of Rust Cure and with the supplied straw spray a small amount of oil in the opening between the hub and the studs ever time I rotate the wheels. This worked very well for the original rotors.

    These methods worked for me so far on all the cars I had to do brakes. And I never broke anything on the car or my body because I missed a swing with a sledge hammer.
    I actually tried this out for atleast an hour. PB Blaster first and let it soak, then hammer at the hub areas between the studs with a 2# hammer. Didn't budge. I even torched it for a min or so and continued the process but no luck.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    This is an old thread but I just went through this same situation. I have a 2012 Mazda 3 and the rear rotors were rusted on. I spent an hour heating up the rotors with a torch using MAPP gas and a 2lb sledge hammer but no luck. What did work was PB Blaster. I grabbed the long thin plastic nozzle (which looks like a thin straw) from my chain lube spray can and put it in the PB blaster nozzle so I could aim the spray. I sprayed in the gap around the studs and the gap between the rotor and hub as I rotated the wheel. I was surprised at how the PB Blaster found its way directly into the rust area behind the rotor. I sprayed everything 3-4 times while rotate the wheel. Than I left it for 30-60 minutes. I grabbed the 2lb sledge hammer and hit the rotor from the inside outer edge toward me. Both rotors popped off after 4-5 medium hits.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Same issue on my 2012.
    Here's how they came out after a lot of elbow grease.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/zhrbyr4RpCQwtyQW2

    Sorry, for some reason I can't get the picture embedded.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Looks like I'm in for a fun time with my 2012.

    Just picked up a complete set of rotors and pads.

    Maybe I should start now with the PB Blaster and let it work it's way in, over the next few weeks??

    I just went through this with my son-in-laws Nissan and put a good coat of anti seize on the hub before the new rotors went on. His old rotors only required a few hits with a hammer.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Chiming in here to share my experience. Both of my front rotors were stuck in place on my 2008.5 and were simply not coming off. What DID work was a 3 jaw gear puller with a circular piece of iron (with a small indent in the center) placed over the middle portion of the hub for the gear puller screw to sit on. With each of the three jaws grabbing the outside edge of the rotor, the procedure was as follows:

    tighten a few turns > hit around hub with moderate force with hammer > tighten a few turns > hit around hub with moderate force with hammer > tighten a few turns > etc ...

    Eventually they popped off with a fairly loud bang (loud enough for my wife to open the garage door to check if everything was okay) as the bond finally gave way.

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by giantbunnyhead View Post
    Chiming in here to share my experience. Both of my front rotors were stuck in place on my 2008.5 and were simply not coming off. What DID work was a 3 jaw gear puller with a circular piece of iron (with a small indent in the center) placed over the middle portion of the hub for the gear puller screw to sit on. With each of the three jaws grabbing the outside edge of the rotor, the procedure was as follows:

    tighten a few turns > hit around hub with moderate force with hammer > tighten a few turns > hit around hub with moderate force with hammer > tighten a few turns > etc ...

    Eventually they popped off with a fairly loud bang (loud enough for my wife to open the garage door to check if everything was okay) as the bond finally gave way.
    Smart idea and very innovative. I usually just soak it in WD40 and then beat the rotors with a weighted rubber mallet lol. Cheers!

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    I fabricated a customer puller for Mazda rotors that will do up to 14". What a pain the first time around! Use your antiseize on the hub interface !

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Quote Originally Posted by morganc View Post
    I fabricated a customer puller for Mazda rotors that will do up to 14". What a pain the first time around! Use your antiseize on the hub interface !
    +999

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    Default Re: Replacing OEM Mazda 3 Rotors and brakes - STUCK but resolved

    Did the front brakes on my 3 and glad I was prepared for the struggle.

    Hour and half for the first rotor to be persuaded off the hub. Only 20 minutes for the other.

    The fun part is finding a street or area to go to, to run through the break-in procedure for the pads and rotors.

    Next nice weekend, the rear.

    Caked the hub and contact side of the rotor with anti-seize, that should make the next time I have to do this much easier.

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