Here it is, brake + rotor install with pics. Please note, I am no mechanic and this is my first time ever doing this. You should feel comfortable with a wrench and have a good head on your shoulders because it'll come in handy. You may also want a mechanics phone number in case you aren't sure about something. Brakes are the most important part on your car, so don't screw it up. The install took about 5 hours from start to finish. That included me taking pictures and trying to read the cryptic service manual (You do have a copy, right?). Most of my time was spent trying to get 1 stuck bolt off (As always...), and one other thing you'll find as you read. It was not very hard to do, and was well worth saving almost $400 from having the dealer do it.
What you'll need
Brakes + Rotors, obviously. I went with the OEM Rotors (MPSC) and Hawk HPS Pads (Modern Performance)
12mm Socket or use a 12mm stubby wrench (ratcheting preferred).
18mm Socket or wrench (ratcheting preferred).
9/10mm Socket (The Husky ratchet wrench set from Home depot did wonders for this).
1 Socket Wrench, I had to use a large one to get some leverage.
100 Grit sandpaper (May not be necessary)
Bungee cords, clothes hanger, or some form of wire or rope, or use a jack stand (at correct height) or similar for the caliper to rest on.
It is important that you have this.
Front Pads + Rotors
Make sure the rear e-brake is engaged. I jack the car up slightly to relive some of the pressure but not enough so I can't get the nuts off without the wheels spinning. I loosen them just a tad and then jack up the car and take them off. I recommend getting the car up as high as you SAFELY can so you can get some space for leverage.
Take out your new front rotors and, if they are like mine you will need to sand the grey coating off both sides. Sand in a circular motion to remove the gray coating. Heavy duty solvent may work but I didn't have any lying around.
They should be shiny silver when you are done. Don't worry about places where the pads don't touch.
Next we are going to get ready to take the caliper off. Place a towel around the master cylinder to catch fluid run-off.
Open the master cylinder (The container with the yellow cap behind the battery) and put the cap somewhere safe. I was told to do this if I was not going to bleed the brake lines. If you don't open the cylinder a lot of pressure will build up and the brake fluid will spill out when you push the caliper pistons inside the caliper. Brake fluid is really corrosive so that's not a good thing. You also risk building too much pressure in the brake lines and damaging the hydraulic system.
String your bungee cords up onto your springs (or use jack stand or similar to rest the caliper)
. I used 2 cords just for safety because the calipers are quite heavy. You do not want to let your caliper dangle!
Next we need to push the caliper piston back into the caliper. Stick a strong flat head screw driver in the open hole on the caliper. Try to find a crease (Or make one) between the inner pad and rotor. Do not stick the screw driver between the caliper piston and the inner pad as you will probably damage the piston. When you have leverage pull the screw driver towards you. It takes a lot of elbow grease to get the piston all the way back so you can put the new pads and rotors on. I had to use two methods; I use a screw driver to push it back enough until I could get a hammer into the side of the caliper. You can't really see how far you have pushed it back, so you may have to do this a few times. This is really hard to explain. You may want to take the caliper off first before you attempt this so you see what you are trying to push back. Just make sure the caliper is on the car and secured before you do this.
Not sure if the hammer method is recommended, but it worked for me. Be careful not to bend anything.
Remove the caliper guide bolts at the back of the caliper. Use the 12mm socket or wrench
Once the bolts are out, remove the caliper. You may have to take a screw driver to pry it off. Mine didn't require much pressure, so don't get carried away. Hold the caliper in your hand while you attach it to your bungee cords.
Remove the pads from the caliper. They just slide right out. Takes notes on the difference in the pads. The new pads will go in the same way.
Next we need to remove the adapter mounting bolts. If you have my luck, one will always get stuck, so have a socket wrench with some leverage if possible. I used the Husky ratchet wrench for the bolt on the right and a 1' leverage wrench on the left. The bolt on the right does not need to come completely out, so don't force it because you probably won't get it back in. The bolt on the right is tricky if all you have is a socket wrench. If you can't fit it in there use a crescent wrench, the right bolt was not very tight on my car. Use a 18mm socket/wrench.
After the bolts have been removed, remove the caliper adapter (The only other red thing).
Now we pull the rotor off. My first one came off with just me pulling; the second one required a few taps of the hammer before I could pull it off. Look at how it is on there for reference.
Put on your new rotor. There is no way to secure the rotor on there, which I found odd, but if I pushed it all the way in it stuck enough to hold it there. The service manual said to remove clips, but I didn't see any, and the mechanic I talked to said not to worry about it.
Now we are going to re-attach the caliper adapter. Just do it the same way as above, but in reverse. Torque to 77ft lbs.
Now get out your brake pads. The inner and outer pads look almost alike, but the inner pads have an extra clip or whatever, called a wear indicator. The pad that has the extra clip hanging off to the side goes on the inside of the rotor. The one with no clip goes on the outside of the rotor. Make sure you put the pads in there right; the tops of the pads should sit pretty flush with the top of the rotor. Lubricate both steering knuckle caliper slide abutments with a liberal amount of Mopar Multipurpose Lubricant, or an equivalent.
After both pads are in place, grab the caliper and slide it back into place. Make sure the spring clips on the pads do not pop out of the caliper hole. They should be putting back pressure on the caliper. If the caliper does not fit, use a large C-Clamp to squeeze the piston back some more then the caliper will fit.
This is where my fun began. I didn't push the caliper piston back in far enough first few times I tried so the caliper didn't fit. If the caliper does not fit you have to re-do a few things. (Maybe not but I couldn't find a good way to push the piston back in while keeping the brake line from stretching). What I did was removed the new pads and put the old ones back in, then re-attached the caliper (with the guide bolts tightened!) and kept trying to push the caliper piston back with my screwdriver and hammer, being careful not to damage my new rotor or the piston. I didn't really care about the old pads.
Secure the caliper the same way you took it off. Tighten the guide bolts to 26ft lbs. If you noticed, the caliper guide bolts weren't very hard to get off, so don't go insane torquing them back on.
Congrats! You just saved $175.00! Make sure everything looks correct (Look at the other side for reference) and put your wheel back on. Tighten lug nuts to 100ft/lbs.
Do the other side the same way.
The fronts took me about 3 hours to install. Having trouble with that one bolt and not pushing the caliper piston back in far enough took most of my time. The other stuff was pretty easy.
GOTO NEXT POST ->