Replacing Brakes, Brake Pads, and Rotors


1Today we are going to show you how to replace the front brake pads and rotors on a Chevy pick-up truck. We will learn how to remove the rotors, remove the pads, install new pads and rotors, and bleed the brake system to ensure that our brake job is done properly. Although it will vary from one vehicle to the next, the tools we will be using today are a good selection of wrenches, ratchets, sockets, a pair of channel locks and a couple different types 2of pliers depending on the vehicle. You may need a hammer to get the rotor off if it’s rusted onto the vehicle. The parts we will need are a new set of rotors, a new set of pads, a can of quality brake cleaner, and some disc brake lubricant. When working on a vehicle you should always use caution and be safe. Always use jack stands if you’re jacking the vehicle up and never put your body under a car that’s not properly supported. Make sure that your tools are in good shape and in good working order before you use them and just generally be careful.

3We are starting with the vehicle already lifted and the wheels already removed so next we start removing the caliper slide bolts using a ratchet and a T55 torque socket. Once the caliper bolts are removed, take the caliper and lay it up on the upper control arm. We then remove the pad holder using an 18 mm wrench. Once the pad holder is removed we set that aside and remove the disc brake rotor from the vehicle. If it doesn’t come off easily then you may need to pound them off with a hammer or use a lubricant to break the rust up.

4Now we can make sure our old brake pads and rotors are the same size as the new set. When you’ve done that you can grab some of our BG chemical we put on our brake pads to keep them from squealing and apply that, letting it dry about 20 minutes.  Now get out the brake cleaner and a clean rag. Spray it on your rotors and clean the chemical coating on them off which prevents them from stinking when the rotors get hot. Remove any rust or dirt on your slide pins with a coarse scotch-bright sponge or some fine sand paper and use a little bit of disc brake lubricant on them before you install them back on the vehicle. Also if your brake pads don’t come with new sliders then clean and very lightly lubricate those pieces because they help your brake pads slide and retract back to make sure they don’t stick.

6Next we are going to retract the caliper pistons using an old brake pad and a pair of channel locks, first break the bleeder loose. Then as we squeeze the piston back in open the bleeder. This will ensure we don’t return dirt or debris up into the ABS which could do damage to the unit. Before the brake fluid stops running out we need to shut the bleeder off and our caliper is ready to be installed once we get the rest of the brake parts back on the vehicle. Spend a little time cleaning off excess rust off the hub so the rotor sits flat on it.

7We can now put the new rotor on to the hub. We are using a lug nut to hold the rotor in place and keep it from flopping around when we are trying to install the pad holder, pads, and caliper. Slide the brake pads onto the pad holder then put it onto the truck over the rotor and install the bolts that hold it to the knuckle. Apply a little bit of disc brake lubricant to the back of each pad to help cut down on squealing. Now put on your caliper and tighten the slide pins. It’s time to lower the vehicle and bleed the brakes.

8First check the fluid level in the reservoir to verify that it has enough fluid in it. We will now grab a 10 mm wrench and open the bleeder. Get someone to get in the vehicle and push down on the brake pedal, holding it until all the air is removed and the fluid starts coming out. That’s when you close off the bleeder. Go around and do the same procedure to each wheel. Once you’ve finished bleeding the brakes, check the reservoir and add more brake fluid if necessary and your done other than replacing the tires and going for a test drive. Enjoy.