How to Change the Brake Pads on a 1996 Jeep Cherokee

by Christian Killian

Your 1996 Jeep Cherokee uses brake pads in the calipers on the front end to provide approximately 70 percent of the stopping power for the Jeep. As a result, the front pads wear much faster than the rear shoes. Inspection and replacement of the pads needs to be done more often on the front end. If you let them go too long, the result will be damage to the rotor or other brake components on the front of your Jeep.


Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels of your Jeep using a lug wrench. Do not take the lug nuts off the wheel studs yet. Position a jack under the front axle of the Jeep and raise it until the front tires are completely off the ground. Place a set of jack stands under the axle tube and lower the jack until the Jeep is resting securely on the stands.


Remove the wheels. Locate the brake caliper on the ends of the axles then locate the two mounting bolts that run through from the back of the caliper to the caliper mounting bracket. Remove the mounting bolts with a 13mm socket and ratchet then lift the caliper off the bracket.


Turn the caliper over so the pads and opening are facing up. Remove the outboard pad by sliding it toward the center of the caliper, then lift it out. Discard the old pad. Push the inboard pad into the center of the caliper, releasing the spring clip that retains it to the caliper piston, then lift it out of the caliper.


Slide a C-clamp over the body of the caliper with the moving section of the clamp inside the caliper. Place a small piece of wood on the caliper piston, then tighten the C-clamp, pushing the piston back into its bore. Remove the clamp and wood, then install the new brake pads starting with the inboard pad first.


Drop the pad into the caliper, then slide it in toward the piston, snapping the spring clip on the back of the pad into the caliper piston. Install the outboard pad into the caliper and push it toward the outside of the caliper, snapping the clips on the back of the pad into the caliper.


Slide the caliper over the brake rotor and reinstall the two mounting bolts through the caliper and into the mounting bracket. Tighten the bolts with a 13mm socket and ratchet. Move to the opposite side of the Jeep and repeat the process to change the pads.


Reinstall the wheels on both sides of the Jeep and install the lug nuts on the wheel studs. Lift the Jeep off the jack stands with your jack and remove them from under the truck. Lower the Jeep to the ground, remove the jack and tighten the lug nuts with a lug wrench.

Items you will need


About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images