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How-to » Brakes » Disc Brakes » How to Perform a Front Disc Brake Job
 Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Perform a Front Disc Brake Job

PARTS
  • Brake Anti Squeal Paste
  • Brake Pad Set
TOOLS
STEPS
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Moderate
Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

1
Park the vehicle on a solid, level surface. Set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels.
2
Open the hood and check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. If the fluid is full, syphon some of the fluid out with a turkey baster. This will keep the fluid from overflowing when the caliper pistons are compressed.
3
Loosen the front wheel lug nuts but do not remove. Lift up the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands on both sides. The pinch welds and the frame are the two best locations. Do not rely on the jack to hold the vehicle up while working.
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4
Remove the front wheel lug nuts. Remove the front wheels and set them aside.
5
Inspect the brake rotors for scoring, grooves, cracks and discoloration. Be sure to measure the disc rotor thickness to determine if worn below minimum thickness. If below, then the rotor must be replaced.
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6
Remove the brake caliper mounting bolts. Slide the brake caliper off of the brake rotor.
7
Support the brake caliper with a bungee cord, length of wire or rope - up and away from the working area. Do not allow the caliper to hang from the brake hose.
8
Remove the brake pads from the brake caliper or the mounting bracket.
9
If necessary, remove the caliper mounting bracket. Remove the brake rotor from the hub. Machining or replacing the brake rotors is recommended when performing a front disc brake job.
10
Clean the hub surface with a wire brush. Clean the new rotor with brake cleaner and install it on the hub. If applicable, re-install the caliper mounting bracket. Torque the caliper mounting bolts to the manufacturer's specifications.
11
Compress caliper piston using a C-clamp or piston compressor.
12
Be sure to apply the anti-squeal gel or anti-squeal pad or clip to the brake pad metal backing plate. Install the new brake pads in the brake caliper or the caliper mounting bracket.
13
Re-install the brake caliper. Torque the brake caliper mounting bolts to the manufacturer's specifications.
14
Replace the disc pads and rotor on the other side. Step on the brake pedal to seat the pads against the rotors.
15
Install the wheels and snug down the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle to the ground and torque the lug nuts to the manufacturer's specifications in a star (criss-cross) pattern.
16
Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. Add the manufacturer's recommended fluid if necessary.
17
Road test the vehicle and avoid panic stops until the new pads/rotors are broken in. Check with the pad manufacturer for proper break-in times and procedures.
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