How to Do Brakes on a Nissan Pickup

by David Roberts
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Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

Nissan has made several different types of pickups with different types of brake systems. There are disc brakes and drum brakes. There are Nissan trucks with ABS or Anti-lock Brake Systems and those without. How to fix the brakes on the truck depends on which type of truck you own and further, which type of brakes the truck has. In general, the process is the same with additional steps necessary if the problem with the brakes is related to the ABS.

Step 1

Loosen the lug nuts on each tire with a tire iron or breaker bar. Doing so when the vehicle is raised will result in the wheel just spinning with your efforts. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal. Raise the vehicle with jacks or a hydraulic lift. Put the goggles and dust mask on before beginning work on the brakes. Some brake pads are made of asbestos materials and you can run the risk of inhaling that material or getting rust particles from old rotors in your eyes.

Step 2

Remove the lug nuts completely from each tire and lift the tires off the rotor assembly. Remove the two bolts that secure the mount to the rotor to remove the brake caliper mount. Use the ratchets or a wrench to remove these bolts. The size could vary depending on the year and make of the Nissan, so have a full set of metric ratchets available. The rotor is the round metal piece that covers the interior brake assembly. When you remove the caliper mount, the brake line will be the only thing holding the mount to the truck. You have two options: Remove the brake line and use a small cork to plug the hose and prevent brake fluid spillage. Or, you can secure the mount to the underside of the truck with zip ties or string.

Step 3

Remove the brake pads from the caliper mount and inspect them for wear. Most pads are equipped with wear-indicators that show the point at which the pads need to be replaced. Nissan recommends changing them regularly, every six months. This can vary, however, based on your driving habits.

Step 4

Press the clips at the ends of the pads and slide them off the caliper. Remove the caliper from the rotor using a 15mm wrench. Set the caliper aside. Gently pull the rotor off the wheel hub and set it aside. Clean the interior of the rotor with brake cleaner and a small brush. If the brake job you are doing involves replacement of the rotors, clean the new rotor with brake cleaner. Wait for the cleaner to dry before placing it on the vehicle.

Step 5

Place new brake pads into the caliper mount and re-attach the brake line. Bolt the caliper mount assembly to the rotor with a socket and ratchet. Repeat this process with each wheel and replace the tires. Hand-tighten the lug nuts and lower the vehicle. Use a tire iron or breaker bar to tighten the lug nuts once the vehicle is on the ground.

Step 6

Refill the master cylinder with brake fluid. Put on the master cylinder cap. Get in the vehicle and pump the brakes. Start the vehicle and drive a short distance while testing the brakes.

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