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I have a 99 3.2

Just changed front rotors and pads. The top slide rail on the car (not the caliper) had some type of shim clipped onto it (where the top of the brake pad rides back and forth). It was sort of rusted and a liitle deformed, so I left them out on each side. Seems all they would do anyways is pull the top of the pad about 1/16" away outwards from the rotor. Everything appears to be working fine.....any advice?
 

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Those 'W' clips, I understand, help keep the pad off the rotor when there's no braking action...I've left them out before, but they sure can't hurt to make pads last longer.
Last brake job I put them back...
 

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There are too purposes for those clips/shims. The first, as mentioned by alarkyokie, is to pull the pads away from the rotors a little. The idea behind this is that your pads will last longer because they aren't rubbing against the rotor right after you let off the brake. How much longer will all depend on your driving style. Personally, I like the pads closer to the rotor as it reduces the time it takes for the pad to contact the rotor, which reduces braking distance.

The second is that the clip/shim acts as a fresh new surface for the pads to sit on. The mounting bracket can get pits where the pads sit. If this happens, your pads could sit loose and/or you have an increased chance for noise.

DCX supposedly fixed the second problem, but I'm not sure when. My car is six years old and I have no evidence of pitting. I have also never used those clips/shims and have had no issues.

There are two types of clips/shims. One is the W clips are for the first reason, the other is a straight flat clip which is for the second reason. Pics are as below.

W clips --> http://www.brianchase.us/images/abutmentclips_D730CT_single.jpg
Flat clip --> http://www.brianchase.us/images/FullRailClips_Abutment.jpg
 

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mlkmgr said:
so should we be using the flat clips? i removed mine once and they pads did not seem to fit right without them, so i put them back. how necessary are they?
You only need the flat ones if you need a new surface for which the pads rest on.

I've personally never had a need for them.
 

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I usually toss those clips. also, if the sliding surfaces are rough/rusty, I sand them with oil then smear a coat of anti-seize on them. then I wipe off as much anti-seize as I can.
 

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You are supposed to sand the surface and inspect it. If there is no pitting, than you really don't need the clips. You should grease them as well since they are a surface where the pads rest on. I use Bendix Ceramlub all around since it won't wash off like silicone grease. With the winter months and the amount of salt spray on the roads, that's a big plus.
 
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