The digital garage of my 1998 Jeep Wrangler.

Front Brakes

Replacing the Pads

April, 2004

The caliper heavy and you probably don't have all the hands you need to hold it and get the old pads out and the new ones in. Use Zip-Ties or wire to tie the caliper to a control arm or other convenient body part. Do not let it hang by the brake fluid line!

The pads are held in place by spring clips. The outer pad will slide up and the inner pad pull out of the caliper piston. The new pads will come with new spring clips attached so don't worry if you bend one getting the old pads out.

The caliper is still attached to your Jeep by the brake fluid line, so be careful turning it over to remove the pads. Before I remove the pads, I use a hand clamp to compress the caliper completely to make room for the new thicker pads. You may want to keep an eye on the fluid reservoir while you compress the caliper piston back as it pushes fluid back into the reservoir. You don't want it to overflow and make a mess. You can use a clamp on the inside portion and in the center of the inner pad. Pushing on the center of the inner pad applies the opposite force to the the caliper's braking force.

With the brakes removed there is nothing holding the rotor in place except maybe some dirt and rust. Now is a good time to pull it off to inspect it, and get out your can of brake cleaner. Give the caliper a good cleaning and clean up all the brake dust before you install new pads and start to reassemble everything. The rotor surfce should be smooth and flat on both sides. If yours has grooves it should be fixed or replaced. A reputable brake shop can turn your rotors on a brake lathe, but there is a minimum thickness required. If they have been scored too deeply or turned once already, you may have to replace them.

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