How to Change Your Brake Pads and Rotors

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  1. #1
    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious!
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    How to Change Your Brake Pads and Rotors

    Well, after about 30 days of drama, I finally got my brakes. Hopefully, I will be done complaining about my brakes now. lol!

    Aside from all the problems I had in dealing with the online company that I originally tried to buy from, the real problem that I was having was the right front rotor warped. If you think you may have this problem, it is a very simple test. Jack up the wheel and spin it.

    Good rotor...
    [ame="http://s358.photobucket.com/albums/oo28/stingrayj/Brakes/?action=view&current=100_2136.flv"]Brakes :: Left front video by stingrayj - Photobucket[/ame]

    Bad rotor...
    [ame="http://s358.photobucket.com/albums/oo28/stingrayj/Brakes/?action=view&current=100_2127.flv"]Brakes :: Right front video by stingrayj - Photobucket[/ame]


    I ordered the EBC Red Stuff brake pads and the EBC Ultimax Slotted Rotors (USR). Here they are in all they brand spankin' new glory.



    And here are the warped ones. These are original to the car that now has just over 60,000 miles.





    Please ignore the dirt. It's been raining a lot lately. I just caught a break in the weather long enough to get some stuff done.

    As we go through this, you should be looking at all parts, hoses, boots, etc. for any kind of damage.

    Anyway, jack the car up and take the wheel off.


    Take a 13mm wrench and LOOSEN, but do not take out the caliper bolts.





    Next, we need to take the bolt out of the bracket that is securing the brake line and sensor. Use a 10mm socket for this.


    I put the bolt back in the hole so that I didn't lose it.


    Next, take out the two brake bracket bolts with an 18 mm socket and ratchet.




    Support the caliper assembly after the second bolt comes out. You don't want to put any excess stress on the brake lines or fittings. I hung the caliper with a bungee cord.


    If you still have your original brakes like me, you will have a retainer clip on two of the studs (shown in the picture above). Take them off. I used a combination of a flathead screwdriver and needle nose pliers. Once you get them out far enough to get your fingers behind them, you should be able to just screw them off.


    Now just slide the rotor off.


    Since we now need to work on the caliper assembly, we need a different way to support it. Being resourceful (a.ka. too lazy to go grab something else) I used my jack.


    Since we loosened the caliper bolts earlier, you can now remove them by hand. Once those two bolts are out, you can remove the caliper bracket. The brake pads are mounted in the caliper bracket and should come out with it. However, my pads were assembled with the anti-squeal goo, so they were stuck in there. Therefore, I couldn't remove the caliper bracket. Just stick a flathead screwdriver between the back side of the brake pad and the caliper.


    Once you get all of that out, you should have this.


    The brake pads just pop right out.




    Now take out the spring clips that hold the brake pads in place. No special tools are needed. Just flex the clip ends enough to pull them out.


    Now here was the time consuming part for me. May brake assemblies were particularly dirty. So I used some brake cleaner that I got at AutoZone for about $3, a wire brush, and a towel. Once everything is cleaned up, lightly cover the clips with some anti-seize and put the them back in. (Thanks Jay!)


    Unfortunately, I skipped the step about removing the slide bolts. I was thinking that since the boot was in good shape it should be clean in there. That's not necessarily true. So, I will be going back to take care of this tomorrow.

    Edit: The slide bolts pull out of the boots. The boots stay attached to the caliper bracket. Pull 'em out, clean it up, and re-lube the slide bolts. Put them back in and the slide the boot covers back over the slide bolts. At this point, whatever air is behind the boots is trapped. To get the slide bolts to seat back into the caliper bracket, you will have to releave the air behind the boot cover. Just sqeeze the boot a little with your fingers and push it off to the side until there is a little gap on the side. Push the slide bolt in and let go of the boot.

    Edit: In the picture above, I added some anti-seize to the clips where the brake pads contact the clips. This help A LOT with the initial squealing problems I was having.

    Now go back to the brake caliper and clean that up. Be careful around the piston boots, but you want to get them clean too. Once all that is cleaned up, you need to reset the pistons. Open the hood, lift out the master cylinder cover, and open the lid to the master cylinder, but don't remove it. Then put an old brake pad over the pistons and use a c-clamp or a quick-grip (like I did) to compress the pistons. Go slow and steady.


    Now we are ready to put everything back together. First, clean off the entire brake rotor with the brake cleaner. Typically the rotors come covered in a cosmolean which is an oil based anti-corrosion fluid. Obviously, you don't want your braking surface lubricated! So, make sure you wipe it down good. When it's all clean put the brake rotor on and secure it with two lug nuts.

    Also, if you are putting on slotted or drilled rotors, pay special attention as to which side they go on. As you can see at the top of the rotor it is marked with an "R" for right, or passenger, side. This is important for the performance slotted rotors to actually deliver that added performance that you paid for. If you are putting on solid rotors, it doesn't matter which side you mount them on.

    After that, remount the caliper bracket with the two 18mm bolts. Put a drop or two of red Loc-tite on the threads of the bolt before screwing them in. (Thanks Jay!)


    Next we want to mount the brake pads. Pay special attention to your pads. Depending on your vehicle, the pads on the inside of the rotor may be different from the pads on the outside of the rotor. However, for my 2006 Dodge Magnum R/T, the front pads are all the same.




    Your new pads should just pop right in to place. Once they are in, squeeze them as the caliper would and then check for any gaps to ensure that they are properly seated.


    I decided against using the anti-squeal goo for now, but you would add it at this point if you wanted to use it. I figured that I can always go back and add it later if I thought I needed it.

    Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of remounting the brake caliper, but it is just the same as taking it off. Slide it over the new brake pads, line up the mounting holes with the caliper slide bolts (which appear to be sealed on my car, so I just left them alone), and screw in the two 13 mm bolts.

    Don't forget to reinstall the brake line bracket!




    Finally, reinstall the wheel.


    You will notice in the picture above that the rotors are no longer black. That black coloring is a zinc coating from the manufacturer designed to prevent corrosion on any surface that is not in contact with the brake pads. I drove around the block twice to test out the new brakes and it wore off the zinc coating already.

    Don't forget to bed your new brakes once they are ready to bed. I have to wait until all of the zinc coating is gone from the braking surface before I can bed them. Until then, they are squealling like mad! But, the shakes are gone!
    Last edited by stingrayj; 06-16-2009 at 04:47 AM.
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  3. #2
    "INSTITUTIONALIZED" JERKDOGG's Avatar
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    Lookz good and CONGRATZ on the new gear!!!!!
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    Member allen1013's Avatar allen1013 is making a name for themself!
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    Nice how too....
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    loven the super charged life jayalbertcars's Avatar

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    very nice if i could add a few things i always recommend cleaning the rotors with brake clean stock replacement rotors will come covered in a cosmolean real bad for the pads i would also recomemend serviceing the caliper slides they are covered with the rubber boots remove them i always buff them on a wheel than i coat them with anti sieze i also put anti sieze on the pad supports and lastly i put some red lock tight on the caliper support bolts

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    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious!
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    Thanks for the tips Jay. I'll jump back into it tomorrow to take care of those items. I have a recital to go to in about an hour.
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    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious!
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    I didn't get any pictures of the steps that I missed because I was pressed for time today. However, I just got everything put back together with my lights and took it for a test drive. I drove around my block about 3-4 times, braking anywhere between 35 and 25 mph to a near stop. Guess what? No more squealing! However I did feel a vibration when I hit the brakes that felt like the brakes were having a bit of trouble finding the friction that they needed and the grunt a lot. It's almost like I could feel the slots engaging the pads. Some of the zinc coating is still there and the "Brake-In" coating on the pads is still there, so I'm guessing it is just that brand new brake feeling that I'm picking up on. The car is finally stable!

    I'm still debating whether or not I want to drive it to work tomorrow. I'm not sure if it is still too soon to take it out on the highway. Any thoughts?
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    Nice write up Jason!!!!!!! And I am glad the squealing is gone!!!!

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    Hey man, nice write up.

    I was gonna do this on saturday (I have a Hawk Pads and Wilwood high temp brake fluid to flush my system out and replace with).

    You missed a step though. You need to grease the slide guides with high temp brake grease. They need to be clean and greased to insure that both pads are clamping the rotor with equal pressure.

    You should flush your fluid too. If your fluid is black, it's baked and needs to be flushed.

    Here a few links for ya.

    cheers,
    Burleson

    Brake Pad Replacement (5.7L) - Step by Step - LX Forums Modern Mopar Muscle

    How to bleed your brakes: Quick and Dirty - LX Forums Modern Mopar Muscle

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    That is one awesome write up! Props to you sir.

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    sweet thx 4 the write up i think this my next mod slotted rotors
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    nice write up..... GOOD JOB
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    Great how to! Excellent pics also!! Beans to you sir!! (as soon as the powers that be will let me)
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    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious! stingrayj is a Magnum Genious!
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    I did go back on Sunday and lubed the slides and clips which is why the squealing stopped (I think). I drove it in to work this morning and with the right (light) amount of pressure, I could get the brakes to squeal. It was definitely noticeable, but not overwhelming. It still feels like you can feel every slot hitting the pad as you come to a stop, but I'm hoping that will go away as the pads break in. And my front wheels are black! I assume that this will also stop as the pads are broken in.

    Otherwise, I'm very happy with the pads and rotors. Stopping is smooth and straight, but I am taking it easy this week.
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    I taught I taw a puddy tat.... Steves05RT's Avatar
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    Quote: Originally Posted by stingrayj View Post
    I did go back on Sunday and lubed the slides and clips which is why the squealing stopped (I think). I drove it in to work this morning and with the right (light) amount of pressure, I could get the brakes to squeal. It was definitely noticeable, but not overwhelming. It still feels like you can feel every slot hitting the pad as you come to a stop, but I'm hoping that will go away as the pads break in. And my front wheels are black! I assume that this will also stop as the pads are broken in.

    Otherwise, I'm very happy with the pads and rotors. Stopping is smooth and straight, but I am taking it easy this week.

    I believe some of the black on the wheels is from the zinc coating as well as the pads. I hope you have better luck with the squealing than I did. I did EVERYTHING "by the book" have done the bedding procedure twice (correctly) and I still squeal. So let us know.
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    Senior Member SithLord's Avatar SithLord is a Magnum Expert in Training! SithLord is a Magnum Expert in Training! SithLord is a Magnum Expert in Training! SithLord is a Magnum Expert in Training!
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    Awesome write up!!! Just a thought...That would have been the best time to paint your calipers...If you are into that...but it was just a thought!!! Great job once again.
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